These training tips for the Aspire Channel Swim are provided by our Learn to Swim ambassador.
1) Location – Make sure to check out your pool’s opening hours and times of aqua classes to see when is best for you to swim.
2) Preparation and programming - Set a programme that is easy to commit to at a steady pace. You have 12 weeks to swim 22 miles, so don’t push yourself too hard!
3) Good kit – Make sure you have chosen a swimming costume and goggles you are comfortable with and feel confident using when you’re swimming those lengths.
4) Rest - Give yourself regular days of rest – Days of no swimming are important to give the body time to recover and rest.
5) Stretch – Stretching is important not only before your swim but also for 3 to 5 minutes after. This can be done in the water or on pool side, whichever your feel more comfortable with.
6) Strokes – Avoid only swimming what you’re comfortable with, favouring the stroke you like – try working on different strokes as you swim!
7) Mix up your swims – Give yourself some variety, it doesn’t have to be one stroke for the whole 22 miles. Use different swimming programs to work on different areas of your body. You’ll enjoy your swim more.
8) Hydration – Even though you are in water, you will sweat quite a lot! It’s important to keep up hydration during and after the swim.
9) Warm up – A warm up is very important, even when swimming slowly. Start with a slow steady stroke with nice easy breaths so as not to add pressure to the lungs or body.
10) Cool down – It’s important to give your body a chance to recover, so make sure to cool down properly in order to prevent your muscles from aching!
11) Breathing – To ensure that your stroke can be sustained, it’s important to focus on a smooth rhythmical breath. A smooth rhythm will ensure there is a consistent out breath through the nose under the water.
12) Food – To keep up your energy, eat something light an hour before you get into the water and make sure to eat a varied and balanced diet throughout the 12 weeks to help your body recover.