Training for Robben Island, South Africa - 7.4km

oopwateroopwater Member
edited November 2013 in Beginner Questions
Hey guys,

I'm 2,5 weeks away from swimming my first "real" ocean open water race from Robben Island to Blouberg, I've been putting in the distance in the pool and did a 5km dam swim over the weekend. I feel comfortable with the distance. I've done a couple of cold miles in Clifton which averages at about 12°C, but I'm going to table bay this weekend (which is the bay the swim is in) to hang around in the water for an hour or so to start conditioning my body.

I've got a couple of things I'm wondering about:
How often should I feed on a 7.4km swim, it's not very far?
What kind of fatigue should I expect from the cold?
What is the best way to condition for the cold?

Essentially what I'd like to know is if you could go back to your first swim knowing what you know now - what advice would you give yourself?

Thanks y'all, I've learnt a lot from this forum already.


  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    edited November 2013
    Eat well before the race.
    Most swimmers start their first feeding after a hour and than every 20 - 30 min.
    If it's cold they tend to feed more often.
    So it depends on how long you expected the swim to take for how often you feed.
    For 2 hours I say 3-4 feeds.
    For 4 hours 9-10 - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • Thanks @Niek, that pretty much clears it up for me. Hopefully I eat better than the sharks do!
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    Feed and drink well prior to the swim and you don't need either during. Then drink and eat well after.
  • Thanks guys, do you have any advice on what to expect from the cold water after an hour or two?

    I've spent max 30 minutes in 10°C water.
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    edited November 2013
    I don't agree with @IronMike about not eating.
    The fastest time over the distance was +2H and especially in cold water eating helps against cold. The slowest time is about +4h and to swim for so long without food? (left side under are some links to articles) - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • I heard this morning that oopwater has hurt his shoulder badly yesterday. Have emailed him to find out what happened and what physio says. I hope he's not out of action for his swim next week. I know he's been training really hard and doing well
Sign In or Register to comment.