Swimathon: 5 tips for success

Taking part in Swimathon 2018? Stay the course with these 5 tips from Olympic open-water swimmer Keri-anne Payne

Swimathon 2018

1. Check your kit.


This is especially important if you have any new kit, make sure you try it out well before the event itself, this will save any surprises on event day. Also always bring spares of everything just in case.

2. Breakfast is key!

It can be hard to eat in the morning of an event especially if you are a bit nervous but try to make sure you eat something, my go to breakfast before any challenge is porridge and if for whatever reason I am feeling particularly nervous that day and I really don’t want to eat, I stick a spoonful of Nutella in my porridge and its gone in a flash!

2. Embrace the nerves.

We all feel nervous on the big day of an event, I was always really nervous as a youngster and hated race days but as I got older I realised that nerves are a good thing and its your bodies way of getting ready for the event. So try to channel the nerves as excitement rather than dread and you will find the morning of an event much more pleasant.

3.Make a time line. 

The last thing you need to be worry about on event day is what time you need to be anywhere. I always write down a timeline a few days ahead of the event including the time I will get up, the time I will eat breakfast, the time I will get my swimming suit on, the time I will warm up. Make a note of this on your phone or write it on a piece of paper and just refer to it on event day.

4. Chill out at the start.

Just before any event everyone will be itching to go weather it’s the nerves playing their part or the anticipation of a big challenge. However a bad start can have drastic effects to the end of the challenge. The tendency is to go out too hard or too fast, often forgetting technique and pacing. Try to start the event off in a steady pace concentrating on your breathing to ensure that you are calm and relaxed. I would always aim to ‘backend’ my races where I would pick up the pace as I went through a swim.

5. When things start to get hard.

During your Swimathon event you might find that a certain part starts to feel really hard, this might be because you’ve reached the half way mark and you still have a long way to go or you may have started out a little too hard. In these moments try to focus on one part of your technique for a few 100m’s for example you may want to think about your head position in the water, is it a bit too high? Is this making my body sink in the water? Breaking down the technique and just focusing on one aspect will help to bring the technique back to its best and should help you get past that tricky stage.

Swimathon, which takes place April 27-29 2018, is a swimming challenge in aid of Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie. There are distances from 400m to 5k, and you can choose to take part in an organised Swimathon session or take part at a time and place which works for you with MySwimathon.


You can find out more about Keri-anne at her website www.keriannepayne.co.uk