Prepare to Take the Plunge
You think you’re in shape. But there’s a special kind of fitness that you’ll need if you encounter choppy waters or a stiff headwind, says Steven Munatones, a former U.S. National Open Water Swimming Team coach. Here’s how to get ready.
Do Dry-Land Work
Strength train with a focus on shoulders, back, core, and upper legs. Using resistance bands helps replicate the weight of water as you push through it. And foam roll like you mean it—especially calves.
Train With Intervals
This builds endurance and readies lungs for the demands of swimming. Try pull-outs: Swim a lap hard, and at the end, hoist yourself up onto the pool edge. Rest 10 seconds, then repeat. Do this 10 times.
Simulate the Shore
Pace a pool workout like it’s in open water. Go hard for 1 to 2 minutes, which simulates fighting through waves to get away from the shore. Then downshift to a pace you can maintain for about half an hour.
Swim With Friends
Hitting the surf is more fun—and safer—with pals. If you’re planning a very long swim, have a friend kayak alongside. Stash sports drinks in the cockpit, and grab on to the boat for a break if needed.
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