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184 Main Collins Street | West victoria 8007

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Swim Camps and Marathon Swimming

Swimming Camps


Dates: Thursday 30 Nov – Sunday 3 December 2023

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: Lake Brunner Distance Swim Camp_2023


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

This camp is kindly supported by Hotel Lake Brunner, our preferred accommodation provider in Moana, Lake Brunner. If you choose to book with them for this swim camp, you will receive a 10% discount on your booking. Please ask us for the code. We also choose Hotel Lake Brunner for our group evening meals.



Dates: 04 – 07 January 2024

Location: Christchurch, South Island

This camp is a great way to kick off the New Year and and get your swimming mojo on for the year ahead! You will swim in a variety of locations around Christchurch across the four days, including outdoor pools and fresh water lakes.

If you are looking to understand more about your swimming, work on fitness, build confidence, or maybe are tackling a triathlon or 2-5km open water swim, or are simply looking for a weekend of focused training and coaching 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, coached pool swims where we can look at your technique and pace, a dryland session for swim theory and a stretching session.

This camp really is a great option if you are keen for a focused weekend of supported and challenging swim sessions to develop your swimming, and share experiences with other open water swimmers.

To ensure you get the most out of the camp, we ask that you can already competently swim 1500m continuously in the pool. Please contact us if you have any questions about this.

Click this link for full details: Christchurch Training Camp_Schedule_Jan2024

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


“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


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

This camp is kindly supported by Hotel Lake Brunner, our preferred accommodation provider in Moana, Lake Brunner. If you choose to book with them for this swim camp, you will receive a 10% discount on your booking. Please ask us for the code. We also choose Hotel Lake Brunner for our group evening meals.



“Your swim holiday was absolutely perfect because it was masterfully planned and executed, with the utmost grace and care. I felt safe and seen by you.” – Justine 2022

Dates: 23 – 26 March 2023

Location: Lake Brunner and Hokitika, West Coast, South Island

The West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island provides the ultimate RealSwim Adventure playground!

This RealSwim Adventure trip is one out of the box as we take you cruising and swimming on Lake Brunner onboard a private boat for a full day. Absolutely magic! You will also get to experience swimming the Arnold River and in Lake Kaneire across the weekend.
We will spend Thursday and Friday nights in Moana/Lake Brunner, and Saturday night in Hokitika, so please book your accommodation accordingly.

For an end of summer adventure complete with relaxed ‘real swimming’, stunning scenery, great company, delicious food and plenty of banter, this will be hard to beat!

You will get to enjoy five swims across the four days, and one pool swim.

Join us to finish your swim season on a high with this varied and adventurous swimming weekend in the stunning dark lakes of the West Coast.

Click this link for full details: West Coast RealSwim Adventure_March2023


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

This camp is kindly supported by Hotel Lake Brunner, our preferred accommodation provider in Moana, Lake Brunner. If you choose to book with them for this swim camp, you will receive a 10% discount on your booking. Please ask us for the code. We also choose Hotel Lake Brunner for our group evening meals.



Dates: 28 – 30 July 2023

Location: Abelfields/RealSwim Centre, Kaiapoi

This course is designed to explore and breakdown the finer details of swimming in a small, intimate group setting. We will work with you to personalize the course directly to your needs and help you excel in your swimming.

Swim analytics will drill into the most efficient freestyle stroke for you based primarily on your physiology and taking into account previous injuries, mobility, and also help you identify limitations. This is the platform from which we will take that next step in increasing your performance.

During this course we will cover:

  • In-depth Video Analysis
  • A theory breakdown of the freestyle stroke
  • Mobility & active testing – discovering your baseline
  • Swim specific stretches & exercises
  • 3x swim technique sessions based directly on the learnings from your swimming videos

We’ll answer some of the most common questions:
– What are some easy wins I can make for my swim stroke?
– How do I become a more efficient swimmer?
– What can I do to support my swim training?

Join us to discover the answers to these questions, and more.

Click this link for full details; Swim Analytics_July2023

If you have any questions about this camp, please email Chloe direct: swimcoach@fitandabel.com



“A very nicely balanced camp” – Ange 2021

Dates: TBC

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

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



Dates: TBC 2023

Location: Abelfields/RealSwim Centre, Kaiapoi

If your interests include; swimming, boxing for fitness, fun team activities, good nutrition and meeting new people in a small group setting, then read on.

Abelfields is a 4.5acre property in Kaiapoi, just 20mins north of Christchurch.  This private, rural setting complete with indoor heated 12m pool (The RealSwim Centre), gym, function room and golf hole is perfect for weekend experience retreats and training camps.

Inspired by Dan and Penelope (FitandAbel) who are passionate about health and wellness, and love challenging body and mind, this camp is for those who share the same values and are looking for a unique weekend experience that focuses on bettering yourself as a whole.

Over the course of three days our specialised team of Dan, Penelope, Mike and Jojo, will guide you through training sessions, physical challenges and health and wellness sessions, providing you a holistic weekend experience. You will want to have a good base level of fitness for this camp.

We aim to challenge you, educate you and inspire you through physical activity, presentation, connection with others, sharing of food and great banter.

Mike and Jojo Legg, owners of Boxing Alley Auckland, have been training, supporting and inspiring everyday people to be fitter, healthier versions of themselves for the last 16yrs. With a wealth of experience in personal training and health and wellness, this powerhouse couple bring knowledge, experience and a whole lotta fun!

Full schedule and details coming soon.

For enquiries and more information email Penelope; events@fitandabel.com

Marathon Swimming


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.



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



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.