Long Distance OW Swim



  • Metoikos - your Spanish swim sounds fab. Is that where you live?  HAdn't considered that ow swimming  opens up a whole new travel opportunity. Just need to win the lottery. But at least I wouldn't need to lug a bike with me any more.

  • Artful Hen have only skimmed the internet but the ones that are doable in a day trip kind of way for me from Maidenhead direction are:

    Tooting Bec 90metres
    Newbury 73m
    Uxbridge 67m

    and there are a couple of other 50m oones about too.

    Useful list:

  • Hmmmm I think the Newbury one might actually be more of a long narrow 73m pool. Not really much of a lido. If its the one I'm thinking of.
  • As Supercaz is moving means I'm missing a sea swim buddy Hen, I'm further up the M3 than you but can make it to anywhere between bournemouth and hayling island wtithin an hour or so at weekends.

    Caz the weather is meant to be getting better so I think we might manage sometime in that week window.


  • AH - Yep, I've lived in Madrid for the last 18 years but moving to Boston (USA) next month - I think the water will be a bit colder over there image

    If you are looking for  a cheap get away, there are some great open water races in Spain that are very well organised:

    Tabarca-Santa Pola (town about 15K from Alicante) - 6K swim from an island to the mainland, ferry to start, 28€, 1100 swimmers, 1st week July, lottery to enter (opens in March), superb organisation.

    Tabarca-Alicante - 21K swim from an island to the mainland, need your own support boat/crew, end of May.

    Illa Benidorm - Benidorm  - 3.5K swim from island to Benidorm beach, ferry to start, 24€, last Sunday of August, normally sells out, v.good organisation.

    Zarautz-Getaría - 2.4K (very) rough water swim close to Bilbao in the Basque Country, end of July, 21€, 1400 swimmers, v.good feedback from swimmers.

    Lanzarote - Isla Graciosa - Swim across a channel with strong currents (to the island that can be seen when going up the 'Mirador' climb during IM Lanza), 2600m, first week of October.

    There are also a lot of shorter 'inshore' races (750m-2500m) throughout the summer in most Meditarranean ports

    The problem with most of these races is that information is hard to come by and web sites, if they exist, are very basic and you probably need to know a little Spanish to be able to find out how to enter. If you want more info about a specific race, let me know which one and I'll try and find the web site.

  • There are a lot of groups on FB for people who enjoy open water swimming.  I meet up with people all over the country and in a lot of ways they are very similar to the Pirates, but without the kit.  They all tend to meet random strangers, eat cake, drink beer and put each other up.  Camping weekends are also organised and they arrange to meet at various events.

    The Outdoor Swimming Society is a good place to start.  They have a web site www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com which tells you a bit about them, but the FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/outdoorswimmingsociety/ is where all the activity is.  Use it to ask stupid questions, find out about stuff or get in contact with people in your area.

    If you make yourself known on the OSS FB page then you can be introduced to your local rep and you get invited to join local groups where you can discuss local events or arrange to meet up.  I belong to the Dorset group https://www.facebook.com/groups/purbeckswimmers/ organised by Amanda Hughes, and the Surrey/Sussex/Hampshire group organised by Janetta Harvey.  The Hampshire group also have an e-mail distribution list co-ordinated by Claire Samwell.  You can find any of these people through my FB friends if you are interested in contacting them.

    Hen, I'll also send you some details of people around the Bournemouth area.  Not sure whether they would want their names put on a public forum.

  • Also you might want to lurk on the Channel FB pages, even if you aren't doing a Channel swim.  People post all sorts of info and tips on longer distance swimming.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/channelswim/ is aimed at those doing relays

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/276050649099254/ is for Channel Swimming in general.

  • Thanks Caz. I've joined those groups on FB. Not sure if there is anything setup here but there's no shortage of groups out swimming or places to go. I went back to the pool today.. its just not the same as the OW. I've been coming out of the sea feeling so refreshed. Now its back to red eyes coming into work. Easy enough 2k session. I've a sprint triathlon tonight (Ireland's first midweek one apparently) and a big olympic race on Sunday so my swimming will be pretty limited this week i think.

    I'm not sure if i saw this link on this forum or somewhere else but this race in Norway looks amazing - http://www.otillo.se/the-race/ Its a combination of short swims between islands and running across them, from dawn to dusk. The total comes to about 10km of swimming and 56km of running. I love the idea of a swimming holiday like SwimTrek. The prices don't seem too bad either! How long should you wait after a Sangria before swimming again? image

  • Caz - fab info, thanks. Metoikos, too.  Blue - fantastic.  What are you up to this weekend? image

    Have been loitering a bit on the OSS pages but didn't realise how organised it was.  Sounds perfect.

  • Full Moon swim on the 2nd August at Hayling Island if anyone is interested.  I used to organise these but it looks like someone else is taking it on in my absence.  The idea is to swim in the dark under the full moon.  Very beautiful and a great experience, particularly if you are training for an event that requires night swimming.

  • Artful Hen wrote (see)

    .  Blue - fantastic.  What are you up to this weekend? image


    Possibly swimming the channel with Supercaz image

  • Fair enough image
  • Edit to remove double post.

  • Race reports of the Channel swim from both Blue and I are in Clubhouse if anyone is interested.

  • Will be right over.

    In other news I joined the Seabrook Seals for a swim today and did my longest ever swim. Might not have been the longest distance, dont know - a bit of stopping to regroup etc - but was in the water for two hours. Fab. Loved it. What a friendly bunch of people. And of course it was sunny. Caz they were gutted to hear about your relay.
  • My shoulders are feeling better so any time you're up for a swim I am too despite me saying I'm retiring for the rest of the month. The Seals sound like a lovely bunch of people to join in with.

  • "What are you up to this weekend?

    "Possibly swimming the channel with SuperCaz"

    That's HARD!

    Absolute respect.


  • No Dustboy, doing an IronMan is hard.  The relay was only 5 hours of exercise.  I can't imagine doing an event of 15 hours... mind you I will have to get my head around the idea before I attempt the solo next year image

  • Well done guys. That sounds like a real mental battle!!

    I had mixed results in my races this week.. the sprint swim took 11:30 and the olympic took 28:30.. massive difference! (and cost me a top 20 finish in the olympic) I'm thinking I wasn't fully recovered for the olympic race because guys i normally swim with beat me by up to 3 minutes. I seem to feel fine the day after a hard swim but my stroke is definitely a little weaker. I guess that makes sense.

    I've joined a new club for swimming so i'm getting a coached pool swim 3 times a week (in the pool for 6am image) and 2 open water swims. On average i'm aiming for about 3.5k per session. Its under 3 weeks until the 10k swim and another sprint to do before then. Should be okay to get through it now but I'd like to get another 6k+ swim in before it.

    Does anyone use any swimming books as a reference? There were a couple i was looking at. Swim Smooth's book and Swim Workout's for Triathletes. I was given a £25 amazon voucher so bought the pair of them for £24.74.. Hopefully they are good. I always use swim smooths website for tips on technique. The workout book is a waterproof spiral bound book full of swimming workouts. Both should be useful!

  • I've looked for swimming books before and didn't find anything that  i couldnt find on the web. I have a book by David Wilkie (yes, we are talking pre-history) and an ASA basic booklet (which is faitlry useless for an adult).
    I suspect that there is plenty of sources on the web that make a book unviable financialy.
    Also there are a lot or swim courses and collateral is handed out with that. I learned more from a couple of weekend swim courses than from the books.

    I think swimsmooth is pretty good and will handle most things you need.

  • There is nothing to compare with getting someone to watch your stroke and offer advice.  Its all very well knowing the theory, but a book won't tell you whether your head is too high or your arm too straight if you think that you are doing it right.

  • I got back in the sea last night but my arms were tired so I dawdled at the back doing breaststroke with a new girl who had joined us for the first time.

    Then this morning I got back in again at 6am and managed to do 45 min gently.  It was beautiful - sun shining, water like a mill pond and nobody around at all.  So peaceful.  I'm going to miss the sea when I move inland on Sunday image

  • You can get free basic swimming workouts from www.swimplan.com or you can pay a bit extra and get a greater variety of workouts.  I have a folder full that I dip into when I need to.

  • Caz I'm loving my sea swimming so feel for you moving away from it.

    Because I've had a light work week and the weather's been so fabulous I've been down to Bournemouth to swim with the seals for four days this week. Have done two two-hour swims, and today did an hour without wettie, then another 30 mins this pm. So lush. Have bppeen v lucky with the weather and rising water temp.

    Thanks for putting me in touch with the Seals, Caz. They're lovely image
  • + 1 for decent coaching
  • I'm so jealous.  But I am expecting a phone call today from someone who is going to tell me about open water swimming in Leicester.  There are places where I can swim, but I'm waiting to hear whether they are wetsuit obligatory image

    I get so fed up with not being able to swim without a wetwuit.  For me, I am safer without a wetsuit as I over heat so easily.  I've got evidence that I can swim without it so I don't think I am being unreasonable.

  • Swimming with a wetsuit must be frustrating for you. The lakes near me all allow non wetsuit swimming but you have to be seperatly approved to be allowed to do it.

    I hoping to swim in the lake this weekend without a wetsuit. I need to improve my reslience to cold water 

    AH - Glad you have found a new interest in your retirement imageimage

  • image you? no wetsuit?? image

  • H0NKH0NK ✭✭✭

    nice thread this, will I read in more detail later on as I am too looking to take atvantage  of my newly learned skill of swimming front crawl by doing some longer events. longest ow swim so far is 2 miles but felt ok to go further.

    SuperCaz wrote (see)

    Full Moon swim on the 2nd August at Hayling Island if anyone is interested. 

    I'm interested, Ive just registered on the outdoor swimming society website but cant  see any more details other than the date, can you point me in the direction of further details please?

    I have next week off and want to take the family camping somewhere in the south, I might be able to combine this with the bournemouth swim next weekend, will have to discuss with family tonight where we go but i definetely want to get some sea swimming in and an organised event makes more sense than swimming alone although would have family watching out for me.

    any other suggestions where there are groups meeting for swimming on south coast that I could just tag along with next week?


  • Got a good 4.5km swim in yesterday. The swim was in Camlough lake so it should be similar to the 10k swim in Lough Gill. I did fast 1k intervals rather than steady swimming. Its a great place to practice. They have buoys permanently in place for 750m, 1k and a couple of other distances and there are always people swimming there. Pool sessions now are 2-4km of interval training or an easy 1k technique session and seems to be working. I'm confident enough that 10k shouldn't be too bad. I also got new Sable goggles and feel much better swimming with them. Watching all this swimming in the olympics really has me in the mood to train!

    edit: fixed typo....

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