How did you get into long distance swimming?
Like most Aussie kids started in the backyard swimming pool and then progressed to squad training and Friday night swim club! Always been an aquatic type.. love anything to do with the water. Living in Qld we always had family beach holidays. Swimming dropped off as life (study, work, family) got in the way. I discovered scuba diving in my twenties.. and delighted my daughter now has her license too!
Then 10 years ago I started back in the pool at Trent Grimsey‘s squads. Trent is the current world record holder for the English Channel set in 2012 – 6hrs 55 minutes ! His passion + success in open water swim inspired me and many of the other swimmers at the squad to give the open water a go.. I started with 1k Bribie Island event 8 years ago and this month I swam the 35k Derwent River Swim – in 8.5hrs - my longest so far.
What do you think about when you swim for 8 hours +?
Really important not to let your mind wander – best to think about the next feed (typically every 30 mins).. The 30 minute timeframe keeps your mind in the present and breaks down a very long swim into manageable blocks of time.
In the lead up I focus on how it will feel to finish the swim (I did a tumble turn under the Tasman bridge when I finished the Derwent swim ) but during the swim need to focus on the here and now…
Also, adapting to the conditions you are facing in the present .. such as weather.. direction of the wind.. might need to be moved to the protected side of the boat, body position in the water, staying next to the boat in the dark, your stroke, plus reporting back to your crew – any soreness, are you handling the cold (if cold may need to adjust your feeds) .. .
What do you find the most challenging part of a long distance swim event? From a training perspective as well as on the day
- Logistics - events are typically a long way from home - so making sure the boat & support crew are all sorted for the day..
- Weather conditions – trying not to worry about the water temp, wind, jellyfish and other sea creatures !!
- Biggest challenge for training – is finding the hours – for training in the pool, ocean, dam, plus gym and yoga
- Its not really a challenge but a joy – able to eat almost anything you want because of the volume of training you are doing
- Plus at times for cold water swims needing to put on an extra few kgs 😊 to help you keep warm during a swim
What’s some of the best advice you has received from a mentor/friend/role model?
- Don’t listen to other swimmers.. listen to your coach !
- Concentrate on achieving your week to week goals/kms – then your 12 month plan will be simple !
- Wonderful to have the support and to listen to other athletes experiences but you have to do you… What works for someone else might not work for you … especially in terms of nutrition before and during a swim
- Brittany’s Checklist – so very detailed – everything you need to pack ..
What’s been your favourite event and why?
The swim around Great Keppel Island – 20k – just kinda cool to swim around a whole island. The water was mild and clear so you could see fish and coral as you swum along.
What challenging events do you have ahead of you?
- Port to Pub 25k @ 18.03.2023 is next up – which will be the second part of my Australia Triple Crown …
- Palm Beach to Shelley will be the third step .. planning to do in 2024
What is top of your bucket list?
English Channel – August 2023
You can follow Louise at @louiserosemann to follow her upcoming events and see her tick off the top of her bucket list.