January 18th 2025

Swim Tips with Boost Coaching

As more swimmers start to embark on the open water season in preparation for the Fulton Hogan Mount Festival Half there are some key things to think about when getting into the Open Water.

One of the key things in open water swimming is


On a course such as the one at the Fulton Hogan Mount Festival where boats are scattered around the course and sighting is more challenging you’ll need to check your line regularly.

I’d recommend every 6-12 strokes.

Slower swimmers should sight more regularly as they tend to go off line quicker and therefore take longer to get back on course.

As Mark Watson the commentator at the Mount always says “the fastest way between two buoys is a straight line” so if you take poor lines, it’ll take you longer.



In a recent group training session, I noticed a numbers of swimmers sighting and breathing at the same time.

I like to try and teach swimmers to make this two separate movements or actions to reduce the chance of taking in water while lifting your head up to look forward!

  1. Sight to the front
  2. Breath to the side

Examples to try at your next session

If you were going for a run or a walk – “is it normal or comfortable to breathe while looking at the sky?”

The answer I’d hope is “NO”.

So if you imagine that position (looking at the sky) to be your sighting & breathing position. It’s much harder to get in a good breath doing this way. Your breathing becomes quite shallow and restricted by the stretched out neck and chest position.

Compare that to simply having your head in a neutral position (breathing to the side) and your ability to take in oxygen is easy and physically unrestricted.


Take a look at THIS VIDEO and practice getting your eyes out of the water to sight but then turning to the side to breathe.

By doing this you

  1. Will reduce the drop of your hips and kick by having to lift your head up too high
  2. Will reduce the amount of effort required from your kick to get your head up to sight and breath
  3. Will be less likely to take in water in the mouth by breathing to the front.

Any questions after watching the video please feel free to jump into our Open Facebook Group and reach out – Boost My Swim https://www.facebook.com/groups/boostmyswim

Aucklanders come join us most Saturdays for Open Water Swim Training – visit our site below for all the details. https://www.boostcoaching.co.nz/open-water-swim-coaching

All the best with your preparation for the Fulton Hogan Mount Festival of Multisport

Andrew Mackay
Head Coach – Boost Coaching