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Swim Camps and Marathon Swimming

Swimming Camps

‘LEARN TO SWIM’ CAMP WITH DAN ABEL

“Thanks for the course last weekend, it exceeded my expectations and I came away confident in my ability to practice the drills and progress my swimming.” – Mark 2021

Dates: Friday 20 – Sunday 22 May 2022

Location: RealSwim Centre, Kaiapoi

Dan has been swimming his entire life. For the last 10yrs he has dedicated his life to teaching adults the art of learn to swim. Dan thinks it is such an important life skill and regardless of what your current opinion is, it is something everyone can achieve.

Introducing this limited and intimate learn to swim clinic where you will learn all of the fundamentals of the art of freestyle. You will walk away with knowledge, confidence, and ability.

This camp is for adults who cannot swim, or can swim 25m max, and over the course of 2.5days Dan will coach five sessions. The course is limited to four people and will only go ahead if filled.

Click this link for full details: Learn to Swim Camp Details – May 2022

BOOK NOW.

For further info please email Penelope; events@fitandabel.com

 

BREATHING CAMP WITH MOSS BURMESTER

“A very nicely balanced camp” – Ange 2021

Dates: Friday 24 – Sunday 26 June 2022

Location: RealSwim Centre, Kaiapoi

Inspired by FitandAbel coaches’ experiences, our unique Breathing Camp is designed to build ability and confidence in the open water swimmer. Have you ever felt apprehensive or uncomfortable in the open water? Ever been concerned about taking a wave in the face or taking on water when trying to breathe? Ever been amazed at swimmers who can stay under water or hold their breath for ‘an eternity’? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then this camp is for you.

Over the course of three days our specialised team of FitandAbel staff and Moss Burmester will take you through the stroke mechanics of breathing, theory of breathing, yoga breathing exercises, breath hold theory and practical breathing activities.
We aim to expand your knowledge and abilities around the art of breathing, turning you into a much more confident swimmer. Our goal for you is that the next time you take a wave in the face while open water swimming you remain relaxed and calm as you apply skills learnt in this camp to help you deal with these situations.

“I loved how Dan discussed the links between each experience/information to open water swimming. It made all the experiences tie together and see the big picture, expand the mind and limits of thinking.” – Ellen 2021

Click this link for full details; Breathing Camp with Moss Burmester_June2022

BOOK NOW.

For further info please email Penelope: events@fitandabel.com

COLD WATER DISTANCE CAMP – sold out

Dates: Thursday 1 – Sunday 4 December 2022

Location: Lake Brunner, West Coast, South Island

This distance camp is designed for you to practice distance swimming skills; feeding, sighting, navigating, holding pace and building your endurance, all in a safe supervised environment in a beautiful location.

Click this link for full details: Cold Water Distance Camp Details – Dec 2022

Add yourself to the waitlist here.

For further info please email Chloe; swimcoach@fitandabel.com

CHRISTCHURCH TRAINING CAMP

Dates: 05 – 08 January 2023

Location: Christchurch, South Island

Christchurch provides a mecca of swimming locations available to all swimmers; fresh water, salt water and pool swimming.

This camp is a great way to kick off the New Year and incorporate all three of these critical swimming environments to work on your swimming skills, and experience what each has to offer.

If you are looking to understand more about your swimming and are tackling a triathlon, 2-5km open water swim, or are simply looking for a weekend of training to get your year started with a bang, then this is the camp for you!

There will be set course swims where you will be swimming around buoys to challenge and improve your navigation & sighting, an adventure point to point swim (weather dependant) and a coached pool swim where we can look at your technique and pace.

This camp really is a great option if you are keen for a solid weekend of training with a total of four open water swims, two pool swims and two dryland clinics across the four days.

To ensure you get the most out of the camp, we ask that you can already competently swim 1500m continuously in the pool.

All open water swims are tow float compulsory.

Click this link for full details: Christchurch Training Camp Info – Jan 2023

BOOK NOW.

For further info please email Chloe; swimcoach@fitandabel.com

LONG DISTANCE SWIM CAMP EXPERIENCE

“I had such a ball! Really did not think I would be able to do such distances and only did it because it was such a safe/supportive environment. It really has helped my confidence no end and feel so much better in the water to be able to push myself in speed and distance. Thank you!” – Erika 2022

Dates: 16 – 19 March 2023

Location: Lake Brunner, West Coast, South Island

This camp we have designed provides you the opportunity to have a fun and relaxed swim experience weekend. You will complete a Lake Brunner crossing (approx. 10km), plus enjoy an “adventure swim” and two set course swims. Your final set course swim of the weekend will start in the dark, before day break, providing you an amazing swimming experience as the sun rises.

There will be four swims across the four days plus a stretching clinic, and a dryland clinic or walk to suit to the group

Finish off your swim season on a high with this varied, fun and adventurous swimming weekend in this stunning dark lake.

“Fantastic weekend- really enjoyed the stretch session as well as the swimming and great company. Came away with a huge sense of achievement.” – Sandra 2022

Click this link for full details: Lake Brunner Long Distance Experience_2023

BOOK NOW.

For further info please email Chloe; swimcoach@fitandabel.com

Marathon Swimming

Training

Get yourself a coach or at least get some guidance. Your training should be progressive. In simple terms don’t try and swim your swim in training immediately. Build in manageable distances and progressions. Most athletes begin in the pool building up both endurance and speed. Develop an understanding of what pace ‘feels’ like compared to the clock. Build consistent repeats in 100’s , 200’s, 300’s , 400’s and onward. Broken swimming is much better to start. Don’t forget to work on your kick as well!

The longer you swim continuously the slower you swim

If you aren’t comfortable in the open water then you need to allow plenty of time to adapt. Spend time in the temperatures and conditions you expect to encounter during your swim. You do not need to do all of your swim training in open water. In fact the pool plays an important role throughout your training.

A balance between pool training and open water training is essential

Be patient with your training. Some technique development to start is always helpful. Many injuries occur from doing too much too soon.

Test yourself … around 8- 4 weeks out from your swim it is appropriate to test yourself with conditions and procedures replicating as close as possible to your actual swim … freshwater should be in freshwater, ocean swimmers should conduct their trial swim in the ocean. Set a target… a distance of around 2/3 to 3/4  of your intended marathon swim distance. If you’re planning a 26km swim you should be achieving an 18km swim, if you’re planning a 40km swim aim for 26-30km training distance. Don’t just swim for a set time, include a distance as a target… it’s no use swimming 6 hours but only achieving 12km!   Try and include relevant water temperatures, feeding criteria, swim clothing that you will use on the actual event. It’s also a good opportunity to train your support crew so they understand how you may react under duress. Take notes during this training swim for learning. If you have a good progressive training plan the ideal would be to conduct at least two of these swims. One swim can be completed about 6-3 months out from your swim slot – learn from it. The next test swim should be 8-4 weeks from your swim slot.

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Nutrition

Part of your swim training is practicing your nutrition. Learn from other swimmers but also learn what works for you. Understand that there will be a balance between what science and the experts say and what your body tells you. Feeding plans and nutrition vary between swimmers.

Continuous energy intake and good hydration are two key factors that will allow you to keep moving and to stay warm.

We use the mantra ‘a little often’ with regards to feeding. Liquids are easier to consume when swimming but solids can provide an added boost. It’s essential not to spend too long at feed stops. Consideration to ‘how’ you will consume is just as important to what you consume.

Favourites with us includes Pure Sports Nutrition, bananas, electrolyte drinks, small treats and canned peaches.

Be aware that many swims are aborted because a swimmer becomes sick. Sometimes it is sea seasickness. Often it’s an upset stomach. For many swimmers our stomach will only accept so much carbohydrates while exercising in a horizontal position before saying ‘enough is enough’ … use your training to find your happy medium.

Execution and Guidelines

A marathon swim follows some traditional guide lines . You may of course do whatever you like for your swim but for it to be accepted by the wider community you should follow some general guidelines.

  • Document your swim especially
  • Video and photographs of the start, finish and feeding times
  • An electronic record of the swim progress showing the plot/ distance time/ positioning
  • Independent observer notes of start, finish time, feed times, wind, weather and water temperatures throughout
  • A swimmer has no contact with support vessel or other people throughout the swim
  • A swimmer wears swim cap, swim suit (not wetsuit), googles and ear plugs (optional) only
  • A swimmer swims solo ( a swimmer can join for pacing for not more than an hour)

These are just the basic guidelines for a marathon swim. You can deviate from this and there are many more considerations. If you plan to wear a wetsuit, touch the boat etc that’s fine but you should declare this beforehand to avoid confusion. Your swim will be known as an assisted swim. This is no way takes away from your achievement it simply confirms for the record how you executed your swim.

We adher to Marathon Swim Federation Guidelines

http://marathonswimmers.org/rules/

Safety

Safety should be your paramount concern when training and executing your event.

If in doubt don’t go out

  • Never swim alone
  • Wear a RealSwim bag or similar for visibility in the water
  • Always wear a bright swim cap (Yellow, pink, orange or red)
  • Ideally carry a communication device with you if you need to call for assistance . This could be a waterproof VHF hand held in a RealSwim Bag or a beacon
  • Leave your swim intentions with someone shore based who can follow up if you don’t return
  • Swim in local swim advisory lanes/ areas. If unsure find out before you head out.

Always always think about ‘how will I exit this swim in a hurry if I need to? Where are the exit points along the swim?

For your bigger swims… have an escort, think about the ‘what if’s … can your escort safely and easily remove you from the water? Can your escort provide essential first aid?

Your biggest hazards are typically the weather, other water users and swimming beyond your ability on a given day. All a perfectly manageable with planning.

These guidelines are to help get you started. We highly recommend you seek help and guidance before undertaking any marathon swim challenge. Contact us if you have further questions info@fitandabel.com

Get yourself a coach to help you achieve your swimming goals.