FEATURES,  Features

What you told us – feedback from our swimming spending intentions and swimrun surveys

Many thanks to everyone who completed our recent spending intentions and swimrun surveys. And well done to Claire from Surrey and Anna from Hampshire who each won a Selkie Barrel Bag in our survey prize draw.

Regarding your swimming related spending intentions, despite the pandemic, 58% of you told us you plan to spend the same on swimming this year as last year, while 24% of you thought you might spend more. Nearly 50% of said that you intended to buy a new costume soon and 40% of you would like new goggles.

We all know that outdoor swimming events have been badly impacted by the pandemic and we still don’t know when they can restart, or what format they might take when the do. That uncertainty has clearly impacted your thoughts about events, with 14% of you not planning on doing any events this year (on top of the 8% of you who don’t usually do events) and a further 30% saying you will only enter once there is clarity about whether they can go ahead. Nearly a third of you had been super organised and entered all your events for the year before lockdown started.

As for swimming holidays, some 84% of you are interested in going on one at some point. However, with all the uncertainty around travel only 17% are currently thinking of booking something for 2021. A further 19% of you would love to go this year, if it becomes possible.

Nearly 56% are interested in coaching services of some kind. This includes 19% of you that would like to do group open water sessions, 10% one-one-one open water lessons and a further 10% who would be interested in remote training plans. However, a quarter of you are waiting until later in the year before seeking out coaching services.

Swimrun and our Swimrunner section

In our second survey, we asked about your interest in our new swimrun section, and your thoughts on swimrun in general. As an aside, we started the swimrun section just before lockdown and our plan was to publish it as a standalone product. While that still is our aim, given all that’s happened with the pandemic, the plan is on hold for now. Luckily, 63% of you said you enjoyed it as a section in the magazine and fewer than 1 in 4 of you had no interest.

Out of the 305 of you who responded, almost half of you have tried swimrun. Six of you said you’ve done 10 or more swimrun events! We asked a number of open questions in this survey and it’s nice to know we encouraged at least one of you to try running:

  • “With the lockdown I needed a new exercise and swimrunner gave me the push to run.”
  • The variety and ruggedness of it! It’s brilliantly bonkers to run in a wetsuit and swim in trainers!
  • I enjoyed the fact that it was like an adventure, exploring different areas not otherwise explored.
  • It’s fun, friendly and challenging.
  • Combining the two wonderful sports as one whilst partnering up with a friend to have a great day out exploring the area. Fabulous freedom!
  • Combining two loves!
  • Racing in wild areas .
  • Great range of ages fitness abilities. Swimmers gain time in the water whilst runners gain time on the land.
  • Beautiful scenery. Swimming as a team. Constantly changing between sports.

It was also fun to read what you like about swimrun from those of you who have already tried it:

We’ve also noted your feedback and suggestions for improvement. For example, one of you requested more pictures of people who don’t look so athletic to reflect that fact that swimrun is fun and achievable for a wide range of people. Several of you pointed out that you find running difficult or feel that you are too slow and would appreciate more beginner-orientated content from a running perspective, and suggestions for events for people who aren’t natural runners. We will take it on board.

Thanks again for completing our surveys. Your feedback helps us provide what you want.

Image (c) Katia Vastiau

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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.