With just a few weeks to go, now the key thing is not to panic. Your brain will be demanding to know if you feel you have done enough training. Your body is unlikely to be able to answer such an unknown since for most, a 10km swim will be a giant leap. Most will not have felt they have done enough training. Most will not have done enough but such is life. Family and work will have taken their toll and got in the way. The good thing is the excitement of the event, family, friends, supporting and cheering and perhaps swimming in the Olympic pool for the first time will all help a huge amount. The buzz surrounding the event will carry you the rest of the way when the training and energy in the tank start to dwindle hopefully late into your swim.
Now is the time to start checking out the event again, the format and rules. Are you are really happy with your goggles and perhaps investing a similar spare pair. Happy that your swim suit will not chafe? Thought about a lubricant to help? This is one of the best I have found. Spare swim hat? They do break and work loose. Happy about the side you breathe to <if single sided?> and the direction of the lanes? On the plus, if you only breathe to one side you will change sides with respect to the side of the building you face naturally with each shift in lane across the pool.
Have you thought about on the day nutrition for your marathon swim? do you need to plan breakfast earlier? Gels/energy bars during the event? Your hydration strategy? Where possible plan to be self-sufficient. There is a water fountain as you enter the shower area before coming onto pool deck so don’t panic if you forget your water bottle. Don’t eat or drink anything new on race day, have a trial run in the weeks leading up and see if those new super gels/beetroot juice/energy drink actually sit well and do not upset your stomach.
Walking out regardless of the Marathon Swims event taking place can leave you with shivers. It does to me most mornings when I walk out to coach and train. It is a vast auditorium and the pool deck surrounding the water is big. The thought that you are now treading on the ground of champions, swimming in the lanes shared by Phelps et al. It can be a bit overwhelming. Deep breath and focus on your event. Family and friends are supporting you, the many lengths completed in training are now needed. The good thing is everyone wants you to do well and succeed. The burden of not letting anyone down should not be overwhelming, we all want to do well but do not let it overburden. There is always next year if the day does not go well.
Checked travel routes? We all know how unprepared London Transport can be for your big day. Think through as many scenarios as you can so you have some options. Rest the last few days heading into the event. A little extra sleep would help. With a week to go a lot more training is not going to help you finish or finish quicker. It will leave you tired and uninspired for the big day.
Food and nutrition should be prepared and planned for. Know what you are having when.
Great streamlines off each wall. With 100 opportunities to push off the wall for 5m each time you could save yourself 200m of swimming!
Spare goggles? Get used to them with plenty of time.
Swim suit good?Bring a spare. Cream if you know your shoulders/armpits chaffed during the practice long distance sets.
Be considerate of all in the water as you pass people. Allow people to pass you easily.
Practice exiting and returning to the water in your training at frequent opportunities as this can leave you light headed if new to you. Start steady, 5-10km is a long way.
Count strokes at frequent intervals to amuse and engage the brain, aim for 1metre with each arm pull i.e. 50 strokes or less.
Run a technique diagnosticat the start of each 1km, think about small kick, fingertips pointing down and so palms pushing water towards the feet, head still unless turning to breathe, push and exit the hands past the hips.