Tag Archives: exercise

No more swimming

So that’s it then. My local pool has been shut down due to the Coronavirus. Obviously it means no more swimming for me (especially as it’s not warm enough for me outside just yet) – but it also means that there are people who now have an uncertain future about their job, while for others the centre provided important physical and social benefits to help them that they may not be able to get elsewhere.

I hope all of those people are ok.

What they’ve said is that it will be closed for a month and then they’ll reassess at that point.

There are numerous articles flying around online, especially in the swimming communities, that chlorine in pools at least inhibits the virus and possibly kills it. So that the pool itself is one of the safest places to be – but of course it’s different for the changing rooms, while our pool is based in a centre with lots of other activities [formerly] taking place.

For me it means that I need to change my exercise habits. I’m not going to stop exercising, but I can’t include swimming or the gym as part of that.

I had started social distancing anyway. While not in full social isolation I was limiting the things I was doing and the potential for being with other people. However, swimming, for me at least, was always going to be one of the last activities to survive the changes.

What I will do from now on is replace it with running. I’ve been trying to do more running anyway and this will force my hand. Some stretching and body weight exercises followed by a 5k run (or mainly walk to start with I’m sure) is how I’ll be keeping fit. Hopefully the added benefit of being out in the fresh air will outweigh the fact that I’ll miss swimming and I’m rubbish at running.

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Filed under Running, Swimming

A Change of Pace

I’m a big fan of the Team Bear ethos of “Suffer, but never surrender”. In fact I like nothing more than being the first into the lake and the last out, or pushing myself so that I can hardly breathe at the end of a sprint session in the pool, or using the weights and feeling an ache the next day in places that you didn’t realise you had, or doing a cardio session and almost literally having to wring your t-shirt dry afterwards. I love all that.

But I’m not sure I can do that anymore. Or at least not right now.

Let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger (none of us are, sorry to break that to you) and how I have adopted the suffer but never surrender mentality up until this point is to think that unless I’m suffering, then it’s not worth it. So, if I can’t run 10k, then why run? Or if I can’t swim at least a 3k pyramid session, is there any point going to the pool at all?

It’s that attitude [of mine] that has to change. Because it leads to one of two things: 1) not doing anything – “I’ll only manage a short swim, so why bother” or “the pool will be full and I won’t be able to do a proper set, so I just won’t go”; or 2) breaking myself. And the two are usually linked, as I break myself when I push too hard after not doing anything for a while: “I can do this, I’ve done it before, so what that I’ve not done it for three months… OUCH!”

Instead of suffering, for the next few months I want to just enjoy moving around. I’ve not got any big events planned this year, so no reason to suffer, and my previous mentality might have seen me become a bit of a couch potato. Instead I just want to be more active. It doesn’t have to be big and macho, but a gentle bit of exercise to counter balance all the sitting around I do for work.

Last night’s run was the perfect example. A nice 20 minute jog around a lovely village (I’m lucky to live somewhere beautiful) on a lovely evening – and all while my tea was cooking.

So from now on my plan is to take the chance to be active as much as possible and to ignore [some of the] goals and targets and just enjoy it. So more walking, more running, more gentle weights sessions at home and more quick dips in the pool and lake.

Of course it won’t last forever and at the back of my mind is the thought that I’m probably not all that fit at the moment. Instead of being fit I have trained my body to be able to perform one particular task – and even then I’ve broken it slightly as I’ve had a shoulder injury for the past week that will keep me away from swimming until at least the weekend. So a slightly more wholistic approach might improve my general fitness and put me in a much better position to be able to suffer in the future.

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Filed under Cycling, Motivation, Running, Swimming, Thoughts

Weight…

Argh. How can it be the case that after all this recent exercise I still haven’t lost any weight? I weighed myself this morning and if anything I’ve put on a couple of pounds.

Now this blog isn’t really about weight or losing weight. And I’m certainly not going to be posting videos and photos of me before and after weight loss, like Julia_B has done (although it’s well worth a read if you’re interested). What I’m more interested in are the challenges I’ve set myself. But of course these challenges started because I realised that I needed to lose some weight.

As I see it there are two big problems at the moment to me losing weight. The first is my very sedentary lifestyle – apart from the exercise I do I’m almost always sat down (usually at my desk), so I need to develop a routine to get up and move about a bit more – if nothing else it will help my posture and mental alertness I’m sure. The second is that I seem to think that when I return from a swim or a workout that I can eat whatever I like, ‘cos, well I’ve just burnt lots of calories haven’t I? I know what I need to do with this one – but it’ll be tough.

As it happens, I’ve picked a sport that requires a little bit extra body fat – you need to keep warm on the long swims. In fact my Grandad used to try and put on weight just before and during the swimming season and then lose it over the winter.

What I have noticed recently is a slight change in body shape. Shoulders and lats are getting stronger and bigger and that is creating a little bit of a taper effect down to my waist – it’s not obvious, but there are differences.

At present the plan is that while I’m still swimming outdoors not to worry about the weight – it was just a bit frustrating this morning – but once the season is over to try and follow my Grandad’s lead and lose a bit over the winter. Don’t hold your breath though!

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Filed under Motivation, Swimming, Uncategorized