Many are the differences between pool and open water swimming. Even if you use the same strokes and techniques in both, the experience is not the same.

Check out the table that we created for you, in order to get a better idea about the differences!

Open Water



It’s difficult to keep track of your yardage due to the lack of accurate measurements You can track your yardage very accurately based on how many swim laps you do


You can practice longer swims in open water, which makes your pacing accurate to track Strokes break when you make a turn at the wall, making your pacing not very accurate


Due to the water conditions (waves, temperature, currents…), it is hard to work on your swimming techniques in open water It is advisable to practice in a swimming pool if you want to work on improving your swimming technique


Open water training helps you foresee what competitions will be like and prepares you for unpredictable conditions Unless you make your training more interesting, the conditions are always the same, and your workout will be a routine activity


Breathing here is a challenge, especially that you will be spotting every time you come out for a breath Tolerable conditions makes it easy to practice your breathing techniques and have longer underwater swims

“The most obvious difference between pool and open water swimming is that open water gives you an immediate physical connection to nature. This can be both hugely challenging where you have to deal with cool water, waves, wildlife and limited visibility and intensely rewarding. You see the world in a new way, from a new angle and come away enriched by the experience.”

                                                                                                                Simon Griffith
                                                                                                                Managing Editor, H2Open Magazine

Since both types of training are very diversified, we recommend that you add both to your trainings; that way you will be able to adapt to all sorts of conditions while maintaining your techniques.

Keep swimming!

More: 21 Open Water Swimming Terms You Should Learn

FacebooktwitterlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterlinkedinmailby feather