Learn or Improve Open Water Swimming Skills
 at WeirWood Reservoir


photo of swimming area at WeirWood Reservoir
Photo of group of swimmers in wetsuits entering the water

1-2-1 and group sessions for Beginners and Intermediate Open Water Swimmers

May to September 2022

Sighting Skills practice at Weirwood Reservoir

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. Having an introductory session can really help to build your

confidence and enjoyment and introduce you to some of the above skills.

COLD Water/Winter Swimming

Winter swimming is fun and slightly crazy but can also be mentally and physically challenging. To ensure you have an enjoyable time, there are a number of safety and health issues to be aware of. Booking a 1-2-1/small group "Introduction to Cold Water Swimming" session during the winter months (October to April) will ensure you have the knowledge to plan your own cold water swims.


M winter swim WeirWood.jpeg
Winter Swim scene WeirWood.jpeg

Introduction to COLD water Swimming

October 2022 to April 2023

1-2-1 and small group sessions

Saturday mornings @ WeirWood Reservoir

Course includes:

- zoom call to discuss equipment, cold water safety issues (pre, during and post swim),

advice on preparing for your cold water dip at home, including breathing techniques

- a cold water dip (wetsuit compulsory) at the reservoir

- a hot drink and cake afterwards

              1-2-1 course: £60                                                                   Small group course: £40 per person

Open Water Swimming Skills Coaching Options at WeirWood Reservoir


  • "Introduction to Open Water Swimming" for front crawl swimmers

  • "Introduction to Wild Swimming" for breaststroke only swimmers

  •  "Open Water Race Skills" 

  • Front Crawl Technique + open water skills coaching with video analysis

  • NEW for 2022 - Weekly Open Water Swim Squad Training Sessions - Saturdays 8am-8.45am

  • Everyone is welcome. Just need to be able to swim 500m front crawl.


*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:

Thursdays 4pm - 5pm, 5pm - 6pm, 6pm - 7pm

  Saturdays 9am - 10am 





All swimmers having coaching have to join as a member of WeirWood Swimming for the season (£20 adults)

via the WeirWood Swimming website and book their swim slot (£7 adults/£4 Under 16s).

Click here for the Weir Wood Swimming website.