Questions & answers on Training

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Q. What training do I need to do?

A. The way you train is really an independent thing between you and your coach (if you have one).

There is a training page on that outlines the subject.

Freda Streeter is the CS&PF committee member and Training Adviser. You can reach her on Freda is the mother of Alison Streeter MBE who is our Channel Champion having completed 43 crossing. She is around on the beach at the training camps in Dover harbour most weekends from 1st May onwards and will help you over the Internet.

I have advocated TBC training for my swimmers over the last 25 years as It seems to solve most of the problems I noticed with swimmers who were following the traditional patterns. TBC stands for TOTAL BODY CONFUSION and the idea is not to let your body or mind slip into a set pattern.
Vary your training between sprints, long swims (for different time periods), repetitive weight lifting/ muscle work-out and what ever else you can think of that will help.
Do not do the same exercises every training session then the body will not get use to a pattern and rebel when you do your swim.
Nearly every swimmer goes through a bad mental period on their swim , usually during the 6th 7th hour, sometimes earlier. If this period coincides with the training period then the support team and pilot have a problem talking the swimmer through it. TBC helps to overcome it by not letting the body know when the training has finished and the real swim has begun. Another thing with this 6th 7th hour problem is that it is roughly the same time as your body has to start converting its fat to supply energy. If you train on an empty stomach then your body will get use to having to convert its fat for energy and the mental effect will not be the same. As I said this is just my opinion and you should talk it over with your trainer/coach or a sport dietician.

Q. Why must I do a six hour swim or have done a similar open water swim before I can try and swim the Channel?

A. It is important that your pilot, the Federation and you know you are capable of making the swim. The English Channel is the worlds top swim because it is a combination of cold water, unsettled weather, heavy commercial traffic and strong tides. Both the CS&PF and your pilot put safety first, second and third - swimmers tend to over estimate their abilities and under estimate this sea area they are trying to cross. If you can swim for six hours then we, and you, will know that you have put in the training and that you are not wasting your money or attempting something beyond your means.

6 hours is not a good training swim period for a Channel swim - it is less than half of the average crossing. Treat It as just part of the Duty of Care / Risk accessment cycle that you need to put yourself through. You should aim to be capable of doing 6 hours plus on a regular basis - and longer swims if you can spare the time.

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