During lockdown, with many gyms closed and team sports off the table, Britons have had to find alternative ways of exercising
Between March and June in 2020, there were almost a million downloads of Public Health England’s ‘Couch to 5K’ running app.
Now, the Outdoor Swimming Society is also hoping to capitalise as it has released a free Swim Couch to 5K app.
With wild swimming growing in popularity, the new programme is designed to help people train for three months leading up to a summer solstice challenge.
During the three-month programme, the training begins on dry land in order to improve cardiovascular and overall fitness, as well as practising swim specific drills.
Then when swimming commences in May, it can be done in the sea, or in a river, lake or pool and consists of at least three weekly sessions.
The content of the programme has been devised by Daniel Bullock, the director of Swim for Tri. Bullock is a former triathlete and open water swimmer and has been a swim coach since 1990.
The programme is for front-crawl swimming and is suitable for anyone that already has a basic level of swimming but wants to improve. Through the programme, participants will “develop a long, relaxed front crawl”.
The idea for the scheme was conceived by the founder of the OSS, Kate Rew, who “suddenly become conscious of how many independent, free-thinking friends” were using apps to improve fitness over lockdown.
She said: “I realised we had reached a point in lockdown where we just needed someone to tell us what to do.
“I thought it would be really lovely for swimmers to have a plan to follow to get us out of the doldrums and off our couches to pave us towards midsummer.”
Training has started, but there is still time to join as in-water training doesn’t begin until 1 May. It will continue until 21 June – the summer solstice – when everyone will complete the 5K challenge
Users are encouraged to share their progress using the hashtag #swimcouchto5k.