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Swimming tips

I grew up taking swimming lessons at Bush Lake Beach near my house. But I never did any sort of lap swimming until college. Once while recovering from a minor running injury I took up swimming at our college pool. I also did a sprint triathlon in college. I’m currently training for another sprint triathlon (Outdoor Divas Tri).


Whenever I talk to people about my upcoming triathlon, a lot of people tell me that they wouldn’t do one bc they “can’t swim” or are intimidated by swimming the distance. So I thought I would share some of my personal tips for new swimmers-

  • Start by practicing in a pool, since there won’t be waves , you will have a little more control
  • Bring a pair of goggles- I bought my first inexpensive pair of goggles at Target! Here a couple other pairs that I like- option 1, option 2
  • It’s okay to swim in a modest bikini or even a snug sports bra until you buy a real swimming suit
  • It’s usually best to swim freestyle/front crawl. One thing I learned early on was to breath on both sides when doing this stroke. I alternate between 3 and 5 arm strokes before I take a breath. This is a good technique bc you are prepared if the water is rocky or wavy coming from one side in open water
  • I usually start my workout with a warm up, then I do some laps using a kickboard where I alternate only using my arms to pull myself and then only kicking with my legs. This allows me to gain some confidence in my ability to use my arms to “crawl” through the water and my legs to flutter kick. Then I wrap up with some push/all out swims before a cool down.
  • I usually swim for about 30 minutes but if you are just starting it might be good to do less than that.
  • When swimming in a pool I always bring a water bottle to leave at the edge.

Open water can add some additional challenges-

  • Make sure to look up often to ensure you are heading toward your destination
  • Try to swim in an area that doesn’t have any weeds
  • If you are intimidated, swim in a shallow area and do laps similar to a pool so you are able to break if you are tired.

Today I went for a swim in northern Minnesota, my workout of choice was laps between two docks

1 2 3

Do you have any beginner swim tips? Please share them in the comments below!

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