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Are you new to open water swimming or in need of some refreshing? It's extremely important to be safe and confident in open waters. Therefore we created this guide. It will prepare you with the right equipment, safety measures and tools to have the greatest swim. 

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Skills & drills Catch-Up

This is the perfect drill to work on your stroke length and increase the propulsion of your pull. During the catch-up you swim freestyle but one arm catches up with the other at the front end of your stroke. Taking a pause when both hands are together allows you to focus solely on your pull-through every stroke you swim. 

How to do it 

  • Swim freestyle but let your hands catch-up in the front end of the stroke

  • Pause for a split second and then start your catch with the other arm. Continue this cycle

  • Keep a steady kick when pausing and breathe to the side during the recovery

Focus points 

  • Emphasize the whole freestyle pull. First the catch, then start the pull and finish with a strong push out

  • Stay streamlined and perform good rotation during the recovery

  • Maintain a steady kick during the pause to keep up the speed

  • Breathe after every stroke to practice breathing on both sides

Coach tip

Alternate the catch up drill with swimming regular freestyle. Maintain the same stroke length and you will feel how you increase the efficiency of every stroke.




This progressive interval SWOD starts with focus on technique before speeding it up. Stick to the resting times, that's important to get the most effect. When swimming easy, focus on your weaker parts of your technique. The Catch-Up drill isolates your pull-through, so focus on your weak spots then.

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