I recently posted about life getting in the way of training sometimes (and specifically for me last weekend when I was a lone-parent for the weekend). One of the comments on that post was from Mike suggesting – and I paraphrase – that a healthy training routine is essentially to give in to those moments – fully commit to spending your time with your child and then as you set off on a rearranged training session you will feel happier and ultimately train better.
Not my family.
That all seems wonderful in theory, and I’m not criticising Mike, but it is also a little simplistic. Mainly because it assumes that the planned training session can be rearranged. What if it can’t? What if it is the training session which you feel will help keep you sane and motivated for the child-care? What is you’ve already had to move other training sessions because of outside pressures and this was the “catch-up” one? All of these things were true for me this weekend.
Of course, it’s not just child-care that can get in the way. For me work does too. And as much as I’m committed to my training goals and the events I’ve entered (or will enter), both family and work have to come first.
Not my office either.
a lot some time creating training plans that are constantly moved, adjusted or just ripped up by outside factors. I’m not sure what else I can do but attend the training sessions I can and try not to get too upset by the ones I miss.
What do you do in this situation?
I love the open water swimming and really enjoy the feeling of getting in the water and just swimming. However, I’m trying to enter a couple more events tonight and I need crews for them both and I just feel really uncomfortable asking for favours from my friends for this.
Both of the events are in the Lake District and start early on Saturday, so anyone volunteering to crew has to stay over on the Friday night – so that’s an expense for them, as well as meaning they have to leave work early on Friday to get there, or drive all Friday evening.
I’m happy to do these things, but I’m doing them. I don’t see why I need to ask other people and I don’t like doing it. It doesn’t feel fair and I feel uncomfortable doing it. So I’m having a moan.
I realise that this post makes me sound like all I do is moan. I just hope that the people that know me don’t tell you just how true that is!
Anyway, here’s another update to the list of people that pi5s me off in the pool:
Backstrokers – I know it seems harsh to dislike a whole stroke, but I do. Not in general you understand, just in relation to lane swimming. The problem with people doing the backstroke in a lane swimming session is that they a) are slower than they think (and usually significantly slower than if they were doing crawl); b) have flappier* arms (*a technical term, I know); c) can’t actually see where they are going. I think you’ll agree that that is clearly not a recipe for success.
Overtakers – as someone said to me recently “give way to speed” is the rule I try to adhere to while lane swimming. However it can be hard sometimes to judge when to let people past you at a turn – the people who are only just a bit quicker than you so you don’t notice, or the people that are A LOT quicker than you so you can’t judge how fast they’re going can often catch you out. And in general I have no problem with people overtaking me if I get the judgement wrong. However, if you are overtaking surely you need to be able to do it safely and without interrupting others? So, two basic rules please. If you need to overtake, please don’t swim at the people coming the other way; and don’t overtake right at the end of a length so that the person you’re overtaking can’t turn. Simple really.
That’s it for now with the moaning. I’ll post some happy swimming posts soon.
My very first post was about swimming etiquette and I listed some of the people that can annoy me in the pool as I try to do as many lengths as possible. I thought I’d add a new category:
People that kick me in the face – a new group that I only considered last night as I was doing a few lengths.
As per normal when I swim I was just ploughing up and down the lane. I was in the medium lane, as I wasn’t feeling on top form and the fast lane was full, so I was expecting to be held up now and again. But as I finished one length and tried to turn amid the crowd of Chatterboxes one of the group set off just in front of me. I stopped so as not to swim into him, but just at that point he did a big breaststroke kick and caught me full in the face!
Fortunately it was all okay and I carried on swimming, but it was a bit of a shock.
So, if you are in the pool and lane swimming is taking place, can I just ask that you always assume that someone reaching the end of a length is planning to turn and set off again – that’s what us lane swimmers do.
As for me, I suppose it’s good training for the all-out open water swimming of the summer.
I like swimming. And with the plan to swim Windermere, then that’s the exercise I focus the most on at the moment.
I like being able to lose myself in the process of swimming – although it takes very little mental activity to swim up and down it absorbs me completely and I switch my brain off as I tick off the lengths.
But of course one of the bugbears (as in any area of life) is other people.
Generally people in the pool are great and we all go about our business in tacit acknowledgement of each other, without actually talking (a bit like travelling on the tube). But of course there are always one or two who disrupt that. Here are a few of the most annoying character types that I occasionally see:
Chatterbox: the people who seem to use the pool as a social event and clog up one end by chatting and leave me no room to turn. Just go for a coffee instead!
One-lap racers: now and again you get people who seem to train by sprinting a length or two and then resting for 5 minutes. Fine in itself, but very annoying if you don’t realise and let them overtake you doing this, only to see them stop moments later.
Dawdlers: this is the group of people who swim just a bit slower than you, but then don’t let you past. They are just too quick for you to sprint past (or the lane is too busy), but they are also too oblivious to your presence (or just too ignorant) to let you past.
Of course, I’m sure most of them get annoyed with me too – the plodder that just keeps going up and down, up and down, up and down etc etc