Windermere One Way (#WOW)

Has anybody done this? I've got myself on the reserve list for 2018 (2017 has long since been over-subscribed) but I love the Lake District so i'm hoping this will be a great swim to do! Any thoughts/comments greatly received.






  • KatieBunKatieBun CornwallSenior Member
    edited March 2017

    @Sam if you don't want to wait until 2018, there are other companies and organisations which run it. SwimYourSwim also run one. The wonderful BLDSA's swim is at the beginning of September this year. They provide the boat and you provide crew... or you can bring your own kayaker. The one you're on the list for is a well organised event, but it does finish at Low Wray, as opposed to Waterhead, which means it's not actually the full length of the lake. If you're content with that and just want a beautiful swim of around 10 miles, no problem. ( It may be because it's too difficult to organise a finish at Waterhead for so many swimmers.) If you think you'll be disappointed by it not being the full length, go for one of the other organisations. The scenery is beautiful. It's a glorious swim.

  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    edited March 2017

    don't know why that posted twice - fat fingers!

  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    edited March 2017

    Hi @Sam

    My thoughts...this depends on whether you wish to get your swim officially recognised as an unassisted swim of the length of Windermere.

    The official BLDSA 10.5 miles route is from Fell Foot to Waterhead (Ambleside). This route has been long established. In order to have your swim recognised as a 1 way Windermere, then you need to swim from Fell Foot to Waterhead unassisted following the BLDSA swim rules. You can approach this in a couple of different ways - (a) completion of the BLDSA Windermere Championship event on 2nd September , or (b) arrange a private swim, get it observed and submit the swim recognition application to the BLDSA. I can help you with that bit.

    The event you mention is a slightly shorter event from Fell Foot to Low Wray (it's around a mile shorter), and it involves a feed stop on shore at Storrs temple. I don't think you have to get out at Storrs though. The event doesn't follow BLDSA rules, but it's still a huge challenge and is very popular, as you have discovered. I did look at this one myself a couple of years ago, as I do hear good things about it, but wanted to swim the full length of Windermere, so I opted for a private swim instead.

  • SamSam Member

    @KatieBun and @ZoeSadler thanks for the awesome advice. Hadnt crossed my mind that the linked swim may not be the full distance! It seems unfortunate that the event cant be tweaked ever so slightly so that it does become a recognised swim. Your advice is invaluable because I don't like to do things by half measures. So one of Zoe's 2 options looks good to me. September s honeymoon month for me so with the best will in the world I probably shouldn't miss that. I'll do some research and may well come back to you for information on a private swim.

    My local lake officially opens next week as the water has reached a toasty 10degrees (50farenheit) so im going to throw myself into that which may diminish my appetite!

  • JbetleyJbetley UKMember

    It's easy enough to privateer this swim. Small electric boats are readily available for rent at Bowness with enough power to get you to the start, finish the swim, then get home after. If you want ratification you can organise an observer, and get it through BLDSA. I never bothered myself. There's also tons of blogs online about the detail and logistics. Does seem a pity that the 10-miler puzzlingly omits the final 1/2 mile

  • SamSam Member

    Ok so after completing my first 10km OWS my attention now moves onto this WOW event. Apparently the route has been changed slightly this year so that we complete the full 11 miles.

    My training for the 10k I repeated this weekly routine (for the most part):
    • Monday: 5km – 6km endurance swim;
    • Tuesday: 3 x 1,000 (Descending in intensity with the first 1km being above threshold) followed by 1,000 of various drills;
    • Wednesday: 20 x 100 trying to hold consistent but fast pace (when I first started this I was 1:44 per 100 but I’ve got it down to 1:33. Then 10 x 200 at just below race pace.
    • Thursday: 4km – 5km race pace;
    • Friday: gym doing general stretches and core work.

    Weekly volume would be around 15,000.

    For the 11 miler (circa 17km) swim I intend to keep the same training plan but add a weekend open water long swim of around 3 hours (possibly not every weekend).

    Does this look reasonable? Should I tweak anything or incorporate a different set?

    Many thanks

  • SamSam Member

    Bump for any kind soul :)

  • KatieBunKatieBun CornwallSenior Member
    edited June 2018

    @Sam , there's no hard and fast rule about how much training you should do. You've seen what works for you on a 10k swim and upped your training a little to get to the next level. You do interval training to work on your speed, technique work/ drills for your stroke, land based strength training and endurance work. Trust yourself. One thing I find useful.... and it's entirely personal preference...... is to do a split swim a few weeks before the event, so if you reckon Windermere will take you 6 hours, perhaps do 3 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. That would work for me, but I repeat, there's no rule and no "one size fits all" training plan. Everybody will have different ideas. Very best of luck with your training and looking forward to hearing about a successful outcome.

  • SamSam Member

    @KatieBun thanks for replying. I like the idea of a split 6 hour swim a couple of weeks before! I'm hopeful my training plan works out. What I can say is that i've got loads of respect for all of you who put out 30km every week - where do you get the time and find the energy?

    One thing I thought of needing to change up is nutrition. For the 10km I just did one stop rarely trained with any structured drink/feed plan. But for the 11 miler I've got a support kayak so I suspect I should drink/feed in training at the same rate I will during the swim itself (say every 30 minutes).

    Thanks again for your help

  • HaydnHaydn Member

    I agree with Katie. A split swim works well, but I would suggest, once you finish the 3 hour, you pop in a 4th. This is great if you finish the 3rd very comfortably, and also great if the finish the 3rd and feel its been tough. This way, you train for the last hour of the swim, rather than the first 3. I would also try to get the distance in the bag early. So suggest you do the split swim sooner rather than later. And then go for a 6 hour in one swim in a month or two.

  • SamSam Member

    Hi @Haydn thanks for taking the time to comment. I've finally located a lake that offers swimming all day long (instead of the 1 hour limit imposed at my local lake) so planning on racking up some big OW training swims well before the big day! cheers!

Sign In or Register to comment.