Top 5 Swimrun Race Tips From Lucy Saxelby

Mum of 5, Lucy Saxelby has been competing in endurance sports for the last decade. She has competed in 4 Ironman events and raced in Zofingen at the Long Distance Duathlon World Championships and 5 Age group triathlon/duathlon European Championships. Before Covid hit, Lucy had a go at two seasons of swimrun. You can find more about Lucy, here.

Lucy’s top swimrun tips for having a great race:

1. Don’t set off on the first run too fast, stick to the pace you have trained for and don’t get swept up with the adrenaline dash on the start line! In my first ever swimrun event in Wales, I panicked when being over-taken, thinking I would be left behind and ran the first couple of miles at a pace I could not sustain. This was really unpleasant and it was hard to keep a clear head getting into the water.

2. If you are planning to use any equipment for the race then practice with it! My partner and I used a bungee cord during the swims but we did have to play around and tweak who was better leading whilst using the cord and the best place for the cord to be positioned when in the water (I found I could swim more freely with it when I was behind and the cord went between my legs).

Lucy & her race partner, Steve.

3. You will soon realise that everyone looks the same during a swimrun! If you are part of a pair, make your lead swimmer choose a bright pair of shoes and socks and most importantly remember what they look like! In the first couple of swims, before the pack has thinned out, you may be grateful of this to avoid following a stranger’s feet in a sea of identical bibs!

4. If it’s a warm or even slightly warm day, take your wetsuit down to your waist for any runs longer than 2 miles. Otherwise you will feel like a boil in the bag cod fillet long before you reach the water.

5. Even if you are feeling good make yourself stop and have a drink and a handful of fuel at a halfway feed station. Even if you are racing a “sprint” your body and benefit from this by the last run. Remember that your brain is the first part of your body to run out of energy, so keeping it topped up will stop your “chimp” from telling you to slow down!

Fred Newton

Fred is the Editor and co-founder of He has actively been involved with the sport of swimrun as an enthusiastic participant, race director, volunteer and journalist.