The British Gas Great Swim is back with a splash this Saturday. The first of five national events takes place in London, kick-starting a summer of outdoor swimming.
There are still plenty of opportunities for you to get involved and we’ve got all the details.
How to get involved
After a swimmingly good 2011 in which 20,000 participants took part, the Great Swim isn’t treading water this year – the event is now taking part in five different locations.
There are still places available for the Great East Swim, Great Manchester Swim and Great Scottish Swim. You can also take part in the Great North Swim by swimming for a charity. Find out more information on the Great Swim website.
Where and when?
Great London Swim – London – Saturday 26th May
Great East Swim – Suffolk – Saturday 16th June
Great North Swim – Windermere – Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th June
Great Manchester Swim- Salford Quays – Sunday 1st July
Great Scottish Swim – Strathclyde – Saturday 25th August
These outdoor swims are mixed ability events. You can choose whether to cover half, one or two miles. There are also elite swimming events with appearances from professional athletes and Olympic hopefuls.
Raise money for your favourite charity
Top swimming tips
Here are some top tips for channelling your inner Michael Phelps. Get in lane, take a deep breath and dive right in.
Having the right kit is important for swimming outside. Here are the three essentials.
- Get a well-fitting
- Invest in some swimming goggles. They’re really useful for outside swimming. If possible, wear some anti-fog ones.
- Wear a brightly coloured swimming hat. It’ll help ensure you don’t get hit by unobservant swimmers.
Before you take the plunge and swim outdoors, there are a few safety things to consider.
- Find a good and safe place to swim. Your local swimming club or leisure centre may have a few good suggestions.
- Get yourself a swimming buddy. It’s safer to swim with someone, and they’ll keep you motivated. Make sure you always let people know where and when you’re swimming.
When it comes to swimming, carbs are your friends. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for muscles.
- Try eating wholegrain breads, pasta, cereals, bagels, fruit and veg. They will give you that extra bit of energy for training and competitions.
- A carb-rich snack can boost your energy. But be careful because eating too soon before the event can cause upset stomachs and lead to cramp.