The Guide to Open Water Swimming: A Look at the Intriguing Tactics and Tricks

By Ned Denison (IMSHOF) - Swimming is swimming. But the difference between pool swimming (with individual lanes, a line on the bottom and the protection of lane lines) and open water is dramatic. The word most often used is “physicality.” Each swimmer in open-water competition will experience significant physical contact with other swimmers. Ninety-five percent of the contact will not really hinder the swimmer and most of it will be unintentional. However, a 10 km race takes about two hours and the difference between gold and fifth place is often less than a few seconds. Even a little disruption due to physicality can be the difference. Successful open-water swimmers require a different mindset. Swimmers are in a close contact battle. It is not a pool race.

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