Tuomas Kaario Explains His Workout Habits

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Tuomas Kaario, an osteopath and sport massage therapist on dryland and a Finnish open water swimmer completed a crossing of the English Channel in 2008 and swam 58 km across the Gulf of Finland from Tallinn in Estonia to Porkkala in Finland in 2014.

He described his workout and starting habits:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How do you start your daily workouts in the pool?

Tuomas Kaario: Usually I stretch and do some warm-up before entering the pool. Then, depends on training, I swim from 1 to 3 hours

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How do you start in the open water?

Tuomas Kaario: Actually almost the same depending water temperature.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you jump in the water or dive in? Do you slowly sit at the edge of the pool and ease your body in the water or do you take a running dive?

Tuomas Kaario: I always do the same. I go the stairs into the water quite fast and then I stand there for a while. Then I start my swimming.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: When you hit the water, what are the first things that you think about? Is your first impression about the water temperature or is it how your body feels?

Tuomas Kaario: It is the water temperature. My feelings come a lot later.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Does getting in and starting an open water practice or pool workout get easier or quicker as you get older? Or is your typical regimen always the same?

Tuomas Kaario: For me, its has become more easy. I’m more comfortable with the water [now].

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How long does it take for you to warm-up and be able to swim at a good/fast pace? Does a good warm-up differ in your pool workouts versus your practice swims in the open water?

Tuomas Kaario: My warm-up is almost the same always. It takes about 15-30 minutes to swim with good pace.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: If you swim in the ocean, approximately how long does it take for you on average (in minutes) to take off your clothes, put on your goggles, assess the water conditions (and/or currents and tides) and stretch/hydrate before you start to enter the water?

Tuomas Kaario: Normally 20-30 minutes. I’m a slow guy.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you typically eat anything before you start a morning workout in the pool or in the open water?

Tuomas Kaario: Yes, I usually eat quite much before I do my training. I have noticed that it is the best way for me.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: When do you determine your swim distance or direction during an open water workout? Do you plan everything well before you arrive at the beach or lake – or do you make adjustments when you get to the shoreline or after you get in the water?

Tuomas Kaario: I always do very good planning before the swim: pace, distance, etc.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are your perfect conditions for a practice swim?

Tuomas Kaario: During summer with easy water and not too many waves with the water around 18-20°C under the sun in fresh water, not sea water.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What kinds of days or conditions do you dread getting into the water?

Tuomas Kaario: Too many waves, too windy, and darkness with lots of sea life like sharks, etc.

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Steven Munatones