Monthly Archives: May 2013

“How much do I need to swim for – x – open water distance?”

hope this reinforces what I have been saying to my swimmers – I AM NOT MAKING THESE THINGS UP GUYS!


With the Northern hemisphere open water season getting underway, and temperatures in many locations edging around the magic number, (10C/50F) , open water related questions inevitably arise as each year brings new swimmers and more triathletes.

A common question is some variation of:

I want to swim 1.5k/3k/3k/10k, can I do it or what should I do to prepare?

There are different answers for this depending on many factors:

  1. What is your swimming experience?
  2. What is your current swim training?
  3. What is your open water experience?
  4. Wetsuit or not?
  5. Sea, river or lake?
  6. How long do you have to prepare?

I have covered many aspects of these questions, such as getting started, essential rules of cold water swimming, basic skills, swimming in different conditions, etc. (The How To category has more of these).

  • To swim any significant distance in open water the first requirement is regular swimming…

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Upcoming Swims – Please Enter Early!

Same sentiment for the Isle of Man swims!

EMCS Manx Mile Open Water Swim (29 June)
Enter Online:

Port Erin Regatta – EMCS Bay Swim (13 July)
Enter Online:

Sandycove Swimmers

A number of our swim organisers have asked us to highlight the importance of entering swims as early as you can. Late entries mean that organisers do not know how many swimmers to cater for. This has implications in many areas such as organising safety cover, ordering swim gear and/or post-swim refreshments and even in determining if the swim can actually go ahead. A number of swims were cancelled last summer due to entries not coming in early enough. Organisers need to be certain that they will be able to cover their costs, and if entries are low then they may have to make the decision to cancel their event.

So please, if you are intending to do swims this summer, please do not leave your entry to the last minute. We have compiled a list of all of the upcoming swims over the next month and their entry…

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So we really do look like down & outs on the beach…

Open water swimmers often joke that they look like down & outs on the beach (or anywhere else they swim in cold water I guess). Something to do with trying to wear all your clothes at once to rewarm. Well in Dover this weekend, Andrew Ogierman and I were a little surprised to be mistaken for vagrants, by another vagrant, AFTER we had got showered & changed to go out for the evening. We tried to persuade ourselves it was because we looked as if we had all our wordly belongings in two large bags. The lady involved was concerned that they would get wet during the forecasted rain and advised that we look after ourselves & try to keep dry that evening.

The bags of course were full of towels for this years Aspire English Channel relay swimmers. They had already endured their first two dips in Dover Harbour earlier in the day, clocking up 20 mins and 25 mins at about 9C, and now had to endure one of my best 5k pool sets before they were allowed to go out for supper. Good training for the Channel methinks. The final 6 x 200m relay was hard fought and the result surprised a few!

I was absolutely impressed by everyone’s commitment to all the swims – no complaints, no skipping out early – and their teamwork with almost complete strangers, in keeping each other going in the coldest water that many of them had swum in.

And after a late supper they had to do another two swims the next morning; 30 mins and 35 mins respectively. I managed to pop down early for a quick swim with the red hats (the first of many I hope) before the others arrived. Despite many swimmers avoiding the beach so early in the season, and with such low temperatures, it was surprising to see quite so many swimmers in the water on Sunday – I think there were around 15 soloists and 60 relay swimmers. And the sun shone almost the whole weekend :o)

Personally pleased that I could still keep up, after a winter of not training and trying to rest the shoulder.

Unfortunately for me , sunday was also the day that my new bunch of triathletes were competing in their first sprint triathlon in the Isle of Man, but I was already committed to Dover when the dates were announced. I was really pleased to hear that everyone finished (well all except the one who forgot to set his alarm clock), and swims all went well. One or two of the guys that had taken part before had substantially improved swim times, and much easier swims, so everyone was happy! Wish I could have been in two places at once.

My entry is in for the september tri, so maybe some of them can teach me to bike & run…..