Newbie Here - Glad to have found you

elovbergelovberg Indianapolis, INNew Member

My name is Emily Lovberg. I am a 64 year old women who want to dive into open water swimming.

I was a competitive swimmer for 10 years in San Diego, CA..... not great but not bad. I was a mid and distance event swimmer as well as participating in many open water events.

Funny thing...... Lynne Cox was in my age group and I swam against her at regionals when I was in my teens. I later found out that my sister was her roommate for a short time at UCSB.

I just happened to google her a few days ago and was totally surprised when I found out what she has done over the last 42 years! I also was so excited because I have the same body shape as Lynne - big legs and arms..... which really prevented me from being a very successful competitive swimmer.

Anyway, I am recently retired and decided its time to start swimming agina... yep.... it has been nearly 42 years since I stopped competing. I have been back in the pool for 4 months now.... I go to lap swim at 5am on weekdays and later on the weekends. I enjoy my workouts so I go everyday.

I am very very slow..... although I swim 3 miles per day. My mile pace is about 35 - 40 minutes (depending upon my workout). I don't stop at 3 miles because I am tired..... rather I run out of time or the damn pool chloramines get to me (indoor pool in Indiana). I am trying to get my endurance and speed back but know that is necessary before attempting any openwater swim.

I am very excited to be back swimming and would like any and all suggestions of what I can do to successfully get into OWS.

Thanks for letting me be a member of your group




  • swimfreeordieswimfreeordie NHMember
    edited November 2021

    Welcome back to regular swimming and congratulations on your retirement Emily. A few suggestions: 1. Explore what resources, contacts you can find for open water swimming with your local masters swim clubs and regional association. 2. Get on social media (FB) and track down all the open water swimming groups that might be relevant, like this one. Post and ask for contacts to find local open water swimming groups that might suit you. Ideal goal is to find a regular buddy or group of similar speed/interest that you can swim with for safety and fun. 3. Just show up at your nearby swimmable lakes and other venues and see if anyone is swimming. Best times likely to be weekend mornings. If you find some swimmers, don't let them leave until they have invited you to join them! ;) 4. As a retiree with a bit more time on your hands you might want to go on an open water swim vacation: There are now many great companies with great trips: Swimquest, SwimTrek, SwimVacation to name a few. I have been with Swimquest - loved it - and a couple of my friends just came back from a swim trip to Croatia with Swim Trek PS I don't know if you want to be a skins or wetsuit swimmer, or both, but if wetsuit there are plenty of articles and other resources to help you choose one, and check out the other equipment - like safety buoys - that many of us use for our OW swimming. There's of course a ton of good content here to peruse on beginner questions. At a (re)entry level the USMS web site has many good articles on getting into OWS. These are examples : I would start with safety advice and then move on based on what you are most interested in: swimming for fun and recreation, competition, or marathon challenges (or all 3).

  • elovbergelovberg Indianapolis, INNew Member

    Wow! Thanks for all the info! Great great advice! I like the idea of an open water swim vacation.... and incidentally, Croatia is the next country on my bucket list. It is really inspiring to see how many older swimmers are in this group. I like the idea of showing up at local lakes on weekend mornings to swim and making connections that way as well. I haven't really thought about the skin vs wetsuit choice but probably will swim in a regular tech suit to begin with. I used to use a buoy years ago when beach lifeguarding but I assume these have really changed in the last 40 years! Great reminder for safety awareness.
    Thanks again for the advice. I will definitely report back on my progress.

  • KatieBunKatieBun CornwallSenior Member

    @elovberg Emily, the Swimtrek Croatia Dalmatian coast trip is awesome. Can't recommend it highly enough. You won't need even a tech suit.

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