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Update on Aspire

Last week I posted about the start of the Aspire Channel Challenge and the fact that I managed a big fat zero in terms of swimming.

Well this week was a bit better and I’ve finally started. I managed 5.25miles this week, so I’ve not quite made up for last week but it’s a good start.

And please do sponsor me if you can.


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I had a great swim last night.

It started by going to the gym – not a big strenuous workout, but I like to focus on the muscle groups I use for swimming. I don’t do big heavy lifting, but try to work through to fatigue on slightly lighter weights. But it’s always good to spend some time in the gym and I don’t quite do it often enough.

However, I timed my gym session so that I could follow it immediately with a pool session. At the moment I’m trying to do drills as much as possible, so that was the focus last night.

I got into the fast lane and there were two swimmers quicker than me already in there. I followed behind and tried to remind myself that this was just a warm up and a loosener after the gym session. So I concentrated on my stroke and a long pull and not getting out of breath. Despite all that I swam about 7:10 for the 400m warm up.

Although I wasn’t aiming for a good time I was delighted. It means that my natural pace is getting a bit quicker. And while it was only 400m (and therefore it’s not accurate for long distances) it should mean that I’ll be able to more easily cruise at a quicker pace over longer distances.

After the warm up I then did the following:

– 500m drills

– 200m swim

– 500m drills

My plan was to then swim a final 400m to round it all up to 2km and a good hour.

After a quicker warm up swim I thought I’d push it a bit in my final swim – hoping to match the warm up time. In the end I did this:

My first ever recorded sub 7min 400m swim. I’m delighted!

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Oops, I did it again…

I played badminton again tonight for the first time since the last time. I *think* I was a bit better than last time, but out of six games I only won one. I think they’ll let me play again though.

This was last time:

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A new sport…?

Last night I turned up at the gym planning to do about an hour on the bike before I went for a swim. 

However just as I was signing in a woman asked st reception, “is there anyone spare that could play badminton?” It turns out that they only had three players and needed a fourth. 

I’ve played badminton in the past, they were desperate so might not mind if I was rubbish, so I thought, “What the hell.”

In the end I was a bit rubbish, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m tempted to get my own stick and try and play a bit more. 

– – – 

My legs are stiff as hell today though. They’re clearly not used to all that lunging!


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I’ve done it

22 miles in 22 days in [nearly] 22 different venues. 

For the first time in just over 3 weeks, I’m not going to swim tomorrow. 


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SurfEars Review

I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to review the SurfEars earplugs for H2Open Magazine. The SurfEars advertise themselves as being able to “Let Sound In”, and also “Keep Water Out”.

So, did I like them?

Well, you’ll have to read the full review in the next issue of H2Open, but the short answer is yes!

The SurfEars in their box.

The SurfEars in their box.

Out of the box and with the very nice carry case.

Out of the box and with the very nice carry case.

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Big thanks to Speedo

Originally posted on my Open for Business blog.

Open for Business

The other day I posted this.

This morning I received this package from Speedo.

Speedo Goodies

Thanks Speedo 🙂

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Windermere today

Gonna set off and swim this in about an hour.


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First Dover Swim

I got up early this morning (very, very early) to get down to Dover in time to get in the harbour with all the channel swimmers. Those swimming a relay get in at 10am, so I needed to be here in time to register etc.

I got in and did an hour and a half and I can’t quite say I enjoyed it, but by the end the swimming was nice and relaxed. The water’s nothing like it was in Mallorca (the last time I was in the sea), but it was ok. It tasted a bit like “holiday” – admittedly a cheap package holiday, but it had that familiar salty / sandy tang.

Of course my swim was nothing compared to the red hats – those training to do a solo channel swim (relay swimmers wear a yellow hat). Many of those guys were swimming for four or even six hours. And many of them had done seven hours yesterday!

The best thing about today was seeing the famous “beach” and channel community. And of course catching up with the rest if my team. It looks like our swim will set off on Thursday, early in the morning. But if course that could change dependent on the weather.

And now I’m sat at a pub on the front and I can see France!



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Swimming Lake Geneva

Yesterday I met up with a group of friends from university. It was a great day of chatting, drinking, chatting some more and then drinking some more. We all met around 20 years ago and you can tell how much we’ve aged since then as the conversations this time round were more important than the drinking and the topics of conversation were about families and houses and careers and not about girls and cars.

But that’s the way life goes and it was great to catch up, especially since it is two years since I’ve seen some of them.

It turns out that one of our group now lives on the banks of lake Geneva and so while everyone else asked him about his new job and lifestyle I asked if I could visit and go for a swim.

I don’t want to do the length of the lake, but I have asked if if there is a local swimming club that organises swims across the lake to France (and back).

My plan over the next few years is not necessarily to try and swim further and longer, but instead to do a series of interesting and diverse swims – and where possible to some more international swims. It may well be, if Tony gets it sorted for me, that Lake Geneva is the first of those.


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