Outdoor swimming style

It's important that you wear the right gear for outdoor swimming. That means a brightly-coloured swimming cap, swimming goggles and a good-fitting wetsuit. A bright swimming cap will improve your visibility in the water.

Goggles and Swim Masks

Open water can be cloudy, so a pair of good swimming goggles will make you more comfortable in the water and also help you to see where you are going.

Remember, there are no lanes and walls in open water to help you maintain a straight course - a pair of good goggles is vital.

Wetsuits and Hoods

Wetsuits are highly recommended when swimming outdoors as they provide you with extra warmth, buoyancy and will make you slightly faster.

The Great Swim Series are wetsuit only events.

Training Aids

Various training aids are available to help swimmers improve on their technique and stamina. For safety reasons training aids are NOT allowed in a Great Swim event.

The gear you will need to swim in your local pool will differ greatly from what you will need for open water swimming.

First and foremost, if you are planning to do all of your training in your local pool you will need to ensure that you have proper swimming attire. For men, that means a pair of swimming trunks (not shorts) or a high-tech swimming suit while women will also want to ideally wear an all-in-one swimming costume (not a bikini) or a swimming suit.

A good pair of swimming goggles will also help you to stay in the water longer and in a chlorinated swimming pool will prove invaluable, helping you avoid red eye and other irritating conditions.

This simple gear will ensure you can complete your training sessions as effectively and as comfortably as possible.

If you are planning to tackle some long distance open water swimming, either a specific event such as one of the Great Swims or some swimming in the sea or a lake perhaps, then we would always recommend wearing a wetsuit. However, if the water temperature is above 17C you may find that it is ok to swim without a wetsuit. Having said that, a wetsuit will not only help to keep your muscles warm but also provide you with more buoyancy when you are in the water. Wetsuits can be an excellent investment too, as it should serve you well for many years. It is important to get one that fits properly (too loose or too tight and it will not function as it should). You can also swim in specialist shoes in open water, such as surfer's shoes, though these will inhibit your movement to a certain extent while actually swimming.


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