To be a Jedi , Ninja or Apprentice you need to complete some or all of the specified swims. These are onerous swims, both physically and logistically and there are some rules you need to follow so read on for some tried and tested tips.
Before the challenge starts in November get yourself comfortable with the longer distance swims so that as the temperature goes down you're ready to get the 2K and 1.5K swims done as soon as we get to 9 degrees.
Don't dilly dally !! You make think 5 months is ages and it'll be really easy to find time to fit in all the swims - it won't be !!
You need to crack on as soon as the challenge starts and try and get some of the swims under your belt in November. They do follow a logical progression taking you from the warmer temperature in November through to the coldest month ( usually February ) but you can swim them in any order.
You can only swim one specified swim in a 24 hour period. You must leave 24 hours between swims to give your body time to rest and recuperate - do not underestimate how hard these swims can be.
The sea rarely falls to a cold enough level to get the 5 and 6 degree swims done so you will probably need to find a fresh water swim spot as fresh water is colder than sea water in the water. It's warmer than sea water in the summer but that's a different story.
THE TEMPERATURE VERIFICATION
You will need to submit a photograph ( or photographs ) of TWO thermometers confirming the water temperature is at or below the required temperature. E.g. 7 degrees or less means 7.00 degrees or less - 7.01 or 7.1 is too warm to count. Both thermometers must show the temperature at or below that required - it is NOT an average.
The thermometers can be either digital or mercury or one of each.
You MUST have photos of thermometers - photos of a board at the site with the temp written on it or social media posts by the venue don't count.
Details of where to send your pics can be found HERE
WHEN TO TAKE THE TEMPERATURE
It is recommended to take the temperature BEFORE you swim. That way you know what swim and distance you are aiming for and you can prepare yourself for how cold you know it is going to be.
WHEN TO TAKE THE PHOTOGRAPHS
It is recommended to take the photographs BEFORE you swim. It's no fun trying to take a pic when you're freezing cold with numb fingers after your swim - do it BEFORE !
ARE THE SPECIFIED SWIMS AN ICE MILE TRAINING PLAN ?
No - they are a good basis but if an Ice Mile is your target then I would recommend that you swim one mile each week from October onwards in fresh water so that as the temperature goes down you acclimitise. You may find that when the temp hits a certain level you find it too uncomfortable in which case reduce the distance to a safer one and recognise your boundary has been reached. There is always another day to try again - you don't need to push beyond where you feel safe - pull back and learn and try another day.