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Open Water Swimming Manual: An Expert's Survival Guide for Triathletes and Open Water Swimmers (Vintage Original)


Open Water Swimming Manual: An Expert's Survival Guide for Triathletes and Open Water Swimmers (Vintage Original) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Lynne Cox has set open water swimming records across the world, and now she has focused her decades-long experience and expertise into this definitive guide to swimming. Cox methodically addresses what is needed to succeed at and enjoy open water swimming, including choosing the right bathing suit and sunscreen; surviving in dangerous weather conditions, currents, and waves; confronting various marine organisms; treating ailments, such as being stung or bitten, and much more. Cox calls upon Navy SEAL training materials and instructors’ knowledge of open water swimming and safety procedures to guide her research. In addition, first-hand anecdotes from SEAL specialists and stories of Cox’s own experiences serve as both warnings and proper practices to adopt.


Open Water Swimming Manual provides a wealth of knowledge for all swimmers, from seasoned triathletes and expert swimmers to beginners exploring open water swimming for the first time. It is, as well, the first manual of its kind to make use of oceanography, marine biology, and to weave in stories about the successes and failures of other athletes, giving us a deeper, broader understanding of this exhilarating and fast growing sport.

About the Author

Lynne Cox was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Los Alamitos, California, where she presently lives. She has held open-water swimming records all over the world, for among others, the fastest crossing of the English Channel (at age 15), the Santa Catalina Channel, the twelve-mile Oresund between Denmark and Sweden, and the Kattegut between Norway to Sweden. Cox was the first woman to swim across the Cook Strait in New Zealand, the first to swim across the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel between Argentina and Chile, Lake Baikal in Russia, and around the Cape of Good Hope. In 1987, Cox crossed the Bering Strait to the Soviet Union, and in 2002 swam more than a mile in the 31°F waters off Antarctica. Cox has been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. She is the author of Swimming to Antarctica, Grayson, South with the Sun. Her articles have appeared in many publications, among them The New Yorker and the Los Angeles Times Magazine.

"The greatest open water swimmer." —Sports Illustrated

Table of Contents

Table of Contents




Part One: How to Begin


Chapter 1: Beginnings

Allure of the Open Water

Expert Sources & Credentials


Chapter 2: Equipment

The Swimsuit

Swimsuit Care


Skin Lubricant Products

Treatment for Chafing

Sunscreen Products

Sunburn Prevention

Sunburn Treatment


Swim Caps

Wet Suits

Swim Skins


Chapter 3: Finding an Open Water Swimming Coach and Group

Finding Specific Coaches and Groups


Chapter 4: Technical Skills for Open Water Swimming

Swimming Skills Required

Breathing Drills

Head Position in the Water

Feeling the Water to Swim Faster


Chapter 5: Research

Selecting a Training Area

Scouting/Walking the Workout Course

Tidal Charts

Water Temperature

Water Quality

Food and Hydration


Chapter 6: Into the Open Water

The Stingray Shuffle

Water Entry




Role of the Tides

Swell Prediction

Moving through the Surf

Over Our Heads: Distress Signals


Water Exit


Chapter 7: Effects of Heat and Cold

Cold Acclimatization

Hyperthermia and Hypothermia

Heat Acclimatization


Ice Swimming



Chapter 8: Sinuses and Ears

Prevention of Infections


Chapter 9: Ocean Hazards


Ships, Boats, Jet Skis, Sailor Boats, Wind Surfers, Kite Surfers, and Surfers


Part Two: Beginning and Intermediate Swimmers


Chapter 10: Training Swims

Training Safely

Training for a Short Open Water Swim

Training for a Moderate or Long Open Water Swim


Chapter 11: Selection For Support & Swim

Skills Required for Kayaker

Kayaker Selection

Kayaker Competency

Swimming Route


Part Three: Intermediate & Advanced Swimmers


Chapter 12: Open Water Swims Outside the Buoys with Boat Support

Information Gathering/Research

Selecting Support Crew

One Person on the Surface in Charge

Plan for Swim/Mission

Briefing: Explaining the Plan

SEAL Mission Planning


Backup Plans

Safety/Operational Risk Management

Emergency Action Plan

Completion of Swim and Rewarming


Further SEAL Advice When Planning a Swim

Recommendations for Long Training Swims and Documentation


Chapter 13: Dangerous Marine Organisms

Research Semitropical and Tropical Waters before Swimming

Bristle Worms

Coral Reefs

Fire Coral


Box Jellyfish


Seabather’s Eruption

Sea Cucumbers

Sea Urchin

Seaweed Dermatitis

Scorpion Fish

Crown-of-Thorns Starfish



Country Medicine

Swimmer's Itch

SEALs Recommend U.S. Navy Diving Manual


Chapter 14: Sharks

Swimming with Sharks and Rays

Minds In the Water

U.S. Navy Diving Manual on Sharks

First Aid for Shark Bites


Part Four: Advanced Swimmers


Chapter 15: Into the Dark

Swimming in the Dark

Dark Swims and Illumination

Finding Better Illumination


Chapter 16: Sea Sickness

Taking Medications During a Swim


Chapter 17: Preparation

Physical Training

Mental Preparation


Chapter 18: Going In and out of Consciousness

Deep Mind “Thing”



Chapter 19: Motivations


Success in Unsuccessful Swims


Chapter 20: The English Channel Charts, Contacts, and Pilots

Tidal Charts

You Want to Swim the English Channel?

How Do You Make Contact?

Selecting a Pilot


Chapter 21: Catalina and Other Channel Swims

The Catalina Channel Swim

The Santa Barbara Channel Swim

Finding Pilots For the Catalina Channel and Other Swims

Meeting With Pilots Before Hiring Them

Inspect the Boat Before You Swim

Before You Begin Any Channel Swim

Contact the U.S. Coast Guard

Staying Healthy

Boating Safety

Selecting Boat Support for an Organized Swim

Organized Swim Considerations


Chapter 22: Swimmer’s Utopia


Chapter 23: Stewardship of the Waters


Sources for Additional Information



Product Details

Cox, Lynne
Vintage Books
Sports and Fitness-Fitness
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Vintage Original
Publication Date:
9.19 x 5.07 x 0.65 in 0.88 lb

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Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Ocean and Marine Biology
Science and Mathematics » Oceanography » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Exercise
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Triathlon
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Water Sports » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Water Sports » Swimming

Open Water Swimming Manual: An Expert's Survival Guide for Triathletes and Open Water Swimmers (Vintage Original) New Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages Vintage Books - English 9780345806093 Reviews:
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