How to swim your best at the Cole Classic

Swimmers showing off their medals at the Cole Classic

The Cole Classic is Sydney’s favourite ocean swim and the first ocean swim for many new ocean swimmers due to its timing – allowing just enough time to get into shape after the festive season.

If you’ve been holding off participating in your first ocean swim then there is no better opportunity than the Cole Classic.

The course is beginner-friendly (with a wave-less start) and the sights under the water can add a level of excitement you’ll be hard-pressed to find at any other ocean swim in Australia.

You’ll be surprised by how much farther you can swim than your mind believes it can. There are some unique differences swimming in the ocean than in the pool, so if you’re making the transition ensure you increase your ocean awareness, learn some basic ocean water swimming techniques and test your fitness in the dynamic ocean environment.

To help you ease your anxiety, boost your confidence and swim your best on the day we’ve put together these pre, during & post-Cole Classic swim tips.

The night before

  • Eat foods you would usually eat and avoid high fibre meals
  • Check over all your equipment and pack your bags with your official race pack, gear and equipment (including spares) and snacks
  • Read through the event schedule, confirm start times and know the public transport timetable or parking options
  • Get to bed early and read to take your mind off the event and help reduce anxiety

On the day

  • Consume a light snack high in GI carbohydrates and a small amount of protein 2-3 hours before the event (nothing too far from what you’d normally eat!)
  • Get to the event and register early or check-in, take public transport to avoid stressful driving and parking conditions
  • Take the time to view as much of the course as possible focusing on conditions at the start, out in the open water and at the finish
  • Take your mind off the start by talking to other participants and doing a short warm-up swim and stretch
  • Keep hydrated, apply sunscreen and stay in the shade until you’re called to the start line.

The swim

  • Choose your position on the start line depending on how you want to compete; the front is competitive, the back to take it easy (Watch these starting techniques)
  • Don’t go out too hard at the start, get yourself into a comfortable rhythm and save some energy for the finish
  • Your body can handle a lot more than your mind thinks it can, so keep going and surprise yourself!
  • Don’t forget to stop and have a look around when you’re out in the ocean, if you stick your head down the whole way you’ll miss the magic of the location!
  • If coming back through the waves scares you a little; pause behind the surf, take a deep breath to relax and then choose a lull to start your swim to the beach. Keep checking behind you as you swim so you’re aware of any oncoming waves
  • Continue swimming until your hands touch the sand, and check behind you for a sneaky wave as you stand up.

Post swim

  • Make the most of the finish and bask in the glory of completing your swim!
  • Cool down with some light exercise and then dress up warm until you get to shower and change
  • Rehydrate immediately and eat within one hour of finishing to repair muscles, refuel energy stores and support your immune system
  • Make sure you share stories with other participants, thank the organisers and check your result!
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