7 Reasons to stop procrastinating with open water swimming event entries

Do you know what swimming events or challenges you’ll be taking on in 2023, or are you still procrastinating over your entries? Simon Griffiths shares seven good reasons for deciding on your swim challenges sooner rather than later.

In our Attitudes to Outdoor Swimming survey, 10% of swimmers said they had postponed entering events this year because of the cost of living crisis. This is backed up by event organisers who tell us that event places are selling more slowly than usual.

I’m guilty of delaying event entries myself, but not just because I want to hang on to my money. It’s also because I’m waiting for friends to commit as I want to do events with them, and laziness and indecision on my part.

However, there are at least seven good reasons for deciding on your swim challenges sooner rather than later. Part of my motivation for writing this is to give myself a good kick up the backside and get organised. I hope it helps you too.

1. It may be cheaper

Several event organisers offer early-bird discounts. Not only that but if you’re planning on travelling to an event, train tickets are often cheaper in advance and you will probably find better deals on accommodation.

2. It helps with your preparation

Not only is having an event on the calendar a good motivator to train, but it also informs and guides your training. You need to prepare differently for a 10km non-wetsuit swim than a 1-mile dash in a wetsuit. The longer you give yourself, the better prepared you’ll be.

3. You’re more likely to do the event

Being decisive now means you’re more likely to do the event when the time comes. Having the date in the diary early will make you less likely to fill the day with something else. You will also be mentally prepared. Making the commitment sets your subconscious mind to work to get you ready.

4. It helps your friends decide

Sometimes someone just needs to commit and everyone else will follow. However, you may need to use subterfuge to bring people with you. I once convinced two friends to join me at an event by saying the other had signed up, although they hadn’t (yet) – but you can only do that if you’re committed.

5. You’ll have a better experience

Basically, because of all the above, you’ll be fitter, better prepared, more psyched up and have friends to swim with. Not only that, but events are also often a highlight of the year. The sooner you enter, the more time you have to enjoy the anticipation, which increases your return on investment.

6. It helps event organisers

Event organisers need to scale their facilities according to numbers. For example, what size changing tents do they need, how many portable toilets, how big a safety team. But some things are difficult to change at the last minute. If they underestimate, it gives participants a poor experience. If they overestimate, they will lose money and be less likely to put on the event in future.

7. It helps the environment

Related to the above, event organisers need to order things like medals, swimming hats and merchandise in advance. The sooner people enter events, the lower the risk of over-ordering and waste.

So what are you waiting for? Check out our 2023 Event Guide, commit to an event now and start training.

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I created Outdoor Swimmer in 2011 (initially as H2Open Magazine) as an outlet for my passion for swimming outdoors. I've been a swimmer and outdoor swimmer for as long as I remember. Swimming has made a huge difference to my life and I want to share its joys and benefits with as many people as possible. I am also the author of Swim Wild & Free: A Practical Guide to Swimming Outdoors 365 a Year and I provide one-to-one support to swimmers through Swim Mentoring.