Swim Serpentine: Training and Planning for Slow Swimmers

For those who do not know Swim Serpentine is part of the London Classics, along with running the London Marathon (even virtually) and Ride London (100). However, you have to do the 2 mile distance to qualify. One of my friends had looked at previous results and declared that we could do it quicker than the slowest time so we entered. Here is some brief information about our training and planning.

swim serpentine kit

Training for Swim Serpentine

Hands up we hadn’t done much training for Swim Serpentine in terms of swimming distances. Initially the worry was about being ready for the cold. The Serpentine Lake could be as cold as 14 degrees, which is reasonably cold for a long duration. Especially considering that we were going to do it in skins (just a swimming costume).

We had swam the distance however, so knew we could do it. But then it was postponed.

Postponing the Swim Serpentine

After HRH the Queen dying in 2022 Swim Serpentine was cancelled we had the option to have a refund or to defer. Seeing as our youngest boys needed to both do one of their DofE activities for 6 months I decided that they should do swimming for their physical and that I would go along with them. Therefore, I decided just to defer.

swim serpentine update

Training following Deferring

Over the course of the year I didn’t actually end up getting much swimming done, for one reason or another. Pool swimming isn’t for me. There’s too many people. Rivers had a lot more talk of pollution this year. Also we have had a lot more rain in the months usually safer to swim.

Personally I think it is important to try out all your kit over a long distance. My costume really rubbed under my arms. Also my first swim hat just ripped to pieces because of all my hair.

Now I have done the event I am not sure whether it would have been a good or bad idea to have previous experience doing an open water swimming race. More on that in my post about the day.

Swim Serpentine Deferral or Refund 2023

Swim Serpentine doesn’t allow any deferrals, refunds or transfers for any reason. Usually. But this year there was a problem with the blue-green algae and we had the options to once again get a refund or defer. In fact because it was so late to decide they said you could ask for a refund/deferral and just turn up to your wave and it would cancel the request.

After much toing and froing of my decision I opted to carry on and do it. So do my two friends who were doing it with me.

Planning the Day

Also I just armed myself with loads of information and went to visit the Serpentine so I knew what to expect and where to go!

Swim Serpentine Lake

There is a really great group on Facebook. Admin there are really good and always kept us in the know. Having completed it previously they had the answer to many questions. This was very thorough with even video footage to help us familiarize ourselves. It really is worth a join.

We worried with fuelling but there was really no need for any at 2 miles. As reassured in the Facebook group.

swim serpentine finish

National Express was booked for 2022 and I just paid the extra to get in transferred to 2023. Plus a friend even said that it was okay for us to park in her work carpark. As my family were going too we travelled to the coach station in two cars.

There was plenty of time. Or should have been! See our National Express Nightmare!

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