The biggest challenge for every swimmer is to change the swimming canvas from the pool to the open air. As pool swimmers can follow a black line to fix their direction, there is no such line in open-water swimming events. Therefore it is tough, especially for the newbie or the beginner to swim straight in the open air. However, ‘sighting’ is the widely used technique among swimmers, following to swim straight in the open water. There are also some other tricks, that can make you master open water performance. Dear swimmers, here we are with a detailed discussion on How to swim straight in open water. If any athlete reads this session, we can give this assurance, he or she never will be able to move his/her eyes from the reward, while swimming openly.
How to Swim Straight In Open Water
Most of the triathletes or the swimmers start to give importance to the stroke rather than the sighting technique! But the fact is, if the swimmer can focus on the sighting technique, it will bring good results consistently. In open-water swimming, swimmers have to face various challenges. Such as open water hazards including the water conditions changing at times. Therefore it is very challenging to swim a straight line in there. Look below to get a few awesome tips on how to swim straight in open water-
Make your Body Stays Straight (focusing on head position):
The starting points are crucial. Bear one thing, it is all about your body, head, and body movements, which dictate how you could swim in the open air. Throughout the whole course, you have to keep your head natural on your body’s spine’s position. The first and foremost matter is, keeping your head in a good position with your body. A well-positioned head not only helps the swimmer to stay focused, but rather more it also helps the swimmer to increase speed and stability. According to the US National Library of Medicine, “the swimmer’s head location may play an important role in reducing hydrodynamic resistance during passive underwater gliding.” However, try to stare at the water’s bottom layer. Initially, it seems awkward to you, but after time-you will habituated to this. And your leg will automatically come behind you. Thus your body will move in a straight line automatically.
Know the Swim Course:
Do not only rely on the course instructor about the swim course you are going to bet. Personally take some time, and analyze the swim course. Focus on the target line, from where you will start and where you will finish. Make you confident, catch the whole course map before you are on the race course. Once you know when and how to hit the start line, guess you are already ahead of other competitors.
Whether you are going to take part in a big triathlon, or a swimming race, personally know the direction, and shape of the course. Also, know where are the buoys of the course. If needed ask previous acquaintances or competitors about the course. Know about the feedback of this course while the swimmers swim over there.
Make your body Habituated to the Open Water Conditions:
The main advantage of open water swimming is that the swimming course never stays in the same condition as the pool water. There is no doubt, all triathletes and swimmers, have to encounter a lot of difficult conditions due to the different open water bodies. ”practicing in a range of open water conditions helps enable successful adaptation to any conditions in open-water competition.” –according to Sydney’s Ross Sanders, a professor, and researcher. However, as early as possible expose your whole body to the open water. If possible expose the whole swim course as well. This will help your body to adapt to the different water conditions. Besides this, it also will help you to increase your body movement all over the swimming course.
The difference between pool swimming and open water swimming is that-pool swimming is in an enclosed place, and swimmers don’t have to face any water-related obstacles. On the other hand, open water like ocean swim, or river swimming needs more practice in sighting techniques, stroke techniques, etc. Sight properly is the main learning point in open water swims. Especially on race day, when you fully exposed yourself to the open water, that means you can become more confident, becomes more competitive. It is better to practice in the open water with your friend especially taking all safety measures. Open water like ponds, lakes, rivers, ocean beaches, etc. could be a great place for you to be precise frequently before taking part in the main race.
Learn Swimming Sighting Technique:
Sighting is the main thing that determines whether are you on the right course or not. Sighting is critical timing when you look above after each stroke and look over the surroundings to see what is going around you, or how far is your destiny, whether you are on the straight course or not. Ultimately if you can properly gather the main aim of the sighting, and how to control it-it will inform you about your in-middle progress, it will report to you about the whole course, and also will say you if there are any obstacles waiting for you in the front or not. If you are good at the sighting, that means you also will be able to avoid the zig-zagging of all open water.
So once you have learned about the sighting, now it’s the turn to how the sighting duration will be! As you are sighting after each stroke, so you will not get excess time for your sighting surrounding. Especially in the wavy water, when you rise your head for a sighting, it gives you the best view particularly when you are on the wave. You can count now your rise and down onto the wave to measure the sighting time easily. Sighting also helps to see the nearby competitor. Though it is not a good practice to focus on other competitors when you are in the right direction, the swimming enthusiast can take the whole control over the sighting of other swimmers too.
Balance Your Strokes:
Overall your body movement and body strokes are also crucial to swim well in open water. Engage your whole lower extremities, that is your leg, muscles with your core. Once you take control of all of these things now take control of your Head, Torso, and Limbs as well. At the time of moving forward, push both the chest and the lungs accordingly. At that time make your hip high. However, engage your whole core muscle at that point so that you can get enough energy to pull and kick onto the water. Also, try bilateral breathing, which means you are breathing on both sides so that your body can get prevention from the loosen any of your left or right body portions.
Whatever you learn, the main thing is to keep up the consistency gradually. If you cannot keep up the rhythm of your swimming in the middle of your course, that means all afford will go in vain. Therebefore besides trying the aforementioned trips, also try to learn how to balance, you can try Side Balance Drills, Front Balance Drills, Kick-On-Your Side Drills, etc. Also try to use the maximum portion of your body, not only the arm or the legs only. If you want better results, you have to engage the whole core muscle beside your arm and leg too.
Control your full body on the water or under the water on your workout days. Most swimming experts suggest Swimming freestyle in the open water! Whatever, do not swim based on your back, it will lose your energy soon. Yes, you cannot define freestyle swimming with a few strokes, but experienced swimmer has their own strategy even for giving strokes in freestyle swimming as well.
Also, wear all the appropriate swimming equipment before you jump from the starting point of your open-water swimming race.
If you read the whole article, perhaps you will never ask me again why is it harder to swim in an open water race! As both the open water and the swimming pool water system are different in all means, therefore you mandatorily need to learn How to swim straight in open water!
If you really can learn how to, the day is not far when you will be the champions of an open water swimming event!