The UK is being battered by Storm Ali and lots of my clients still have triathlon races and swimming events. So here are a few tips to survive a rough swim.

Check the cut off time for the swim. Work out what your normal average pace per 100 is, and how this compares to the cut off – so you know how much of a buffer you have and easy you can afford to swim.

If you have plenty of time – then use it! Go slowly and save your energy for the rest of your race.

Swimming slowly is usually more efficient, so the more relaxed you are the better.

Check your ego in on the beach (the ego is the one at the back of your head which says you can win the race!). So check it in and start at the back so you don’t get swam over.

Check in your chimp! That’s the one that says you’re going to f#cking die!…..it’s just a swim you’ll be fine!

For a beach start where there is surf – you need to dolphin dive underneath the waves to get through the surf. Look here

Start off slowly!!! So you don’t get into oxygen debt and end up panicking or inhaling loads of water.

To start with it should feel EASY. If it feels too easy….then it’s probably about right.

Focus on the bubbles – Make sure you’re blowing out bubbles while your face is in the water. This makes sure that you’re not holding your breath, and helps to send happy thoughts to the brain.

Siting slows you down, so only site every 7-9 strokes.

Use a wide range of cues and your peripheral vision to help you to know where you’re going – e.g. the other swimmers, the boats, the shore, what you see when you turn to breathe etc.

Expect to only get a glimpse of where you’re going when you look up to site. You’re building up your movie – with a series of quick glimpses every time you look.

If you attempt to site and don’t see anything because of the waves – don’t panic. Do another 6 strokes and then try again.  If you’re majorly off course the kayakers will tell you.

When you site try and keep your head and eyes as low as possible, to minimize the impact on your balance with your legs dropping

Try and separate your breathing from your siting – if you breathe to the front much higher chance of swallowing lots of water.

Focus on the bubbles!

Work out which way the wind and waves are blowing and try and breathe away from them so you don’t get a wave in your face.

You might need to turn your head higher, so as to get a breath above the waves

You might need to make your arms a bit wider to give you more stability in the waves

Focus on the bubbles.

Try and keep moving forward – if you stop then the current and wind will make you go backwards.

However, it’s OK to stop tread water and get your breath back.

Your wetsuit will make you float – so if you do stop for a rest…make sure you rest!!! By relying on your wetsuit to support you.

It’s OK to do breast stroke.  Better to keep moving forward that than to stop!!!!

It’s OK to rest and hold on to a kayaker!!!!! As long as you don’t move forward

Don’t fight the waves – try and go with them.

If you know that you get sea sick, and it’s a super rough swim then you could consider taking some sea sickness tablets (but you need to have tried them before race day).

Focus on the bubbles.

Focus on the bubbles.

Focus on the bubbles.

And…..Have Fun!!!!