open water swimming

  1. Tips to get you cold water swimming
    Tips to get you cold water swimming

    Tips to get you cold water swimming

    Getting started with cold water swimming - By Annie Brooks ( )

    If you love your pool swims and enjoy those open water swims, then this winter you might be ready to take on cold water swimming! Unlike hopping into to your local heated swimming pool to run through your drills, or dipping into that beautiful lake during the summer time, cold water swimming not only challenges physically, it tests you mentally also. Knowing you’re about to step into water that barely reaches double figures, can be a challenge, but this is exactly why it’s fantastic because that sense of achievement is like nothing else.


    1. Find a open water swimming venue
    There are many open water swimming venues that continue to allow swims during the chilly months. Due to the increasingly popularity of cold water swimming, more and more venues are keeping open longer. The best thing to do to find them is get searching on the internet, or better yet, Facebook. There are numerous specific open water swimming groups across the UK who regularly meet up for swims, these often host their own Facebook groups too. If you do some digging and you’ll not only find many venues, but potentially make some new swimming buddies!

    2. Get the right kit

    When you’re just starting out with cold water swimming the best thing to do is get the right kit to keep you warm. If female, a good swimsuit and if male, well-made swim shorts, followed by a wetsuit. Not only is a wetsuit designed for buoyancy in the water, it is also keeps you warmer than just swimming in a swimsuit. When wearing a wetsuit, unlike just a swimsuit, the wetsuit allows the water to seep in gradually. This gives your body a good amount of time to slowly acclimatise. Beyond your wetsuit, you can pick up gloves, hat and boots to keep you toasty!

    3. Safety first
    Always take a tow float. This isn’t specifically for cold water swimming, but if the cold water shocks you, you can be easily be spotted by other water users. Tow floats are often mandatory for open water swimming venues. Another option is to attach a whistle to your tow float to alert that you need assistance to the open water swim venue staff. It is just about being safe, seen and heard.

    4. Swim with a buddy
    At a dedicated open water swimming venue you don’t always need to swim with a buddy, just be a confident swimmer. Personally, I like to always swim with a buddy, for both safety and enjoyment purposes. If you decided to wild cold water swim, then having an extra person with you is really important. However, if you’re off for a cold water swim and it is your first time, there is something comforting going through the process of acclimatisation with a friend.

    5. Getting in the cold water
    Firstly, never jump in. You might have seen those beautiful instagram shots of outdoors grammers leaping into fresh water. Don’t. You should never jump into cold water, acclimatised or not, your body might go into shock which can be really dangerous. I prefer to ease in gradually, and the more I have acclimatised the quicker this process is, but the most important thing is to give your body time. I love to wear swim socks and gloves because these two body parts get the worst of the cold for me. I like to call them ice cream feet and hands! Getting your shoulders under is the hardest part, but in a wetsuit because it gradually seeps in, it makes this a little easier.

    6. Cold water skin swims
    You’ve mastered swimming in your

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  2. Zoggs - 10 Reasons to take up Open Water Swimming
    Open water swimmers

    Zoggs - 10 Reasons to take up Open Water Swimming

    Check out the newest top 10 reasons to take up OPEN WATER SWIMMING - Courtesy of Adam Walker

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  3. Adam 'Ocean' Walker Tips - Open Water Novice
    Adam 'Ocean' Walker Tips - Open Water Novice

    Adam 'Ocean' Walker Tips - Open Water Novice

    Where to swim

    There are many lakes up and down the country which have organised sessions and have suitable safety in place. I would recommend you swim in one these locations and as there will be other like-minded

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  4. Zoggs Swim Diaries - Taking on the Henley Swim Festival 2020
    Zoggs Swim Diaries - Taking on the Henley Swim Festival 2020

    Zoggs Swim Diaries - Taking on the Henley Swim Festival 2020

    The Zoggs Swim Diaries series aim to celebrate those undertaking a personal challenge or complete something to inspire us all. Mel Berry a swim coach and co-founder of HerSpirit takes us through her adventure of Henley Swim Festival 2020..

    Henley Swim Festival 4 x 1 mile Her Spirit adventure = 2 medals,

    You can’t beat getting back into open water swimming events to give you a sense of purpose and focus again. Thanks to Zoggs, Team Her Spirit rose to the challenge and entered the 4 x 1 mile event as part of the Henley Swim Festival. I mean why not do it four times rather than just once!

    Our team consisted of myself Mel Berry and my co-founder at Her Spirit, Holly Woodford and our love of adventure and getting our first 2020 medal! With so many events being cancelled due to COVID this was our first event and so didn’t take much persuading to take part over the August bank holiday. But what happened to the sunshine?


    Due to the weather and water temperature being under 16 degrees…. We opted to swim in our wetsuits but tucked under them were our trusty Wonder Woman and Batman suits! and of course our Zoggs/Her Spirit swim caps under our gold event caps. Today’s goggle choice was Predator’s for Holly and Fusion Air for myself.


    They say preparation is everything …. Haha I think we failed at first base on that due to COVID19 and Benjamin Franklin said “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail” but this event is not about being the fastest but more the ability to enjoy going up and down the Thames by foot and water four times.

    Challenging yourself is something we both love and having never done this event or anything like this format, it was a great challenge to take on. Coupled with the fact that we needed to take everything with us, we needed to get a new tow float, that could carry our food, drink, shoes and trusty GoPro to capture the event as well as our car key! I was only slightly worried I would lose the key! I am not sure how I would explain that one to the garage!

    Ready to rumble at 9am we set of for mile 1…and down the steps we went into The Thames…. Follow the yellow buoys and multi coloured tow floats till the beach they said! How hard can it be…

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  5. Zoggs Swim Diaries: A solo swim to France? No, it’s a huge team effort!
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: A solo swim to France? No, it’s a huge team effort!

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: A solo swim to France? No, it’s a huge team effort!

    The time is almost here! As Deborah waits for her channel swim to arrive she shares how she is feeling...

    As I sit here in the middle of the night, wide awake with a mixture of excitement, trepidation and some nerves that are coming and going, mainly from not knowing when I’m going to swim, rather than the swim itself, I’m reflecting on so many things. The main thing that springs to mind is the phrase ‘a solo swim’, when in fact it is far from that. The amount of people who have helped me reach this point would read like an Oscars speech, so I will try not to do a Gwyneth Paltrow, but I would like to thank a few people:


    Deborah with her swim group 'The Shack Sharks' Deborah with her swim group 'The Shack Sharks'


    • The swimming community, a worldwide movement of open water swimmers, social media support groups, swim groups that I am part of and all of their members, to Durley Sea Swims who provide a wonderful support network for people training for long distance swims and who have supported much of my t
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  6. Zoggs Swim Diaries: What makes Deborah Herridge #SwimHappy?
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: What makes Deborah Herridge #SwimHappy?

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: What makes Deborah Herridge #SwimHappy?

    Regular open water swimmer Deborah Herridge has shared with us what it is about the sea that makes her #SwimHappy...

    So many things! Where shall I #SwimHappy place usually involves water,

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  7. 10 Triathlons to Tri this Season
    10 Triathlons to Tri this Season

    10 Triathlons to Tri this Season

    With Triathlons happening all over the UK throughout the season it can sometimes be a struggle to decide which to choose. We have chosen 10 races worth a tri...


    • Bloodwise Blenheim Palace Triathlon (3rd-4th June) – Blenheim Palace is often considered the race to kick start the Triathlon season, the swim, bike and run takes place around the grounds of Blenheim palace. Swimming, cycling and running through the unique and picturesque scenery, you will be taking part in the second largest Triathlon in the UK. Not ready for a full length triathlon? Blenheim palaces offers two race lengths, Super Sprint and Sprint, so whatever your ability there are no excuses.
    • Woburn Abbey Triathlon (9th-10th September) - This is one the whole family can be part of! With a range of distances from a Scootathlon (4-8 years) or Junior Triathlon (9-16 years), to SuperSprint, Sprint and Olympic distance, there is a distance for everyone. In its 9th year Woburn Abbey Tri offers stunning scenery with views of The Abbey and the deer park throughout the course. If you’re looking for a really fun family experience, whether you are competing or a spectator, this is the perfect triathlon for you!
    • Lidl BananaMan Triathlon (8th July) – This is a triathlon with a twist! With a banana theme, whether you are a beginner taking on the ‘Banana Split’ or looking to complete the ‘Whole Banana’ there is a race for any age and ability. There are even extra points for anyone that wears yellow on the day! So get your swim cap,
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  8. What makes you #SwimHappy?
    What makes you #SwimHappy?

    What makes you #SwimHappy?

    Whether you swim to compete, swim for fitness, take a dip on holiday, or just want to spend some time in the water with the Family, Zoggs wants to celebrate what makes you #SwimHappy!

    It’s well known that taking a dip releases those much needed endorphins. You don’t believe us? A recent study by British Gas SwimBritain conducted by MindLab (2014) ‘The secret to happiness? Swimming has all the answers’ highlights how much swimming can truly help when it comes to positivity, motivation and overall levels of wellbeing. By adding a few laps of the pool into the weekly schedule they found:

    • A reported increase of 35% in positivity.
    • Taking a dip increases energy levels by 51% and fitness levels by 15%.
    • While swimming is low impact, it increases the levels of sleep quality by 40%, and those swimming more than 2.5 hours a week their quality of sleep at least doubled.
    • The participants negative emotions decreased by 33%, while the positive emotions increased on average 35%.
    • Overall it was found that levels of wellbeing increased on average 20%.

      Aqua Flex - Men relaxing in the pool

      While figures are useful, sometimes there is no better way to find out what makes you #SwimHappy than jumping in! Need some inspiration on how to discover your excuse for a swim? Check out Zoggs top tips:

      • Swim with friends - Solo lane swims not for you? Why not join a swimming club or collect together your friends and set some fun challenges, race each other or just have a gossip at the end of the lane when you want a break.
      • Set yourself a training routine – If you need some motivation to keep swimming set yourself a target and a training routine to achieve it. Whether they are training sets of 10 or 20, they are a great way of staying motivated as well as keeping count of those lengths you’ve done.
      • Try out something different – Pool based activities have been increasing in popularity recently with the development of Aqua Aerobics or Aqua Zumba. These are great ways to still get exercise in a low impact environment. If you are looking for something a little more challenging there is always sports such as Synchronised Swimming or Water Polo.
      • Games! – This can be great when you are swimming with the family. Games could be creating Fun Relays using multiple strokes or using Zoodles. You could also dive for treasure with Dive Sticks or Clam Hunt. Games don’t necessarily only work for the family, they can also help motivate solo swims. Visit
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  9. Zoggs Swim Diaries: Isle of Wight Swim in 25 hrs 56 mins
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Isle of Wight Swim in 25 hrs 56 mins

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Isle of Wight Swim in 25 hrs 56 mins

    After months of training and planning, Scott Dawson has completed his non-stop 65 mile swim around the Isle of Wight for charity. Here's what Scott had to say after the event...

    How do you describe the best week of your life?

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  10. Zoggs Swim Diaries: Channel Swim Q&A – Part Three
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Channel Swim Q&A – Part Three

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Channel Swim Q&A – Part Three

    Deborah Herridge is training to swim the English Channel in the summer of 2017. She's been sharing her journey with us in our Zoggs Swim Diaries. With this momentous challenge ahead, Deborah's friends and family have been asking her all about the swim. She shares with us some answers to questions that have been asked around her training and the swim itself.

    When people say things like "it must be so boring" or "what can you possibly think about for all that time", how do you react and do questions like that make you feel?

    I don't mind at all, I enjoy people asking about the swims. Up until a few years ago I would have probably asked the same questions. I've never gotten bored, longest swims so far have been a training swim of 5 hours 20 and the two-way Solent swim of 7 hours 18. I've never once got bored, I think of all sorts of things, I sing songs, reminisce, think about my stroke, see if I can spot any wildlife, or sometimes don't think at all, a kind of meditation I suppose.

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