Crossing the 21-mile distance between the United Kingdom and France by slashing your arms and legs in open water is no easy task. As the crow flies, it works out to 1,352 lengths of a 25m swimming pool - but then there's the icy cold water to contend with. And it's difficult to beat for UK-based adventures.
Jai Evans, a professional swim coach who recently completed the crossing in a respectable 13 minutes. 5 hours ( Totalimmersion.co.uk ) - knows a thing or two about making a splash in the Channel. Here are his recommendations for your own attempt.
It's not as simple as simply wading into the water in Calais. On the other end, you'll need a support team to provide medical assistance, moral support, a hug, and a cup of tea to warm you up. They'll also require a boat to travel alongside you. If you want to make it back in one piece, you'll need a support boat, so don't go it alone.
"The first thing I need to know is that I have everyone's full support." "I was very picky about my support crew," Jai says. "Your captain will also be important." "
The captain should have extensive seagoing experience. It is their responsibility to keep you informed of inclement weather, rogue tides, and anything else that could jeopardize your success - and, more importantly, your health.
Swimming the Channel is not cheap, so plan ahead to avoid unpleasant surprises. It is the last thing you require.
"I believe it is only for the support boat and membership in the association ( CSPF "The cost was around £3500," Jai says. "There are numerous other costs along the way, such as medicals, training swims, nutrition, and various other extras." Many people raise funds by soliciting sponsors or doing it for charity, with the fees deducted from the amount raised. I decided not to do that because it was my challenge, so I paid for everything myself and donated all of the sponsorship money to my chosen charity, which is Maintain the tempo
Just because Jai is half fish doesn't mean you have to race through the Channel. Consider yourself David Walliams, taking your time (the comedian completed the swim in 10 hours and 34 minutes), and you'll do better. The same is true for training: take your time and gradually work up to it.
"I spent a couple of years doing various different swimming events of various distances in open water, but my actual training for the event was about four months," Jai says. Show off
"A good mix of pool and open water swimming is ideal," Jai says. "I personally did the majority of my longer swims in open water and a lot of quality work in the pool to keep the skills in good shape." In terms of temperature, I attempted to swim in the coldest water I could find at the time in order to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. "
You may be slathering yourself in goose fat for insulation, but packing on some pounds around your midsection will also help keep your internal organs warm. It is not required, however.
"I think it's a good idea not to let the body fat percentage get too low," Jai says. "In terms of diet, it will depend on what people want to use to fuel their bodies." Personally, I change [my diet] frequently, so I can't provide a definitive answer. "
Swimming, swimming, and swimming all the way to France may not be the most exciting experience. You'll eventually just be a grown man flailing across water for miles and miles of liquid nothingness. It is critical that you stay IN THE ZONE.
"I believe it is critical to be able to disconnect from the world around you," Jai says. "It is critical to enter with a clear mind." You must prepare so that you enter the situation with no doubts about your ability to succeed. I never considered not finishing the swim from the moment I signed up. "
Remember that boat we mentioned earlier? It's not as simple as showing up with a dingy and a pack of sandwiches and setting sail...
"From a logistical standpoint, the most difficult part is getting the right crew together and booking the slot with the boat captain," says Jai. "Because there are only so many opportunities to swim each year, it quickly fills up and you usually have to wait at least a couple of years." "
SWIMMING THE CHANNEL IS AN AMAZING FEATURE, as we have previously stated. So don't be concerned about your time. If you're doing it for charity, it doesn't matter if you do it in 15 or 30 hours.
"I believe the average time is around 15 hours," Jai says. "The longest is about 28, and the shortest is about 7." When people get sore, the important thing is to focus on your body, work through your stroke, and try to switch off any aching muscles. And carry on ”
Obviously, swimming the entire length underwater would be difficult, but if it works for you and you've trained properly, go for it.
"The key is to have complete faith in your swimming ability, knowing in your mind that your stroke will not let you down no matter how difficult it gets," Jai says. "Preparation work should have been done for this." Most people swim front crawl (freestyle), but other strokes such as butterfly are used on occasion. ”
So, once you've completed the swim, stop (and if you really can't make it, there's no shame in trying again another time). However, keep yourself busy.
"Once you've finished, refuel and enjoy the moment with the people who joined you on the journey," Jai advises. It's also beneficial to have a new goal. "A few days later, I participated in a One Way Windermere event." "
Unless you plan on swimming from the UK to France and back without touching the bottom (which we do not recommend), you will need your passport. Keep it secure in the boat. Something tells us it might get a little wet otherwise.