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Ed Williams explores the rollercoaster of emotions that goes with any great swim

Ask any marathon swimmer what the hardest part of every swim they do is, and you will nearly always hear the same reply. It is rarely the cold, the fatigue or the elements that they struggle with the most. For most swimmers, it is battling with the mental demons that make them doubt their own capabilities. Extreme emotional lows often come straight after an extreme high and hit you like a brick wall. Working with this emotional rollercoaster is essential for success.

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Ed Williams is the head coach of Elite Swimming Academy in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. He is also one of the few people in the world to have swum solo across both the English Channel and the North Channel so knows a thing or two about mental toughness.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Outdoor swimming is not just about sport. It is about being part of a community, about fun and challenge, travel and escape from the day-to-day grind. It is about the thrill of feeling alive. It is being sat at your desk and dreaming of next weekend’s swimming adventure. If you find it hard to keep the thrill going through the dark days of winter, we’ve got 12 ways to help keep you motivated, including six top tips for cold water swimming. If you need something to look forward to, check out our Travel and Events sections for races and holiday destinations for summer 2017. Elsewhere in the magazine we hear from the Wild Swimming Brothers about their trip to Norway to tackle the world’s biggest whirlpools, and the truly inspirational Sarah Thomas talks to us about her mammoth 80-mile swim in Lake Powell. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.
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