Today was my last training swim before Windermere. So on a rainy bank holiday in the UK I went up to Activities Away to do a few more laps of the lake. It would seem that the rain kept a few people away (that or the the prospect of cooler water) as there were only about 20 of us today.
As usual I was one of the first in and the last one out. I was also the only skins swimmer that I could see doing laps (I saw a couple go round the 200m lap – the woman was wearing some very bright orange shoes to swim, I think I saw her feet about 100m away!).
Anyway I did 7 laps – which in a straight line would be 5.6km, however my GPS told me that it was just over 6.7km – I clearly don’t swim in a straight line! However, even more remarkably is that, according to my GPS watch, I did 6.7km in just over 2 hours or at an average pace of 1:54 per 100m.
Over 6.7km swum
At an average pace of 1:54 per 100m
Although I have no reason to doubt my smart new watch I can’t quite believe that pace.
My original plan was to do about 1/3 the Windermere distance (3.5 miles) in 2 hours – mainly because the lake was only open for 2 hours for swimmers. Instead I did about 40% of the distance. On that pace I’d complete Windermere in less than 5 1/2 hours!
Even if we assume that I’ll swim as ‘wobbly’ as I swam today and I did actually do 1/3 the distance, then I’m still on for a 6 hour 20 minute Windermere!
I’m sure I won’t get anywhere near either of those times, but it has given me confidence and in particular the confidence to get on with the swim and set off at a decent pace and not try to swim so that I conserve energy – which is what I did last time. My goal is to break 7 hours (I was 7 hours and 42 minutes last time). Wish me luck!
For the swim I did in Halifax I wore my new GPS watch, so I tracked all the details of the swim – speed, stroke rate etc. This is the first chance I’ve had to download it all and perhaps more importantly, look at the map of the swim.
The swim itself wasn’t very interesting – just up and back, but the other stats are interesting. At the moment I’m just breaking the watch in, so I’m not using it to it’s full capacity as a training tool just yet. And for this swim I swam with a group, so it wasn’t a hard training swim, more of a social morning in a lake. But it’s all interesting nonetheless.
The map of the swim with my stroke rate
As you can see, there are a lot of lakes in the area
Yesterday I went for an actual run. You know, outdoors, along roads, in the fresh air, using my legs to propel me forward and not in a lake!
It may not sound like much to most of you, but it’s my first proper run for probably about three or four months. I occasionally do a couple of kilometres on the treadmill at the end of a gym session, but I’ve not been outside for ages. It was really nice just to be able to set off and see the scenery, say hi to a few cyclists and explore different terrain.
I wanted to run for three main reasons: 1) just because; 2) to try out my new GPS watch – it works!; and 3) to see if I could and therefore whether I could enter a triathlon in a few weeks time.
My running stats
It turns out I can run (in a fashion), so I have now entered the triathlon – only a sprint triathlon and is a pool swim (so no wetsuit needed). It’s two weeks after my Windermere swim, so I’m not expecting to break any records, but it’ll give me a focus immediately following the swim and I may even like running and cycling more.