Can Too Swim FAQ

07 Nov 2024

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 open water / 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 200m freestyle non-stop.

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 some 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 open water / ocean sessions provide you with tips and training for open water / 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.

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:

  • 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!
  • 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 6/8/14 week training program to follow including fitness sessions to do outside of Can Too pool and beach.


Saturday Open Water / Surf Session :

  • Qualified Water Safety volunteers from local Surf Life Saving Club present each week to make beginners feel confident
  • On the sand: Learning about the open water / 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.

Goal Event Swim

Can Too follows a 6/8/14 week training program with one pool and one beach session per week, culminating in you taking part in your goal open water / 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: 

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?

Sorry, it is not possible to swap between pods and beaches - it's a safety thing! 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 6/8/14 week training program.

I’m going away, what if I miss sessions?

If you are going away and will miss sessions, please talk to your Team Captain and Coach.  Coach will be able to recommend sessions outside of Can Too.

What is the role of the Coach?

Your Coach is there to:

  • Guide group training sessions twice weekly
  • Share expert advice on proper running technique, with a focus on injury prevention
  • Support you to achieve your personal fitness goals.

What is the role of the Team Captain?

Your Team Captain is there to:

  • Support and motivate you to achieve your fundraising goals
  • Answers any questions regarding program logistics and event day details
  • Be your first point of contact for team updates and general admin

What is the role of the Mentor?

Your Mentor is there to:

  • Support your fundraising by sharing their own experiences
  • Support and motivate you during training
  • Support the Team Captain through the program
  • They will be your first point of contact for fundraising

I’m worried about the fundraising commitment

Can Too participants have raised over $25 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!  You have until 30 days after your goal event to complete your fundraising commitment that you agreed to at registration.

Can I roll donations over my target into another Can Too program?

If you raise over your pledge amount, that money will stay as part of this Can Too program's tally and all go to cancer research.  You cannot roll donations you raised above your pledge amount into your next Can Too program.  Remember, it's all going to an amazing cause!  Contact the Can Too office if you have questions regarding your fundraising.

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. 

Do you have more questions?

Call the Can Too office on 02 9360 8356, email, live chat during business hours or comment below.

Get Professionally Coached and Supported Today!

The Can Too Foundation is an independent health promotion charity committed to funding cancer research and prevention.   

We offer professionally coached training programs across NSW and Queensland using qualified and experienced Coaches plus caring Mentors and Team Captains. In return, the participants raise money for cancer research and prevention.  

Can Too trains all levels, from beginners to more experienced athletes, in structured training programs tailored to physical challenges such as running races, ocean swims, our own program grand finale goal events, trail running and walking, destination events and adventure challenges. You can even choose your own goal as a Can Too Beyond program

Not sure which one goal is right for you? Have a look at all our upcoming Can Too programs and secure your place today! 

Question? Ask below or live chat during business hours.

All our staff are experts in our programs. Most of us started as beginners, faced the same challenges as you, and are here to share our experiences and advice

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