Assess your swimming abilities well and practice in the pool how to stretch your foot or calf in the event of a cramp, while staying afloat with Lifeguard Recertification near me.
Find suitable open water. Many locations nationwide can be found via www.zwemwater.nl whose water quality is checked and which are safe for swimming. Swimming along a leash is safer than straight across puddles. It is usually shallower there, you may have something to grab. Look for open waters where you will not be overrun by other water sports enthusiasts (surfers, sailors, water skiers).
Preferably do not swim alone, but with a group to keep an eye on each other.
Guidance by a canoeist is top notch. An alternative is a ‘supervisor’ on the side. He can keep an eye on the swimmer(s) and at the same time on the things on the side. Set up a signal if you are in trouble so that the other person can call for help. If you really go swimming all by yourself, always let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back.
Wear a brightly colored swim cap so that you are visible to other water sports enthusiasts. Orange, yellow, pink and red are good colors.
Valuables can be stored in a special small waterproof bag or tube with a cord. Check the water resistance before you put your car keys in it.
Check the water quality regularly, especially when the water gets warmer. Blue-green algae, botulism and Weil’s disease are notorious
Swimming in cold water
You run the risk of hypothermia in cold water. Of course, a wetsuit helps to insulate your body. If you don’t have one or if you are swimming in a competition where wetsuits are not allowed, a layer of Vaseline also has an insulating effect. In addition, it is recommended to wear a swimming cap when swimming in cold water to keep your head warmer. A silicone swim cap protects better than a thin latex one.
Adjust your training time to the water temperature and the intensity of your training.
Rijkswaterstaat keeps track of the water temperature in many places in the Netherlands.
To remove Vaseline, a washcloth with gel-soap to which you do not need to add water works. Warm clothes and a thermos of tea or broth can be very nice after a cold swim.
The Safer swimmer
A safer swimmer is a floating buoy that can do three things:
1) You can keep your personal items with you in the water. That way you don’t have to leave them on the side.
2) You can float on it if you get a cramp
3) You stand out as a swimmer for other water sports enthusiasts.
Using a safer swimmer in open water is highly recommended if you swim in deep water or when you train alone.
When swimming in open water, try to maintain a straight line by taking a prominent point on the shore. That can be a building, a high tree, flagpole etc, something that you can easily see – in a flash – when you are swimming. Be careful with taking two points, especially if they are a bit further apart. If you swim crookedly, the perspective shifts unnoticed between those two points, so you don’t keep a fixed line. Difficulty seeing because you normally wear glasses? You can order prescription swimming goggles, for example via www.sportemotion.nl (10% discount via swimming analysis).
Swimming in a group. Swimming in a group has advantages, comparable to drafting on a bicycle. If you can swim behind someone of the same speed, that saves you 18 – 25% of your energy. Or you manage to stay behind a faster swimmer so that you realize a better swimming time. Nice is not it?
If you participate in a competition where there is a mass start, swim at your own speed for the first few minutes. Then you see who is swimming near you – chances are you are about the same speed – and try to get there. There are two ways to take advantage of the drafting effect: a) Swim right behind someone, about ten centimeters behind someone’s feet. The further you swim behind someone, the less drafting effect. b) Next to someone, with your shoulders level with someone’s hips. If you feel like you’re swimming behind someone who’s swimming too slowly.