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Ötillö swimrun Malta – With Michael Lemmel

Ötillö swimrun Malta

The Ötillö swimrun Malta is a new race on the World Series this season. Malta, a stunning island with long rich history. Even though Maltas nature is quite scarce, it has long thrived as a trading nation. So, safe to say, this is a place where you will feel welcome, due to its long-going international way of life.


Anyone who is doing the sprint or the experience on Malta will say: Wow! This is a little piece of swimrun paradise.

michael lemmel

Travel to Malta

By plane, travel to Malta international airport. There are many international airlines, as well as Malta’s own carrier who traffics the airport. Transfer from the airport is cheap, taking the bus to Valetta will cost about 1,50 – 2 €. If you want to take a cab. Buy the pre-paid tickets. it is much cheaper, and 24-hour service.

By boat, you can travel to Malta from Pozzallo on Sicily. The trip takes about 90 minutes. A round trip ticket will cost you 82 €.

Accommodations

There are many options on where to stay for this race. Check out Couchsurfing, Airbnb, and hotels on the web. You should without any problems find something that will suit you.

Train for Ötillö swimrun Malta

The world series race is 38,9 kilometers in total, with 13 swims. The longest is 1600 meters, and the shortest 200 meters long. It will be a great race, both run and swim wise. But we recommend that you focus a bit of extra energy on getting your muscular endurance strong for the long swims in the middle of the race! 

Not to miss

Malta is sometimes referred to as the Los Angeles of the Mediterranian. With movie sets from Game of Thrones, The Gladiator, and Troy. You can take the Malta Film Tour.

Also, try the local soft drink Kinnie, made from bitter oranges and a secret blend of herbs (our guess is that it contains rhubarb and ginseng).

We have a little surprise at the end of the world series race, where you run through an old movie set.

Michael Lemmel

Follow the race

For the sprint and experience races on Saturday, go to the Tower to the east of Golden Sands. And during the world series race on Sunday, best is to go by car, so you can follow the racers during the course.

And of course, if you can’t be on sight to follow the race, Go to Ötillö’s website for live coverage.

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Ötillö swimrun Catalina – With Michael Lemmel

ötillö swimrun Catalina

The island of Catalina is a gem just off the southern coast of California. Being a popular tourist attraction for those who want to get out of the hectic life in Los Angeles. This is the perfect swimrun retreat, with beautiful and varied trail running as well as crystal-clear waters full of marine life. Welcome, to Ötillö swimrun Catalina!


Catalina island in itself is like going to Jurrasic Park.

Michael Lemmel

Travel to Catalina

Although it seems far off the beaten path, it is easy to travel to Catalina. We suggest that you fly to Los Angeles, and from LAX, travel by car to the ferries. The ride will take you about 90 minutes.

The ferries can be a bit choppy, so if you get seasick, as a safety measure you should take something for the fare, it can be bumpy.

Accommodations

There are two cities on the island, Avalon and Two Harbours. The start and finish of the race are in Two Harbours. There will be a chartered ferry traveling from Avalon to Two harbors on race day for the world series. The boat ride takes about 45 minutes.

Most racers will be staying in Avalon.

Here are a couple of hotels that offer special Ötillö swimrun Catalina discounts: The Atwaters, The Pavillion and the Mt. Ada.


We are going to the cradle of endurance racing which is California, and we want to showcase what swimrun should be and is. And how we love swimrun.

Michael lemmel

Not to miss

The Catalina island, due to its remoteness, hosts at least fifty indigenous species. The flora is rich and varied and will be blooming during the race weekend. 

Something that is very special about Catalina is the Bison herd. Brought to the island by movie director Zane Grey to be in his movie The vanishing American. And after production left by the movie company, they populated the island, Nowadays, the population is kept at around 150 individuals. Fun fact, the scenes showing the bison didn’t end up in the movie due to production costs.

Follow the race

Go to the Reef restaurant in Two Harbors, the racers will start, finish and pass there multiple times.

Not on Catalina? Follow the race via Ötillö’s site for live coverage!

Train for Ötillö swimrun Catalina

Catalina has a lot of vertical, don’t take that part of the race lightly. We suggest that you in addition to a solid base in swimrun training also put in extra time for your running strength.

Further reads on swimrun

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Triathlon transitions – not a place, a part of racing

The transition in triathlon

Lost in transition

The transition area is the big, chaotic place where the “fourth sport” in triathlon takes place. This is where all your gear is between the sports, and where you change gear during racing. The times that you spend in this area during racing are called T1 and T2. And stand for transition one (swim to bike) and transition two (bike to run).

You have trained well and shaved time off of all the disciplines, but maybe haven’t practiced the transitions, losing time and momentum during this part of the race?

Time to talk about planning and preparing your transitions. We like to put time into our training programs to work on these skills.

Coming to the transition area

When arriving at the transition area, look for landmarks that can help you find your spot in it coming in from the swim and bike. So it will be easier to navigate when your race mode is on. 

Unpack your things, and structure all the gear so that you have easy access to everything and don’t need to start looking for things during the race. 

Did you remember to pack everything? Download our race day checklist so you won’t forget anything!

Transition 1 – swim to bike

Coming out of the water, take the goggles and swim cap of. And pull down the zipper on your wetsuit. Look for your landmark, and start navigating to your spot. When you arrive at your bike-rack, Take the wetsuit off and place it where it is not in the way for your bike or run gear. Put your helmet on, and then your race belt with your bib placed on your back. Depending on if your shoes are on your bike, or not. Put them on, or unrack the bike and head off to the bike-on area. Remember that it is not allowed to ride your bike inside the transition area.

Transition 2 – Bike to run

The last couple of K’s on the bike should be a time where you prepare your body for running. Loosen up your legs and take in some needed nutrition. 

Arriving at the bike off-sign. Get off your bike and look for that landmark again. Lead your bike back to the bike rack, and rack it. The take your helmet off and place it so that it won’t be in the way for any other racers. Put on your running shoes, and other gear you like to have during the run (hat, sunglasses et cetera). Flip your race belt around, placing your bib on the front of your body, and off you go!


Good luck with the run-leg. The finish line awaits!

– TOT Team
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Ötillö swimrun 1000 Lakes

Navigation in open water swimming

Listen to race director Michael Lemmel talking about the Ötillö world series race 1000 Lakes in Rheinsberg, Germany.


The 1000 lakes swimrun just north of Berlin is a fast-flat course through forests with almost no underbrush. It has trees growing all the way up to the edge of the water, so there are almost no waves. Running in the forest feels like running through a tunnel of trees.

Michael Lemmel

Travel

Traveling to the race is quite easy. For participants who aren’t local. We suggest that you first travel to Berlin, and from there take the train to Rheinsberg. The train ride takes about 1,5 hours. You can also rent a car and drive approximately 70 kilometers. Book your train tickets here.

Accommodations

Accommodations range from expensive hotels to hostels. There are options for everybody’s taste and budget. A word of advice though. Book as soon as possible. This period is a busy time in the area because of its fantastic nature. 


Going to the place, think about that this used to be part of eastern Germany, and it hasn’t been commercialized. You won’t find a coffee shop in every corner. This is how the world used to be. Also, take a second to feel the energy of the forest.

Michael Lemmel

The race-course is flat and fast. And is accessible for spectators. Rent bike’s to follow the race. Don’t miss out on the Schloss Rheinsberg, where you can take in some local history as well as the race. 

Navigation in open water swimming


Many racers remember the castle from the first year due to the cold. That year the race was six weeks later in the year. Nowadays when you get out of the water and look at the castle with its fantastic sculptures, you can feel the warmth of the old atmosphere.

Michael Lemmel

Training advice for Ötillö 1000 Lakes

Training for this race, you should focus on long intervals. It is a flat course, with long runs, long swims with few transitions between the disciplines. Also, don’t forget to pack all your essentials! Download our Checklist for your swimrun race day.

Lovisa Jönsson will travel to the race together with Anna Karlsson as team TOT Swimrun. They are looking forward to an adventure, and to see the town. “And it will be so much fun cheering on the sprint the day before,” Anna says. “Also, trying the highly recommended vegan burgers” – Lovisa adds.

TOT Swimrun before traveling to Germany for Ötillö 1000 Lakes
Lovisa Jönsson and Anna Karlsson after a local swim competition

A special memory from the race was when the team went out at five in the morning looking for wild boar and listening to the red deer. Just having a break from the race and enjoy nature was spectacular.

Michael Lemmel

Are you up for an adventure? Let us help you reach your training and racing goals. Register your information to get your individual training plan for your next swimrun season!

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  • In case we need to contact you for follow up questions.
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  • Enter the date you think you are ready to start with structured training.
    Date Format: YYYY dash MM dash DD
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Triathlon vs swimrun – The wetsuits

triathlon vs swimrun wetsuit

Wetsuits are a science all by them selfs. What difference is there between different wetsuit, and can you wear a triathlon wetsuit for a swimrun or a swimrun wetsuit for an open water swimming race? In this article, we try to explain the differences and walk through the neoprene jungle.

What is a swimrun wetsuit?

Swimrun wetsuits have the zipper on the front end of the suit, and sometimes they have two zippers – one in front and one in the back for easy dressing/undressing. It is also nicer to have zipped down in front during running, both for cooling down and the breathing. 

Legs are cut above the knees, and the material at the hip is often very thin and soft to enhance the running. Arms on the wetsuit can be long or short, or even detachable. To each their own.  These suits are designed not only for swimming but running in them as well. Therefore, they are not solely optimized for swimming. They often have pockets where you can carry your mandatory equipment.

What is a triathlon wetsuit?

Wetsuits used in triathlons are the same as wetsuits for open water swimming. There are multiple types of suits depending on what type of swimmer you are, more or less buoyancy and mobility depending on the model and your needs. Rules stipulate that a wetsuit used in a triathlon or open water swimming can’t be thicker than five millimeters.

Triathlon vs swimrun wetsuits

So what is the difference between a triathlon vs swimrun wetsuit? In triathlon, there are rules regarding the thickness of the materials used, and the suit can not be thicker than five millimeters giving the swimmer an unfair advantage due to the buoyancy. Since there is no governing body in the swimrun world. Suits can be designed with float panels as thick as you like. Ranging from no extra float aid to maxed out suits with 8 millimeters of neoprene. 

Can I use one wetsuit for both sports?

Can I use my swimrun wetsuit if I want to participate in a triathlon? Sadly, there is not a yes or no answer to this question. Instead, you have to look at your swimrun wetsuit. There are rules regarding some aspects of a wetsuit used in a triathlon. The first is: Is your swimrun wetsuit thicker than five millimeters? If so, it is not allowed. Triathlon wetsuits can’t be thicker than five millimeters. Today, most swimrun wetsuits are thinner than that, but there are still models that cater to the swimmer who likes more buoyancy in their wetsuit. 

I personally have seen people use swimrun wetsuits at races without being disqualified, and if you are not competing for the podium, and instead are in it for the fun of racing. The race marshalls won’t say anything. But to be on the safe side, call the race organization beforehand and check if they are ok with it. I bet that they are more keen on seeing you on the starting line and having a great experience than turning you down because of your wetsuit.

Are you interested in training for a triathlon or swimrun race? Fill out the form below!

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Ötillö swimrun world championship

swimrun racing

The Ötillö swimrun World Championship is held the first Monday in September every year. It is to swimrun what Kona (Hawaii) is for triathlon. This is the original swimrun, the mother, the monster…the magical race!

“If you are lucky enough to get a spot at Ötillö World Championship, take your time to open up to the atmosphere and the energy of all the racers. The swimrun community is filled with good emotions and energy, try to feed off that!”

Michael Lemmel

Watch our interview with race-director Michael Lemmel

Michael is one of two race-directors, together with Mats Skott he arranges the Ötillö swimrun world championship and the swimrun world series. In this interview, Michael shares his thoughts about the race, the course and his favorite place alongside it.

“The original Ötillö racecourse is a monster. You can’t wrap your head around it. There are 24 islands, that are all different. And the swims vary from nice and calm, to really messy. It is the ultimate swimrun racecourse.”

Michael Lemmel

Starting in Sandhamn, and the very quiet and focused run to the first swim, this is the start of your journey towards the finish line at Utö Värdshus. The first swim, sighting towards a stroboscope on the next island is magical! Swimming as the sun rises and you know you have a fantastic day ahead of you in the Stockholm archipelago is a thrill. The Ötillö swimrun world championship takes you through varied terrain and scenery, everything from the small uninhabited islands to large islands like the infamous Ornö. Where the racers will do the longest run, just shy of a half-marathon.

“Ötillö is such a massive place, and massive course, and massive experience – It changes people’s lives. One thing we should bring with us is that all the emotions, the community and the essence of swimrun emanate from ÖtillÖ World Championship.”

Michael Lemmel
Swimrun team ötillö
Jenny Ramstedt and Anneli Wall at the Ötillö swimrun Utö.

Ötillö is a fantastic combination of a race, just like swimrun is as a sport! The variety of nature, the length of the race and everything that can happen between start and finish.
For me personally, my mood changes as much as nature along with the course changes. I look forward to some parts of the course, embraces changes
Most important always –  to do your best as a team and have fun with your partner! 

JENNY RAMSTEDT

Follow the race live

As a spectator of the race, it can be difficult to follow. You need a boat to get around the massive racecourse. But, thankfully, Ötillö broadcast the whole race live with fantastic commentators! So if you are not one of the lucky enough to be able to race the swimrun world championship. Be sure to follow it via this link. The Ötillö swimrun world championship is something extra, and a great watch!

Individual swimrun training plan

Are you as hyped up as we are for this? Do you want to get into the fun of swimrun? Sign up for a free individual swimrun training plan!

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  • Enter the date you think you are ready to start with structured training.
    Date Format: YYYY dash MM dash DD
  • A rough guide: Getting started (4h), Experience / Super-sprint (4-6h), Sprint distance (6-10h), Full distance (8-14h)
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Individual swimrun training plan

Swimrunners transitioning from water to land

For your training to become relevant, motivating and also help to prepare for an upcoming swimrun race, you will benefit from an individual swimrun training plan.

Whether you are a beginner and ask yourself – How to start swimrun training – or, a seasoned endurance athlete. We know that you want to make the most of your training effort.

How to structure swimrun training?

We help you to structure your training and racing season. Our coaching is based on your previous experience as an endurance athlete, your current .physical capacity and your training goal. With this, we provide you with a periodized swimrun training schedule.

This plan will guide you in how much, how often and how hard you should train.

Sign up for your swimrun training plan

If you want our help to structure your training, register your information in the form below. We will then send you an individual swimrun training plan for free.

If you are a triathlete, use this form instead.

  • Background

  • In case we need to contact you for follow up questions.
  • Training

  • Enter the date you think you are ready to start with structured training.
    Date Format: YYYY dash MM dash DD
  • A rough guide: Getting started (4h), Experience / Super-sprint (4-6h), Sprint distance (6-10h), Full distance (8-14h)
  • Racing

  • If you have not yet decided, enter an approximate date.
    Date Format: YYYY dash MM dash DD
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Individual triathlon training plan

Our free individual triathlon training plan will structure your triathlon season. It will answer how much, how often, and how hard you should train.

Whether you are a beginner and ask yourself – how to start triathlon training? – or a seasoned triathlete or endurance athlete, we know that you want to make the most out of your training effort.

So, for your training to become relevant, motivating, and also to help prepare for an upcoming triathlon race, you are served by an individual triathlon training plan.

How to structure triathlon training?

We help you to structure your training and racing season. Our coaching is based on your experience in triathlon, your current physical capacity, and your goal. Out of this, we provide you with a periodized triathlon training plan.

Your individual training program will then guide you in how much, how often, and how hard you should train.

Sign up for your own triathlon training plan

If you want our help to structure your training, register your information in the form below. We will then send you a recommended structure for free.

If you are a swimrunner, use this form instead.

  • Background

  • In case we need to contact you for follow up questions.
  • Training

  • Enter the date you think you are ready to start with structured training.
    Date Format: YYYY dash MM dash DD
  • A rule of thumb: Sprint (6-10h), Olympic (8-12h), Ironman 70.3 (8-14h), Ironman (10-14h)
  • Racing

  • If you have not yet decided, enter an approximate date.
    Date Format: YYYY dash MM dash DD
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Triathlon race day checklist – All your essential gear

Packing list for triathlon

Doing a triathlon race, there is a lot of gear that you need to bring. Combining three sports into one is great, but logistics-wise? Well, it leaves you with something to think about. That is why we created this Triathlon race day checklist for all to download.

You have been training structured and disciplined for months coming up to this event. This is the culmination and reward of all that training! It would be a shame if you find yourself at the race having forgotten something that is essential for your racing. 

Take the chance to win a training program with us, joining our Race time prediction challenge. Where you try to estimate your finish time, the closest person to his/hers guess wins!

There is a lot to think about pre-race. So let us help you take your mind of some of it, helping out with this checklist for packing. Just follow our list, and you will have all the gear you need! 

Examples of things that can be easy to forget. Probably not the bike, but a bicycle pump is really easy to miss in packing. Same with a towel. 

We suggest printing this list and ticking off the boxes while packing. That way, when you arrive at your race, you can focus on your race. Not where you put that body glide.

This packing list is also perfect as inspiration for the beginner triathlete who os thinking about what gear you will need in your adventures in endurance sports.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Alexander Graham Bell

Download our Triathlon race day checklist, and start packing!

Register below for your checklist and minimize your stress when it comes to race day.

  • If you have not yet decided, enter an approximate date.
    Date Format: YYYY dash MM dash DD
  • Choose how many hours you plan to train on an average per week. When you define your training volume, our rule of thumb is, Sprint distance (6-10 hours), Olympic distance (8-12 hours), Ironman 70.3 distance (8-14 hours), Ironman distance (10-14 hours).

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Predict race time challenge – win triathlon coaching

Predict race time challenge

We challenge you to predict race time in your upcoming triathlon competition.

You can’t help but wonder what your finish time will be in your next big event. It is in your DNA as an endurance athlete. Whether your ambition is to accomplish, to make a personal best, or to stand on the podium.

Since all sorts of competitions are great fun, we challenge you to predict race time in your upcoming triathlon competition.

The two of you who are the closest between guessing and your actual finish time in each race, based on the official results, will win a Keep Up Triathlon BASE or a Keep Up Triathlon BUILD.

Everything is possible

What we believe is extra fun with our challenge is that everyone, regardless of qualifications or ambition, can participate and win. The ability to guess your end time right is more tied to the knowledge and insight about your actual capacity than to how fast you are as a triathlete.

The triathlon competitions included in the list below (we update the list on a regular basis) are part of our challenge. It is an ongoing challenge where there are winners after each triathlon competition.

So place your bet!

Rules

If you DNF your triathlon competition, you are not considered in our challenge (for that particular race).

You can submit your predicted finish time to all the triathlon competitions that you participate in.

If you register more than once per triathlon competition, the last record will be recognized.

You submit your guess via the form below, no later than the day before the actual triathlon competition.

The day after the triathlon competition, we send out a link so that you can report your official end time. Make sure to do so within two days.

Predict race time

Take part in our race time challenge via the form below.