Tips and tricks for swimming in difficult conditions

Ace swimmer Shubham Vanmali discusses how one should gear up for tough challenges during swimming in open water.

There are many differences between open water swimming and pool swimming but they both are part of the same larger sport. You should always start with a swimming pool if you are a beginner, build up your stamina and then jump into the open water.

It is common knowledge that open water swimming presents challenges that are never seen in a pool. The energy needed is substantial but if you dig deeper, you’ll come across even more. Speaking to Zevenworld, 20-year-old swimmer Shubham Vanmali details the points which will help develop a swimmer.

Overcoming difficult situations

There are three such factors which are always handy. Firstly, an athlete should be mentally strong throughout a swim. Regardless of the challenges, one’s attitude should be positive all the time and should look for opportunities before negative thoughts endanger the swim. Finally, rhythm is the most important factor and one should aim to maintain the rhythm of the strokes all the time.

Health and endurance training

Eating healthy food is of paramount but there's more to it. Eating a number of complex carbs – sweet potatoes, apples – before a long swim will give one a slow release of energy.

Train more in the aerobic type of sets which will enhance your stability in cold waters. Open water swimming demands great stamina so aim to swim long distances and increase your capacity on a weekly basis.

Preparing in a pool

What Shubham follows is one or two long swims in a week. Long would mean four hours or more of continuous swimming. Besides training in a pool, he would travel to the location a month before in order to acclimatise to the water. The same process would help one dive in open waters with confidence. Sometimes, training in water alone is not enough. That's why one should also train outside the water which will not only uplift flexibility but will also help adapt to different conditions easily. CrossFit would be the ideal option and yoga helps too.

Safety for open water swimming

Avoid going for a swim without support crew that has knowledge of medical safety. Be ready for surprises! You might encounter a shark or a whale or you might find yourself swimming at night in between beautiful bioluminescence plankton!