Can Too Swim FAQ

09 Jan 2019

Can Too Swim – Frequently Asked Questions

Can Too Swim is for people of varying fitness and experience levels who are able to train for their ocean swim goals in a fun, safe and supportive environment. We will be providing you with a training schedule and experts give information about nutrition, injury prevention and race strategy, and of course, the work of Can Too Foundation researchers.

Do I have to be a swimmer?

Most people have an ability to swim but may lack the technical skills and knowledge to give them the confidence to complete an open water or ocean swim. Can Too caters for beginner swimmers and seasoned swimmers. Please keep in mind, the Can Too program isn’t designed to teach people to swim.  You need to be able to swim 50m freestyle.

We grade you on your ability to swim freestyle in the following distances:

  • Beginner – less then 200m
  • Intermediate – less than 500m continuously
  • Advanced - more than 500m continuously

With the help of our qualified coaches and our daily training program, we’ll get you swimming whichever distance you aspire to reach.

What stroke do I need to swim?

We train you to swim freestyle, providing stroke correction and tips on your swimming style.

If you need to take a break in the water - stop, stand up if shallow, tread water or use the assistance of water safety.  Swimming any other stroke can be dangerous to others in the water. We do not train in breaststroke, backstroke etc.

Can Too is in a group training environment, the pool sessions follow drills to help with stroke correction and the ocean sessions provide you with tips and training for ocean swimming.  If you require one-on-one coaching we recommend you supplement your group Can Too sessions with additional swimming lessons.  Ask your Can Too coach or contact your local pool for individual coaching options.

What do I need to start the program?

  • Swimming Costume
  • A decent pair of goggles – Ask your coach for recommendations if you need to upgrade
  • Sunscreen
  • Drink bottle with your name on it
  • Optional: Rash vest or wetsuit for open water swimming.
  • Be able to swim 50m freestyle.

On the first night of training you will be given:

  • Orange Can Too swim cap. For safety reasons you must wear your swim cap at all times when in the pool, surf or open water. No cap, No swim.
  • Your Can Too swimming costume. Please try on for size and ask your Team Captain if you need to swap sizes.  Please don’t wear the costume if you intend to change it.  Please wear your own costume on the first night.

What do the sessions involve?

Mid-week Pool Session – 1.5 hours:

  • Your cost of pool entry is covered, please let the staff know each week you are with Can Too.
  • One coached hour in the pool, remaining time for Can Too information and fundraising updates.
  • Basic instruction for swimmers
  • Stroke correction to help you swim like Thorpie!
  • Race specific swim sets for beginners to seasoned swimmers
  • Can Too only swimming lanes
  • Lanes of swimming to be graded on ability
  • Expert guest speakers talking on a variety of topics
  • You will be given a 14 week training program to follow including fitness sessions to do outside of Can Too pool and beach.


Saturday Surf Session – 1.5 hours:

  • Qualified Water Safety volunteers from local Surf Life Saving Club present each week to make beginners feel confident
  • On the sand: Learning about the ocean including rips, sand banks & waves
  • In the water: Practical skills including getting under waves, using rips, wading across sand banks and catching waves
  • Building on your distance and endurance to prepare for your goal event
  • We usually go for coffee and breakfast afterwards, so bring your wallet!

Throughout the remainder of the week follow our at-home session plan for cross training and core strength work to make sure that you have what it takes to reach your goal. It’s that simple! Follow the program for the swim of your life!!

Can I wear a wetsuit in the surf?

Optional: You can wear a wetsuit during Saturday beach training, but it is important to remember you are usually not allowed to wear them on race day – unless it is really really cold!

Goal Event Swim

Can Too follows a 14 week training program with one pool and one beach session per week, culminating in you taking part in your goal ocean swim.  During the program you will need to register online and pay for your goal event race entry.  But don’t worry just yet!  Your Team Captain will talk to you about the race day, so you don’t need to register until the program has started and you’re comfortable with which event and distance you want to complete.

Our Goal Event Swims are Palm Beach 1km or Palm to Whale 2.5km on Sunday 27 January 2019 and North Bondi Classic 1km or 2km, Sunday 10 February 2019.  

You can do one or both!  You also have your Can Too cossie, so feel free to get together with your Can Too friends and enter any of the amazing swim events during the season and be sure to wear your Can Too cossie with pride!  Ask your Team Captain or Coach as they may have advice to give about other swims!

What if I can’t make a session?

Let your Team Captain or Mentor know if you are unable to attend a session.  At the start of the program save their phone numbers into your phone and call or text if you are unable to make the beach or pool, giving as much notice as possible.

If I can't make my mid-week session, can I go to another pool and join their mid-week session?  Or swap beaches?

Your safety is of paramount importance to us.  We are strictly governed by participant numbers at the pool and beach to comply with coach to participant ratios.  Unfortunately you can't swap to different pools or beaches as this will sway our numbers and put out our Coach:Participant safety ratio.  If you can't make a session, please speak to your Team Captain and Coach and take their suggestions on how to follow your outside of Can Too 14 week training program.

I’m going away for Christmas, will I miss sessions?

There will be no Coached sessions between 21 Dec 18 - 4 Jan 19 (inclusive).  First session back will be Saturday 5 January 2019.

I’m worried about the fundraising commitment

Can Too participants have raised over $20 million since we began in 2005, following this model of a training program in return for committing to fundraise for cancer research, it’s very achievable.  Your Team Captain and Mentors have all met their fundraising pledges, they are there to help you with your fundraising, offering tips and suggestions.  Read our great fundraising booklet full of ideas to help you.

We encourage you to start fundraising early in the program so you can get that out the way and then focus on your swimming!  Ask you Team Captain and Mentor, they’re there to help you!

I Referred-A-Friend to join Can Too, how and when is the discount applied?

At week four of your program your fundraising commitment will be adjusted to reflect the Refer-A-Friend discount, as a thanks for you introducing new participants to Can Too. Your fundraising page on the website will continue to show your original fundraising commitment as per your program, however, your Team Captain will be aware of your new reduced target.

Do you have more questions?

Call the Can Too office on 02 9096 3649, email or comment below.

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