At 14, Olivia Williams is the Rottnest Channel Swim’s youngest swimmer. The marathon is difficult enough for well-trained adults to complete, so you can only imagine the young gun’s level of determination to even enter the event. What’s more impressive is that Olivia was able to finish the race—she completed the 19.7 km swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island within nine hours and 40 minutes.
It’s safe to say that for swimmers to develop the fitness, endurance, and stamina needed to finish a marathon swim, they have to start somewhere. What better place to do so than in their very own backyard pool? A trusted Perth swimming pool company can install a fibreglass pool of suitable size in a range of modern finishes.
Established Perth pool companies offer pools in a selection of shapes and a wide range of attractive colours to suit any style back or front yard. With such a “starter” training pool in place, you can go through the rigors of basic training at your own pace. Here’s what you can do to prepare for that marathon swim:
Learn bilateral breathing
You can swim several laps for a short distance initially. With each lap, be sure to practice breathing on both sides. This should help you keep a straight and balanced form, which allows for longer yet quicker strokes.
Practice your start
Many marathon swimmers will walk for several yards in shallow water and start swimming only when it’s deep enough to do so. Some will take a shallow dive or leap forward, a technique called “dolphining”. A backyard pool is a great place to develop your grasp of both techniques.
Learn how to relax
It’s very common for inexperienced swimmers to start a marathon with an all-out effort. Although this can work for some, it may not be the best option for you. Starting out too hard can cause your heart rate to spike at the beginning of the race, which can leave you catching your breath in the middle of the swim. You can gradually build up your stamina by training at your own pace in your pool.
With these tips in mind, you can maximise the use of your starter training backyard fibreglass pool, improve your speed and endurance, perfect your technique, and eventually transition to open swimming.
(Source: Youngest solo entrant shakes off sickness, chop to complete Rottnest swim, The Sydney Morning Herald, Feb. 23, 2015)