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Trying Out Open Water Swimming
Open water swimming is gaining more popularity in recent years, especially after the 10km event was introduced into the London 2012 Olympics.
Based on recent studies in the United Kingdom, swimming is the fastest growing national sport. Survey shows that participation in football continues to decrease year to tear to 4% of the population and that 94% of participants are male. If walking is excluded of this count, swimming is the national sport for participation, and 64% of participants are female (source Guardian). By all means, swimming should be considered an essential life skill that everyone should have.
When considering taking part in an open water event while on holiday, you should only take part in approved events. These will be events where safety levels are at their highest, both in terms of the course and also in terms of considering swimmer´s welfare. It is important to know your own limits before taking part, and there will also be some events where you will be able to gain coaching advice. As in all sport, the more high profile the event, then the better the facilities should be.
Wetsuits are permitted in open water swimming events, as one of the most noticeable differences between swimming outdoors to indoors is the lower and variable temperatures when swimming in a natural environment. Open water swimming can take place in rivers, lakes, and in the sea. And this is the biggest joy of the adventure, every time is different and never boring!
You will also need to pack the necessary items for your open water swimming event. As well as a swim suit and/or wetsuit, which some events will expect you to you wear, you should pack a hat, towel, as well as goggles and lately introduced safety tow float devices. We would say the important part for a great adventure in open water are the right goggles which allows you to clearly see where you swim. If temperatures are lower, then the right wetsuit as well.
It will be important to get to know those involved with the open water event, and to have someone monitoring your swim. You should also listen to local advice regarding the water itself, so you will then be able to make an informed assessment as to whether completing the course will be within your capability. If you are swimming in an area that you don´t know too well, then you should take all necessary precautions. It will also be advisable to swim alongside swimmers who do know the course and who swim at your pace.
We, Strel Swimming, operate professionally guided swimming tours at different locations in the Mediterranean. Our tours run from 4-7 days and are available for swimmers who can comfortably swim 2+km/h. We also welcome non swimmers to join and they could be either in a boat or a kayak alongside. Please see our available 2015 swimming trip dates at http://www.strel-swimming.com/s1f1/our-trips
See video trailor from our Croatian swimming holidays: