Different strokes for different folks

Should I be using a different swimming technique in open water?

That was a question I had sent to me this week (thanks David), and it’s a common one.

The simple answer is no, as much as possible your technique should remain the same as your technique in the pool (assuming you have an efficient technique in the first place – if not, get it looked at).

There are, however, some slight variations you can make to adjust to the open water, when waves, wind chop and swimmer wash make the water surface bumpier.

The magic carpet (negotiating a shore dump)

Everyone loves a good magic trick.

And this week at Bondi we’ve been teaching people magic.

You see, back in January we had a stormy southerly blow tons of sand up towards the walkway, dissolving our sandbanks, and creating a very deep longshore trough and berm.

Then, as if this wasn’t bad enough, the bulldozers that were brought in to move the sand back to the water, in all their wisdom, decided to deposit it right at the water’s edge, leaving an even steeper berm.

The result? When the swell rises we get a ferocious shore dump.

Swimmers shoulder: The complete guide

What is swimmer’s shoulder?

The short answer is swimmer’s shoulder refers to non-specific pain in the shoulder, because of swimming.

Swimmer’s shoulder can affect several different structures in the shoulder so the symptoms are not the same for everyone. For example, you may experience pain in the back of the shoulder after a period of time in the water, or perhaps more of a pinch in the top, at a specific moment in your stroke.

Depending on the underlying cause of your swimmer’s shoulder, treatment will vary. You can often continue swimming if you catch it early and make the appropriate modifications to your training volume and/or technique.

In the most severe cases, if left untreated, swimmer’s shoulder can result in tendon degeneration and rotator cuff tears.

Let’s learn about the relevant anatomy and mechanics of the shoulder while swimming, what causes swimmer’s shoulder, what the symptoms are, how to treat it, and how to minimize your risk of developing it.

How to take awesome photos in the ocean with a GoPro

The GoPro is the go-to camera for action sports, and is very popular with ocean swimmers.

I’ve been filming with a GoPro for years, using them in OceanFit lessons and socially.

Any time you use a camera in the ocean environment you’re up against it – it can be hit and miss at the best of times, even with the very best equipment.

I’m often asked for tips on taking photos in the ocean using a GoPro, so here are my top tips for protecting your camera, minimising fogging, and reducing water spots.

The finish is right behind you

On Sunday I stood under the OceanFit marquee for nearly 6-hours watching over 3,000 swimmers complete their 1km, 2km or 5km journeys at the Cole Classic.

I love seeing the joy on people’s faces as they complete their swim and achieve their goal, no matter how big or small, and it was great to see dozens of OceanFit’ers past and present enjoying their new ocean swimming lifestyles.

The perfectionist in me wasn’t overly impressed though.

The conditions were perfect, but the finishes were messy.

Top 5 tips for taking on an ocean swim, by three-time Olympian Michael Klim

For many, Michael Klim would need no introduction – he’s one of Australia’s most successful swimmers of all time. He is a world champion, a world record holder and a three-time Olympian with medals from all three Olympic Games, including two gold medals.

In 2010, Michael Klim founded skincare company Milk & Co and since 2013 has partnered with World Series Swims, supporting events nationwide.

“At Milk & Co, we’re all about doing something today that your body will thank you for tomorrow, so we love being part of the ocean swims and seeing people challenging themselves”

Klim is also the Event Ambassador for the Noosa Summer Swim and regularly takes part in the events himself. Having made the post-career transition from pool to surf himself, he has some great tips for newcomers to the open water.

‘MK’ has kindly prepared his top five tips for tackling an ocean swim this summer for OceanFit.