• Mark Durnford

Open Water Swimming swimming tips

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

As Zone3's Swimming Coach and Ambassador, here's a few tips we put together accompanied by some video footage to help prepare you for the London Triathlon.

Open Water Swimming is very different from swimming in a pool. This is due to visibility, currents and the weather. We therefore highly recommend that open water swimming forms part of your swimming training.


- Lubricate wrists, ankles and neck to avoid chaffing and make your wetsuit easier to get off. Do not use Petroleum based lubricants as they can rot the fabric of your wetsuit.

- Wear everything you plan to race in under your wetsuit (TRISUITS are ideal); this can include your race number pinned to a top if you are not wearing a race belt.

- Check the race course, is it better to be on one side of the starting pack of swimmers compared to the other? If you are not a confident swimmer then find a space and swim your own race.

- Bilateral breathing in training will help you on race day: The added gain of being comfortable with this technique is that certain open water swims might dictate only breathing to one side.

- If you can find someone of a similar speed you will have an easier swim if you swim close by and level to their knees (inside their bow wave – this is known as drafting). It is not illegal to draft, on the swim but be careful not to upset your pacemaker by constantly tapping them if you are too close.