Completing the 11km Island Charity Swim requires planning and preparation.

Whether you’re the first across the line, last or somewhere in the middle, it’s a significant accomplishment. This training guide is designed to provide you with the confidence to achieve that goal. We provide weekly tips to encourage, sharpen your technique and better prepare you for Saturday May 12th. 

Together with the guide and the tips swimmers will be ready, and confident, about swimming 11km in open water, no matter what the conditions are on event day.

To achieve this goal we recommend swimmers need to be swimming at least four times per week, as per our guide. This would consist of three pool sessions and a long open water session. Every week you will receive a training session and swimming tip; which will be added to this program.

These tips are not only great for the Island Charity Swim, but can be utilised for any race distance from a 400m sprint distance to the 3.8km Ironman distance. Your pool sessions should be minimum of 1hr in duration building up to 2hr sessions at least a month before the Island Charity Swim.

We've also recommend incorporating cross-training to your program, as it's a very important component to any training regime.  Pilates or yoga has a good cross-over effect, as swimming is all about mobility.  Improving your range of motion will help your technique.

Stroke Correction Tip – Week 1:

Body position and hip rotation – When you are swimming, you have to constantly think about your body position. Are you streamlined with little resistance and frontal drag? Do you feel high in the water? Is your head down so that your hips can be elevated. Rotate from the hips so you can generate more propulsion and power. Download the program for extra drills...

Stroke Correction Tip – Week 3

How to AVOID LEG CRAMPS - Most of us have experienced leg cramps when swimming - the debilitating stabbing pain in the calf or foot that renders us almost useless. They're pretty common, which doesn't make them any less painful.

It's also the last thing you want during the Island Charity Swim.

The key to prevention is to know the signs and what measures to take to avoid them. Here are some tips on how to prep yourself physically for ocean swimming and what to do when you feel a cramp coming on.

-Add stretching to your training program. Swimmers and particularly triathletes must work on ankle flexibility- so you can point your toes on the downward kick. Some swimmers kick with their feet at 90 degrees to their shin, which causes spasms, drag and resistance.

-Potassium either in the form of supplements or nutrition such as
bananas are a great idea for swimmers who may suffer from leg cramps.

-Drink plenty of fluids at least 48 hrs before the swim to avoid dehydration (even if the temperature is cooler).

-If a cramp occurs during your swim around the Island, hold on to the paddler’s ski and slowly rotate your foot at the ankle or pull your toes upwards towards the knee.

-Most importantly do NOT panic. Take some fluids / electrolyte.

It's week three of the 10-week training guide - with some solid sessions and a little extra distance. Time is ticking! Check out the guide on the website.

Stroke Correction Tip – Week 2

Reducing frontal drag when swimming - At a recent Freestyle Clinic Jason Crowther and I held for triathletes and open water swimmers we mentioned the importance of reducing frontal drag when swimming. Water is up to 800 times more dense than air, so if you’re constantly making a mistake with hand entry, catch, head position and body rotation this adds up over the many kms that you will be swimming.

More tips next week - in the meantime make sure you download the Island Charity Swim - 2017 Edition's training guide - cheers Duane.

The Island Charity Swim Training Guide has been written by Atlas Multisports founder and managing director Jason Crowther in conjunction with Makin' Waves Mobile Swim School founder and managing director Duane Cannell.

Makin' Waves Mobile Swim School is a small professionally run provider of mobile swimming, running and motor –skills development lessons. Founder and owner, Duane Cannell is a PE Teacher and an accredited swimming instructor with more than 20 years' experience teaching adults and children how to swim since 1989.

Duane is a former national swimmer and finalist in the Commonwealth Games Trials and Pan Pacific Trials who has competed at the World Triathlon Championships and in numerous open water swimming events, regularly winning his age group and finishing on the podium in the elite category for distances between 1km-5km.

Atlas Multisports is the Sunshine Coast's largest privately owned events management company as well as a triathlon and multisport coaching squad. Former professional triathlete and level 1 triathlon coach Jason Crowther has successfully completed the Island Charity Swim twice and oversees squad and one-on-one training programs for more than 60 national and international athletes, each month.