Working with Beyond Swim

November 16, 2022
5 min read

Divers Cove and Beyond Swim 

Here at Divers Cove, we are committed to encouraging more people to take the plunge and join us in the exciting world of open water swimming - which is why we are so thrilled to be working in collaboration with Beyond Swim. We recently hosted their most recent “Introduction to Cold Water Swimming” session, which was all about sharing cold water safety tips and getting more people interested in continuing their wild swimming journey throughout the winter season. This was an especially valuable event as our 2022 winter season is now well underway, and we want to ensure that all of our winter members have the correct safety knowledge and awareness before heading into the cooler water temperatures. 

Supported by Swim England and the Royal Life Saving Society, Beyond Swim are an organisation committed to sharing valuable safety information and debunking any misconceptions about the world of wild swimming - as well as showcasing some of the benefits of trying this invigorating and fun sport! However, another element of Beyond Swim’s work that we think is particularly important is their focus on bringing the wild swimming community together - which is something we’re really passionate about here at Divers Cove.

Community spirit 

Though onlookers might think we are absolutely nuts for taking a dip in the (sometimes quite chilly!) open water, we’re here to vouch for wild swimming as a sport that’s fantastic for both your physical and mental health. Aside from the various health benefits this adventurous hobby boasts, we think that one of the best things about open water swimming is the wonderful sense of community to be enjoyed when taking part - there’s certainly something about donning your wetsuit and taking to the cool temperatures of the open water that can really create a feeling of camaraderie!

This shared interest in the open water swimming community connection inspired us to work with Beyond Swim - though undoubtedly the primary reason is their dedication towards swimmers’ safety, especially during the winter months - which is something that we place particular importance on here at Divers Cove. Through publishing regular informative blog posts and hosting safety-focused open water swimming events across the country, Beyond Swim uses their platform to encourage more people to try out the fantastic sport that is wild swimming. 

Accredited Beyond Swim venue

It is for this reason that we are so proud to be one of Beyond Swim’s accredited venues - which we think speaks volumes about the care we take to ensure our members’ safety when swimming with us. Being an accredited venue means that not only do we receive support and guidance regarding the safety protocols and considerations that must be in place, but also means that those looking to try wild swimming with us can visit us knowing that we are one of the safest possible places to do so.

How do we do it? Well, despite the fact that our crystal-clear lake in the heart of Godstone may look like something from a storybook, we can assure you that we never compromise on safety. We have two, clearly marked circuits 450m or 650m available, with all of our sessions operated by fully trained open water lifeguards. Alongside this, we also request that all of our members are capable of swimming 650m unaided, and frequently update our members on the correct safe swimming gear they will require for their visit.

Triathlon Training

Training for a triathlon, and looking to brush up on your swimming skills before the big day? Heated water, swimming lanes, walls to lean against and push off… It can certainly be tempting to train in your local indoor swimming pool. However, whilst most swimmers are perfectly comfortable with doing lengths of the pool, wild swimming is a different experience entirely - and most triathlons will involve taking to the open water. Despite this, many training triathletes fail to practise open water swimming prior to their race days. This can have implications including heightened feelings of anxiety, negative impacts on performance, and, most importantly, can raise many safety concerns for swimmers. 

Having been founded by Triathlon England, it is understandable that one of Beyond Swim’s missions is to get triathletes properly preparing for their races through regular open water swims - and, through providing a safe, natural environment in which swimmers can practise, it’s something that we’re always working towards too. Ourselves, Beyond Swim and British Triathlon are all keen to make sure that all training triathletes are appropriately equipped for their races - and that involves being familiar with swimming in the open water. 

Arguably, the most important thing for anyone new to open water swimming to consider is the water temperatures and the impact they can have on their body. Open water will have much, much cooler water temperatures than the indoor swimming pools most people are used to - it’s a fact. Whilst this is a harsh truth for those inexperienced in open water swimming, it’s one that those training for a triathlon must come to terms with if they want to prepare properly for their race. 

For the inexperienced open water swimmer, the shock of cold water can kill. It’s for this reason that we’d recommend training regularly in cold water, to ensure that on triathlon day you know what to expect and have some experience with cold water immersion and adaptation. The safest way to get used to the cooler temperatures of the open water is through introducing yourself to open water swimming in the summer, then continuing as the weather cools in autumn and winter. 

Furthermore, are the differing swimming conditions you’ll face in the open water. We’d love to say that it never rains here in Surrey, but we all know what the classic British weather is like. When swimming in an open body of water such as a lake, a reservoir,  a river or even the ocean, you’ve also got to deal with the open air. This can mean swimming through rain, high winds and sometimes even snow! Whilst the thought of swimming outdoors during inclement weather might make you cringe, ultimately it’s best to get the practice in prior to race day so that you’re prepared should the weather be slightly drearier than desired. 

So, whilst you might be tempted to skip the outdoor training, we’re firm believers that it’s one of the best ways you can prepare for your triathlon or Ironman challenge. Who knows - you might even become a complete convert to the world of open water swimming!

Why try open water swimming?

Aside from sharing important safety information, another mission that ourselves and Beyond Swim have in common is wanting to spread awareness about the fantastic hobby that is open water swimming! As we mentioned earlier, Beyond Swim places a real focus on encouraging community spirit amongst wild swimmers - and our members will know that that’s something we’re big on here at Divers Cove. Whether you prefer to visit us in our summer season, or you’re a year-round swimmer used to cold water exposure, we’ve got memberships to suit everybody! There’s nothing we love more than seeing faces both new and familiar enjoying a swim with us. Something that’s particularly special about the Cove is seeing our members enjoying a post-swim natter on the shores of our gin-clear lake - open water swimming really does bring people together!

In addition to this, there’s also an array of mental and physical health benefits to taking regular dips in the cool water - it’s why so many of our members decide to join us throughout the winter! These involve reduced feelings of stress and anxiety, a “natural high”, improved circulation and a boosted immune system to name just a few - but if you’re curious to learn more check out our blog post on the 10 Reasons to Wild Swim

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