At the end of January I signed up to the Aspire Channel Challenge for 2019.Continue reading
At the end of January I signed up to the Aspire Channel Challenge for 2019.Continue reading
This week has seen the start of the first ever January Aspire Channel Swim.
The concept is simple – swim the length of the channel (22 miles) in your local pool over 12 weeks. I’ve signed up but decided to make a vow to double the distance, so I need to swim 44 miles by 22nd April. As a (slightly lapsed) swimmer I felt that I should be able to do that – I mean it’s a bit less than 4 miles per week.
Unfortunately for me, a combination of family issues, work and laziness meant that I’ve got off to a poor start and managed a big fat zero this week.
So, as I said, the Aspire Channel Swim starts next week…
And if you want to sponsor me for this you can do here.
There’s a tradition that if you complete a channel swim you collect a pebble from the beach in France as a memento. This weekend I completed my Aspire Channel Challenge by swimming 1,000 metres at USwim in Salford, so I collected my ‘French’ pebbles in Salford.
Obviously, there’s still time to sponsor me: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/patrick-smith-2016-aspire-channel-swim
Today was going to be the day that I completed my channel swim and reached France. It didn’t quite happen.
It wasn’t because the water was too cold and I was suffering with hypothermia, it wasn’t because the currents took me and I wasn’t strong enough to keep swimming for another 3 or 4 hours, it wasn’t because I was exhausted and just couldn’t go on.
No, for me it was because I decided to stand around and chat instead.
You see, my channel swim isn’t in the actual channel, but is part of the Aspire Channel Challenge where people swim the equivalent distance (22 miles) in their local pool. I have 1/2 a mile left to go.
Although I didn’t reach France, I did have some lovely chats.
Firstly I chatted to Ali – like me she is doing the Aspire Challenge. I first spotted her great lap counting device (a stick, with wooden dominoes with a hole drilled into the middle so they could be added or taken off the stick as required) and so I commented on it and we got chatting.
Ali is the perfect example of who the Aspire Channel Challenge is for. She hasn’t swum for a few years (although seemed to have a great stroke), so is using the challenge as a personal motivation to get back into the pool. However on top of that she has a friend that was supported by Aspire a few years ago, so she’s also raising money to repay Aspire’s support.
The challenge is about fundraising and I’m not normally one to ask, but even if you don’t want to ‘reward’ my swimming, then please think of people like Ali’s friend and if you can spare a few pounds that would be great – please sponsor me here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/patrick-smith-2016-aspire-channel-swim.
As well as Ali, I chatted to Scott about open water swimming and front crawl technique and then even had a work chat sat in the sauna!
So, although I didn’t reach France it was a great morning in the pool. And if I can stay in the water long enough I’ll reach France during my cold water dip in Salford Quays on Saturday morning.
I’ve signed up for the Aspire Channel Challenge again this year and it’s been a great way to keep me ‘honest’ and persuade me to go to the pool when I haven’t always felt like it – especially those first couple of weeks when I was still struggling with my back.
Well, I’ve been ‘honest’ enough that I’m now half-way across the channel.
Today I managed 2.2kms and actually swam two fairly quick kilometres – 18:40 and 18:53 respectively – which I’m very pleased with.
Of course the reason Aspire set this up is not to help people like me get back into swimming after back injuries, but instead to raise money. Please consider sponsoring me here.
Not ever, but the longest swim I’ve done in the past five months.
I’m slowly, tentatively returning to the water after a back injury. It’s great to be back in the water again, but I’m trying not to push too hard – just hard enough. There are two main reasons for this: 1) I’m still not certain what caused the injury, or whether the recovery will hold, so I don’t want to damage it again; 2) I’m really unfit and knackered!
However this morning I got chance to swim in the pool at Imperial College London (right by the Royal Albert Hall – a lovely location). The pool was great, it was full of fit students (and lecturers I presume) and I felt pretty good. So I pushed myself a bit further.
Today, dear reader, I swam a whole mile and even managed 3 x 500m in one go! Both recent records.
Not only did I really enjoy it, it’s also got me thinking about signing up for 2Swim4Life again!
PS – today’s swim was another as part of the Aspire Channel Challenge, please sponsor me.
Filed under Motivation, Swimming
Of course I’m not swimming the actual channel, but I will be starting the Aspire Channel Challenge.
The challenge is to swim the same distance as a channel crossing (22 miles) in your local pool over a 12-week period. It starts tomorrow (12th Sept) and runs until 5th December.
I’ve been struggling with a back injury this year so I haven’t done much swimming, so it really does feel like a challenge to complete the distance. However, I’ve been swimming a few times and I think I’ll be able to give it a good go.
Although my back is a bit better, it’s a long way from being right, so I’m easing myself into gently. At the moment my swim routine is as follows:
– 100m warm-up
– 4 x 250m swim
– 100m cool down
I’m hoping to gently increase both the total distance I can swim, as well as the distance I swim in one go, so I’ll increase those middle swim sets by 50m every couple of weeks.
The total number of lengths I need to complete to ‘swim the channel’ is 1416, while the above set is 48. So based on that, I’ll need to swim an average of 2.5 times every week for the duration of the challenge.
One of my personal reasons for doing the swim this year is to help with my motivation (to make me go to the pool 2 or 3 times per week), so for that reason, I’ve donated £22 to the cause (£1 per mile). I’d be really grateful if you could spare a few pennies too – please go here to sponsor me: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/patrick-smith-2016-aspire-channel-swim
I’ve signed up again for the Aspire Channel Challenge.
Last year the swimming element of the challenge was easy for me, so I increased the challenge by doing it in 22 consecutive days. This year, after coming back from an injury that has stopped me from swimming at all this summer, it’s the swimming itself that will be tough.
Since I’ve been back in the pool in three swims I’ve managed to swim 1.8kms, so over 40kms for the channel challenge feels like a lot this year.
However, I’m going to do it and I’d love you to sponsor me here – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/patrick-smith-2016-aspire-channel-swim (where you can read most of this blurb again).
As Aspire says: “Every eight hours someone is paralysed by a Spinal Cord Injury and Aspire provides the essential equipment, advice, housing and grants that spinal cord injured people need to live their lives independently. This is a big challenge, but the more I raise, the more of a difference I’ll make, so please be generous!”
And of course, you can sign up too if you want to take part in the challenge – just go here: http://aspirechannelswim.co.uk/
The Aspire Channel Challenge officially ends today (if you’re still swimming your last few lengths, or raising your last few pounds, then keep going!). The challenge is to swim the same distance as an English Channel crossing (22 miles) in your local pool. The challenge started on 14th September and ran for 12 weeks, until today.
I decided that I’d set myself an additional challenge of doing the distance in 22 days, which I managed to do (I also swam in 20 different venues). I also managed to get a little bit of extra publicity for the challenge (here, here and here).
However, I didn’t stop once I’d done my 22 miles. I may not have counted them directly towards the challenge, but I kept on swimming, so I thought it would be interesting to see how much I swam throughout the twelve weeks of the challenge.
The first thing to note is that although I completed my part of the challenge as a mile a day over 22 days, I didn’t swim only a mile. Most days I swam a little bit more – I just didn’t count it towards my Aspire miles. In fact I swam an average of 2kms per day for those 22 days. After that, I went to Crete with SwimTrek. Then recently I’ve been getting a bit more serious with my training as I want to get a good base level of fitness ready for events in 2016.
So, the total amount of swimming I’ve done in the last twelve weeks is… drum roll please….
134.5kms, or just over 84 miles.
That’s nearly four crossings of the English Channel. Not bad I suppose.
And if that’s impressed you to sponsor me for Aspire, then please, please do so by going here: https://www.justgiving.com/patrickJPRaspire/
Filed under Charity, Motivation, Swimming
As I’ve blogged about before, I recently completed the Aspire Channel Challenge – 22 miles of swimming to replicate a channel crossing. The Aspire challenge allows you 12 weeks to complete it, but I did it in 22 days.
Since completing it I’ve had a couple of articles in the local press. This one in the Nottingham Post and then this one (below) in our village paper, the Bramley.
Since it appeared in the paper I’ve had eight people make a point of mentioning to me that they had seen it. And don’t forget that we live in a small village, I don’t go out much and this was ‘just’ the local free paper. And that’s the people who have told me they’ve seen it – how many others must have also read it.
I’m not sure I’ll be invited to turn on next year’s Xmas lights because of it, but it does mean more exposure for Aspire. And as a PR professional it’s great to see the power of the press in action.
And don’t forget, you can still sponsor me for the swim here: https://www.justgiving.com/patrickJPRaspire/