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Outdoor swimming is fun, magical, exhilarating, calming and amazing... But I understand that it can also be completely nerve-wracking if you have never done it before! I am used to working with open-water beginners, so here are the answers to some of the most common questions. If you need to know something that isn't mentioned here though, please just send me a quick message and I'll happily help.

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What if I can’t swim very far?

Outdoor swimming isn't all about how far you can swim. Many people who come to me for coaching are hoping to do 'dipping' or a swim of gentle breaststroke for health and wellness, while others are training for fitness or to do long front-crawl events! All are welcome. For a 1-2-1 or small group session with me (up to 5 people and booked directly with me) I ask that you can confidently tread water and swim 200m in the pool comfortably (however fast or slow and any stroke!). To attend one of the workshops I run through South-West Maritime Academy you will just need to agree to their terms and conditions when you book the session, which can be found here.

What kit do I need for my session?

Start with as little or as much kit as you have! If you fall in love with outdoor swimming you can add more kit as you understand your needs and what you enjoy (some swimmers love wearing a wetsuit, others don't!). For your first session bring a cossie/shorts, a towel and lots of warm kit to put on afterwards. I ask that beginners use a tow float but I can loan you one if you don't have your own. For sessions at South-West Maritime Academy, all swimmers not wearing a wetsuit have to use a tow float (hire floats available for £2.50). I always recommend a brightly-coloured swim cap too for warmth and visibility, but have spares I can loan you on the day.

What if I am nervous about getting in the water?

You definitely are not alone! Open-water is wonderful but it can be nerve-wracking if you are not used to it. Your first session is all about you and I will work with you to help you achieve what is right for you – whether that is dipping a toe and overcoming your fears or completing your first swim! Beginners may like to check out my group introduction sessions at South-West Maritime Academy, as being with other newbies all getting in the water for the first time can be a fun and empowering experience!

Can you help me improve my skills ready for a race or event?

Of course! There are plenty of things that can help you such as race starts, breathing techniques, sighting (being able to see where you are going), navigating a swim course and turning around a buoy. These are great skills for all outdoor swimmers but even more important if you are targeting an event, race or triathlon swim. Look out for skills workshops starting next Summer, or message me to chat about a 1-2-1.


My 1-2-1 sessions are £30 per hour session (plus venue entry fee).

​If you need to cancel or reschedule a 1-2-1 session I ask for 48 hours' notice and I'll issue you with a refund or change the time/date.

If you are poorly, please let me know asap. Swimming in cold water put extra stress on your body and isn't advised if you are not well. I will send out a pre-session form to capture your emergency contact details and to find out about any pre-existing health conditions you may have. Please never arrive to a session after drinking alcohol. Workshops booked through South-West Maritime Academy will be subject to their terms and conditions at time of booking.

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