What were your three most important Swimrun training sessions in the lead up to your event?
1. The first session with my buddy to establish who was the faster swimmer and sort tactics/kit
2. 2km conditioning swim in colder water
3. A 3 hour session, with short sections of swim and run, meaning multiple transitions
What are your top three training tips in preparation for a Swimrun event?
1. Find the right team mate
2. Don’t fuss too much about kit, it’s your fitness and ability that will get you through
3. Research the route so you know what to expect and plan your training accordingly
What were you biggest Swimrun mistakes? If you don’t have any, what do you think are the most common Swimrun mistakes?
1. Running leashed together
2. Choosing the wrong partner
3. Rushing the transitions
Can you describe your largest Swimrun training session in the lead up to the event?
Because I live near the Thames, I did a three hour continuous training session in the Thames, working on various transition exit and entry points, steep/muddy/rocky/murky, whilst getting the benefit of the trail terrain on foot for the run sections. I had my wife on a paddleboard for safety! It also gave me a chance to play around with my nutrition and understand at what points it was sensible for me to refuel/hydrate
What were your top three Swimrun specific nutrition strategies?
1. Your hydration should be done in the weeks leading up to the race
2. small sips of water often (from your water supply not the lake/ocean or river!!)
3. unwrap and prep your food into bitesize chunks, so you don’t have to fiddle with cold hands to eat.
What were your top three tapering strategies in the lead up to the swimrun event OR your top three general tapering tips in the lead up to any event?
1. Once you have reached your race target fitness, allow the body to rest and recuperate whilst maintaining your target fitness
2. Plan your training well in advance so that tapering is not guesswork, you still need to train through a taper
3. It’s very normal to feel sluggish/ill and or pick up niggles during taper week, listen to your body and just roll with it
What do you think are the three hardest aspects of Swimrun?
1. Low water temps
2. Staying focused to avoid injury on long technical run sections
3. Pacing your swim with your race buddy
What are your favourite aspects of Swimrun?
1. The Comraderie
2. The locations and wildness of it
3. Racing happy!!
What swimrun event(s) and distance(s) have you completed?
Breca Coniston Sprint – awesome race in an awesome location with a great team set up!
Inch by Inch Loch Lomond full 2016 – beautiful race in beautiful location
SwimRun Mallorca 2016 Defo the hardest so far – 38km running inclusive of 3000m ascent and 8km swimming in 2m swells
Is there anything else you would like to add?
SwimRun is an awesome sport for anyone looking for something new to test themselves on. With various options of distances and toughness of races there is something for everyone.
Races incorporate everything I love about the outdoors, wild trails, open water, hills, mountains, forests and mates, best bit about it is, there are never any traffic cones to run around!! The nature of the course means you look out for one another. Truly is a great experience.
Ali is the Director and Head Coach at Tri Swim Coaching with over 7 years racing and coaching experience. He comes from a triathlon background, having raced all distances out there from Sprints to Ironman, as well as lots of trail running marathons.
Holding both a Level 2 BTF coaching and Level 2 Swim Coaching qualification, Ali got into SwimRun events 3 years ago and absolutely loves them! Due to long term injuries and becoming a Dad, he has raced a handful of SwimRuns, but has a keen eye for helping out people new to the sport, having raced in both very hot and very cold environments, with all sorts of water conditions! For more information on Ali check out his website, facebook, instagram or twitter.