The Seven Ps of Marathon Swimming

Practice everything.

Do nothing new on the day.

These are the two corollaries of the long distance swimmer’s maxim about preparation. Experienced swimmers learn it early. Plan.

So for planning for something like a 24 hour pool swim, experienced swimmers like Lisa & Danny first think about what they will need, and will go back to previous experience to recall lessons learned. Then they talk to each other, and others experienced in the same area, to see if there’s something they forgot or of which they hadn’t taken account.

With four of us going to have a shot at the 24 mile in 24 hours, for the laugh, three of us having long swim experience, the first step was to mine that experience.

The first concern was feeding. This was a pool swim so the first thing we knew, was this shouldn’t be a Maxim-fest. It shouldn’t be fuelled by Maltodextrin because of the biological problems inherent in trying that in a pool, even with breaks built-in and with a much warmer temperature. This was better done as a primarily food-based swim attempt.

Second are the environmental problems caused by long-term immersion in chlorinated water. Both similar to, yet different from, a long sea swim. Skin protection was still important but also different. Theres’s no salt but there’s still chaffing. There were dry and painful facial skin problems.

Hydration was even more important given the higher temperature, and even though I was conscious of it, and drank a lot, afterwards I realised I still hadn’t drunk enough as I had quite a thirst in the last few hours. Timing between swims was also important and changeable as the swim progressed, and sufficient dryland equipment for comfort through the swim was necessary. And of course the obligatory painkillers, just in case.

So the seven Ps:

Proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance“.


One thought on “The Seven Ps of Marathon Swimming

  1. Pingback: Channel and Marathon Swimming Articles Index & adding a Donate to, the world’s most popular open water swimming blog option | LoneSwimmer

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.