Has anyone got experience swimming in the sea?
I live in India and the sea near my house is Bay of Bengal. This sea is madly violent. Crossing the initial waves is really tough. Being the first day today, I crossed them successfully but then suffered a lot.
After crossing the initial waves, it was a little calm comparatively. So I feel I can do swim practice in the run up for my International triathlon coming up in Malaysia this Sep.

Can anyone please suggest some good swim drills for sea swimming?
Or is it necessary that I practice in the pool for speed rather than sea and that the sea swimming is just to get the feel not for speed training?

  • What will the conditions be like in Malaysia?
    – FredrikD
    Mar 11, 2014 at 19:55
  • @FredrikD got to know from the race director that the sea there is calm and not violent like in Bay of Bengal.
    – Freakyuser
    Mar 14, 2014 at 4:39
  • So then it will be more like a pool with respect to the waves. Practise being able to see markers (see Johns answer), lots of drills for this on Youtube.
    – FredrikD
    Mar 15, 2014 at 13:00

1 Answer 1


You should definitely do at least some of your training in the sea to get used to conditions, as well as being able to sight (Look for markers) to be able to swim in a straight line. There are also some tricks to it, such as being able to dive "under" oncoming large waves rather than swimming up and over the top of them.

High turnover of your arms will help, as will working on good body positioning. A wetsuit (Unless the water is very warm) will also help, especially in the sea.

For the rest of your workouts, the pool is fine. The vast majority of swim workouts by triathletes (From novice to professional) are done in pools. What many do is their speed workouts in the pool, and their long distance swim in open water to work on specific skills.

  • Just out of curiosity, fighting my way in the rough seas and swimming 2 km regularly, will make me a killer swimmer in still water?
    – Freakyuser
    Mar 12, 2014 at 5:50
  • 2
    mmm...maybe yes, maybe no. It will definitely make you a stronger swimmer, whether or not that translates into speed is an entirely different matter.
    – JohnP
    Mar 12, 2014 at 14:33

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