Swimming is a low impact sport, as it is non weight bearing. This is good news as you are less likely to pick up an injury compared to other sports.
You should not enter your first open water event without having swum previously in the outdoors, regardless of whether you will be swimming in a wetsuit or not. Start off gradually and build up your distance.
You should swim at least two times a week and ideally three (one of these should be outdoors where possible).
To train for an open water swim, you need to think about two aspects of the event:
- Being swim fit: the easiest way to become swim fit is to regularly use a swimming pool or lido.
- Being acclimatised to swimming outdoors: on the event day it could be cold or a bright sunny day, and the water could be calm or choppy. You should be comfortable swimming in all conditions. It is very different swimming outdoors compared to swimming in a pool. There is no black line on the bottom of the lake to follow, the water may not be as clear, and you must look up to see which direction you need to swim. You will also have other swimmers in close proximity to you.
Check out the training advice articles below for more tips on taking to the open water.
- Outdoor swimming advice Advice for returning to open water swimming training
- Vansbrosimningen Find out more about the largest open water swimming festival in Europe
- TrygFonden Copenhagen Swim Find out more about this spectacular event from open water swimmer Colin Hill
- Jack Burnell's training tips British open water swimmer Jack Burnell offers advice for beginners on how to get started
- The perfect swim start Shake off any sluggishness before you take to the water with these simple warm-up tips to help you start every race feeling strong and in control…
- Open water swimming tips from British Olympian Roberto Pavoni British swimming pro and coach Roberto Pavoni offers his tips for Swim Serpentine success
- What stroke should I use for Swim Serpentine? There are four official swimming strokes: front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke and butterfly...
- Open water training advice Tips and suggested sessions for swimming in open water
- Smart swimming Our do's and don't's will help to prepare you for Swim Serpentine
- Why stroke timing is the key to swimming more effectively Master the technical timing of your stroke to make your momentum through the water as effortless as possible
- Power your swim with porridge Try these tasty, healthy and nutritious porridge toppings to give your breakfast a boost.
- Discover the health benefits of open water swimming We’ve put together a magnificent seven reasons why you should go for a cold-water dip sometime soon…