On the Day
Enjoy your great event – and ensure you perform to the best of your abilities by following these simple steps:
- Rise and shine: After your early night, the last thing you want to do is sleep in – so ensure you have a reliable alarm clock. Never rely on anyone else to get you up, like a hotel receptionist, as they can easily forget!
- Event breakfast: Make sure you eat something on the morning of your event, even if it is too early for you to feel hungry. Eat a light meal consisting of foods that you have eaten previously before a long swim. Drink some water or a sports drink, whichever you use consistently. Stick with what you know. For more information see the Nutrition and Hydration section;
- Travel wise: If you’re travelling to the event with someone who’s not competing, then try and get him or her to drive, or at least do the navigating. The more you can free your mind up to concentrate on the swim, the better;
- Meeting point: If you are linking up with friends or family, before or afterwards, then set an achievable location to meet at;
- On your marks: Warm-up for 10 or 15 minutes before the start with some stretching and take a dip to get used to the water temperature;
- Pace yourself: The first 20 or 30 metres of the event can be quite crowded but as the swimmers spread out you will soon find yourself with more space in the water. Many people tire themselves out by dodging about but its best to try and maintain a steady rhythm and to just swim as straight as possible – that way you won’t cut across anyone either;
- Stay focused: Use markers if you can to assess how you are feeling, your technique, breathing and speed. Ensure you stick to your race plan by swimming as closely as possible to the pace you know you can maintain;
- Re-fuel immediately: Drink plenty of fluid and eat something as soon as you can after crossing the finish line. You might not feel like eating but the sooner you do, the quicker your body will start to recover. Choose something easy to digest, such as a banana or sweets.