It’s the perfect time of year to get into the water, so we got in touch with open water swimming coach and competitor Kirsten Read to get her thoughts on training. Though the Maine-based Read has been swimming competitively since high school, the 53-year-old feels she’s just now rounding into form.
“Turning 50 felt awkward,” she says. “The stigma of that number hovers over you, but then it passes, and you can relax and say you have another half-a-life left, and think what you want to do with it. I feel stronger and more powerful than ever. I’m still competing, which I never thought would be possible, and I’m actually winning races against women my daughter’s age.”
Well done. Check out her Instagram feed to follow her adventures here.
Open water swimming is a whole other world than pool swimming, and Read recommends some simple precautions.
– “Swim with a buddy. It’s something we have been told since we were kids, but it still holds true.”
– “Be visible. Wear a safety buoy. It’s a bright colored dry bag that you swim with and doesn’t slow you down.”
– “Also wear a bright colored swim cap, no black or white ones. Visibility is your friend.”
– “Don’t look down. Keep your head forward, use all your senses to be aware of what is around you and where you are going.”
– “It’s okay to stop and rest. Roll over on your back and take it easy, reassess your technique and regroup. Never get overtired.”