New Fitness Trend: Ocean Swimming

Join thousands of Australians reaping the benefits of ocean swimming

Described as one of the ‘fastest-growing sports in Australia’ by the late, great Murray Rose, ocean swimming has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years thanks to its many physical benefits and relaxed camraiderie.

“Ocean swimming has become the new ‘fun run’ - people of all ages, shapes and abilities are enjoying the health and lifestyle benefits of becoming one with the ocean,” says Andre Slade, Director of OceanFit.

So if you’re tired of swimming between lane ropes and staring at a black line, perhaps it’s time to give ocean swimming a go. And with The Rainbow Club Australia’s popular Murray Rose Malabar Magic Ocean Swim just around the corner (17 Feb, Malabar Bay, NSW) there’s no better time to jump in.

Here, Andre shares his tips.

Getting Started

“My advice for people looking to get started in the sport is to first get their freestyle swimming stroke looked at by a professional coach. Then hit the pool to work on your technique and improve your fitness. After that, sign up for ocean swimming lessons to increase your confidence and learn vital ocean awareness and ocean swimming techniques.”

“When deciding on your first ocean swim event, choose a fun sheltered swim like Murray Rose’s Malabar Magic, where you won’t have to worry about navigating waves and you can focus on enjoying your first swim.”

Ocean Swimming Techniques

1. Swim with the ocean
Use the natural pull of rip currents to navigate more efficiently through the surf zone and waves over sand banks for returning to the shore. Breathe away from the wind, in chop alter your stroke to get your shoulders and mouth higher out of the water and adjust your line to account for any cross wind.

2. Learn to sight
Learn to sight forward by lifting your head up to start your breathing stroke and finish to the side. Sight regularly as you swim through the waves and often enough to stay on course. For effective sighting, use the swell crests to get up high so you can see into the distance.

3. Dive under waves efficiently
Judge each wave on its merits and only dive as deep as you need to in order to escape any underwater disturbance or backwash. You should be spending the maximum amount of time swimming forward on top of the water rather than down, under and up.

4. Preparation

Calm your pre-swim nerves by taking five minutes to observe the ocean and then go for a short warm up swim to feel the water and acclimatize to the conditions. Avoid trying any new food, goggles or wetsuits at an event. If you’re worried about conditions, wait until event day to enter.

Andre Slade is the director of OceanFitwhich offers training options for swimmers, including online challenges to help you complete a 1km or 2km ocean swim; an OceanFit Academy with over 100 video eLessons; and Sydney-based practical programs to suit every ability.

The Murray Rose Malabar Magic Ocean Swim will take place on 17 February 2013 at Malabar Bay in NSW, with a 1 km Swim for those who wish to enjoy the Bay and a more challenging 2.4 km Swim for those die hard swimmers.
All funds raised go the support of Rainbow Club Australia Inc, a charity which supports children with a disability to explore their potential through learning to swim.


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