Every swim I remind you that:
Open water swimming is extreme… there are no prizes for any ego.
If you are unhappy with any of the setup then please do not start – go back to the desk and ask for your refund or a credit towards the next swim.
You are responsible for getting yourself out of trouble – turnaround and return to the start and tell the recorder you DNF’d (but will be back next time).
The boat and the paddlers are there to guide you around the course.
If necessary, they will tell you to return to shore- don’t argue they know.
Look around – introduce yourself to the swimmer next to you. Yes, the name on their swim cap is theirs.
Find a swim buddy – it is more fun!
Certain routes have particular intricacies be familiar with the swim route that is planned (aka look at the map, ask questions)
Cold water is cold. There is nothing I can do to change this. You however are able to improve your response to the cold by acclimatising beforehand (e.g. walking in the shallows until the cold sting is gone)
Swimming over a fellow swimmer is not cool – Please be courteous (or you will be DQ’d.)
Enjoy yourself… sea you soon!
Wikipedia: “a swimming discipline which takes place in outdoor bodies of water such as open oceans, lakes, and rivers.” We expand this definition to include pools where lanes and walls are not used to define the route.
A “Plan B” means that you have a Plan A. A Plan A means you have carefully thought through the swim logistics beforehand, and know what to do should something unexpected occur.
Yes. They increase your visibility in the water. Some brands incorporate a “dry pocket” to hold car keys, change of clothes or mobile phone.
● Tow-floats are not a lifesaving device and not a substitute for learning good swimming technique or skills.
Qualified hurdles relate to the rate at which different swimmers swim, and get tired. This allows organisers to use several factors, including cold water acclimatisation, to categorise each swimmer in the correct and safest swim group. Should your projected time be within the time limitations of the event and there are sufficient peer-group participants you will be eligible. However, if the expected conditions are notably different from expected, then your peer group may be recommended to not participate.
● For example – if planned temperature is 12°C and near-start readings are 10°C this is a notable change that will lead to higher fatigue levels and thus slower projected finish times, outside the race parameters. You will NOT be allowed to swim.
Respect Mother Nature. Respect the sea. Know your own personal limits. There is no shame in exiting the water, or declining to swim in the first place, if you feel that the conditions are too rough for your skill set.
This means becoming slowly accustomed to new conditions, most often the cold, but also the swell. Be aware, when you first enter cold water, your heart rate and breathing can sky-rocket. Slow your breath down consciously. Dress coolly en route to the beach and bring a warm change of clothes for after your swim.
This is the term borrowed from emergency medicine which refers to the time period following a traumatic event where there is the highest likelihood that prompt treatment will lead to recovery.
● In practical terms this means that you should be aware of the time from first exposure to cold water (“traumatic event”) as this will be the start of your body’s response to the cold water.
No – time of day, location, swimming with others, global statistics - these are all mitigating factors. It’s about the same as asking a trail runner if they worry about snakes.
No – acclimatise with or without a wetsuit. You are doing something that you have decided you WANT to do.
Anywhere there is water sufficiently deep enough to swim. This includes oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water.
Fitness is relative – depending on what you are trying to accomplish the fitness level is a factor to your enjoyment. If you know your limits and stay within your game plan, you should be alright.
● Skins/Naked – no wetsuit
● Wetsuit/Assisted –wetsuit or other device to enhance speed/buoyancy.
Wetsuits increase warmth and buoyancy. Higher buoyancy levels can reduce drag and increase speed. Many sports have different categories. It is only fair that those within a category race against others in the same category.
Yes. Pool work improves your open-water work. However, try to identify technical weaknesses in the pool environment before you migrate to an open-water environment. Measure variables such as speed and stroke rate over extended distances and durations.
1. Mental Preparation
Mental preparation is important for both pool and open-water swimmers, but takes somewhat different forms in each context. Swimmers who train to primarily compete in the pool can have doubts in their ability to achieve a goal time or place on any given day, but they can be fairly certain that they will be able to complete their races.This is in striking contrast with the anxiety of open-water swimmers, who must also deal with the possibility that they may not finish their swim or even be able to start, based on conditions.
2. Physical Preparation
Physical preparation also changes based on the athlete’s goals. In the same way that the training for each pool distance is unique, training for open-water races also varies based on distance.
3. Emotional Preparation
The only way to remove your self-doubt, is to keep practising! Train to feel unstoppable and train to feel like a champion. By paying enough attention to emotions during training, swimmers can begin to learn how to control them during stressful situations, such as when things don’t go as planned during a swim.
Spend a lot more time working on your technique, your relaxed technique and your breathing.
Pool swimmers are of course motivated by a love of the sport, but perhaps also by a desire to win or achieve a certain time. In many ways, these external motivators play a larger role in pool swimming than in open-water, maybe because there is more recognition available for pool swimmers in the non-swimming community.Open-water swimmers are often motivated by the internal desire to complete a goal or even to just finish a swim. Marathon swimmers are bored with controlled environments. They seek adventure and love to have new experiences.Another feature of open water swimming is that it appeals to people who are burned out with pool racing. It provides a new environment in which to test one’s athletic ability. (swimmingworldmagazine.com)
Any swim over 10km.
Hyperthermia occurs when heat regulation mechanisms, such as sweating, fail to keep the body cool. Hyperthermia is caused from overexertion or extended periods of time spent in hot conditions. In rare cases, it may be caused by medication or a medical condition, but usually, the temperature is just too hot, and you're pushing yourself too hard.
Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Normal body temperature is around 98.6°F (37°C). Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature falls below 95°F (35°C).
After-drop is when your body temperature continues to drop even after you get out of cold water. You suddenly feel a lot colder between 10 to 40 minutes after you exit than you did in the water. This is because when you swim in cold water, your body reduces circulation to your peripheries. Your skin and subcutaneous fat becomes in effect a thermal layer, like a wetsuit, hence the informal term “bioprene” for fat.When you exit the water, this bioprene continues to cool your core. You can lose up to 4.5°C from your core temperature, bringing on shivering, hypothermia, or feeling faint and unwell.
The majority of people experience discomfort when stung by a marine animal.
The discomfort is due to the sting being a toxin which the marine animal uses to incapacitate prey.
For a percentage of people being stung by marine animals can be life-threatening due to the toxin and body’s response to the toxin. The main concern is typically the airways closing due to anaphylactic shock.
Can you be allergic? Though rare, allergic reactions to bluebottle stings can occur. The symptoms are like those of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can follow the sting of a wasp or scorpion. If you're stung and experience chest tightness or difficulty breathing, get medical attention immediately.
Some practical tips: Try avoid encounters by looking for signs of the presence of jelly fish /blue bottles.
If you are stung, pay attention to the response of the skin surrounding the area – this may provide warning that you have an allergic reaction.
Avoid (if possible) being stung near sensitive organs (including mouth, eyes etc)
Be aware of your body’s previous responses to stings.
Do not rub the area. The sting is typically a barb containing toxins and this may just spread the affected area.
On land, 1600m. A nautical mile is 1760m.
Squad swimming and participating in a group environment is generally more fun and more productive than swimming solo. With a common goal typically more can be achieved. Together Everyone Achieves More is the full description of a TEAM.
A coach provides objective feedback and a way to reduce the learning curve to improve your performance. Global heads of companies employ coaches to assist with goal-setting and achievement of objectives.
Goggles and silicon swim cap to 4th beach Clifton on the 1st Sunday of each month
No – you do need to respect the sea and have self-belief in your ability. The intention is to enjoy the outdoors and open-water swimming. Before 1SOMS, you should at the bare minimum have swum (in one stretch in the pool) the same distance as you plan to swim.
Come rain or shine the sea remains wet! If you plan to swim you should consider whether your beach equipment is going to get wet. The organisers will be there, but the route may be modified.
The organisers will always (in conjunction with the lifesavers) consider the safety aspect of the swim and takes steps to keep it safe. Also a minimum of 3 swimmers need to want to swim before a swim will take place. No heroes – listen to the lifesavers. The swim will be there next month.