Here's our top five tips to transition from the pool to open water this summer.

TECHNIQUE

As you will be swimming longer distances without stopping your swim technique and efficiency will be of paramount importance to save energy as well as keeping injury free. In waves you will find it easier to go underneath them than over the top. Having a low head will really help this.

GEAR

Buy the neccesary equipment recommended for training such as a tow float for safety, swim hat (latex, silicon, neoprene) and woolly hat and something warm for afterwards.

Make sure your wetsuit fits, too tight and it will restrict you and too lose will fill up with water. Also, decide what is the right thickness for your requirements. In addition ear plugs can really help to reduce irritation and increase insulation. Not forgetting goggles that are comfortable and fit the shape of your eyes is very important.

ACCLIMITISE

Although you will be wearing a wetsuit for the Great Swim series, small dips for acclimatization to cold water will also help. Many lakes offer swimming from the beginning of the summer. Short dips will really help to get use to the temperature drop from a pool. The more you do, the easier it becomes, make when you gradually increase the time to what you are comfortable with.

SMALL STEPS

As there are no pool walls you need to be confident in open water. Therefore you should take small steps, if you swim in a controlled area ideally where you can stand up and swim from buoy to buoy. Start off with a small distance and then increase gradually as you get more confident.

SIGHTING

This is a very important skill to master in open water. If you focus on a point beyond where you are going to swim, this will act as a guide. The amount of times you sight will also dependent on how efficient your stroke is and whether you can swim in a straight line. You can master this in a pool which will increase your confidence and reduce how many times you sight. Our recommendation is to not lift your head too high just enough so your eyes clear the water. You can breath when sighting, however this is less efficient if you lift your head too high your legs will drop causing an inefficient body position.