Mike Barnes is a Swimrun legend in the UK. He has been active for the last 6 years in Swimrun (which in Swimrun is a long time!) and always with a big smile on his face. A firm middle of the pack Swimrunner, until the water gets choppy, then it’s Mike’s time to shine. Here are his top 5 Swimrun race tips:
1. Train in your race kit. We’ve been seen running the streets, en route to the river, clad in rubber, hand paddles and goggles flailing behind us.
2. Train in your race kit. Really, it’s that important. This isn’t new shoes at a Park Run. You need to know things fit, where they go, how to get to them. Though we’re far from being concerned with marginal gains, it’s stress free when you’re versed helping each other access drinks on the fly or clip kit off and on for each other.
3. I overheat and consequently dehydrate quickly. Bar one run section and a swim, I completed the full Gower, maybe 85% of the course top half pulled down, hanging and dragging. ‘Cabbing down’ is crucial for some, as such see points 1 & 2! Ensure you’re able to, and au fait with, pulling your suit off and on with ease. Again, one to practice on the move with your race buddy. Oh, and this is a personal choice but I took a few intentional drinks from the Lakes mid-race onwards as I knew I wouldn’t be able to replace enough at feed stations without causing GI issues.
4. All that Training In Your Race Kit ( getting the hint? ), do it with your buddy. Know and accept, despite all the numbers, HR, Swim and run PBs and the like, chances are midway onwards you’re gonna be offset in how you’re performing. Near the end it’s possible you could be either ends of the performance spectrum. Not taking the fun out of the event it’s about management, of pace to start with-it’s a long day at the office, but also fuelling, hydration, this leading to recognising and managing mood.
5. Look up. Left, right, behind, back down if you have to. Not for your footing, or navigation, but to appreciate the settings, the splendour of the course. As you’ve been TRAINING IN YOUR RACE KIT you’ll know where everything is or should be so, as you adjust without needing to look, take 5 seconds every now and again to soak up your surroundings.
Ready to get started? Here is our easy to use 8 week training plan.