10 top tips to help you prepare for the Aspire Channel Swim
1. Set achievable goals
It’s easy enough to say that you’ll be able to complete the challenge in a certain amount of time, however when the event actually rolls around it’s important to set achievable goals for each time you visit the pool. It doesn’t matter how small or large these goals are, what matters is that when you leave the pool that day you feel accomplished and ready for your next visit.
2. Make sure your family, friends and colleagues know what you’re doing
During this fundraising period, candidates will need as much support as they can get. Think about the number of times you’ve donated to causes at work, now it’s your time to promote what you’re doing to help others. Plus, you never know who else may be taking part in the channel swim, and you could find yourself with a new swimming buddy!
3. Buy a tally counter
Sometimes when taking part in the Channel Swim, participants have found that they are so absorbed in the activity that they have actually lost count of the number of length and miles they are on. For this reason, Cheryl Goode suggests buying a tally counter. All you have to do is tap your finger on the tally counter when you’ve done a length and this little piece of technology will do all the counting for you. What’s better? Ebay sell them for less than £10 (but make sure it’s waterproof!)
4. Time your trips to the pool
Weekends are the busiest time for a leisure centre, so it’s best to either get down to your local pool early in the morning or later in the evening. Past participants have found that not only is a busy pool inconvenient, it’s also very stressful and exhausting as you spend more time weaving in and out of other swimmers, and sometimes 1 mile can feel like you’ve swam 40!
5. Waterproof MP3 players
If the thought of swimming a number of lengths sounds boring to you, why not look into purchasing a waterproof MP3 player? Swimmers have found that listening to music is extremely therapeutic whilst under water, and actually helps to swim faster meaning you complete more than lengths than you may have thought!
6. Set a realistic fundraising amount
Fundraisers can sometimes get a little disheartened when they set themselves an extremely high target. Aspire Channel Swimmer, Tom Clark, suggests a starting point which can be changed once you achieve it. Tom originally aimed to raise £500 – he’s now at £2200 aiming for at last £3000. Well done Tom!
7. Create a swim timetable and stick to it
Being organised throughout your channel swim is really important if you want to stick to your goals. Aspire suggests creating a swim timetable which tells you when you will be heading to your local pool and how many lengths you plan on doing – you can then tick this off as you go along. Rewarding and productive!
8. Wear appropriate kit
Although it may seem like an obvious one, you may be surprised by the number of people that wear unsuitable swimming costumes and kit during the channel swim. As you are in the water for a long time, you need to make sure that your swimwear is comfortable and good quality, so why not treat yourself to some Zoggs' swimwear. All Aspire Channel Swimmers can benefit from a 20% discount off Zoggs' swimwear from our Zoggs shop, at aspirechannelswim.co.uk/zoggs-shop. We always recommend wearing a swimming cap during your swim too, which is why we included them in your welcome packs too!
9. What are you eating?
Like with any exercise, it’s really beneficial to the swimmer to monitor their diet throughout the event. We’re not suggesting you change your diet completely, but would recommend that you consume high energy foods prior to entering the pool and to allow 1-2 hours from eating until you begin your swim.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask people to sponsor you
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask people to sponsor you. A lot of people are more generous than you may think, so you may be surprised!
Good luck to all those partaking in the Aspire Channel Swim 2016.