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5 Ways to Swim a Marathon

What’s your swim strategy? Marathon Swims has been challenging participants to swim a marathon since 2017 and in that time, we have seen many different approaches to taking on the iconic marathon distance. So, here’s 5 very different ways to swim a marathon:

1. Non-Stop –

Some of our fastest marathon swimmers have a very simple strategy – swim fast and transition faster! You’ll see them on race day running through the blue-carpet transition, maybe taking a quick drink, but time is everything when you’re chasing down the leader or a Marathon Swims record. However, going all out for the whole of the 10k is not the only way to take on a marathon swim…

2. The Competer v the Completer –

Many of our amazing Marathon 10k participants have a more relaxed strategy – The Completer. For them it is not about how fast, but all about finishing. One participant in 2019 planned in hot showers and dried off after each 1km. Taking time to recover and get ready for the next 1km. It may take longer but it does give you time to take in the amazing Olympic venue and enjoy your journey…

3. The Slow Starter

Start slow. As you exit the pool after each 1km your name, time of last lap and number of laps completed will flash up on the screen. Make a point of trying to get slightly quicker on each 1km lap. You’ll find your mind is focussed on beating you last lap, rather than on the overall distance to go. Before you know it, you’ll be on your final 1km lap.

4. Medley Method –

Even for our winners, swimming the Marathon 10k will take over 2 hours, and the average is around 3 hours 45 minutes. So, it may help to vary your stroke. Alternate between front crawl and breaststroke, either after each 1km or even every length. Unfortunately, you can’t complete the full medley as backstroke and fly are not permitted in the event.

5. Team Up –

Swimming is a team sport too. Team up with a friend and take on the Marathon 10k distance as a team of two. You can split up the distance in any way you wish. You can swim alternate 1k’s, do all 5 in one go or split the distance up unequally, with the better swimmer taking on more 1k’s. Whichever way you decide, you’ll have valuable rest time in transition while your teammate is in the water.

Whatever your strategy – an amazing experience awaits you at the London Aquatics Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 7 and 8 November 2020. The Half Marathon 5k and 1k Challenge are also available.

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