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Sighting and Navigation in Open water for Social Distancing

Open water swimming sighting and navigation

Learn how to sight and navigate effectively for open water swimming!

With some lakes opening please be very mindful and practice your navigational and sighting skills a lot before going in the water. Yes, you can practice the method out of the water is as good as in the water. Visualise what you need to be doing until it is 2nd nature. Sight every 6-8 strokes so you can stay at least 2 metres away from other swimmers if you are planning on going....

4 Stages: "Lift, sight and look, turn and then breathe" Repeat! (2 sights in a row)

1. Lift 2. Look 3. Turn 4. Breathe

This order is very important! At the moment sighting and navigation and situational or spatial awareness could not be more important if you're planning on doing some open water swimming in the lakes. Adhere to their rules on social distancing by learning how to sight and navigate correctly!!

When your hand has entered the water, hold the glide fractionally longer than normal, and press down slightly so that your head is lifted out of the water to just below your nose. Any higher and your legs will drop, increasing drag and resistance in the water.

Don't breathe in or out as you look forwards or you could swallow water. Do this either before or after you look up and forwards to sight. Keep your sighting and breathing separate.

The low crocodile eyes sighting method keeps your head low and doesn’t disrupt your breathing pattern or your body position.

Perform 2 sights one after another, every 6 - 8 strokes looking at an object that is generally higher than the swim buoy in the water. The 2nd sight clarifies the 1st image in your minds eye.

The guidance from the NGO's is not to go open water swimming if you are new to it, or unsure of your ability level

"Although open water swimming has many benefits and can be undertaken safely, without suitable professional supervision, at this time it does pose an increased threat to life; therefore, STA does not recommend anyone new to swimming or new to open water swimming goes into a body of open water alone."

Do you want to take up to 10 seconds off your 100 metre front crawl race pace?

Learn how improving your distance per stroke (DPS) is really important as this allows you to expend the least amount of energy to go the furthest distance.

The further you travel on each stroke the more efficient you are. With a caveat of not excessively gliding every stroke or pushing off the wall at the end of the lane. It's driven from your core, rotation, technique and core strength.

The main reasons why you should want to improve your distance per stroke (DPS) are:

1. Improved performance 2. Streamlining 3. Better efficiency in the water 4. Enhanced timing

How you may ask?...with

• Optimal pacing from regular time trials to set your "T-pace" or average 1500 metre pace • Correcting stroke inefficiencies with endless pool and go pro video analysis in the pool • Improving rotation and power using the TechToch by Finis • Enhancing catch phase mechanics using drills such as fists, alternating fists, and slowing the glide phase on entry • Developing a higher early vertical forearm position to push more water behind you for the same effort • Better streamlining by being higher in the water, generating less turbulence, and less drag in the water • Providing structured training sessions to focus on with online training plan we designed on Training Peaks

Check out our Open Water Swimming training plans and TRX / core strength sessions below to help you improve your swim fitness and technique as an open water swimmer or triathlete.

1. Open water training plan

2. Online training plans for swimming and triathlons:…/speedyswimming

3. Personalised coaching

Copyright © Speedy Swimming

Nick is a level 3 British Triathlon Coach, Level 1 Training Peaks coach, and Training Bible coaching Master endurance coach with 25 years’ experience in triathlon, founder and Head Coach for Speedy Swimming.

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