Learn or Improve Open Water Swimming Skills

 at WeirWood Reservoir

May to September 2021

photo of swimming area at WeirWood Reservoir
Photo of group of swimmers in wetsuits entering the water
              Upcoming Group Sessions June 2021:

                 "Introduction to Open Water Swimming"
             Saturday 12th June @ 9.15am
            Thursday 17th June @ 6.30pm
             Tuesday 22nd June @ 5.15pm

    "Open Water Race Skills" 
       For more advanced open water swimmers/triathletes, please contact Marianne

             1-2-1 open water sessions also available throughout June
         Private group or club sessions can also be booked

Swimming in open water is a very different experience to swimming in a pool. Many competent pool swimmers find the initial transition to open water quite challenging. If you are new to open water swimming and want to build your confidence, or have just signed up for your first triathlon and want to improve your open water skills, you may benefit from some specific open water coaching. 

There are some essential skills and knowledge that will make your open water swim, whether a leisurely dip or an open water event, much more enjoyable and safe. 

  • Acclimatisation to the water

  • Managing anxieties, controlling breathing

  • Sighting

  • Bilateral breathing

  • Swimming in a group in close proximity to others

  • Mass/race starts

  • Turning at buoys

  • Drafting

  • Where to position yourself on the start line

  • Post-swim Warm up

Competitive Open Water Swimmers/Triathletes


These open water sessions can be tailored to the needs of triathletes and competitive open water swimmers. If there are particular skills you wish to focus on, we can build a session around these on a 1:1 basis. Group sessions for beginner or intermediate abilities will also be held at Weir Wood Reservoir this summer. 

If you feel you need some work on your general swim technique, then a separate pool-based session with full video analysis over and under the water could help you in the long term. You will see how you are currently swimming and what improvements you could make to save energy on your triathlon swim and have fresh legs for the bike and run.

Recreational/Wild Swimmers


As a recreational swimmer, you can enhance the enjoyment of your swim by learning to swim in a straight line

and sight properly without disrupting the rhythm of your stroke. You may wish to only swim breaststroke

outdoors so you can enjoy the scenery more. You may love the idea of swimming outdoors but feel anxious

about swimming in a wetsuit for the first time or swimming without the lines on the pool floor to follow or being

able to rest after 25m, as with a swimming pool. Learning some of the above skills will help build your confidence

and enjoyment.


Photo of child testing water temperature with her foot

Open Water Swimming Skills Coaching Options at WeirWood Reservoir

1-2-1 and group coaching sessions will be resumed in 2021 (within current COVID guidelines)

  • 1-2-1 Coaching with above water video analysis* - £50

  • 2-2-1 Coaching with above water video analysis* - £40 each

  • Introduction to Open Water Swimming Skills group sessions  - £25 each

  •  Open Water Race Skills group sessions - £25 each


*Annotated video clips and a written summary are sent to swimmers following the 1-2-1/2-2-1 sessions.

Any video clips taken from the group sessions can be sent to each swimmer, upon agreement from all group members. For example, where the group practised sighting skills, swimming in close proximity to one another, turning at buoys, etc. This video footage is a useful reminder of what to continue practising after the session. 


Coaching Sessions at WeirWood Reservoir are available by appointment:


Tuesdays 4.00pm - 5.00pm, 5.15pm - 6.15pm, 6.30pm - 7.30pm

Thursdays 4.00pm - 5.00pm, 5.15pm - 6.15pm, 6.30pm - 8.00pm

  Saturdays 8am - 9am, 9.15am -10.15am, 10.30am -11.30am


To book a coached session in the 2021 season, please contact Marianne:


07904 579758


All swimmers having coaching have to join as a member of WeirWood Swimming for the season (£10 adults/£5 Under 16s)

via the WeirWood Swimming website and pay the entry fee (£6 adults/£3 Under 16s) on the day.

Click here for the Weir Wood Swimming website.