When Race day arrives it always pays to be Prepared.

A simple article on Race Day preperation from Level II Swim Coach and local swimmer Shane O’Doherty
Race Day Tips by Shane O’Doherty,
“A lot of race preparation is common sense but nerves can get the better of us all, so I find having a simple plan gives me less to worry as a competitor and allows me to focus on the task at hand”
  • Check your equipment, then check it again. Write a list of the essentials, this will help ensure you have everything you need and mean you won’t be worried you’ve forgotten something. Togs, wetsuit, goggles, anti chaffe, ear plugs, warm towel, change of clothes, flip flops, anti-fog, swim hats are some of the things to consider.
  • A spare pair of goggles are a good idea, I’ve seen plenty of goggle straps break on race day so don’t be caught out.
  • Apply anti-fog to your goggles the night before the race and make sure the lenses are clean. Don’t clean with your fingers as the natural oils on your hands as well as any foreign matter may damage the lenses.
  • Swim with new goggles before the race, this is to make sure the fit is good and the straps are properly adjusted.
  • Make sure you have something substantial to eat on the day of the race, everyone’s different but the last thing you want is last minute hunger pains just before you start. You’re gaurenteed to have a bad race!
  • Get in for a quick warm up if organisers allow for it. Acclimitisation is very important so you’re able to quickly get into your rhythm. You can also check the buoy visibility and other landmarks from the water.
  • Stay warm until the race is almost ready to go.
  • If you’re a slower or less experienced swimmer, stay to the back of the swimmers before the race gets underway, it can be rough towards the front.
  • Make sure you understand the route of the swim and look for landmarks you can use as a guide during the warm up. This means if conditions are rough, you don’t need to entirely rely on the buoys.
  • Pull your wetsuit legs up high on your calves and make sure the bottom of the suit goes right up as far as possible at the groin. Pull the arms up past the wrists and make sure there is good movement at the shoulders and under the arms.
  • Apply anti chaffe generously to the neck at the front, back and sides.
  • If you normally wear two swim hats, don’t forget to put one under the race organisers hat.
  • Use ear plugs, it’s not good for our ears to have cold water splashing around inside them.
  • Get dried off and changed as quickly as you can after the race, you could get cold or sunburnt quite quickly or both.
  • Start off controlled in your pace during the race, increase the intensity if you feel that you can as the race develops.
  • Enjoy the event most importantly, and remember this is why you trained so hard all summer.

Best of luck with your summer  of swimming

Shane O’Doherty.