Breaststroke for the 2 mile Great North Swim?

I was thinking of just booking the Great North Swim so it’s done and no way out of it because I’m still concerned about doing it front crawl and having to learn it all with Hellen, a fantastic friend of mine who’s an amazing swimmer. She is willing to teach me outdoor frontcrawl swimming because apparently she said it’s a completely different stroke to indoor frontcrawl swimming. Anyway on the website I saw a section titled “Which Distance“. For the 1 mile distance I read with interest:

– Suitable for swimmers of all abilities
– Equivalent to 64 lengths of a 25m pool
– An average time to complete this distance in the water is around 40 min
– Take a leisurely breaststroke and enjoy the scenery or kick into crawl for a faster time

The magic word breaststroke – my favourite stroke.. or my only stroke I can do haha. I was thinking though I can smash a mile in the pool breaststroke, I even do miles as a milestone when I go on to do 3 miles etc. So I was thinking perhaps it would be possible to do breaststroke for the 2 miles?? So I email the website guys:

Hello, I am looking to do my first open water swim this year and I am looking at either doing the 1 mile or 2 mile distance. I’ve never done any open water swimming but I have a friend who’s a fantastic swimmer who’s going to give me loads of training before the event.

I am a regular swimmer at my baths usually completing around 160 25m lengths in 1hr 40 mins in breaststroke. I only ever do breaststroke as I find it the most enjoyable stroke (plus the one I’ve only ever trained well on).

I read with interest that for the 1 mile distance you say “Take a leisurely breaststroke and enjoy the scenery or kick into crawl for a faster time”. I am not competitive so breaststroke would suit me to the ground rather than having to perfect a crawl beforehand.

My question is, would it be possible to do breaststroke for the 2 miles? I’m not particularly bothered finishing towards the end – I just want to achieve this challenge. What I don’t want to do is be the only breaststroke 2 mile challenger and hold you guys up (and it being a little awkward).

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this

Many Thanks and Kindest Regards

Paul Carruthers

We shall wait to see what they say – if they say yes then that will deal with my anxiety massively.


2 thoughts on “Breaststroke for the 2 mile Great North Swim?

    • Hi mate. They told me being it my first to do 1 mile. To be fair I can still do 3 mile in the pool without a sweat but in the Lake it’s a different beast. I’d stick with a mile and if it’s easy you can always return next year for the 2 mile. Good luck

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