Pool Crawl: South East London edition (March 2015)

The idea was to do another pool crawl in February but then Katie had her baby 2 weeks later.. so she wasn’t around to participate, Pivo was doing his mile a day February challenge and I (Manda) had an ear infection/was away.  We got to March and decided it was time to get one in as the winter pool challenge finish (April 30th) is getting closer and there are still a lot of pools unconquered. South East London we are coming for you.

The pools chosen were:

  1. Peckham.  We wanted to get this one ticked off as it is shutting for refurbishment on 9th March.
  2. Camberwell
  3. Dulwich
  4. Forest Hill
  5. Crystal Palace

We had West Norwood penciled in as a back up as I thought we might not get to Forest Hill in time.

At 7:15 this morning we met at Peckham Pool and the challenge started.

Peckham pool was relatively quiet and the lanes were wide, so it meant we had a nice quiet swim, well apart from the lifeguard laughing when Brian walked on pool side in his jazzy funky trunks..

We swam:

400m swim

300m pull

200m drill choice

100m kick

Camberwell pool is a glorious old building that houses a beautiful pool.  The pool and air temperature were ridiculously hot here and it was also super busy.  We saw Rita, who coaches us down the lido in the summer, as she teaches at this pool and she said to get the swim done quick as it only gets busier! At this point I think things were already getting to me as Rita asked where we were going next and I said Camberwell!

image image

We swam:

200m warm up

4*200m @ 75% 15 seconds rest

200m swim down.

Dulwich was an epic fail on my behalf.  We arrive there at 8:45 to be told that the pool closes for lessons at 9.  I thought it shut for lessons at 10 so had screwed that one up royally. The challenge means you have to swim 1km in each pool and even though we can swim 1km in just under 15 minutes I didn’t fancy the prospect of fitting in getting changed and the swim in 15 minutes or the quicker alternative of jumping in the pool fully clothed. We made a quick decision to head to Forest Hill and then sub in West Norwood before heading to Crystal Palace.

Forest Hill pool had 6 lanes of lane swimming.  They were narrower to accommodate this but sometimes that is better.  It meant there were 2 fast lanes and on us getting in 1 and swimming 1 length everyone who was in the lane either got out or moved to the other fast lane.  Result!!


We swam:

100m warm up

200m split 50m HARD 50m EASY 50m EASY 50m HARD

200m split 50m HARD 50m HARD 50m EASY 50m EASY

200m split 50m EASY  50m HARD 50m HARD 50m EASY

200m split 50m EASY 50m EASY 50m HARD 50m HARD

100m swim down

West Norwood didn’t start well when we arrived to see that the pool temperature was 28.6c. After getting changed we headed to the pool to see a boom across the pool splitting it.  I thought it might now be 20 metres… Brian wasn’t so sure. The lifeguards confirmed 16 metres…. 16 metres!!!!!! We ended up doing 66 lengths for 1056m.


We swam:

Whatever we could to get through it!

We then stopped for a quick bite to eat and a coffee.


Crystal Palace is where we train regularly.  Katie and I have been doing our weekend sets there for the last few years. The day long lane swimming, 50m metre pool and relatively good lane etiquette means it is a winner for longer sets… It is where the 100 x 100 took place.


We swam:

100m warm up

100m  @75%

200m @75%

300m @75%

400m @75%

300m @75%

200m @75%

100m @75%

300m swim down

It was a pleasant calm way to end the adventure.


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