Tuesday 10 June 2014

Creating a splash

For what-ever reason, since the very start of this Long Distance training madness I have not once had any concerns over the swimming leg, not one negative thought. Strange!

The duration of training is sooooo long for Long Distance stuff. You can't just go do it (unless your name is Stan!) so you get ample time to go through various peaks and troughs of confidence, paranoia (lots of that), panic, pleasure, PAIN, great weather, pissing rain ... you get the picture. So to not worry about the swimming is an odd one.

I consider the wet bit to be the most un-natural discipline for me. When I first starting this Tri stuff I literally couldn't string two lengths of the local pool together without needing an inhaler (and I don’t even use an inhaler!!). Imagine Chew-Bacca gasping for breath why don't you!

To think back then that I'd be even considering a 2.4 mile paddle is bonkers. That would have sent me panicking (nearly spelt picnicking).

Over the last couple of years I've considered the swim in a similar form to a golf swing - lots of small stroke components that together form the full stroke. I'm pretty much self-taught (except for the early Tri Club evening sessions some years ago and the Video analysis that I did last Oct). In the same vain as all of the other disciplines, I struggle to 'up the pace' when swimming, so really try and concentrate on efficiency of stroke, so hopefully that'll put me in a good place for long distance.

Winter training has only ever been concentrating on Technique right up to about a month ago. Early morning pool swims would be relatively short in duration - about 30 minutes each time, with other regulars in the pool lapping me nicely. I would wave (pardon the pun).

Not too much speed work, then straight into strength work using the Paddles almost all of the time (keep forgetting the Canoe though).

A couple of weeks ago saw the start of the Open Water season for me (early May - water temp about 14 degrees C). I still do the pool a couple of time a week, but O/W is where it's at now.

Given the earlier mentioned 'weakest link', from the first time going Open Water a couple of years ago, there is very little interest in the pool for me. It's just a means to an end. O/W is absolutely fantastic. Try it! The sort if feeling of freedom is pretty cool.

I go to an O/W centre in Snodland, Kent (http://www.nda-scuba.com/) once a week at the moment. I’m treating it very similar to the previous training - a gradual build-up in distance. The Lake is marked out in a square course of 100m lengths so it’s pretty easy to judge how far you have done. I generally do twice the distance during the first lap - must work on the navigation!! I did think of getting one of those GPS things to map the swim, but I'd probably die of embarrassment with the snake shape trail!.

I do always find it amazing how, when in a pool I get bored senseless and can't concentrate to count more than 10 laps (refer back to my comments on the EGT swim stage), but in the lake where there are no 'sides' (except for the Bull Rushes that I head towards every now and then) and I can keep going for ages.

Now to buiild to the full race distance by early July giving me a few weeks of long stuff. The only change then will be actually seeing the lake on race day which will be long and straight ....... Yep, then length of that!

OK.  Starting to crap myself now.

Throughout the entire time I've not once measured my pace at swimming, so it will really be an unknown as to how I stand-up (or swim) on race day.  Average will be fine.  Dizzy is a certainty!

Off to get wet again now.


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