Planning Your Race for the Sharks Open Water Swim Event
On Sunday, 28th August, Sharks Swim & Triathlon are organising an Open Water Event on Swansea Bay. There will be 3 distances:
- Blue Shark - 750m
- Tiger Shark - 1500m
- Great White - 3000m
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN HERE.
But what can you do to plan ahead for this exciting, new event? We have come up with some guidelines to make your open water swim fun, safe and, hopefully, a winning experience!
Make a Plan
It’s essential that you make a plan for your open water swim as sound plan builds and creates confidence and helps to ensure you’re on the right path to accomplish your goals. Whether you’re a seasoned open water swimmer or triathlete or just starting out with your first race, don’t just wing it and hope things work out. Make a plan and stick with it.
Choose the Right Event
For your first open water swim you need to pick the right race according to your abilities. That’s why for this first Swansea Bay event, we are running three different distances to accommodate a range of abilities and experience.
You also need to tailor your race choice according to how much training you can do in advance. For example, if you’ve only done a one-mile swim, don’t enter a 10k open water swim race. Pick a race distance you feel comfortable with and train accordingly to enable you to swim this distance easily and safely.
Once you’ve chosen your event, it’s time to create a training schedule and carve out time to do it. Whether you swim regularly with a group of people, train on your own, or a combination, be realistic about the amount of time you have each week, what your fitness level is, where you want your fitness level to be for the race, and how much time you have before race day.
Training for the Event
Start off by creating weekly goals for each training swim, such as the type of swim and the distance for each practice session. You should also focus on which skills or techniques you want to improve upon. Having goals to follow on a weekly basis keeps you on schedule and allows you to track your progress leading up to the event.
Tailor your plan into the amount of time you have before race day. If your event is four months away, that gives you 16 weeks to train and you need to be ready both mentally and physically. Use each week strategically but also don’t stress if you need to miss a training session once in a while - you can always make it up or just consider it a rest day.
If the event is an open water swim, then don’t just train in the pool, make sure you get out in the open water on a weekly basis to train too. Training in a like for like environment will familiarise and acclimatise your body and mind to the elements of open water. Your body needs to get used to wearing a wetsuit and be able to adjust to the cold temperatures of the sea. When training in open water it is paramount that you are safe. Ideally do not swim alone, wear high visibility caps and use tow floats. You should also inform people where you are going and swim in safe areas that are patrolled by lifeguards.
Training can get very involved and detailed depending on the level of swimmer you are and your expectations for the race, so seek assistance if you can from a coach or another swimmer who has experience. You can also get a lot of information online to help you put a training plan in place.
Plan Your Event Swim
In addition to your training plan, you should make one too for how you want to swim on race day. This can be done a week prior to the event. Base the plan on your fitness level achieved during training, personal goals for the race, your comfort level and confidence, expected weather conditions, the swim course layout including the start and finish, distance of the race, and anything else important to you. Your plan should include things such as where you want to start in the pack, how fast you want to start, your swim pace, how often you want to sight based on the course layout and conditions, etc.
On the Day
When race day arrives, here are some final tips that you need to take into consideration:
- Get to the race early to give yourself plenty of time for parking, check in, etc.
- Attend and pay close attention to the pre-race briefing as important safety information is provided to help you have a great race.
- Review the course and course map again to make sure nothing changed.
- Ask questions if you’re unsure about anything.
- Review your personal race plan to see if anything needs adjusted based on new information from the briefing.
- When the horn blares and your race starts, the adrenaline flow and excitement may lead to some anxiety. If that happens, don’t abandon your race plan, stay strong mentally and swim your plan. If you do, you’ll have a better chance for a great race experience.
Sharks Swim & Triathlon Open Water Event
Registration for the Sharks Swim & Triathlon Open Water Event will be open shortly.
If you want priority registration please email SwanseaSharks@hotmail.co.uk with you name, address, date of birth, mobile number and the distance you would like to enter