Moving from the pool to the great outdoors
Outdoor swimming tips from Channel swimmer Maureen McCoy
The joy of being immersed outdoors will draw you back to it time and again. Photograph: Thinkstock
Some hardy folk will contend that outdoor swimming is a year-round sport. For the rest of us, this is the time of year to move out of the pool to the great outdoors.
If you can swim for a mile, you can can swim outdoors. But it’s all about safety first because outdoor swimming is very different from swimming in the pool. There are no lane ropes to keep you on course, no signs to say where the “deep end” is. The banks of rivers are not ideal for holding on to if you need a rest, unlike the side of the pool, and it is considerably cooler than your average swimming pool.
However, the joy of being immersed outdoors will draw you back to it time and again. So, to ensure you get the most of your first exploration into wild swimming, follow these steps:
Start off slowly:
Take a moment to check where you will get in and get out again. At first you will find yourself gasping with the cold; focus on breathing out and this will settle, then you can begin to swim with ease.
Never swim alone:
Choosing where to swim:
TBC training:Mike Oram
Swim within your limitations:
After your swim:
Keep in touch:
Maureen McCoy is a swimming coach and author of Wild Swimming in Ireland.