This post is a summary from last week’s SwimTrek trip. As there was no [working] internet last week I’m posting these one week on.
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The day started early (7:20am) with a quick dip in the hotel pool – this wasn’t to get any extra miles into our shoulders, instead it was to film our stroke so it could be analysed later. The pool was ‘fresh’ and it was certainly a refreshing start to the day.
The real swimming started after breakfast with a one hour swim in the local bay. The course was marked out – along the bay wall out to a red buoy, back into the bay to go round a yellow buoy, then back out to another red buoy. We went round the third buoy and headed back in along the opposite bay wall, along the beach and round again. We were feeding every half hour (so once in an hour swim) and for me the lap took almost exactly 10 minutes, so I stopped to feed after my third lap and then completed the hour after my sixth lap.
To say the water was warm would be overstating it, but it certainly wasn’t cold – and we were swimming on a beautifully sunny day in a gorgeous spot in Mallorca – it was lovely.
We then spent some time in a small group of 8 analysing the videos of our early morning pool swim. Each swimmer was filmed from three angles – above, underwater from the side and underwater from the front. I was last to be analysed, so it was interesting to hear the comments about other people’s techniques. Never having gone to any coaching I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for and even what some of the terms meant. It was interesting to see my stroke and again, I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for. What I did see was quite a smooth stroke, with a lot more leg kick then I expected (although I think that was a lot to do with subconsciously trying to warm up in a cold pool). However, the main coaching point I was given was that I don’t rotate my right side enough (if at all). So, I’m going to go back to the pool and try again with bilateral breathing.
The afternoon swim of day 1 was a bit longer, but still only 2 hours. So we started from the same beach, but this time swam around the headland and into the adjoining bay, back across both and then into the first beach again and out. It was lovely and for the first hour it felt great. The lap was about 14 minutes for me, so again it was easy to judge my 30 minute feeds and then off again. However after about 1 hour and 20 the wheels started to come off. I felt sick. I thought I was going to throw up, but I felt weak as well. I slowed right down and when I stopped for the final feed I was close to getting out. However that feed went down (slowly) and with some words of encouragement from Kevin – “just swim it off” I set off again. By this point though I was really struggling. I had no power and felt sick every time I sighted. I was a bit concerned – had I caught a bug, was I getting sunstroke – I couldn’t work it out. The only thing that kept me out was wanting to complete the two hour swim, just in case I couldn’t swim again in the week. I was going slowly anyway, but I decided that I could only manage one more lap, so I didn’t rush and just plodded round. By the time I got out, I was convinced I was about to be sick at any time. in the end I just stayed looking very white for about 15 minutes.
That evening we had a seminar on nutrition, which given how I was feeling felt slightly ironic. My biggest lesson from that was that I’m never going to use Maxi – what was being fed to us on the swim. Fortunately I have brought some of my own Science in Sport sachets, but when I looked tonight only two. Bugger.
I must admit that I went to bed quite despondent and a little worried about the rest of the week. If it’s not the feed and something else then not only might this week be over, but I might have to seriously reconsider my swimming plans in general. A bit worrying.