Welcome to the last week of your training!
This is the most exciting week of the whole training program as you start to count down to your goal ocean swim event.
Even though we’re still keeping up the same level of intensity in our training this week, and we’ll continue to learn new things, we’re also starting to get into preparation mode.
If you can find the time this week, go back and re-watch the lessons and get some of those earlier topics back in the front of your mind.
This is the final week! You should be feeling really good now and ready to finish with two strong sessions both physically and mentally.
All you need to know about this week’s pool training can be found here.
Try not to train the day before your event. Ideally, you’ll want to have a couple of days to rest and prepare your mind for your event. If you usually train the day of the week which now falls on the day before your event, change it this week.
There are a lot of myths floating around about rip currents. Most start with the media misreporting and sensationalising them and then the myths start and are passed on from person to person – a bit like Chinese whispers.
The fact is it’s not the rip currents that are dangerous, they’re just a natural occurrence on all surf beaches, the danger comes in the person who isn’t educated about rips and doesn’t have the swimming ability necessary to keep themselves afloat and make smart survival decisions.
Finally, we’re putting everything together you’ve learnt about the ocean environment over the previous 4-weeks in a theoretical example. You can replicate this example yourself when you’re trying to remember everything you’ve learnt.
If you’re going to practice these techniques in the ocean, start with smaller waves until you get the technique and then only go in larger surf at patrolled beaches while accompanied by a friend.
How did you go swimming last week with your core switched on?
It can be quite tough to start with, all that extra mental thinking you have to do can get pushed to the side while you’re trying to get through the session itself!
But the benefits are well worth, in fact that’s the whole reason why you’re doing all this core strength training to start with.
This week, as well as swimming with your core switched on for even more of your session, I want you to have a go at pushing off the wall each time with a dolphin (or butterfly) kick. This is another great way to strengthen and tone your core. Start by doing it in the warm-up, and see how long you can extend it for throughout the session.
It’s time to take core training to the next level with your fourth and final core workout.
Strength & fitness
Apart from swimmers shoulder, the other common injuries that occur in swimmers are lower back pain, neck pain and cramping.
Lower back pain can be a result of lifting your head out of the water to sight, particularly if you don’t have a strong core. For all our sighting techniques you need to switch on your core to help stabilize and protect your lower back as it tries to keep your lower body on top of the water.
Neck pain occurs in swimmers due to the obvious continual rotation of the neck in order to breathe. It’s important to stretch before you swim and, if possible, breath bilaterally (it’s better for ocean swimming anyway!).
Cramping can be a nightmare for ocean swimmers: the thought of cramping up out in the water is not a nice one. There are a lot of myths floating around about cramping causes and treatment, but the thing to remember if you do experience cramp in the water is to relax, float and stretch. If you’re swimming with a friend (which we hope you are) ask them to assist you.
Make sure you stretch well before all your pool and ocean swimming sessions. Dynamic stretching will help limber up your lower back and is especially important if you swim early in the morning or if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day when you’re more likely to be stiff.
This week’s lesson on event nutrition is the most important nutrition lesson you’ll learn that has a direct impact on your event day swim.
The types of meals you eat in this final week and how you fuel yourself the night before and the morning of your swim will determine your level of energy and comfort.
Nutrition is also important for post-swim recovery where you should be rehydrating immediately and eating within one hour of finishing to repair muscles, refuel energy stores and support your immune system.
Prepare and pack your event day snacks the night before so they’re ready to go. Don’t try any new foods or be tempted by free ‘high-performance’ giveaways before your swim – save them for after as a treat.
Health & wellbeing
It’s normal to be feeling a little (or a lot) anxious about your impending event this week – especially if it’s your first one ever, or it’s at a different location that may or may not be more challenging.
There’s nothing you can do to eliminate that anxiety you have, the best way to tackle it is by embracing it! Turn it on its head and use it to make this week enjoyable.
In this week’s lesson, Lia will help you prepare for a positive event day experience. There are also some great do’s and don’ts for you.
Why not have a pre-event dinner party during the week with your family and friends where the topic of conversation is on this amazing journey you have been on and how great it’s going to be to achieve your goal. You’ll be amazed by how much positive energy you can get from your personal fans!