Top 10 Tips From A Love SwimRun Winner And Coach
Head Coach Adam Gibson has won Love SwimRun as a solo, male team and mixed team and is a full-time endurance coach based in Milton Keynes. Here are Adam’s top 10 tips for SwimRun training and racing…
1. Find what kit combination is quickest for YOU! It can be totally different for each individual depending on your swim style and ability. Also don’t overcomplicate it. Yeah you might look ‘pro’ with every bit of SwimRun specific gear available attached to you – but it is really the fastest combo?!
2. Train with your partner, you’ll find what works best for you to work together and also find out how you both react in tough times! This is great prep to avoid falling out mid-race!
3. Practice your entries and exist until you have it seamless. While marshalling last year I saw getting into the water taking anywhere between 5 seconds and 5 minutes! You can save a lot of time here, especially in races that have up to 20 transitions!
4. Practice long off-road runs. With most SwimRun races involving technical running (and rock hopping!) running off road is essential to develop fluid technique and multidirectional strength!
5. Train for the conditions you plan to race in! If it is going to be a cold swim… practice in the cold! If you know the course is hilly make sure you are training on some hilly routes!
6. Don’t wear yourself out the day before the race! SwimRun races tend to be in amazing locations but try to avoid walking around for 4 hours checking out the views! The day before should be mostly spent off your feet, hydrating, planning your race strategy and maybe doing a light activation run.
7. Make sure you have your breathing under control on the swim entries (especially on cold races!). A very easy mistake to make in shorter races where you are pushing hard. It is worth slowing the pace slightly on the last bit of a run so that you get into the water with your breathing relaxed and controlled.
8. Keep energy levels topped up, you should aim for around 60 grams of carbs per hour. An ISO gel every 20 minutes is the simplest way to get this and ticks some hydration off too. If aid stations are far apart, you’ll need to make sure you are carrying enough to keep fuelling between them!
9. Stay hydrated, remember you are running in a wetsuit! You might not feel like it, but you’ll be sweating a lot during both the swims and the runs. If it’s a hot day its worth having a soft bottle with concentrated hydration drink in it to tuck inside your wetsuit. Using that plus drinking at aid stations should keep you good.
10. Remember to have fun! You are in a beautiful location, running and swimming through nature, and your finish time is probably irrelevant! Relax, take in the views and remember to smile for the photographers!
Written by Adam Gibson, Greenlight PT, 05/03/2019