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Training advice

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Date: Saturday 2nd September 2017

 Mornswimcolin 12-3-14set -8

Many people have now experienced open water swimming events – such a one mile, two mile or 5km swim. For those of you reading this who have only ever swam in an indoor pool then swimming in colder water, without a wall to turn off every 25 metres or having a line on the bottom of the pool to follow, is a very different experience and not one you will want to leave until the event day.  You need to start thinking of yourself as an ‘open water swimmer’; it is a wonderful sport with a rich history and tradition. We recommend seeking advice from swimmers in your local area. Look into joining one of the many open water online groups, find out safe open water swimming spots close to where you live and, most importantly, enjoy swimming in the outdoors.

Start training as soon as you can, don’t leave it too late.

Top training tips:

1. Preparing for a long distance swim can be a combination of pool work and open water swimming.

2. To build up to a five mile swim you should be swimming at least three times a week in a pool and ideally twice a week in the open water.

3. Set aside one session in pool and one session in open water as your ‘long swim session’; this is where you build up your continuous distance swims.  For example,  early in the season start as soon as you are ready, perhaps with just 20 minutes and build up until you are swimming 3 – 4+ hours continuously one month before the swim. Drop the distance in the weeks leading up to the swim.

4. Pool work: if possible join a swimming club (these are called Masters Clubs for adults) or triathlon club for one or two sessions a week.  Ideally you will have a coach on the pool side who will give out structured sessions and this will help with your fitness and motivation when training.

5. Keep checking back on the Chillswim website and Facebook page as we will post swimming tips and swimming sessions in the build-up to Chillswim Coniston.



  • Tow-float – these are mandatory for all participants in the arena Chillswim Coniston event and are available to buy on the entry system for a bargain 50% OFF THE RRP. Tow-floats attach via a leash and waistband and do not cause drag or get in the way whilst swimming. Their use enables the safety boat support team and other boat users to see swimmers more easily open water. The Lake District National Park recommends that you wear one of these when training in open water. Read the H2Open Magazine review of the Swim Secure Tow-Floats here.

Tow -float

  • Hat – you will be provided with a silicone swim hat during the event, you can wear a swim hat under your event hat if required (traditional rules for non-wetsuit swimmers state that only one hat should be worn).
  • Goggles  - this is a very personal choice. On bright sunny days (fingers crossed), some people prefer to wear mirrored goggles and dark days clear goggles.  Whatever you wear make sure you are used to them and they are in good condition before the swim!