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With just over a week to go Richard Hobson, triathlon coach, shares his last minute tips on perfecting your open water swimming.

Richard runs a series of swimming and triathlon camps here at Club La Santa, our world class facilities include three Olympic sized swimming pools, a fresh water lagoon and we’re surrounded by Lanzarote’s volcanic terrain, which makes us a great location for athletes to train.

Richard has been involved with the sport of triathlon for over 30 years, spending 10 years as professional athlete, winning five national titles and a world championship, he was even the team GB Olympic Triathlon coach for the Athens Olympics.

Here he shares his top five tips to succeed at Swim Serpentine:

  1. Equipment

A wetsuit is a key piece of equipment for your outdoor swim, it needs to fit well, but not be too restrictive.

Also it’s essential to look for the perfect googles – think about the conditions you will be swimming in as you may need dark lenses and always have a spare pair of googles (just in case).

  1. Practice makes perfect

You need to get used to swimming in a straight line as it’s much tougher without a back line to follow. Practice sitting, so lifting the head to check you are swimming in the right direction. It is easier and faster to swim behind other swimmers.

  1. Familiarise yourself with the course

Make sure you know the course as this will take some of the nerves away on the day, the more you can familiarise yourself with, the better. Also be sure to do your research prior to setting off for the event so you know where to go on arrival, bag drop off, post swim etc, all these little factors will help keep nerves down to a minimum on the day.

  1. Event Day – warming up is key

Make sure to stay warm before the start and be sure to warm up before you get into the water.

There will be a group warmup session brought to you by Club La Santa, which will makes this easier for you

  1. Relax and enjoy it

Don’t feel you have to go for it as soon as your wave is released. Hang back a few seconds after the masses swim away and start at your own pace – it’s better to be passing people Once you get going you soon start to enjoy it.

Richard has three upcoming camps at Club La Santa including his new Trilliving Winter Based camp which will be sure to kick start your new year.

Date Posted: 29th August 2019


  • I intend to do only breaststroke but realise freestyle is quicker. Going for Hall of Fame and swimming is my weakest discipline At 73 I am concerned about the mad rush of the freestyle brigade- I intend to have a float as well as my wet suit. Last year ran London Marathon automatic qualifying on good time for age. In Practice I expect to do the 2 miles in 2 hours Any advice on how I should navigate the course- on the positive side with breaststroke at least I will see where I am going! Slainte Sean O'Reilly
    Written by Sean A O'Reilly, 10th September 2019 - Reply
    • Hi Sean, We've not done the event ourselves, although we did attend last year. Everything is calm and orderly at the start with all swimmers being patient about getting in the water, so I'm sure you'll be fine whatever stroke you decide to do. Also it's amazingly organised, with lots of buoys to help you navigate. Enjoy and make sure you come and tell us about your swim afterwards in our recovery tent :) Many thanks Ross
      Written by Ross Litherland, 12th September 2019 - Reply


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