swimming tips

  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 (www.talesofanniebean.com )

    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. New Year's Swim Resolutions: Beginners Four Week Workout Plan
    New Year's Swim Resolutions:  Beginners Four Week Workout Plan

    New Year's Swim Resolutions: Beginners Four Week Workout Plan

    If you’re planning to get fit in the water this year, you’re in luck! We've pulled together a four week swim workout plan to help you set and achieve your goals, whilst having fun and learning valuable new skills during your new year swim journey!

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    Why start swimming in 2016

    Swimming is a sport that you can do all year round and feel great doing! With the added bonus of being a low impact, whole body workout, swimming is a great way to get fit in 2016.

    Setting Goals

    Before you start work out, you first need to figure out what you want to achieve, whether that is feeling confident in the water or swimming the length of the channel - set your goal as a starting point!

    Commitment is the key to achieving your goals, and you want to be able to commit to a program that is realistic for a short period of time, that has achievable goals. For example, committing to swimming for 1 hr a week for 4 weeks will make a big change to your fitness levels and is achievable to fit in with a busy lifestyle. Remember, the key to sticking to your goal is consistency and repetition.

    Ensure your program also allows for flexibility. Our lives change week to week but the one absolute key point is knowing that you will make time to go to the pool at some point each week to look after your body.

    Four Week Swim Plan

    Week 1: Building up your stamina

    During week 1, start with a very basic workout focusing purely on swimming a smooth long stroke and building up your stamina.

    Swimming in sets of two is a great starting point - try swimming 2 lengths with a 30 second break, and repeat.

    You can mix up the strokes if you wish, the first week of the plan is not about pushing to a high intensity but sustaining the ability to breathe a smooth rhythmical breath for every lap that is swum.

    Week 2: Legs

    In week 2, try bringing a focus area such as the legs. Begin your workout with a nice and easy warm up with any stroke at a slow pace for around 2 / 3 lengths.

    Once warmed up, it's time to focus on the legs. Move onto kicking only with a kickboard to isolate the legs, aiming to complete 4 lengths using the board and resting for 30 seconds in between each length.

    Once you have completed four lengths using the kickboard, go back to swimming a full stroke for 3 laps then rest. Repeat this 2 times.

    Top tip: For the greatest body workout, try to kick with your legs under the water and make minimal splashes as you swim! Remember this is not about getting out of the pool and feeling exhausted, but working your body and being able to breathe at the same time.

    Week 3: Arms

    This week now the focus becomes on arms. Again start with a gentle warm up, starting off where we left from in week 2, swimming 3 laps then rest then repeat 3 times.

    Once warm, grab a pull buoy and swim one length just using your arms. Ensure that your stroke is smooth, the more splashes you make the harder and less efficient it becomes.

    Once you have done this for 4 laps stopping at each end, begin 4 laps of the full stroke with no pull buoy. If at all you are finding that you lose your breathing rhythm or start to feel tight in your chest, stop and rest to get your breath back.

    Week 4: Bringing Everything Together

    During the final week of your programme, it's all about bringing everything together and pushing your body a little further.

    Begin with a warm up for up to 10 minutes. The challenge here can be how many lengths can you swim in this amount of time, not as fast as you can as remember it is a warm up.

    Then grab a kickboard - for this exercise you are going to kick for one length slowly, 30 second rest, followed by a second length as fast as you can pushing your body to its limit. Repeat this circuit 3 times.

    Now, try an additional 2 lengths nice and slowly, trying not to make any splashes (it's much harder than it sounds). Follow these lengths by grabbing a pull buoy and swimming 2 lengths just using your arms to build up your strength - Rep

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  6. Zoggs Tips: How to Stay Motivated to Swim Throughout Winter
    Zoggs Tips: How to Stay Motivated to Swim Throughout Winter

    Zoggs Tips: How to Stay Motivated to Swim Throughout Winter

    Swimming is often thought of as a summer activity but it’s actually the perfect sport for staying in shape and having fun throughout winter.

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  7. Zoggs Technique Tips: Perfecting your Backstroke
    Zoggs Technique Tips: Perfecting your Backstroke

    Zoggs Technique Tips: Perfecting your Backstroke

    On holiday, backstroke gives you the opportunity to enjoy blue skies or even stars overhead, and in a pool, the chance to vary your workout. But the stroke is not without its difficulties, not least because the majority of us are asymmetric, making even swimming in a straight line somewhat challenging!

    The following technique tips for perfecting your backstroke will help you learn how to master the stroke and enjoy your swims, anywhere:

    zoggs technique backstroke

    Position in the water

    Your face should be above the water with your body close to the surface. To achieve this, keep your neck relaxed and your eyes looking toward the sky or ceiling. Push your tummy up toward the surface, engage your core and keep your body straight.

    This helps to streamline your body shape so you can move smoothly through the water. If you need to practice holding your body in this position, try using a kickboard until you feel comfortable or Zoggs training Finz to strengthen your legs and your kick.

    Once you’ve adopted the right posture and position in the water, it’s time to focus on controlling your arm and leg movements and the rhythm of your strokes and breathing.

    Movement

    Your arms are the driving force in this stroke so begin slowly to get a feel for the correct position.

    Your arms should be straight and parallel with your body and be led by your thumb as they come up out of the water. Once the arm is level with your shoulder, rotate your hand outwards so that the little finger is the first to cut back into the water at shoulder-width above your head. This will cause both your upper body and your hips to rotate slightly from left to right as you swim.

    Keep your fingers relaxed but held together with your palm flat and open. This makes your hands work like paddles that will catch the water and propel you forward. The most common mistake that is made in backstroke is that swimmers will pull their arm down in a wide sweeping arc, either und

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  8. Adam "Ocean" Walker: 7 Steps from Pool to Open Water
    Adam "Ocean" Walker: 7 Steps from Pool to Open Water

    Adam "Ocean" Walker: 7 Steps from Pool to Open Water

    he Guardian newspaper recently described open water swimming as the “trend of 2015” and with more open water swimming events taking place across the UK in 2015, we couldn’t agree more!

    If you’re thinking of taking the leap from the comfort of your local swimming pool to the challenges of the open water in 2015, Zoggs open water swimming Ambassador Adam 'Ocean' Walker, the first Briton to swim the toughest 7 oceans in the world, has put together 7 expert tips to will help you make a smooth transition…

    1. Equipment
    Buying the right equipment is key! This includes a swim hat (latex or silicone) and a pair of reliable swimming goggles. My personal favourites are Zoggs Predator Flexwhich I wore during all of my 7 channel swims.

    In addition ear plugs will also help reduce irritation and increase

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  9. Zoggs Pull Buoy Training Tips
    Zoggs Pull Buoy Training Tips

    Zoggs Pull Buoy Training Tips

    A pull buoy is designed to help you focus on building your upper body strength and stroke technique. The Zoggs team has put together a guide to how they work, and how you can make them work for you….

    Better balance, better stroke
    With a pull buoy positioned between your thighs, your body will stay high in the water creating a more efficient, streamlined body position. Unless you’re a very strong swimmer, the pull buoy will probably do a better job of this than your own legs can.

    With the lower body taken care of, you can focus on honing your upper body technique. For crawl, this means keeping your elbows high and pushing straight back through your stroke.

    This improved body shape helps you avoid pushing water down and reduces the risk of shoulder injuries. (It will also make you realise just how important kicking is!)

    Maintain intensity
    A more efficient body shape will help you smoothly glide through the water. It is important that you keep your stroke rate the same as it would be without a pull buoy.

    That way, when you are swimming without it, you are not combining a lower stroke rate with a poor body shape.

    Different floats and different strokes
    Pull buoys aren’t just for front crawl: you can use them for any stroke. Combining them with hand paddles will allow you to work particular areas of your body and focus on technique without too strenuous a cardio workout.

    Triathletes can particularly benefit from this, given the amount of cardio work already achieved from running and cycling. Reducing fatigue will help you train for longer, getting you used to swimming for long periods with the proper technique – ideal f

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  10. How to improve your butterfly technique
    How to improve your butterfly technique

    How to improve your butterfly technique

    Butterfly is generally accepted as one of the toughest of all strokes both in terms of technique and strength. The butterfly technique burns around 750 calories per hour, working the abdominals, triceps, pectorals, shoulders and quadriceps. Perfecting this physically demanding stoke can often be difficult.

    Butterfly

    To help, the team here at Zoggs have put together a number of expert tips along with a useful video to help you successfully improve your butterfly technique….

    Body & Hips
    Your body should be as close as possible to the water's surface when completing this stroke. The hips are key to butterfly, acting as a pivot point.

    Your stroke should start with your arms forwards and your eyes looking slightly ahead. Press down your head as your hips move upwards and when you are underwater, tuck your chin into your chest. The stroke should be both continuous and fluid.

    Arms
    As you pull with your arms, push your chin forwards to get ready to breathe. Then raise your eyes slightly so that you are looking d

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