The Margaret River Ocean Swim is just a few sleeps away as I write this, and I still recall my very first ocean swim event in 1998 with so many amazing memories since then. Perhaps you are preparing for your first ocean event, are a seasoned eventer or fall somewhere in between. I hope these Do’s do help you have a fun swim!
Do drink lots of water the day before to ensure you are well hydrated, (check your wee colour if you aren’t sure). Dehydration can underpin all your training efforts.
Do have a good sleep but worry not if you don’t. Studies have proven lack of sleep 24 hours before an event has no impact on performance however, mood does. Be kind to yourself if you don’t sleep. You’ll be right!
Do eat a normal breakfast. Race day is not the time to try new foods that your mate has tried before and swears by but you haven’t. Simple carbohydrates work just fine, if thats what you are used to. If you want to try something different have it before a training session first and see how it makes you feel before you test it for an event.
Do arrive in plenty of time to park, register, get ready. Yes an extra 15 minutes sleep is tempting but you will be thankful you had the time to relax at the start, instead of still trying to find a parking space and arriving in a flap. Tip for parking in Gnarabup: Avoid the main car park at the white elephant. Instead go up the hill, turn left at the roundabout – and park on the oval. If you live locally share a lift, ride or walk.
Do have a warm up if you want one. You will see people swimming around before the event starts. Thats Ok. you can try it too. It can make you feel more relaxed if you’ve already had a warm up. Don’t worry if thats not your thing – anything goes.
Do find the right place for you on the start line. If you are going for it, get on the front line and go go go. If you are out for an enjoyable swim, giving the speedsters a few seconds at the start and then going at your pace might actually save you time, as it can make your swim more enjoyable away from the mayhem of race start.
Do remember to exhale. We take a breathe in and then go and sometimes the breathe out doesn’t come and before long it can be hard to breathe. As you dive in, as you get started exhale and then smile. You are after all swimming and lets face it…..that’s a great thing to be doing any day of the week!