If you’ve signed up for the DAAT One Mile Sea Swim, you might already be feeling a
bit out of your depth! Even if you’re an experienced swimmer, it’s important to bear in
mind that the sea is a very different beast to your local swimming pool. If you missed
last year's Guide to Sea Swim Training, then here are some more training tips for
Although you’re swimming, that doesn’t mean that you can’t warm up on dry land!
Warming up will improve your circulation, allowing you to get the most out of your
muscles as soon as you get in the water. Some dynamic stretching will also loosen
you up, and reduce the chance of injury. For a basic warm up, try some arm swings
and a light jog.
Prepare for the Cold
This might be pointing out the obvious, and we’ve mentioned it before, but it really is
going to be cold. Seriously, it’s going to feel freezing. In cold water, your body loses
up to four times more heat than you would at the same temperature in air, and this
heat loss becomes even greater when you start swimming.
If you want to mitigate the effects of the cold (which aren’t exactly great for your
swimming performance!), then you’ll need to acclimatise. As well as actually
swimming in the sea a few times a week (start off small and increase the time- yes,
we know it’s cold), you can try taking a cold bath and even adding some ice if you
Find Your Stroke
Generally speaking, front crawl is the fastest stroke- if you’re good with that, then
fantastic! Otherwise, go with what’s comfortable. A strong breast stroke will be better
than nearly drowning trying to do front crawl, just because that’s what everyone else
is doing! And if you want to try out the butterfly, it’s best to practice a bit first- or you
might end up flopping about like a fish on dry land rather than channelling your inner
Train for the Distance
A mile swim is a long way, and a mile swim in the sea will feel even longer. As well
as training for the distance in a pool (around 64 lengths of a 25 metre pool!), make
sure you get some practice in the sea- you should be going in to acclimatise to the
cold anyway. This will help you to get used to swimming against the waves, and
might even make you more comfortable with getting seaweed in your hair.
Get the Right Equipment
Getting the right equipment is essential- the last thing you want on the day of the
race is to be distracted by a badly fitting wetsuit!
Firstly, you’ll need a good wetsuit or drysuit to keep you as warm as possible.
(Guess what? It’s still going to be cold… have you got the message yet?) Secondly,
you should get a good pair of swimming goggles, and make sure they fit just right.
Too loose, and you risk losing them as soon as you jump in. Too tight, and you might
give yourself a headache… and there won’t be much chance to take an aspirin.
Ideally, goggles should form a good seal, and even stay on your face for a few
seconds without any straps. Otherwise, that salty water is really going to sting.
Hopefully you’re now feeling a bit more ready to take on the DAAT One Mile Sea
Swim… and if you haven’t already, now is the time to sign up!