Caps, goggles, and grease oh my: A packing list for an open water race

I have my first ocean swim of the summer tomorrow and as I was packing, I realized that many may not know what goes into packing for a big swim.

1. Suits, caps, and goggles: I usually bring a set of my best cap and goggles as well as multiple backup caps and goggles because you can never know what will happen on the beach and there often aren’t places to replace them there. I also pack a few extra suits so I will have options once I am there. Remembering towels is also vital!

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2. Lotion, grease, and other goop: I use Vasoline and Lanolin to both help me keep a little warmth and also to prevent chafing. Lotion is necessary for after the swim to get rid of the inevitable dry skin fro  the salty water. Ear drops and eye drops are good ideas too because you never know what is in the water. Sunscreen is important for longterm skin care.

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3. Nail Polish:  I know it make strike some as odd, but I always paint my nails some bright color before a race because I like to know if what I am seeing is my hand or something else in the water. I adapted this practice from a friend who used to always paint her fingers and toes before a swim meet so that when she was nervous on the blocks her bright digits would make her smile.

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4. Food and water: I bring both water and an energy drink called Heed to stay hydrated before during and after my swim. Some foods I like include granola bars, cereal, and fruit.

I’ll write again tomorrow after the swim to let you know how it goes!


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