Buy some goggles that fit
Your swimming goggles should be adjustable but also fit your face width and naturally fit comfortably in or around your eye socket. Remember that your goggles should be fitted pretty tightly to prevent water entering them (this tightness is something you will need to get used to). Your Strictly Swimming London coach can help you with your goggles at the start of your first lesson. Your goggles should be completely fixed on your face (and not move) even during a hard push off the swimming pool wall.
Purchase some swimming fins
Swim fins offer an array of benefits to the beginner to triathletes to competitive swimmers. Using flippers (fins) helps improve the power of the leg kick to support your stroke when concentrating on technique work in the water.
Get the right swimming gear
Buy practical gear that fits and not gear that only looks good. Tight fitting swimwear helps reduce drag in the water. The last thing you need is baggy and heavy swimwear that makes it harder to learn to swim as you move through the water.
Wear a Swim Cap
Wearing an inexpensive swim cap can help protect your hair in heavily chlorinated pools but also helps in keeping medium length and long hair away from your face whilst you try to master breathing techniques. A tight swimming cap will help you move easier through the water if you have long hair.
Shaded Goggles for Outdoors
If you goal is to do some open water swimming, consider getting some goggles with shaded lenses. They will act like regular sunglasses and protect your eyes from the sun and allow you to follow the direction that you are aiming for.
Ease yourself into the shallow end of the pool
The easiest way to conquer fear of the water is to start in the shallow end of the pool. You will be able to stand in the water, lowering yourself slowly and gently depending on how confident you are feeling. Practice holding your breath while your head is under the surface, with the knowledge that you can stand up and come up for air at any time.
Push and Glide to Warm Up
Don’t worry about getting into the pool and not being able to swim to warm up. Start your swimming workout and lessons by pushing off the wall and gliding in a horizontal position with our arms stretched out and your feet pressed together with your toes pointing. Repeating this exercise will help you warm up.
Devote plenty of time to developing your swimming
Building your confidence and endurance and becoming a stronger swimmer requires that you spend lots of time in the swimming pool. The more time you spend, the more comfortable you’ll feel and the better swimmer you’ll become. With time, your feel on the water will increase, as will your balance in your strokes. Regular practice in the pool and in your Strictly Swimming London lessons will allow you to speed up learning and skills. Practicing between lessons will help massively.
Become comfortable putting your face in the water and submerging under the water
Usually, the biggest challenge for adults who are learning how to swim is keeping their faces in the water. For some people, submerging your face in the pool can feel uncomfortable and can cause anxiety. Becoming accustomed to your head in the water and the feeling of being relaxed is an important part of learning to swim. Try practicing exercises by placing your face or full head underwater during your lessons or by yourself. Holding your breath underwater is a good start to reducing the panic.
Join a group swimming lesson
Strictly Swimming London offer novice, intermediate, advanced and learn to swim group courses. Please see our start dates on: We have a maximum of six people in our groups. We keep our groups at a small size to allow everyone to get lots of individual attention from your coach. Courses are six weeks and focus on stroke technique.
Sign up for private (individual) lessons
At Strictly Swimming London, we offer private lessons for all levels and our teachers and coaches will be able to develop your swimming whether you are a beginner, a competent swimmer, or a triathlete. With individual lessons, we can focus in detail on your problems in your stroke.
Practice breathing techniques
After warming up using pushing and gliding techniques, try and glide on your side to incorporate some breathing techniques. Breathing is key to a successful stroke, and the more time you can spend on developing your breathing technique, the better.
The guidelines below were released by Swim England to outline the precautions swimmers should take when returning to the pool.
Long COVID is used to describe signs and symptoms that last for longer than 4 weeks after getting COVID-19 with many people now having symptoms for far longer.
Like other respiratory illnesses, COVID-19 can cause lasting lung damage. As we continue to learn about COVID-19, we’re understanding more regarding how it affects the lungs during acute illness and afterwards.
There are two stages to what is commonly known as Long COVID:
Roughly 30 to 40 percent of people who contract the virus are asymptomatic and display no symptoms. The rest experience typical COVID-19 symptoms: fever, body aches, coughing, difficulty breathing, nausea and loss of taste or smell.
While these symptoms are usually expected to last the duration of the infection, some people are experiencing these symptoms weeks and even months after contracting COVID-19 and clearing it from their system. These people, sometimes called “long-haulers,” are typically in the older age range, but it can be young, healthy individuals as well.
One of the main symptoms of long Covid is breathlessness. This can happen even if you did not need treatment in hospital. As with asthmatics, swimming can help build your control of your breathing if you are suffering from breathlessness. Many studies have shown that swimming can actually make your lungs bigger and more efficient in how they process the air you breathe.
Following a bout of covid-19, some of our Strictly Swimming London clients have returned to swimming and realised that they were having trouble breathing to normal capacity during workouts and were struggling to swim the distances that they could normally manage (as they were still experiencing the effects of the virus months after infection).
Like asthma, the symptom of long Covid is chronic inflammation affecting the lungs and airways. Swimming is a preferred activity for many children and adults with asthma and is associated with a range of health benefits including improved physical fitness and mental well-being. It is now becoming apparent that long Covid sufferers can equally benefit from swimming as their main form of exercise.
Moreover, swimming focuses on controlled, rhythmical breathing which can support lung function and help mindfulness and can relieve anxiety during this pandemic.
If you are suffering from long covid and breathlessness, please call Strictly Swimming London and we can tailor your lessons to slowly build your lung capacity in the swimming pool.
Following the various lockdowns that the world has endured during the COVID pandemic, we at Strictly Swimming London have recently seen a huge surge in people wanting to take up the sport of swimming for fitness and many new clients have finally decided to take the plunge and learn to swim.
But is our sport safe during these risky times?
Well virologists at Imperial College London have revealed that their study showed that the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) can be neutralised in chlorinated swimming pool water in under 30 seconds. This is great news for swimmers across London and the world, suggesting that the risk of transmission of Covid-19 in swimming pools is extremely low.
Covid virus does not survive in the pool
The study concentrated on the effects of swimming pool water on the virus and assessed the amount of time and contact needed to neutralise the virus within various chlorine and pH levels. The research established that 1.5mg per litre of chlorine with a pH between 7-7.2 reduced the infectivity of the virus by more than 1000 times in as little as 30 seconds. Additional testing of different chlorine and pH ranges confirmed that chlorine in swimming pool water was more effective with a lower pH – which is in line with current guidance for swimming pool operation.
By mixing the virus with swimming pool water, the study showed that the virus does not survive in swimming pool water. It was no longer infectious and suggested the chance of contracting Covid-19 from swimming pool water is tiny.
This is amazing news for swimmers. These findings suggest that swimming pools can be safe environments if appropriate measures are taken for lap swimming (not pool parties!)
Of course, swimmers still need to maintain social distancing from other swimmers to avoid infection. Strictly Swimming London lessons are held in extremely quiet pools which allow us to maintain social distancing. With our own teaching lane, Strictly Swimming clients can rest assured that they will remain safe during their lesson, as we are separate to the other lap swimmers in the pool.
Safety measures in the pool
Finally, there are still lots of safety measures in swimming pools right now which help Strictly Swimming London lessons also reduce the risk of transmission. The number of swimmers allowed in the pool at any one time are now limited during this pandemic, showering before and after lessons is required, social distancing in and around the pool is adhered to, sanitising hands and surfaces are still in operation at our pools.
The sport of swimming is great exercise, and exercise is important to our physical and mental health — now more than ever. Pools present very low risks for COVID-19 transmission, but with the right precautions, your exercise program should go swimmingly this winter.
Paul started competing in swimming from the age of 8 and eventually went on to represent his country all over the world. During his time at University, Paul specialised in Aquatics and the Biomechanics of Swimming and produced numerous theses on swimming performance.