There are a million and one ways to do something sporty and raise money for charity. You could climb Kilimanjaro, complete an Ironman triathlon, or cycle across the States like Pippa Middleton. However humungous challenges such as these require a great deal of training, cash, and time off work, so for the average person with a demanding job and very little disposable income, they simply aren’t doable. So if you have a burning desire to do something physically taxing in the name of charity, then why not complete a distance swim for charity?
A Tough Challenge
Swimming for charity is harder than you might think. Obviously if you can’t swim at all then it really will be a tough challenge, but never underestimate the task of swimming in the open water. Swimming in a heated swimming pool is not so difficult. Most pools are 25 metres from one end to the other and for at least half of it you will be able to put your feet on the bottom if you need a rest. Not so in open water.
Monsters of the Deep
It can be pretty scary swimming in open water. The cold is a factor, but what really freaks out a lot of people is not being able to see anything beneath the surface. Unlike swimming pools, open water is usually murky. Depending on where you are swimming there could be anything lurking down below, from abandoned shopping trolleys to the Loch Ness Monster. You may not be bothered about such things, but if you do you run into difficulties, you better hope that the marshals are near enough to haul your body out on to dry land before you sink like a stone.
Training for a Charity Swim
Assuming you are not some man-fish hybrid, training for a charity swim is a seriously good idea. There are lots of fitness options for swimming pools and spending a few weeks putting in the mileage will pay dividends. However, ploughing up and down your local community pool is one thing – swimming in open water is quite another. If you have never before swum in open water, you will benefit from having a practice swim in a controlled environment before the big day.
Open Water Practice Sessions
Open water swimming is a popular summer activity in many areas where there is a large body of water. Triathlon clubs organise regular open water swim training sessions for their members; or you could check the Outdoor Swimming Society website for more information on their swimming venues. Either way, at least one practice session will be really beneficial.
Charity Swim Events
There are lots of big charity swim challenges to choose from, but the best known are the Great North Swim, the Great London Swim, and a host of other ‘Great’ swims.
Completing a charity swim is so much more rewarding than running or walking 5k. Anyone can shuffle 5k but not everyone is capable of swimming one mile across a stretch of cold open water, so go on, sign up for a charity swim today. You know you want to!