Training Programs :: Open Water Swim Training

Open Water Swim Training 2019

Open Water Swimming Technique and Training for Triathletes and Open Water Swimmers!

Make Swimming your Strength — NOT a punishment!

CES Open Water Swim Training

For many of us, open water swimming can seem a bit intimidating. Unlike the calm, filtered, peaceful water of your local pool, the open water can be choppy, dark and murky. Further, without lane lines for guidance, people swim in all directions, creating an atmosphere of chaos that makes it easy to lose your bearings.

In these and other ways, open water is importantly different from pool swimming. This means that open water swimming, whether in its own right or for triathlon, requires a quite specialized set of physical and mental skills. Even if you've had a few opportunities to practice swimming in the open water, training SPECIFICALLY for open water swimming yields considerable benefits.

We offer open water group training under the supervision of highly experienced and knowledgeable coaches. One unique feature of our training program is that we teach not only essential skills and techniques, but also teach how to practice them in a pool as well as in an open water setting with people around you. We will make you more confident, faster and ultimately a better Triathlete or open water swimmer!

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Class Dates, Times & Location


Thursday mornings from 6:00 – 7:00 am. Classes are offered weekly from June 27th through August 29th.

  • *NOTE: There will be NO CLASS on Thursday, July 4th


All sessions will take place at Ohio Street Beach (see Map). Street parking is limited — bicycle or public transportation is highly recommended. Please avoid bringing valuables, as our coaches will be in the water teaching you and can't monitor your belongings at all times.

Note about class reservations

If you don't show up for class, you will NOT be charged for the class — however, there are no refunds for unused class passes after the end of the season. In the case of class cancellation due to poor weather, we will add a maximum of one makeup class on Thursday, September 5th.

Choose from 1, 3, 6 or Unlimited (Up to 9) sessions.


1-Session "Drop-In" Pass
You may attend 1 session of your choice.
3-Session Pass
You may attend 3 sessions of your choice.
6-Session Pass
You may attend 6 sessions of your choice.
Unlimited Pass
You may attend any (or all) of the 9 sessions.

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Coach Craig Strong

Craig Strong

Craig Strong has been coaching competitive swimming at various levels for over 20 years, including USA Swimming Senior National level athletes and NCAA Division I swimming. For the past 10+ years he has also been working with triathletes, open-water swimmers, runners and cyclists of all abilities, helping them to achieve — and even surpass — their athletic goals!

Craig's athletes can boast of many accomplishments including: successfully crossing the English Channel, competing in Open Water US Masters Swimming National Championships, and Ironman Hawaii. Craig has also helped many others to achieve new gains in strength, endurance and open water technique for both open water swimming races and Triathlon.

Click here to read about Todd Paul, Chicago Athlete Magazine's Athlete of the Month (October 2009), who successfully crossed the English Channel in just one year of training with Coach Craig.

Craig is one of a select few coaches in North America to have received a Level II certification by USA Triathlon. He is also an American Swim Coaches Association Level IV and a USA Cycling Level II coach. In addition to his considerable experience as a coach, Craig is himself an accomplished Triathlete and avid open-water swimmer for almost 20 years. Coach Craig has an intimate understanding of both the challenges and joys of open water swimming in a variety of contexts.


Class Description

Open Water Swim Lesson

Some of the Topics & Skills we'll cover (and practice):

  • Stroke technique tips for Open Water vs. Pool
  • Tips for practicing indoors
  • Sighting skills & technique
  • Equipment tips & tricks (wetsuits, goggles, etc.)
  • Drafting technique and practice
  • Starts
  • Turns & negotiating buoys
  • Exits
  • Racing strategies
  • Race specific training

*Please Note: This is NOT designed as a "Learn to Swim" class. It is intended for those who are capable of swimming non-stop, with their face in the water, for a minimum of 15 minutes. We don't want to scare anyone off, but we will be focusing on Open Water specific skills, technique and fitness rather than on basic swimming stroke technique.

What to bring

There are NO changing facilities at Ohio Street Beach, so we recommend putting your swimsuit on BEFORE you come to the class.

  • Swimsuit
  • Goggles (two pairs — clear and shaded)
  • Wetsuit, if available (not required, but highly recommended!)
  • Plastic bag for wet gear afterwards
  • Towel
  • Sport Watch with Chronograph

*Swim Caps will be provided


How to Register

Online registration is available by clicking on the link below:

Register Online

Refund Policy

Registration is non-transferable and non-refundable. No refunds will be provided in full or in part for any reason, including injury, after a program begins. No prorated fees are provided for late enrollments. You must be at least 18 years of age. We can't control the weather and we can't refund unused passes at the end of the season due to weather cancellations.



Please contact us at for more information.