Open Water Swim Tips For Beginners

Swimmers  Triathlon Training in open water

Swimmers, Aqua-bikers & Triathletes - if that describes you - then you are likely considering it's time to go jumping into the near by lakes, rivers, beach and popular swimming holes as temps are getting warmer and events/racing coming back online.

We think that an open water swimming (OWS) refresher blog is order for those just embarking upon their open water journey or for some of us that need to knock off the dust since we have not raced since 2018/2019.

SwimBikeRun Fun Events & our Coaches have compiled a quickie beginner's guide to get you dipping and splashing in no time out in the open water and race ready.

Extra: If you are in the Austin/Central Texas area and registered for Lake Pflugerville Tri, Kerrville Triathlon Festival, Ironman Texas 140.6 or Ironman Waco 70.3 - be sure to check out our Free Open Water (OWS) Swim Clinic coming up on June 13, 2021.

Pool Swimming vs Open Water

The main differences between pool swimming and open water swimming are the water temperatures, lack of walls to push off from, no swim lanes/lines to guide you in the right direction and not being able to touch or see the bottom.

These are all differences that with time & frequency, you can learn to adjust to. The more familiar you are with open water, your fears decrease exponentially and you learn to adapt to the various conditions of the water like, direction of current or choppiness of waves.


As mentioned before, in open water no swim lanes or lane lines are guiding you in the right direction. To be able to guide yourself in the open water, you’ll need to learn how to sight using buoys, land marks, other swimmers and kayaks during a race.