When preparing to swim more seriously, there are a lot fo questions that run through your mind. Here, we address some of the most common questions to ensure you get what you need out of every swim.
Will I need a swimming coach?
Yes. It’s a great idea to have at least five lessons with a swimming coach to learn the fundamentals of good swimming technique. It will be well worth the time, money and effort.
What happens if I lose my goggles in the swim?
Happens to the best of ‘em! Even well trained, competitive swimmers lose their goggles every so often. If this happens to you – don’t sweat it. Just lift your head a little more to see where you’re going, stay cool calm and relaxed and it will not make any difference to the way you swim.
What if I take a big mouthful of water?
Don’t swallow it! But again – this happens to all swimmers sooner or later. Blow some big bubbles, blast that water out of your nose, mouth and throat and – as the song goes – “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, that’s what we do, we swim swim swim.
Some Beginner Advice
There are a few skills and techniques in swimming that are important to learn:
- Reach long in the water “torpedo” shape. Keep your hands and fingers loose and relaxed as it enters the water, eyes looking down. Head in a natural position
- Bend your arm at the elbow and “press” the water backwards. Keep your shoulder strong and aim to rotate your upper arm while your shoulder remains strong, still and stable.
- Keep pressure on your hand and forearm and feel like you’re pushing the water backwards as your body moves forward. Kick your feet smoothly but quickly imagining they’re loose and floppy.
Like every sport, you need a few things to get you started and make swimming easier.
- HEAD -- Goggles and cap. Buy the best you can afford in good quality and comfort.
- BODY -- Swim suit. Find something that fits snuggly but also allows you to move your body.
- FEET -- Fins and a pull buoy are two invaluable training aids.
Tips and Tricks
Here’s a few tips and tricks to make your first CrossFit swim something to enjoy:
- Start out slow and easy. Remember swimming is as much about relaxation as it is about technique, skills and strength.
- Think “long and strong” every time you stroke: “long” reminds you to be like that torpedo shape and “strong” reinforces the importance of pulling your body powerfully through the water.
- Keep your head movements small: When you turn your head to breathe, keep one eye, one ear and the corner of your mouth in the water. This low head position minimizes changes to your torpedo shape.