Cotswold Water Park

Over the late May Bank Holiday weekend we (Katie, Dennis and Max) went away for the night to the Cotswold Water Park. I took advantage of the trip to have my first lake swim of the year at Waterland Outdoor Pursuits which is situated at Lake 32 of the park.

http://www.ukwatersports.co.uk

On arrival we paid our £5 and were directed to Jo at the cafe who would explain the course to us. The lake has a 450m, a 750m and 1,500m loop.

I was just going to do the 750m lap as I didn’t have my wetsuit but once I was in it felt so gorgeous at 20 degeees plus, that I changed my mind and did the 1,500m loop. I’m glad I did as the 750m loop was chocker and I only passed two other people on the bigger loop.

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I would definitely recommend the lake for people in the Cotswold area.

I then went to Jacks in Cirencester for cake(s) which was as yummy as ever!

Open-water Training 2017

 

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Coached sessions at London (ish) venues

 

Serpentine

SwimForTri:  http://www.swimfortri.co.uk/hyde-park/

RG Active: http://www.rgactive.com/coaching-training/swim-training/

Serpentine Swimming Club: http://serpentineswimmingclub.com/

General Admission: https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/hyde-park/things-to-see-and-do/sports-and-leisure/serpentine-lido

Tooting Bec Lido

Fit and Abel: http://fitandabel.com/uk-swim-coaching/

SLSC: https://www.slsc.org.uk/

Training sessions are for SLSC members only. You can get a Club only membership costs for just £25 (£20 for 19-25 year olds) but with the club only membership you have to pay for your entry to the lido.  More details here: https://www.slsc.org.uk/club-events/training-sessions/

General Admission: https://www.placesforpeopleleisure.org/centres/tooting-bec-lido/

Parliament Hill Lido

Tri For Fitness: http://triforfitness.co.uk/courses.htm

General Admission:   https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/green-spaces/hampstead-heath/swimming/Pages/Swimming-opening-times-and-charges.aspx

London Royal Docks

RG Active: http://www.rgactive.com/coaching-training/swim-training/

General Admission: http://www.londonroyaldocksows.co.uk/opening-times/

Hampstead Ponds

RG Active: http://www.rgactive.com/coaching-training/swim-training/

General Admission: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/green-spaces/hampstead-heath/swimming/Pages/ponds-times-charges.aspx

West Reservoir

RG Active: http://www.rgactive.com/coaching-training/swim-training/

TriScape: TBC

London Fields Tri Club: https://lftri.co.uk/training

Capital Tri: https://v1.bookwhen.com/capitaltri

Swim Open: http://swim-open.com/

General Admission: http://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/london/hackney/stoke-newington-west-reservoir-centre  Note: in order to go swim there outside of organised sessions you need to have done an induction.  As the season progresses the availability decreases, so if you are thinking of using this facility, we would suggest booking your induction ASAP.

Brockwell Lido

Streamline Swims: http://www.streamlineswims.com/training/training-dates/

Windrush Tri Club: http://clubhouse.windrushtri.co.uk/page/training

General Admission: http://www.brockwelllido.com/

Shepperton Lake

Swim Lab: http://www.swimlab.org.uk/diary/

General Admission: http://www.sheppertonopenwaterswim.co.uk/

Stubbers

Swim For Tri: http://www.swimfortri.co.uk/stubbers/

Ham Lake

RG Active: http://www.rgactive.com/coaching-training/swim-training/

Heron Lake

General Admission:  http://www.swimheron.co.uk/

Bray Lake

General Admission:  http://www.braylakeswimming.com/

Thorpe

General Admission:  http://www.thorpeopenwaterswimming.co.uk/

Liquid Leisure at Datchet

General Admission:  http://www.openwaterswimminguk.co.uk/location

Marlow

General Admission:  http://www.openwaterswimminguk.co.uk/location

Papercourt

General Admission: http://www.racestrong.org/papercourt/

Olympic swimming lesson

Myself and Katie were at the London aquatic centre on Saturday (18 March), aka the London 2012 Olympic Pool, for a lesson with Olympians, power couple of GB swimming and founders of Triscape David Carry and Keri-Anne Payne.  Triscape is a health and lifestyle company that focuses on swimming coaching in various set ups and locations.

IMG_1964

Before heading to swim, we had a chat with David and Keri-Anne about our swimming, why we do it and what we wanted to get out of the lesson.  Katie wanted to know what dry land training she should be doing to compliment the swimming.  I decided to aim high and request to swim faster, longer and without shoulder pain. 

We made our way out to the pool and after a short pool side warm up, we plunged into our private lane and did a 300m swim, where we were told not to change anything yet but just to do our normal stroke.  I can do that!

Over the next hour, we covered 3 key elements to “straight line swimming”, the triscape swimming method.  We focused on our head position, breathing and rotation.

First thing to sort was head position.  We had to stop looking forward.  We watched a video Keri-Anne had taken of us swimming and watched David’s demo of the impact that his head position had on his body position and therefore, streamlinelyness (new word people – keep up) and it all made sense.  I like to look forward whilst swimming, as I need to know where Katie is at all times for fear of letting her get too far away or even worse tapping her toes (not her favourite thing!), but as soon as I did put my head down, I instantly felt the benefits. It is going to be a difficult one to crack, especially, as we get closer to public lido swimming, where unless you know what is going on around you, you are destined to bang heads with someone.

With the rotation theory, while I couldn’t feel the benefits to the same level, a simple pool side demo from Keri-Anne to show the impact it has on your shoulder muscles was enough to convince me that this is the path to shoulder pain relief.

Soon enough David was sprinting 50m to check he still has “it”* and our time was up.  Armed with our new technique we went into a public lane and did a short pyramid set to practice.  We both promised to make sure we put time in our sets to focus on getting this nailed…otherwise we might have to book ourselves on one of their trips abroad 😀

We both really enjoyed our coaching session and we would definitely recommend the session to other swimmers.

IMG_1963

*he does

 

 

 

10km pyramid

IMG_1901

 

After the success of 100 x 100m a few weeks ago everyone started getting very optimistic and suggesting more 10km sets.

This is how we ended up at Charlton Lido again on 12th March 2017 attempting a 10km pyramid.  We were a reduced group this time as Adrian way away skiing (I think he might have planned the trip to avoid the set) and Manda wasn’t very well.

So the set pretty much did what it says on the tin and went like this:

100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m, 600m, 700m, 800m, 900m, 1,000m, 900m, 800m, 700m, 600m, 500m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m.

We started off on 1.40sec per 100m pace but after the first 200m David took pity on my lack of rest and we moved up to 1.44sec per 100m pace (apparently Nils’ tempo trainer only goes up in 2 sec intervals)!

The day before the set I had run over 13 miles as part of the Swimmer so basically my only goal was to finish and if possible maintaining good (or at least good for me) technique.  At least this is my excuse for the awful times I posted!

Overall it was a good set and nice to tackle the distance in a different way to 100x100m.

Watch the space for more 10km sets in the future…

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100 x 100m – 2017 edition

Early one morning I (Katie) received a text from Brian which broadly said “sooooo David, Nils and I were chatting and we are planning to do 100 x 100m soon. Are you keen?”  Challenging though it is, I love doing 100 x 100m so I was definitely in.

The negotiations then started. The first point of order was where and when.  We quickly agreed on 5 February 2017 at the Charlton Lido.  While it is a bit of a drive away Charlton is a no brainer for big sets.  Not only it is a heated 50m outdoor pool but it is also a real swimmers pool.  Everyone there has good swim etiquette which makes for a much less stressful experience.

img_1687
A peaceful lido – photo from Sally Goble

The second point was a bit harder to resolve – what time were we going to swim off? Nils and David are much faster than the rest of us and wanted to go off 100 secs.  Whenever I have done the set in the past I have always swum it off 1 min 50s i.e. 110 secs.  100 x 100m off 100 secs does have a nice ring to it though and I thought, provided I maintained a steady speed, it should be okay.

The day before the swim there was lots of whatsapp chat about nutrition – Adrian offering to bring David gin kind of bants – and nerves. There was also a last minute panic as the website said the pool was only open form 9am – 12pm.  Now the set would take nearly that amount of time so everyone was instructed to arrive dressed to swim with garmins pre-set to a 50m pool length.

Everyone obeyed instructions and we managed to get in the water for 9.02am. Nils led the first 10 reps and after the obligatory first rep keenness everything went smoothly.  I was typically coming in around 1.32 pace giving me around 8 seconds rest.  David led the second block of 10 and everything went a bit crazy with the leading four doing well under 1.30 pace.  I was like hang on a moment guys, there are 80 more to go let’s not go crazy here so Manda and I stuck to the 1.31 / 1.32 pace.  This meant that I didn’t have as much draft as the others were so far ahead but on the whole I think it was better to keep a steady pace.  Brian and Adrian led blocks 30 to 40 at a much more reasonable pace and Nils led the final 10 before the chat / toilet break.  So far so good with Manda and I holding a steady pace at the back and we were feeling good.

Again there was the obligatory post break keenness coming in at 1.26 before settling back down into the 1.31 / 1.32 pace again. We were much closer to the group now so were getting the benefit of draft so the combination of the pace and rest was very comfortable.  The early fast pace was starting to tell up front over the last 20 – 25 reps and I moved up behind Nils who was now leading.  I did feel a bit bad after spending 80 reps drafting to go in front but hopefully the others didn’t mind and they had some draft in return!   I was then effectively leading the pack as Nils was so far head.  This and trying to hit a slightly faster pace made the final 15 tough going but it was good to have a bit of a challenge at the end.

And then we were done! I was a bit disgruntled that I wasn’t allowed to do the last 2 as swim down and had to do EXTRA swim down after the end.  A combination of the short rest and discipline around the start and breaks meant that we finished in 2h 45 minutes in total only to find out afterwards that the pool was actually open until 5pm so there was no need to rush.

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Nils still smilling after 91 100s – photo from Sally Goble

Afterwards there were six very tired and wrinkly swimmers in reception with some terrible goggle marks. Despite this I thoroughly enjoyed the swim and it feels like a really achievement afterwards to have finished.

img_1654

 

Christmas set 2016

So our brains needed a rest from our usual Christmas set so we decided to spell out Christmas and then do a 400 per letter with each letter corresponding to an activity.

Obviously you don’t have to do them as 400s so give it a try.

*C*atch up

*H*ard

*R*ecovery

*I*ndividual Medley

*S*ingle arm

*T*ime trial

*M*oderate

*A*lternate hard, easy

*S*wimdown

 

🎄🎄🏊🏼‍♀️🎄🎄

3k sets – a special 30m pool addition! (aka 100 length sets)

**UPDATED 06/05/17**

On Friday mornings we can often be found at Ironmonger Row Baths near old street getting in some lengths before a hearty breakfast at Look Mum No Hands.

IRMB is a 30m pool (well 30.5m really) which sometimes makes it a bit challenging designing sets. You need to get to the magic 100 lengths for a 3k swim. Here is a selection of the sets we have swum there for anyone else who swims in 30m pool!

London 30 or 30.5 pools are:

  • Wimbledon 30.5m aka 33 yards
  • Ironmonger Row Baths 30.5m aka 33 yards
  • Oasis: 30 yards aka 27.5 metres

1)

10L easy

10L pull

10L up drill back kick

Main set

Twice through

Increasing effort / speed at length reduces.  30 Seconds rest (SR) after each swim.

10L
8L
6L
4L
2L

10L swim down

3,000m


2)

10L easy
10L pull

Main set

10L moderate
3x3L hard 20 SR

4 times through

Increasing effort / speed as length reduces

4L swim down

3,000m


3)

30L moderate / easy

Main set

3 x 10L moderate 30 SR

6 x 5L hard 20 SR

10L swim down



4)

10L warm-up

10L up drill back swim

Main set

All of the below three times through

4 x 4L. 15 SR between with 30 SR after a block of 4.

  1. 3L moderate, 1L v hard
  2. 2L moderate, 1L v hard, 1L moderate
  3. 1L moderate, 1L v hard, 2L moderate
  4. 1L v hard, 3L moderate

8L long-distance race pace

8L swim-down


5)

10L warm-up

10L up drill back swim

Main set

30L moderate 30 SR

20L race pace 1 MIN REST

10L hard 30 SR

5 x 2L up v. hard, back easy 10 SR

10L swim down


6)

10L warm-up

2 x the below

20L race pace 30 sr

20L moderate / easy 30 sr

10L race pace 20 sr

10L moderate / easy 20 sr

5L race pace 10 sr

5L moderate / easy sr

10L swim-down




7)

This was written for a 30m pool – if you do it in a 25m it will be 2.5km

10L SWIM

2L PULL

8L SWIM

2L KICK

6L SWIM

—-

4L SWIM / HARD

6L SWIM / EASY

8L ALT EASY / HARD

10L MODERATE BP 3

12 EASY, MOD, HARD * 4

10L MODERATE BP 3

8L ALT EASY / HARD

6L SWIM / EASY

4L SWIM / HARD

4L SWIM DOWN

TOTAL: 3000m


8)

12L swim

8L alt drill choice / backstroke

6L Pull

4L Kick

7*270m.  30 SR between each 270m/9L

  1. 5L EASY (E), 3L MEDIUM (M), 1L HARD (H)
  2. 5L M, 3L H, 1L E
  3. 5L H, 3L E, 1L M
  4. 5L E, 3L M, 1L H
  5. 5L M, 3L H, 1L E
  6. 5L H, 3L E, 1L M
  7. 5L E, 3L M, 1L H

7L SWIM DOWN – DO SOME BACKSTROKE!


9)

LENGTHS WHAT DISTANCE RUNNING TOTAL
8 SWIM 240 240
2 DRILL 60 300
6 SWIM 180 480
2 PULL 60 540
4 SWIM 120 660
2 KICK 60 720
2 SWIM 60 780
2 DRILL 60 840
       
0 840
16 4*4L @ 75% 480 1320
0 1320
10 10L @ 70% 300 1620
0 1620
16 4*4L @ 80% 480 2100
0 2100
10 10L @ 70% 300 2400
0 2400
16 4*4L @ 75% 480 2880
0 2880
       
0 2880
4 SWIMDOWN 120 3000

10)

30
LENGTHS WHAT DISTANCE RUNNING TOTAL
8 SWIM 240 240
4 PULL 120 360
8 SWIM 240 600
4 KICK 120 720
8 SWIM 240 960
0 960
       
25 5*5L (HHEHH) 30 SR 750 1710
0 1710
2 EASY 60 1770
0 1770
20 5*4L (HEEH) 30 SR 600 2370
0 2370
2 EASY 60 2430
0 2430
15 5*3L (HEH) 30 SR 450 2880
0 2880
       
0 2880
4 SWIMDOWN 120 3000

TOTAL: 3K/3000M


11)

30 L warm-up (mix of swim, pull and drill)

Main set

10 L moderate

2 x 5 L hard

10 L moderate

5 x 2 L hard

10 L moderate

10 x 1 L hard

10 L swim down

TOTAL: 3K/3000M



12)

10 * 10L per the below.  1 min rest between each.

  1. EASY SWIM
  2. ALT PULL/KICK
  3. UP DRILL, DOWN EASY SWIM
  4. 1 LENGTH EASY,  1 LENGTH MOD, 1 LENGTH HARD REPEAT THROUGH TO 10 LENGTHS
  5. 5*2L HARD. 15 SR
  6. BP 5 (i.e breathe every 5)
  7. Pyramid:E,M,H,VH,SPRINT,SPRINT,VH,H,M,E
  8. 4l hard, 4l easy, 2l hard
  9. 10*1L 10 STROKES SPRINT off wall and then easy swim into wall.  10 SR.
  10. SWIMDOWN

Total: 3k/3000m


13)

10l easy swim

6 lengths pull

18L 1 LENGTH EASY,  1 LENGTH MOD, 1 LENGTH HARD REPEAT THROUGH TO 18 LENGTHS

4*4L HARD 20SR

14L BP 5 @ 75%

3*4L HARD 20 SR

10L PULL

2*4L HARD 20 SR

6L SWIM DOWN

Total: 3k/3000m


14)

10l swim

10l pull

10l alt free and drill

10l mod (75%)

10 * 1 sprint off wall for 10 strokes then easy into wall. 10SR

10l mod (75%)

5*2l up hard, down easy 15 sr

10l mod

2*5l e,m,h,m,e. 15 sr

10l swim down

Total: 3k/3000m


15)

10 swim

8 pull

6 drill choice

4 swim

6*1l half a length water polo, half easy swim to wall.  15 SR

10*2L SPRINT. Rest as follows: 25,20,15,10,5,25,20,15,10

1 MIN REST

1l fly, 2l catch up, 3l swim as Easy,Medium,Hard, 4l mod

1 MIN REST

X2

6L SWIM DOWN

Total: 3k/3000m

16)

12L every 3rd length pull

12L every 3rd length kick

12L every 3rd length build

2*6l HARD 30 SR

6L PULL MOD 20 SR

8L RACE PACE 30 SR

6L CATCHUP 20 SR

 

2*6L HARD 30 SR

4L 6-3-6 DRILL 20 SR

8L RACE PACE 30  SR

4L SINGLE ARM DRILL

4L SWIM DOWN


17)

10L SWIM

10L PULL

10L ALTERNATING DRILL CHOICE AND KICK

20L MODERATE 1 MIN REST

2*10L MOD 30 SR

6*4L HARD 20 SR

6L SWIM DOWN


18)

8L SWIM

6L PULL

4L DRILL

2L KICK

12L BP3 MOD 30 SR

2*5L H,M,H,M,H 25 SR

5*2L H,E 20 SR

12L BP3 MOD 30 SR

4*3L H,M,H 25 SR

8*1L HALF SPRINT, HALF EASY 10 SR

12L BP MOD

4L SWIMDOWN


19) WARNING THIS IS A 110L SET

16L SWIM

10L DRILL

10L PULL

5*5L 20 SR ODDS HARD, EVEN MOD

5* 4L 20SR AS ABOVE

5*3L 20 SR AS ABOVE

10L UP HARD, DOWN EASY

4L SWIM DOWN


20)

10L SWIM

12L EVERY 3RD PULL

8L DRILL CHOICE

6*1L DOGGY PADDLE

6L as 2 mod, 4 hard

8L as 4 mod, 4 hard

10L as 6 mod, 4 hard

12L as 8 mod, 4 hard

14L as 10 mod, 4 hard

2*4L as 1l tri fly or fly, 2 mod, 1 sprint

6L SWIM DOWN


21)

10L SWIM

8L PULL

6L DRILL

4L SWIM

2L KICK

5*5L HARD 30 SR

4*4L MOD 15 SR

3*3L HARD 20 SR

2*2L MOD 10 SR

10L RACE PACE

6L SWIM DOWN


22)

10L SWIM

5*1L TECHNIQUE FOCUS 10 SR

MAIN SET = 20 SR with ODDS as HARD, EVENS as MOD

1L

2L

3L

4L

5L

6L

7L

8L

9L

8L

7L

6L

5L

4L

3L

2L

1L

4L SWIM DOWN


23)

10L SWIM

10L alternating pull and drill choice

4*4L

  1. 3L MOD, 1L VERY HARD
  2. 2L MOD, 1L VH, 1L MOD
  3. 1L MOD, 1L VH, 2L MOD
  4. 1L VH, 3L MOD

8L RACE PACE

REPEAT X 3

8L SWIM DOWN


24)

Training for Coniston 2016

I (Manda) recently watched a mini documentary series about USA athlete Sarah Brown. Sarah got unexpectedly pregnant a year before the Olympics in Rio. She decided to continue training whilst pregnant to ensure she could give herself the best chance at the Olympic trials in July 2016. She gave birth early so ended up having 4 months to get ready for the trials. So much in this series hit a note with me. Ok Coniston ISN’T the Olympic trials but it is my A goal of my shortened season. I’m not looking to qualify or win or even get a time… I just want to start and a bonus will be to finish.

My baby was due 3rd June and arrived on 4th June. I was hoping to swim 5.25 miles end to end of Coniston on 3rd September. I got signed off for swimming on 14th July so had 7 weeks and 1 day (but who is counting!!) to get myself as ready as I could.

I am not out to damage or hurt myself and this is just a fun hobby so I had no plans on doing anything silly and my plan was run past both my GP and my midwife. Also, before I gave birth to my son I wrote a plan including several eventualities. I had to be realistic that he could be 2 weeks late and that my recovery could take longer than the generic 6 weeks. In any scenario there would be no benefit to panic training so the plans were set and I promised the post-partum me that I would be kind to myself no matter what.

Week 0

6 week checkup with medical practitioners. Given the go ahead with the caveat of ‘no swimming the Channel just yet’. Errrr ok! And another excuse never to have to swim the Channel conveniently gets logged in my head!

I text my husband with the casual request that we go to lido for a short dip once he gets home from work. His reply is ‘OK. I will go cycling on Sunday’. The childcare negotiations have started!

The swim was 1000yds of euphoria. Then the next day.. Boom..soar throat of doom. I am not sure whether it was to do with the swim but hey. I reasoned with myself that I was fortunate that my baby was on time (punctual as expected!) and that I was signed off after 6 weeks so could relax and better to get rid of it properly than return too soon and lose more time.

Week 1

Plan: Long swim: 2500 / Total distance: 5000
Actual: Long swim: 1400 / Total distance: 3600

After a week of soar throat I returned to the tropical climates of Tooting lido. Due to proximity to my house I did all my London training at the lido. It is a 20 minute walk or 5 minute drive away so this meant I would be able to maximise time in the water rather than travelling to/from further away pools. I was also training “skins”. Again time constraints meant that I would lose training time by having to put on a wetsuit, it was also + 20 degrees by the time I started training AND MY WETSUIT DIDN’T FIT!! I added 200 yards on to the 3 swims I did this week. I didn’t make my planned distances but I was calm about what lay ahead.

Week 2

Plan: Long swim: 3300 / Total distance: 6600
Actual: Long swim: 2800 / Total distance: 7800

Not only have I got the physical challenges up against me I also have the logistical issues. I can’t just go swimming when I please anymore. This week highlighted this when despite feeling better and capable I got kicked out the lido at 19:45 despite having only done 2800 yards of my planned 3400 yards. 2 things have to happen to allow me to leave for the lido: Husband needs to be home and baby needs to be fed. Either one of those not happening at the right time means time at the lido is compromised. Lessons were learnt and we were ready now for the weeks ahead.

Week 3

Plan: Long swim: 4400 / Total distance: 7700
Actual: Long swim: 4000 / Total distance: 10200

Week 3 and I was still to hit my long swim distance. I swam 4000 yards at the lido on the Sunday on my own and afterwards I was convinced I had bitten off more than I could chew. The only person I admitted this to was Josie. She was also training for Coniston and this was going to be her longest swim to date so unlike the usual gang she could sympathise with what I was going through. I decided to take it easy the following week and as much as it pained me I was at the lido again the next day but didn’t swim. Maybe I was learning or maybe I was just scared of the midwife?!?

Week 4

Plan: Long swim: 5500 / Total distance: 8800
Actual: Long swim: 5000 / Total distance: 9400

With my Guernsey trip coming up I wanted to get in a long swim the day I was flying off. This was a great plan until I was half way to Gatwick with a 2 month year old and I was exhausted from swimming 5000 yards, 800 yds of which was a SLSC race. With the 5000 yards banked I was quietly optimistic that Coniston was a possibility..how quickly things had changed.

Week 5

Plan: Long swim: 4400 / Total distance: 8800
Actual: Long swim: 3000m / Total distance: 3800m

I went off to Guernsey this week and training was a bit of a farce. The local leisure centre and only place for public pool swimming was shut to be extended by half a centimetre and they instead had sessions (for 2 hours and 2 lanes!) every other day at a school. The first time I turned up my sister was driving my son around in the car whilst I swam and when I got onto pool side it was carnage. The limited time and space meant everyone on the island was in the pool! I managed 800m before I got out and my sister got me. I did make it back for another 3000m one day but the rest of the time, when the weather allowed, I swam on the beach but this was a no googles, no hat, no watch type affair… but I loved it.

Week 6

Plan: Long swim: 6600 / Total distance: 8800
Actual: Long swim: 6600 / Total distance: 13800

Hoorah.. With 1 week to go I hit my long swim target for the first time. I felt ok after the swim, so much so that I managed a full day of activities afterwards but then proceeded to crash and burn the next day.

Week 7 – TAPERING

Plan: Long swim: 3300 / Total distance: 5500
Actual: Long swim: 2200 / Total distance: 3600

Tapering consisted of some splashing around at the lido with Katie, Josie and Laura and some serious burger consumption to ensure optimal fuelling for what lay ahead. At this point I knew I had done all I could to get myself ready for the 5.25 mile swim and I would just have to see how things would go. It was too late to do anything else….

The pregnancy swim diary

Being pregnant presented some interesting challenges to my (Manda) swimming training, however, I was able to continue to swim right until 40 weeks.  This was all made possible by lots of lovely people, mainly Katie, who continued to swim with me despite my speed and endurance not being what it once was.  It also helped that I had goals (swimathon/winter river challenge/staying fit for labour!) that kept me focused.

I honestly believe that swimming is the best sport for pregnancy.. You don’t need to do as much as me but it should be encouraged to swim throughout pregnancy.

Here is what I got up to swimming wise whilst pregnant.

Weeks 1-4
Most people don’t realise they are pregnant by this point so it is business as usual.

Weeks 5-8
I swam a 10k in the lido in 13 degrees at this point. 😉 so evidently still BAU!

image

I did struggle one week due to a feeling that I was ripping my stomach muscles every time I pushed off the wall. Not sure what it was but after 2500m I got out. I decided to get back in 2 days later and just be less aggressive on the turns and I was fine.

Week 8-12
I’m getting slower.. Well maybe not slower but I’m fatiguing a lot quicker and for a long distance swimmer being able to handle 200m easier than 1600m is a bitter pill to swallow. Apart from that I’m still thoroughly enjoying my swimming and being around friends.

Week 12-16
I had to go to Hong Kong for 1 of the weeks and only managed one short swim there and I decided to go to the pool when the entire over 65 population of Hong Kong seemed to be there! This meant avoiding breaststrokers who seemed to be hell bent on swimming in the middle of the lane and kicking me. After that there was no swimming for nearly 3 weeks due to a combination of jet lag and a cough. I couldn’t take anything for it so just had to wait it out. Sorry to anyone who had the pleasure of miserable Manda during the time. I made my return for the 12 days of Christmas set and managed the 4K fine apart from the joys of now needing a toilet break mid swim. I’m also having to be a bit more selective on what costume to wear.

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Week 16-20
No Christmas sea dip for me. Brian tried to suggest the baby needs to get used to the cold water asap and I totally agree but it was more the risk of getting sick again that stopped me.

I am still doing the sets I write, I have just stopped trying to do anything that is over 80% effort and anything that involves less breathing than normal.. Maybe I should stop including anything over 80% in my sets but then how would I inflict pain on Katie and the others?! I am also finding that I am not fatiguing as I was at the beginning so maybe that was just a first trimester thing.

Week 20-24
Over half way and perfect timing for a 10 minute time trial with Swim for Tri to see how much speed I’ve lost. Admittedly there was some tactical drafting going on (thanks Simon and Katie in the later stages) but I did 700m and as I can’t swim at max effort I was pleasantly pleased with that. Previous best was 725m.

I am still doing 4km for my weekend swim. The idea is to keep up this distance on the weekends for as long as possible, especially as I need to swim 5k for the swimathon.

Week 24-28
I have admitted defeat and invested in some size 36”(which is 2 sizes up from my usual size) swimming costumes.  The maternity ones are just fugly and don’t look like they have been designed with swimmers who actually want to swim frontcrawl so my plan is 36” for now.

It is only one month to go until Swimathon so I am still doing a long swim of 4km or longer a week to ensure I can cope with the 5k distance.  We even managed a cheeky 50*100m down at Charlton one weekend in preparation for Katie and Brian doing 100*100m in April. I plan to go along but probably not do the full 100..although.. No I won’t..I promise!!!

I also managed to demonstrate in week 26 how 1) I had lost my sense of balance 2) I am not designed to be on land by falling off a pavement when 100m from the entrance to the swimming pool.  My knees took the brunt but a week later I was back in the water…just ALOT slower for the week off (or maybe it was all the food I ate in Italy whilst I wasn’t able to swim!)

Week 28 – 32
I have admitted defeat part II.  I have a 2 piece.  I’m baffling the swimmers of London.  Female, pregnant, 2 piece, fast lane -> SAY WHAT?!? Although after my week out of the water following “pavement gate”, I probably don’t belong in the fast lane anymore.  sob sob sob.

Swimathon! I did it.  5k in 1:25.  My hope was under 1:30 but that was including me taking rests as needed, so I was chuffed!  I only took one break for about 45 seconds at 3km.  I even managed to get a shout out from Duncan Goodhew on twitter.

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Week 32-36
No swimathon to train for but still have 3 weeks of the Winter River Challenge to go so still trying to get the 9641m a week done which means a 4k swim once a week.  There were 2 weeks where I didn’t make the weekly goal distance because I had to get out the water at Charlton 1.5k into a 4k swim as I was suffering badly from acid…oh the joys of being pregnant.  The following week I missed the target due to a combination of taking it easy for once and our Tuesday night session being cancelled.

Week 36-40
The winter river challenge is over!  I am still swimming.  On my last day of work we went for a dip at Kings Cross Pond Club but my already taut skin couldn’t take the cold water and felt like it was on the verge of ripping.  So I got out pretty quickly… ok VERY quickly!!  Very bizarre sensation.  Hoping the lido warms up (and I find my lido pass!) so I can get back in.

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Photo: @ledavies

I went for a swim at Hampton on my own, whilst the others were busy training for the jubilee 10k in the lido and was pleased to report that I was the fastest person in the pool (..just!).

Week 40+

This is where the diary ends… And after a few weeks ordered rest I will be back training for Coniston 2016, which could be my biggest challenge to date.  Watch this space.


Special thanks to Swim For Tri, RG Active and #thisgirlcan for keeping me swimming and Katie and Simon for not kicking me out of the fast lane!

HELP! Winter River Challenge

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The 1st of April will signify that we have 30 days of the Winter River Challenge to go and we already know that we aren’t going to make it by this date, despite a last minute surge by some of the team (thanks Hilary!).

“Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your metres”

We have asked friends and family to help out but to be honest most of them don’t like swimming (I knoooooooow!) therefore, are unlikely to be that helpful!!  (We are looking at you Dom and Dennis!)

What can you do to help us? Swim!

You can donate 1 of your swims during April to us.

You can only donate 1 of your swims so make sure it is a good one.  That being said we are desperate so anything from 100 metres to 10,000 metres will be gratefully received and it all helps us get the final metres done!  Then let us know how many metres you swam during your swim session and we will add it to our total and ensure you get a mention in the final summary.

Let us know by either commenting below, tweeting about it with hashtag #winterriverchallenge, tweeting us at @teammermaids12, email us on hello@teammermaids.com or send a carrier pigeon.

Happy swimming.
Team Mermaids

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Here is a list of what has been donated so far:

DONATIONS