Long Distance OW Swim



  • Hey guys long time since any one has posted here so thought I would post and try to get some advice from you guys. 

    Its my Eton 10k swim on Monday and I am getting a little bit nervous now image. I did a (very) small practice open swim in my wetsuit and it seemed ok to swim in. 


    My question is do any of you have any advice?  I am anticipating doing the 10k in 3hrs 30mins at a steady pace with a break or two. Any last training or diet or wetsuit or ?? tips?? 

    I am not training this week as I am guessing a good rested body is going to help. Training prior was good got to doing 5k in the pool with relative ease and could have gone on. Crams were an issue in the pool but mainly pushing off the wall so I am guessing these will be lessened on the day? 


    Thanks guys 

  • H0NKH0NK ✭✭✭

    Hi Jamie, can't offer any advice but will be interested to hear how you get on, I fancy doing some longer swimming events. I do find I get less cramp in open water but still cramp up occasionally.

    Good luck on Monday.

  • When I did my only 10k swim I was aiming for a similar time. Have you got a personal kayak with you? I did and loaded it with food and drink. You say a break or two. Get a clear idea in your head of when and why you will take breaks is my advice. You'll be swimming for a long time and when you're alone in your head it helps to focus clearly on these things image

    I took a short break every kilometer. Just 30 seconds or so to grab a gel or half a bar and a sip of water. It worked out well. I didn't suffer at all and found the swim much easier than expected. You'll want to eat things that you can swallow quickly as its pretty difficult to stay above water while eating. Swallowing a mouthful of water along with a bite of a snickers wasn't pleasant. Bananas would be good.. Of course if you don't have a kayak with you then you can't control this.

    Cramp isn't as likely to be an issue as you'll be kicking a lot less in the OW and as you say not pushing off the wall. That's usually when i cramp as well.

    The wetsuit will possibly cut into your neck over time so some oil / vaseline or bodyglide if you have it would be good to rub on first. Make sure you have used your goggles before. I used new goggles and spent the first 15 minutes of my swim messing with my goggles as they kept leaking. Finally got it sorted though!

    If you're doing 5k in the pool I think you're in a great place for a 10k OW swim. Best of luck with it!

  • B_Kins wrote (see)

    The wetsuit will possibly cut into your neck over time so some oil / vaseline or bodyglide if you have it would be good to rub on first. 

    This.  If you feel the wetsuit rubbing your neck even slightly then stop and sort it out - it's always worse than it feels at first and by the end of 10k it will have sawn your head clean off your shoulders without you noticing.

  • For nutrition I would recommend tinned peaches cut into pieces small enough that you can drink them from a cup with minimal chewing.  Those and a sports drink low in electolytes but high in carbs are the fuels I will be using for my 6 hour swim on Sunday.

    Having said that, I am not convinced I will make it through the whole 6 hours as it is open water without a wetsuit and it is still a bit chilly out.

  • In the BlueIn the Blue ✭✭✭

    Are you doing river, lake or sea SC?


    Good luck Jamie!

  • This weekend is in a lake.  Generally I avoid lakes as I find them as monotonous as the pool but with the added discomfort of weed, but there are lots of other people doing a six hour swim and its hard to find other people willing to swim for so long

  • Hey guys thanks for the advice. 


    Its in the Eton rowing lake they used for the olympics. I dont have a kayak but the total swim is 4 laps and there is a general feeding point at one end for all distances and one at the other end for just the 10k people. On the 10k only one you can take your own food onto the pontoon. 

    I guess on breaks a planned small breather at each end of the lap would be good? So every 1.25k. 

    Thanks for all the nutrition advice!! I am going to get shopping for supplies for the pontoon image 

    Good luck on your swim Caz. 6 hours sounds like a big ask! 

  • I've done further JT, but that was in a heated lido.  Doing it in cold water is going to be a big ask

  • Jamie, I did the Dorney 10k last year. the pontoon was well supplied with gels & other food, sports drink & water. Did take my own sports drink but didn't use it much. You need to make sure you put it in a memorable place. & easily identifiable. I placed mine on the junction of the 2 pontoons before the race. Came in at the end of the first lap, couldn't find it. Unknown to me they'd added another pontoon & I was at the wrong join.image Think there are 300 entered this year. I stopped each 2k lap, came in less than 2 minutes behind a clubmate who went non stop. Another clubmate tried a technique I'd been told, which was to drink 500ml of super concentrated sports drink just before the off, & then go non stop - he beat me by over 5 minutes. Wish I hadn't told him.

    It is a slightly boring swim, like a giant pool. even has ropes just below the surface to help you follow a straight line. O

    One thing there were complaints by the slower swimers being swum over as they were being lapped. My advice would be swim slightly wide out, let the fast guys, have the 'inside lane'. They dont always look where they are going.

    Did suffer with cramps towards the end, but on the side closest to the bank it gets quite shallow in places & I could stand up & stretch the calves.

    Was hoping to try it without a wetsuit this year, but just not got out in the lakes to practice or aclimatise.

    I'm sure you'll enjoy it, its a great achievement, good luck.

  • Reporting in after my 6 hour swim

    Water was 12 degrees and I was convinced that I would be pulled from the water by 3 hours, if not before.

    But through very careful management of my emotions and feeds by my wonderful support buddy, I was coaxed through to the full 6 hours and swam 11.5 miles.

    It hurt.  It was cold.  I hated it.  I cried.  But I did it and now I feel so proud of what I achieved.

  • Very impressive Caz! Well done.

  • In the BlueIn the Blue ✭✭✭
    SuperCaz wrote (see)

    I hated it.  I cried.  But I did it and now I feel so proud of what I achieved.

    And so you should be, congratulations, it's a great achievement, both physically and mentally. Hope you've been recovering with plenty of tea and cake (or cheese)image

    Now for the next one......

  • I did have cake.  By coincidence we found a tiny coffee shop hiden away that we had walked past loads of times and never noticed before.

    And the best bit was that it did not 1, not 2, but three!!!! different sorts of gluten free cake.  Its not often I can have cake and even rarer when I get a choice!

  • Helloooooooooo! Anybody here?


  • Hello Hen *waves*  Haven't seen you for a while

  • Are you planning on any trips down here any time soon? Sounds like you're happily sorting out your new place.  Don't suppose you're going to the CSA do next week?  A few of us are going. Plus loads of Big Ricks. We're going to liven it up. image

  • Pah CSA?  Not a hope.  But I will be going to the far more fun CSPF one in March.

    I was thinking about coming down there for the Duck Relay, and possibly for the Christmas do if it falls on a day I can make, but at the moment I have deadlines to meet here so I don't feel that I can commit to anything until I know whether my deadlines have a hope of being met

  • You are always welcome up here Hen

  • we had a great OW swim last saturday for the fullmoon in barry.....half were in wetsuits including me and half were without.... (true idiots).........it was lovely and everyone had glowsticks attached and the sea was warm and the rain stopped and the sky cleared so we had a beautiful view of the moon the whole time....

    the next one is the 19th November but that is hubbies birthday and I'm not sure he will think that a fitting way to celebrate his birthday........

    i'm not sure if he has forgiven me his 50th birthday present yet a few years ago...a place on his first ultra  and so a day running 46 miles in the beacons in the rain with me image

  • I don't understand.  What's not to love?  Sounds like a perfect present to me

  • for some reason he doesn't like swimming and he doesn't like his bits getting cold.....I am having my doubts about his suitability as a husband image

  • Caz I think a little trip up to do some well 'ard river swimming would be a fine idea.

    Seren - so glad you had a lovely swim on the full moon. Magical isn't it?  I don't think it matters if you're in a wettie or not - the main thing is getting in the water. The funny thing is that recently I've really enjoyed the coldness recently (down to 12 deg this am at Fishermans). Perhaps after a year I've learned to love it and finally am getting that cold water buzz. Mind you, it's relatively warm still.  I did my 2 hour swim in 12.7 yet only lasted 50 mins today... although I wasn't freezing.


  • Oh and the CSA do was truely dire. It lived up to its reputation. Simon heard one lady say, "I've been coming to this for 40 years and it's still as boring as ever."  Stuart (our pilot) said that at teh AGM the next day two 'young' girls wanted to go on the board. Hope they do - newblood etc. Was lovely to see people and chat and celebrate, but the actual awards bit *insert smiley hanging itself*

  • I'm sure the Fisherman's bunch tried their hardest to liven it up Hen.

    I've got to confess that I've lost interest in swimming at the moment.  I will probably get back into it next spring but right now I really can't be bothered to drive for 50 min to find a decent river

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