The swim around the historic Busselton jetty is satisfying, frustrating, tiring and enjoyable all at once. It is a great achievement for any swimmer and a brilliant gage of your current level of swim training, but use time taken as a guide not a description. Any open water swim is subject to so many external influences!
I am so thrilled to say there are 58 Swimming Women talking part in the event this year. I cannot wait to see you all pre and post swim. Don’t stress about the weather but do bring lots of warm clothes for before and after. I am taking a hot water bottle wrapped in my towel for when I finish.
A few pointers for those of you who are swimming this weekend:
Start off slower than you feel you can.
It is a long way to swim so please enjoy the energy and drafting effect of the mass start but don’t start off like the clappers and think it will make your finishing time faster. Your overall time will be slower if you go out too hard. Even 10 seconds per 100 in the first 200 metres can add 30 plus seconds per 100 over the last km!!!! Pace yourself.
Make like a crocodile
It’s hard enough to swim in a straight line in a swimming pool with your eyes closed for just 15m so with no lane lines for 3.8km it is really important that you sight regularly. Failure to do so will add distance and therefore time to your swim. You don’t need your mouth to see so ensure you lift your head just enough for your eyes to take a quick snap shot of what is ahead of you. Process that info whilst you take a few more strokes and then take another photo. By adding the details of each photo together you can build up a great picture of where you are without slowing yourself down too much!
If your mouth comes out of the water your legs will drop and it will slow you down.
Draft, Draft, Draft, Draft
You can save 30% of your energy by drafting. It is deceivable just how quick you can move nestled in nicely behind someone. The optimum place is on their hip but just behind the feet can be easier. Think of all the water moving from a group of people, just like going down the lazy river at Waterbom park – you keep moving even though you aren’t doing anything. Sadly getting around the jetty still requires some effort but don’t avoid the crowds because you think it will be easier to swim!! Embrace a mate and enjoy the ride.
Hydrate on Saturday not on the day
It’s too late to hydrate the morning of the race. You need to make sure you drink 2L of water over 3 hours on Saturday morning and then a normal amount throughout the day. This fluid intake really supports your bodies ability to perform. Morning of, I would have a tried and tested breakfast pre swimming. For me it’s a smoothie with milled oats for energy 2-3 hours prior to swimming. Please don’t have anything new pre swim. Its not worth it.
You have entered for fun… remember that, as any nerves creep up on you, if you get stung, if you get knocked about by an over enthusiastic participant with tickets on themselves.
Soak up the brilliant atmosphere, the chunner and chatter of other swimmers, the smiles of the volunteers and spectators who all think you are amazing for taking part. Keep swimming until your hand touches the sand and revel in the sensation of completing the Busselton Jetty Swim!!!