Tips For Your First 10K Swim


The 10KM marathon is the pinnacle of open water swimming and an increasingly popular distance at Great Swim, alongside its little sister, the 5KM. These are seriously challenging events, and there's loads you need to know before you get out there. Here's our top tips.


Tkae some time to get to know the course so you have a good idea of what you’re doing when you get in the water.

We publish the course on the website before the event, and take some time on event day to view the course, you will also be fully briefed by the Great Swim team at the start line before you get into the water.

These are usually lapped distances so you need to be aware of where you are and how many you have to do so you don't either sell yourself short, or overdo it!

Get the right kit

If you’re taking on this challenge you will be in the water for a very long time. Some participants will take up to four hours to finish the distance.

It’s essential that your kit is up to the challenge and that it will keep you warm and comfortable throughout the 10K as well as the 5K.

The key to a well fitting wetsuit is ensuring it is nice and tight and you need to ensure your goggles are comfortable and well fitting.

At this distance, you can expect some chafe if you’re not well prepared – open water swimmers all have their own favourite trick to limit wetsuit rub on the back of the neck. There are lots of options out there so find one that works for you and make sure you try it out before event day.


Before you embarked on this swimming lark, this used to be simply called 'eating'. But now, you're an athlete, and this is fuelling!

The 10K isn’t known as the marathon of open water swim for nothing. You are going to burn a LOT of energy. With this in mind its essential that fuel yourself properly for the challenge ahead.

This process should begin in the build up to the event, with plenty of nutritious meals in the days leading up to your swim.

At least three days prior to your event start adding some slow burning carbohydrates to your diet, and make sure you are properly hydrated.

On the morning of the race have a plain, energy dense, breakfast an hour and a half to two hours before you swim and again ensure you are properly hydrated.

There will be a small pontoon reserved for 10k swimmers at the end of each lap. You can stop on any or all of your laps to have a bite to eat from our nutrition partners Clif Bar. We recommend you practice taking these on board in your training. 


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