6 Tips for Beginning Open Water Swimmers

If you're lucky enough to live near the ocean or a lake, chances are there's a group of people using these bodies of water as their gym. Building up swimming endurance can be challenging for newcomers. Open water swimming presents even more challenges with currents, water temps and many other variables. Steve Munatones founder of Open Water Source shared his tips and advice for getting started with this challenging sport.

More: 3 Drills for Open Water Swimming

Get the Gear

Before you step foot in the water, you're going to need the proper gear. Open water swimming is a tough workout, and you don't want to be fumbling around with your gear wasting energy, if all you're doing is heading into the water.

Munatones suggests bringing goggles, a comfortable fitting swimsuit and a brightly colored swim cap. Once you add other variables like cold water, Munatones recommends silicone ear plugs.

More: Key Principles of Open Water Drafting

Test the Waters

Munatones doesn't recommend just jumping into the ocean or lake to get started with open water swimming. Instead, he suggests preparing in a pool for conditioning and working on your stroke, and then work in some open water swimming.

"Working out in the open water enables a quick acclimatization for everything that Mother Nature can bring: Wind, waves, surface chop, jellyfish, cold," Munatones said. "It's necessary to mix open water swimming in with your pool workouts before you transition to more."

More: 6 Tips to Help Transition From the Pool to Open Water

About the Author

Nicole Morell is a fitness writer, marketer, runner and swimmer.

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