Life is enriched by doing remarkable things and if you are signed up to a 10 kilometre swim, you are about to experience one of them. But we don’t just want you to complete the swimmers’ marathon – we want you to enjoy it!
Kate Rew, founder and director of The Outdoor Swimming Society, and Dan Bullock, director of Swimfortri, have updated their original Dart10k swim guide to prepare you for challenges ahead.
This is a guide for front crawl swimmers who want to improve their swimming style and train for a long-distance swim. The training guide provides:
Over 10km, the key to a good time is a stroke that is efficient and relaxed. What’s covered in this section:
We help you diagnose the weak parts of your stroke to improve it. You’ll have plenty of time during training to work on your swim faults and get yourself swimming faster, smoother, and more efficiently. If you learn by doing rather than by thinking, you may want to move straight on to swimming drills.
You can learn a lot about your stroke just from doing drills – they provide useful feedback that will help you understand if you are improving your front crawl without a coach present. Practicing drills will make time in the pool pass more quickly and will make you a better swimmer. Drills covered in this section:
When practicing the drills concentrate on one aspect of the stroke to reduce being overwhelmed.
Swimming 10 kilometres is a big deal! For most people it is a similar challenge to running a marathon. This guide provides details to help you design your swimming sessions and support your aim to swim three or more times a week, including:
Also included is a template swim training plan for you to use. Print the A4 template here
You should be aware of the increased risks when doing a long outdoor swim, including getting cold, encountering watercraft and distance from the shore. These risks can be moderated with common sense; for example, by swimming with someone, wearing a brightly coloured hat, a tow float and swimming along the shore. See our Survive section.
Pilates or yoga has a good cross-over effect as swimming is all about mobility and improving your range of motion will help your technique. There are limited cross-over benefits from cycling and running as they use different muscle groups – although they will get you fitter.
Cold water acclimatisation, keeping motivated, treating aches and pains, and the swim itself are covered in this section.
It’s the perfect season to go open water swimming. Substitute the technique session every time for being outdoors.
Keep a training log of kilometres swum on a weekly basis, then if you hit a low patch you can look at what you’ve accomplished, this is a good psychological boost to keep you training.
Don’t panic if you can’t swim for a week. The body is quite adaptable and versatile, if you can still build to the bigger numbers you have lengths in the bank, a week of being ill is not going to evaporate all that training. If something starts to twinge RICE (Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation).
Visualise the 10k swim course. Let the swimming community know how it’s going, support from others in a great motivator! Join The OSS social media channels. Use the #ossswim10k to share your progress and experiences with us.
Feeling proud? You should be. We want to share your post swim euphoria! Do let us know how you get on, share your success story with The OSS Community on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. #outdoorswimmingsociety
The OSS Team