Tips & Tricks
Based on our own experiences we can suggest the following:
All accessoires like paddles, pull buoy, rope and camelback are allowed. Just remember; the more objects you bring, the more likely something goes wrong.
Practise with a pull buoy to make sure you’re better off with than without one, if it helps during swimming, but hinders during running…
Choose paddles that are not TOO big. You roughly have to swim 2 or 4 kms with them. During the race you can’t decide not to wear them, you’ll have to carry them till the finish.
The secret is in the transitions. Make sure they go smooth and well.
While approaching the water, put on your cap while running, zip up your suit while running. So when you arrive at the water’s edge you’ll only have to put on your goggles and paddles.
When emerging from the water some people are more quick on their feet and able to run. Some experience dizzy spells. If you train properly these shouldn’t happen. So it is a matter of swimming short distances and running in between to get used to it.
Because of the rapid transitions between swimming and running it is possible to loose track of where you are in the race. ‘Where are we now?’ ‘How long is the next run?’ What most people do is write the distances on their paddle or arm as well as the energy stations, so you have synchronization points if you lost track.
At LLEH more than 30km needs to be ran on the marathon distance. A suit with long trousers will cause extra friction. It is strongly advices to cut your suit just above the knee.
During long running sections, usually the top of the suit above the hips is taken off to prevent overheating. A conventional suit with a zipper going up to close is beter, you can close these yourself while running. The modern wetsuits(the zipper going down to close) are better for a triathlon, but less suited for a swimrun.
Choose shoes that are light, easily allow water through and have good traction. You’ll be going over rocks, forest soil and sand with wet shoes. You’ll need the grip.
The water can be very cold in the beginning of May, a neopreen cap under the obligatory race cap is guaranteed to keep your head warm. Cold water can give you a splitting headache and can compromise your motor functions because of an undercooled brain.
For athletes that don’t have the exact same speeds, a rope between them can be interesting. But remember it is an extra parameter. Make sure it is a stretchable rope. During runs it will absorb any shocks. During the swims you’ll have the guarantee that your wingman is following.
Use colorless goggles. You have to be clearly able to see where you are going. Swimming in a straight line can save you a lot of trouble.
Consider using warm-up gels for the legs, arms and back. The first watercontact will be really cold. The next entries you’ll be warmed up plenty by all the running.
Some people put pieces of insulation in their compression socks instead of using a pull buoy (or use both)
Normally there are enough energy stations. If you would like to carry extra food, remember that you will have to run and swim. Solid foods can be a brick on the stomach. Keep it light and use regular or watergels.
The idea to Swimrun got a whole different dimension in 2002 when the brothers Jesper Andersson and Matts entered into a bet with Anders Malm, owner of the Vardshus hotel on the island Utö, to race as quickly as possible from Utö to Sandhamn by swimming and running on the islands. Two teams of two began the race to the Sandhamn hotel, the last team would pay for hotel, food and drink, and should eat and drink what the first team had ordered for them. They needed more than 24 hours the first time but it did not stop them to try again the following year. Ötillö was born (ö till ö, literally “from island to island”).
When Mats Andersson and Michael Lemmel were involved in these Swimruns some time later, there were soon several teams at the start (but not necessarily the finish). The race direction was reversed with the start at the hotel Sandhamn and the finish at the Utö’s Vardshus. Now there are 120 teams in three categories at the start (men, women and mixed) of what has become the world Swimrun championship (120 teams with athletes from 26 countries).
In Sweden the sport gained enormous popularity in a very short time and similar competitions are now organised all over the country. The sport is developing fast in terms of material and training level. Ötillö remains the reference and in order to participate in the race qualifiers have been introduced. The first qualifier to be organised outside Sweden was held in 2014 in Engadin, Switzerland.
After Jan Syryn and Dirk Beersmans had participated in both Utö Swimrun and ÖtillÖ ,organising a Swimrun in Belgium had become inevitable. Amphiman was born.
We went looking for a site in Belgium with swimming and running possibilities, providing both challenging nature and the necessary vertical meters.
In the end, only one site qualified : the lakes of the Eau d’Heure.
This lake area is 4 times larger than the second one in Belgium, and consists of 3 water levels (2 dams). Vertical meters guaranteed. The surrounding presence of dense forests provides the opportunity to develop a beautiful track.
In 2015 the first edition took place. It was one of the first races outside Scandinavia (1 in Switserland, 1 in Belgium, 3 in France and 1 in Scotland). In 2016 there were 180 races in 19 countries and 4 continents. There was even a race in Australia.
The sport has grews ever since with races in South-Africa, Uruguay, Brasil, USA, Canada,…