water swimming

Open water swimming in times of COVID-19

At the moment, most gyms and public pools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many triathletes without a way to train with Lifeguard Training. During these two months of confinement, some have been very creative at home and have managed to train in small pools for children, but it is not the same. At the moment, it makes sense that many would question the feasibility of donning a wetsuit and going for a swim in the sea, but is it really a good idea to go swimming in open water in times of coronavirus?

Jumping into open water for exercise under any circumstance depends on the conditions. With this current global pandemic, there are many dynamic factors to consider when training in open water during the coronavirus. The truth is that the Government of Spain allows the training of swimmers on the beaches under a series of conditions. Entering the water with a hat, buoy and keeping a safe distance are some of them. The use of public showers, leaving any material in the sand on the beach or the exchange of swimming material between swimmers is also not allowed.

Except for professional

Except for professional or federated athletes who can prove their activity, it is not allowed to use any transport vehicle or public transport to travel to the beaches.

However, if your beach is open to the public, we advise you not to rush into high-intensity exercise just yet. We advise you to go swimming to feel again what you felt a couple of months ago. Of course, it is not recommended to start doing high-intensity training. Preparation and practice are the main components to avoid injuries when swimming in open water. For this reason, we show you a series of tips that you can carry out before starting to train more intensely so that you can get back to the shape you had before.

Take the opportunity to do strength exercises

If you have not swum in the last two months of confinement, you should be aware that you are not fit to swim. It is essential to start slowly, build up your strength and practice techniques that protect your shoulders and upper back from injury. Physical preparation for open water swimming should include exercises on dry land to strengthen all your muscles before you start high intensity open water swimming. This will also help you maintain a correct and balanced body position while flowing through the water.

Acclimatize to the water

Being allowed back in the water is a perfect time to rebuild your tolerance for cold water. It is recommended to start with a one or two minute immersion in cold water, gradually increasing the duration as your body adapts. These baths are also a good time to check for the warning signs of hypothermia: numbness in extremities, clawed hands, hyperventilation, chest tightness, disorientation, and loss of alertness and memory. If you start experiencing any of these symptoms, get out of the water.

Don’t forget your team.

Although the temperatures do not stop rising, the water in the month of May is still very cold. For this reason, you will need to wear your open water swimsuit.

In addition to a wetsuit and protective swim goggles, you will need to bring a brightly colored swim cap that you can be seen in and a safety buoy. These are the two swimming accessories that you cannot miss on your return to open water.

Prioritize training your skills

When your time comes to train in the sea, you won’t know how far you can swim. Therefore, do not focus on the distance and focus on training the rest of the basic skills of open water swimming. Breathe with a smooth, rhythmic inhalation and a calm exhalation; breathe to both sides in response to waves; sight early and often; and develop a sense of the water (fist and skull drills are great for practicing in open water).

For your first workout, plan on a duration that is about 20 to 25 percent of the time you used to swim before the pandemic. The time margin is due to immobility during these last two months and an inefficiency of a rusty stroke technique.

Progressively extends swimming range

At this time, we are not sure that you can go deep into the sea. In the event that you have a certain limit, you must know that full scope, as well as the temperature of the water, the weather conditions, the typical currents of the water, among other security considerations implemented by the circumstances of the pandemic.

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