The complete guide to training for an ocean swim event

Just entered an ocean swim or thinking of training for an ocean swim event?

We’ve compiled a list of hot tips to ensure you’re prepared for your event for maximum enjoyment.

Tips for training for an ocean swim event

Before you start

  • Talk to and get advice from others that have completed a similar event
  • Get your swim stroke technique assessed and iron out any bad technique early before it inhibits your progress
  • Enter your event early and tell all your family and friends for greater motivation to reach your goal
  • Give yourself plenty of time to train for the event, especially if you’re new to the sport or are taking a step up


  • Learn how to train like an athlete in the sport you’re entering, follow a structured training plan for maximum benefit
  • Learn how to eat nutritiously for maximum energy and recovery, plan your meals and keep hydrated
  • Ensure you spend some time training in the ocean environment that replicates where your event will be held
  • Train at least a couple of times in poor conditions so you’re prepared for the chance of similar conditions on the event day

The night before the event

  • 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

Event day

  • Consume a light snack high in GI carbohydrates and a small amount of protein 2-3 hours before the event.
  • Get to the event and register early, take public transport to avoid stressful driving and parking conditions.
  • Take the time to view as much of the course as possible focusing on current conditions and the start, finish and any transition locations.
  • Take your mind off the start by talking to other participants and doing a short warm-up and stretch
  • Keep hydrated, apply sunscreen and stay in the shade until you’re called to the start line.

During the event

Choose your position on the start line depending on how you want to compete; the front is competitive, the back to take it easy

  • 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!


  • Make the most of the finish and bask in the glory of completing your goal event.
  • If you’re feeling tight, 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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