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Top 5 Education Books

Discover five outdoor swimming books that will make you more knowledgeable about the open water environment, and help you become faster and more efficient in it.

In the third and final part of OceanFit’s summer reading guide, I’ve scoured the office in search of books that will make you more knowledgeable about the open water environment, and help you become faster and more efficient in it.

You’re in for a well-rounded education, starting with a unique history of swimming, and then a look at the science, and then your performance, above and below the water.

If you’d like to purchase them, the title links will take you to Amazon.

Read part one: Swimming Destinations
Read part two: Swimming Personal Journeys

Top 5 Swimming Education Books

Splash! 10,000 Years Of Swimming

This is a relatively new book, published in 2020 and I haven’t got to it yet, but I’ve had it recommended and it’s next on my reading list. It’s a global history of swimming, from humankind’s first dip in what is now the driest spot on earth to the 2020 Olympics. Unique and compulsive, the book sweeps across the whole of humankind’s swimming history, with great wit and humour.


The Wave: In Pursuit Of The Rogues, Freaks & Giants Of The Ocean

I’ve read this book twice now and it’s just as good the second time. It’s an easy read and gives you an awesome insight into the power of the ocean’s colossal, ship-swallowing waves, and the surfers and scientists who seek them out.

Author Susan Casey travels the globe, hunting these monsters of the ocean with big wave surfer Laird Hamilton and his crew. In doing so, she witnesses first-hand the life or death stakes, the glory, and the mystery of impossibly mammoth waves. Yet for the scientists who study them, these waves represent something truly scary brewing in the planet’s waters.


Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science & What The Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves

Another cracker of a read, journalist James Nestor, fascinated by the sport of freediving in which competitors descend great depths on a single breath, embeds with a gang of oceangoing extreme athletes and renegade researchers. He finds whales that communicate with other whales hundreds of miles away, sharks that swim in unerringly straight lines through pitch-black waters, and other strange phenomena.

Most illuminating of all, he learns that these abilities are reflected in humans’ remarkable, and often hidden, potential including echolocation, directional sense, and the profound physiological changes we undergo when underwater.


Open Water Swimming: Improved Performance For Swimmers & Triathletes

Written by Steve Munatones, the man behind the World Open Water Swimming Association, this book is like an open water swimming bible designed to help you swim faster, stronger, and more efficiently. As a renowned marathon swimmer, coach, and commentator, Munatones shares his insights and expertise on preparing, training, and competing in open-water events from something short and snappy to a marathon swim.


Swim Smooth: The Complete Coaching System For Swimmers & Triathletes

I’ve been a big fan of Swim Smooth for a long time and this book was published in 2012, however, I love their ‘easy language’ coaching style and it’s good to know that all their theories and techniques have been put through their paces in their own squads (in Perth).

There are hundreds of full-colour photographs and three-dimensional graphics to help you put theory into practice while detailed advice offers help for intermediate, advanced, and elite swimmers alike. You can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your stroke and drills and training tips let you make the most of your time in the water.


  • Written by Ocean Swims on 6 January 2021
  • (Updated on 6 August 2023)



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