I rediscovered swimming back in June last year and I’ve been swimming regularly since then. Over that time I’ve gradually upped my swimming from once a week to my current 3-4 times a week swimming over 1200 metres per session. You don’t need a huge amount of kit for swimming, but I’ve found it best to go to a specialist provider like Simply Swim as they have a good range of everything that I need both now and as I develop as a swimmer.
When it comes to buying swimming gear, it’s important to find a costume and goggles that fit well. For me a costume with a longer length in the torso makes me feel more comfortable. Whilst I’m only on the taller side of average, I do have a long torso and I often find that standard swimsuits are a bit low-cut for comfort especially after they have seen a bit of pool action and been through the washing machine a few times. I love the Halocline range because they are practical, good quality swimsuits, but best of all they are an extra few centimetres long.
Goggles are the bane of my life. Necessary to protect my eyes and make sure I can see where I’m going, but so often they leak and I am constantly readjusting. Another issue I have is that I sport attractive ‘goggle eyes’ for a few hours after I get out of the pool. So for me it’s worth investing in a good pair that allow for more adjustability (these Fastskin Elite Mirror Goggles have interchangeable nose bridges for an individual fit) and that seal better to keep out the water and reduce the scary eye effect.
Once the basics are taken care of you can progress to training aids to help you improve your stroke. A kickboard will allow you to concentrate on your leg kick by supporting your arms and upper body (to maintain your position in the water) and a pullbuoy (pictured) will do the same for your legs, so you can concentrate on your arm strokes. Just using a kickboard and a pullbuoy will move your strokes on a great deal as you will be able to focus on one aspect of the stroke at a time. If you want to step it up a gear though, you might want to look at hand paddles, to build upper body strength, or swim parachutes to build your strength and endurance.