Monthly Archives: May 2018

Running is hard…

… especially straight after swimming.

But that’s what I did last night as I took part in the first of the One Hundred Percent Swimming Aquathon series.

It was an 800m swim, followed by a 3km run and most entrants seemed to be triathletes who were using it as a gentle training exercise. Not fat blokes who barely run.

Actually that’s not true about the barely running thing, as I’ve been going to as many Parkruns as I can this year and finding myself both enjoying them and getting a bit faster. But running after a hard swim is new to me.

I was the only non-wetsuit swimmer and I started at the back of the pack to let all the triathletes fight it out at the front. Once the water settled though I started to move through the field and probably came out of the water about halfway in the field (of 67 entries). I could have held back a bit on the swim, but decided that I’d go as hard as I could for two reasons: 1) it would be the only chance I had of getting ahead of a few people; 2) it was a good ‘sprint’ training session for me.

After the swim I needed to sit down and dry my feet before I put my trainers on and set off running, so I don’t think my transition was the quickest! But then it was the run and bloody hell I struggled.

In the end I finished in 37:22, which I suspect could be broken down roughly as follows: 16min swim; 2min transition; 6:30min per 1km lap of the run. Of course what I realised is that for most of those entering the swim was a slog, but the run was just a sprint; for me it was very much the other way around.

Anyway, that’s my current PB and I’ll try to beat it next time (although I can’t make the second event in the series).

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The Season has Started

The open water swimming season has started for me – and started with a bit of a bang.

Last Sunday I did a 6-hour lake swim – organised by 100% Swimming. Next Sunday it will be the first BLDSA swim of the year as I’m organising the Colwick Park swim.

The 6-hour swim was something that I’d signed up for ages ok. Back in a time when I thought that I’d be able to get several lake swims in ahead of the swim and it would be a great training swim. Back before we had that horrible cold weather (can we even remember that now we’re having a mini heatwave). In the end, with winter dragging on through into April I managed a very short dip at 9 degrees in Sale with Cathy and a couple of ouchy swims in 12 degrees water at Activities Away.

In the end the weather turned in time to warm the lake up to 14 degrees in time for our swim and so swim we did.

I realised afterwards that I hadn’t swum continuously for longer than an hour at this year and that this was only my fifth ever swim of 6 hours or longer. But at the time I just swam around the half mile course swimming from feed to feed (and huge thanks to my swim buddy Hayley who was in charge of the feeds) until the 6 hours was up.

It was great to turn my winter swimming in the pool into a good open water swim. I’ve done quite a lot of pool work and a lot of gym work over the last few months. I’m still conscious of my bad back – and it is something that hasn’t been ‘fixed’, but is being ‘managed’, but not causing any real problems at the moment – so a lot of gym work has been done to stretch and strengthen the areas that need to be stretchier or stronger.

While in the pool I have been doing ‘sprint’ sets. Of course the term sprint is relative when my swim goals are 10.5 miles, so a sprint set for me has been a timed 1km or 2km swim in the pool. But I have noticed improvements and am feeling good about my swimming at the moment. It was good to test that out in open water.

Then next Sunday (20th May) will be the Colwick Park swim and the start to the BLDSA swimming season.

I am organising this swim again (but for the last year) and there will be a 1km swim – that people can turn up and enter on the day – a 3km swim and a 5km swim. As well as organising it I’m going to swim the 3km event, so that will be nice to ‘race’ in open water after the long training six hour swim.

The season has started. I wonder what it will hold for me.

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