How hard is swimming the English Channel?

How hard is swimming the English Channel?

Here at Tiide we are pleased to announce that we are supporting one of our followers on their journey to swim the channel for charity! Jack Trewick is planning and training towards swimming the English Channel in late August this year for Campaign Against Living Miserably. Read below for a little more on mental health and also how to train for the gruelling 21 miles (33.5km or 1,340 laps of a 25m pool!).

Campaign Against Living Miserably is a charity which provides a helpline and a campaign to prevent male suicide in the UK. This month (May) is also Mental Health Awareness Month, this has been observed particularly in the US since 1949 and the theme for this year is Fitness #4Mind4Body. This is quite fitting for Jack’s swim. This week in particular (14th- 20th May) in the UK is Mental Health Awareness Week. Coronation Street (UK TV Soap) is also currently running through a story line in which a male character took their own life and it was revealed a shocking statistic that around 84 men take their life each week in the UK. These events, TV shows and what people like Jack are doing help to raise the awareness around the issue play a very important role in tackling it. To overcome mental health problems, often the first step is to simply talk about it to someone you trust. And it is this that these awareness days and incredible people set out to achieve.

Swimming the channel – What is it like?

Just over 1600 swimmers have completed the challenge since it was first completed 92 years ago, which isn’t very many. This gives a fair impression as to what the task it like. To complete the challenge, you must not be assisted by any artificial form however you are allowed to grease yourself up for example with goose fat to keep yourself warm. Swimming the channel is not cheap as it costs around £2,750 to hire a boat to go alongside you (this is a requirement). The swim is 21 miles but this can vary due to changes in the current and if a swimmer was to swim in an “S” shape across the channel.

The fastest time to complete the channel was 6 hours 57 minutes and 50 seconds swam in 2004 (pretty darn impressive if you ask us) and the slowest was 28 hours 44 minutes which was swam by a 56 year old who swam 64 miles instead of the shortest route which was 21 miles (this was because she was swept off the course)!

The channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with 600 tankers and 200 ferries passing every day, the guide boats job is to ensure that you don’t get crushed! The temperature between July and September when Jack will be completing it will be in the region of 14-18 degrees Celsius, but this could drop as low as 6!

How to train for it?

Jack Trewick has given us an insight into what sort of training he has had to endure in order to get himself prepared for the crossing.

He started the training last August in order to give himself a full years preparation for the swim. He has built himself up slowly to what he is currently doing. At the moment he is completing 6 hour swim sessions in the pool every day and at the weekend he heads up to the coast for a big open water swim. As well as this he aims to hit the gym 3 times a week and also yoga twice a week to keep him loose and to help with his recovery throughout the week. That’s a lot of training!

His longest open water swim to date was 15km in which he completed in 6 hours and in mind numbingly cold water (10 Degrees). Most public swimming pools are kept at around 28-29 degrees with competition pools being around 27 degrees, so when you moan about the competition pool being cold in your next meet up… think again!

To keep up this level of training Jack has to consume up to 5000 calories each day to help build up essential fat (to keep him warm for the swims) and to also help him recover. Before and during training he will have ISO Gels and also hydration tablets. Hydration is key to completing this kind of training and task.

He says that temperature is one of the key considerations as to why most swims fail, this is because of hyperthermia. Another is that if the waves are so big you need to be able to cope with the mental exhaustion as well as the physical. Jack is going to regular therapy to work on coping mechanisms to push through when he is truly exhausted!

More information on Jack:

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 95kg

Jack is a Leeds University Business Management Graduate, a personal trainer and spin instructor.

When he was younger he competed at nationals. He since then has moved onto rowing, football and now triathlons, marathons and of course channel swims! He has completed an Iron man in 13:34.13, so is no stranger to a big fitness challenge!

He is aiming to raise to raise £5,000 so if you want to support this great cause and support Jack on the way to swimming this gruesome swim, please visit his just giving page here! Even a donation of £1 would help him on his way to his target!

Just in case the hyperlink does not work, the link to his just giving page is


Tiide will be running some competitions over the coming months in relation to Jack’s challenge so keep your eyes peeled on our social media pages and our website! Check out our latest products here. Unfortunately we have again run out of the Tiide Stealth Noir swim cap! Thank you to everyone who has supported us on our journey so far.

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