Open Water Triathlon Training

Dive into open-water triathlon training at Divers Cove.

Dinghy in lake green waters

Triathlon Training in Surrey

Triathlons are endurance races involving swimming, cycling, and running. They are categorised by distance and typically require a 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike ride and 5-kilometre run.

Swimming is often the most challenging, especially for new triathletes. Swimming technique can be a real slog to master, and combined with the challenging conditions of open water on race day, triathlon swims can feel pretty overwhelming.

Triathletes spend hours in the pool practising the perfect stroke technique, but on race day, following buoys, and lines and trying to stay on course is equally important which is why training for an event outdoors as well as in indoor swimming pools is really important.

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Swim Workouts for Triathlon Preparation

Ideally, you might put in a few swims at your triathlon venue but, realistically, unless it is local, you will need to train at an open water swimming venue near to you, accessible at least once a week.

If you are not an experienced cold-water swimmer we advise you not to take part in open-water triathlon events during the winter months.  You can learn more about winter swimming here, but it can be quite risky for the inexperienced.

Do you know how your body will react to cold water? How will your breathing and stroke need to be adapted? To feel at your most confident on the start line, it is important to have experienced open water swimming, before your triathlon event.

Find a Triathlon Swim Training Partner

When swimming in open water, the best practice is to swim with a buddy. Draft in your favourite open-water swimmer and see if they want to do the triathlon together – or at least train together in the months leading up to the event.

Having a buddy can help you swim straighter, as you’ll have someone to swim parallel to, like a lane rope. It’s also important to practise swimming next to someone to simulate race conditions where you need to maintain space between yourself and other athletes.

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Open Water Swimming in Surrey


For Those Swimming Most

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Ideal for Regular Swimmers

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Ideal For Those Dipping Their Toe

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Outdoor Swimming Frequently Asked Questions

I already have a membership, how do I log in and book a swim for the first time?
  1. Click here to create your account. Choose “sign up with email” and use the membership associated with your previous account. You will then be emailed a verification code which you need to enter, followed by your name and phone number.
  2. After following the above steps, click home to choose your swim date and time, then click checkout.
  3. In the checkout, you will be asked to redeem your membership, please select “redeem membership” to get your discounted price. Then, enter your name under “ticket holders”.
  4. After entering your name, you will see the "safety form" with the question "are you a member who has completed this safety form before?" please choose no and enter your safety details.
    PLEASE NOTE: You must select "no" for your first booking so that we can capture your most up-to-date safety details ahead of your swim. 
  5. Once you’ve added all of your safety information and clicked continue, you will be able to pay for your swim. You will then receive an email confirmation with a QR code that you will need to scan on the day of your swim. This can either be saved to Apple or Google Wallet on your phone, or you will need to have your email to hand ready to check in for your swim. 
  6. To book any future swims please click here to log in. Please always log in using the email associated with your membership

Do all swim sessions need to be pre-booked?
How do I upgrade my membership?

Just email and we will be able to help you with this!

How do I book a swim?

Go to our website, and click Book Now. If you had a valid membership on our previous site, follow the steps above for “I already have a membership, how do I log in and book a swim for the first time?” to log in and book your discounted swims. 

If you don’t have a membership but would like to purchase one, add one to your basket, and create an account. Please purchase your membership and log in before adding any swims to your basket to enjoy your discounted price.

If you aren’t a member and don’t want to purchase a membership, simply click “Swim Session” and choose the date you’d like to visit, then check out. After this, you will be prompted to make an account, please do this for a faster checkout next time and to ensure you can cancel any sessions you may need to. 

Please note, that you can only book a swim for yourself.

How do I book a sauna?

Follow the steps above for “How do I book a swim? ”, except choose “Sauna Session” in our booking system. 

You will be prompted via email to fill in a waiver for your sauna session, please fill this in before arriving on site. You will also be provided with a link after completing your waiver to share with any other people booked onto your sauna with you. The waivers must be completed before your visit.

How do I book a swim for a friend?

You can only book a swim session for yourself. If you’d like to gift a swim, please purchase a gift card - these are emailed directly to the recipient, making them the perfect present for any lover of wild swimming!

How do I book a sauna for a friend?

If you’d like to book a sauna for yourself and up to 15 friends (depending on availability), click “Book Now”, select “Sauna Session” and then once you have selected your time and date click the “+” icon next to the “1” to increase the number of people you’re booking for. 

You will be prompted by email to fill in a waiver for your sauna session, please fill this in before arriving on-site, and share this with anyone attending with you so they can fill it in. If you have a membership, this will only discount the price of your sauna.

If your friend has a membership and would like to book a discounted sauna, they will need to log in and do this themselves. 

How do I cancel my visit?

In the “My Tickets” section of our booking system, you can simply reschedule your booking for another day by clicking “Edit booking” and then clicking “Reschedule".

Can I get a refund?

Our system allows you to cancel your visit and enjoy a credit for the same amount so that you can rebook your session (if done outside of 48 hours of the session).  Please note you are not eligible to cancel within 48 hours of your session.

Do I need a membership?

No, you don’t - but if you’re planning on visiting regularly then these work out cheaper in the long run as you will get discounted swim and sauna rates. Plus, with our Gold and Silver memberships, you can enjoy year-round swims and discounted food in our cafe.

Do I need an account?

Making an account is free of charge and will make your next checkout a lot easier as you won't need to re-enter your medical information. It will also allow you to reschedule any sessions you have booked. You don’t need a membership to have an account.

Can I purchase a membership for a friend?

No, they need to purchase their membership and make an account. If you’d like to gift a membership, gift cards can be purchased and emailed directly to the person. 

Can I hire a wetsuit?

We have a range of wetsuits available to hire on-site for £10 per person, per hire.

Do I need to sign a waiver?

For swims, no. When booking your first swim on our new system, you will be asked to make an account and complete our one-time safety form. Whether you are a member or not, we recommend making an account to check out faster in the future. 

For sauna sessions, yes - this will be emailed to you once you have booked your sauna session. 

When will more swim times be added?

More swim times, including in the week, will be added as the water and weather temperatures rise and we are able to increase our operating hours. 

What is open water swimming? 

Open water swimming is a supervised swimming activity which takes place outside of a standard swimming pool environment. Wild swimmers at Divers Cove enjoy a relatively informal swim (around a marked course) in natural lake water.

How cold will the water be?

When open water swimming the temperature will vary from March through to September. Early in the season when the water is below 14℃ you will really need to slowly acclimate your body to the coldness of the water to be safe. As the water heats up through the year and reaches around 18℃ it’s chilly but if you keep moving you will start to feel warmer. As the water reaches over 21℃ in our summer months the water will quickly start to feel warmer as you are in it.

How old do I need to be to swim at Divers Cove?

Competent children over 7 years of age can swim with us if they are capable of swimming 650m unaided but must be accompanied by an adult in the water at all times and must swim with a tow float. A Pay As You Swim membership is best for children – a one-off £2 registration fee followed by £9.90 per swim session.

Do I need a tow float? 

You only require a tow float if you are swimming without a wetsuit or are under 16 years of age. You can hire or buy two floats from us. You can also hire wetsuits on-site for just £10 per session.

Do I need a wetsuit?

All swimmers require a wetsuit when the water temp is under 16 C unless they are experienced at swimming in cold water. If swimming without a wetsuit you must wear a tow float. You can hire a wetsuit on-site for just £10 per session.

What sort of wetsuit should I buy for open water swimming?

Wetsuits come in different thicknesses and the thicker they are the warmer they keep you. 

The fit of your wetsuit should be comfortable and ‘snug’ with no wrinkles and creases when you are standing upright. You should be able to comfortably take a full-depth breath when wearing your outdoor swimming wetsuit.  When it comes to the material opt for rubber as opposed to fabric, you may see manufacturers and eCommerce stores referring to them as triathlon wetsuits, triwear, wiggle suits or open-water swimming wetsuits. You can hire a wetsuit on-site for just £10 per session.

Do I need a swim hat?

Yes, all swimmers must wear a brightly coloured swim hat at all times. You can hire or buy swim hats from us on arrival. This is to ensure the visibility and safety of all swimmers at all times.

Can I bring my children down to paddle?

No, unfortunately, we are only open to members who class themselves as capable swimmers, able to swim a minimum of 450m without stopping. Children must be over 7 years of age, a member and a capable swimmer.

How much is the Introduction to Open Water Swimming Course?

The course is £25 and lasts for 1 hour. Find out more about our courses here.

Do you offer trial sessions?

We don’t offer trial sessions, but you do not need a membership to swim with us. Simply book your swim & enter your safety details and you’re good to go!

Am I allowed to bring my dog?

No, unfortunately, we do not allow dogs on site. This is to protect our natural wildlife and bird life down at the shore.

Do you have any tips for first-time wild swimmers?

It is key to develop a good sighting technique, as knowing where you’re going is a lot more difficult than following a lane in the pool. It’s also important to acclimate yourself to the temperature of the water. For more information please check out our Introduction to Open Water Swimming courses.

What should I do if I get tired whilst swimming in the lake?

We have swimming marshalls at every session, keeping track of swimmers. If you’re just tired but don’t need assistance, rolling onto your back is a good way to save energy and have a rest. If you decide you do need help, whilst on your back raise your arm and our safety team will be able to assist you. If starting out, it’s important to understand your limits and stay close to the lakeshore.

How long are the open water swimming sessions?

Each swimming session is one hour long. You can spend time at the Cove after your swim by warming up at our onsite cafe serving hot and cold drinks and delicious food. We regularly have pizza nights with stone-baked pizzas to be enjoyed after a refreshing dip in the lake. Facilities include a mixed shower block, male and female heated changing rooms with lockers, male and female toilets and onsite parking.

What is a competent swimmer when it comes to outdoor swimming?

All swimmers must be able to comfortably swim a minimum of 450m without stopping.

Can the lake water make me ill whilst swimming outdoors?

Lake water is natural water which may contain bacteria harmful to the health if ingested, therefore we recommend not ingesting the water as you swim. (We do carry out regular water tests to ensure the water is as safe as possible for you to swim in).

Can I swim in the lake all year round?

Yes, our Gold & Silver members can swim all year round including the winter months. All of our memberships run annually, meaning that you can enjoy a year of swims within our Summer season from the date of signing up. 

To swim when the water gets much colder through the Winter is only for Gold & Silver members who have taken the time over months to swim very regularly and fully acclimatise their bodies to cold water.

Still have questions?

Send us an e-mail at