Training has been going really well over the past week, I managed to reach almost all of my target distances and even exceed in some of them. The main aims have still been to increase the distances and times I am swimming for and to train and swim consistently.
Just like last week I am still focusing on increasing the number of sessions I am getting in, the time spent in open water and increasing the distance I cover too.
Training started with a hard 2km pool swim. I used my Scale Swimming training book for the first time and gave part of ‘The Painkiller’ session a go, it was as tough and painful as it sounds! The second session of the week was a simple “how far can I swim in this session” kind of session; the answer – 2250m. I tried to focus on maintaining a constant speed during the swim, but my pace actually ended up being a bit all over the place. I always try not to be too hard on myself that I didn’t get something quite right, but it can be frustrating when I know I can do it and easily did it last week!
Wednesday quickly appeared which meant it was time for my first open water session of the week. For the first time since being back in open water I had mixed feelings about it; I wanted to go but it had been raining and was incredibly windy. I know that Lake Ashmore isn’t well protected from the wind and it would make the water choppy and the air temperature chilly, not to mention that I have a 25 minute journey with my TriRide to get there and back and I was worried that I would get too cold on the way home due to the wind. Somehow I managed to force myself to make the journey to the lake and I ended up doing my longest and furthest open water swim. It wasn’t a fast swim as it was, as expected, very choppy and the air temp was bitterly cold, but I was in for over an hour and swam 2.5km!
Thursday was my usual Strength and Conditioning personal training session with Gavin from LifePlus Fitness at the gym. For the past year we have been working on my upper-body strength and my endurance and since being told that I need to rotate a little more when swimming we have added core strength exercises in too! I really enjoy my PT session and it is nice to get out and do something other than swimming, but I do get a bit fed up with some of the looks I get from people because I am in a wheelchair in a gym. It is almost like they think disabled people can’t work out, this week it was a group of lads staring at me but they stopped as soon as I started doing a bench press set lifting 40kg….
Friday was my 2nd open water session of the week; I knew I had big plans for the Lido on Saturday so decided that doing just 1 lap in the lake was enough as I didn’t want to push myself too much and risk injury. It was a busy session, and the lake temperature has dropped significantly, to the point I got a brain freeze when I got in, but it was enjoyable too. I especially like Friday lake sessions as there are often more people there and so there is not only the swimming side but the social aspect of the session too, which is good for me mentally.
As mentioned, I had booked a session at the Lido for Saturday and my plan was to do my longest training swim yet, however, I woke up on Saturday, exhausted, in quite a bit of pain and to top it off I was greeted by incredibly heavy rain. Getting out of bed was hard work, the thought of using my TriRide to get to the train station so I could get the train to Peterborough was even less appealing! I think if it wasn’t for the fact that I was meeting my friend, Lesley and we were going to the Lido together, I wouldn’t have bothered. Saturday Lido swims have become a regular thing for Lesley and I, it’s a 50m pool and the session lasts for several hours meaning that I can do some long swims there. It also gives me the chance to try out some different foods and drinks during those swims, this week my goal was 7km and Lesley, who is working on getting into open water had the goal of swimming 5km! For me, the swim was awful, I basically forgot how to swim, and I didn’t reach my 7km target, however Lesley absolutely smashed their goal of 5km and was just utterly awesome!
My pacing was massively off at the lido, I started FAR too slowly but didn’t realise how slowly I was going until I had been swimming for an hour! After that hour I knew I wouldn’t make the 7km target so instead I just set about trying to swim at a faster and more consistent rate for the rest of the swim session, which I did manage to do; in the end I managed to swim 6100m. It wasn’t the 7km target but it was still my longest swim so far, I wasn’t at all happy with it and was incredibly annoyed with myself for not realising how slowly I was going sooner. Hopefully I might be able to work on a consistent pace this week and will improve in the lido on Saturday.
After my lido swim on Saturday instead of returning home I went to my parents house for the weekend. My parents, especially my mum have always been so supportive of my swimming and driven me more miles than I can imagine over the years to get me to training sessions and events and I most definitely wouldn’t be able to take on the challenge of Windermere 2 Way if it wasn’t for them and my sister, so spending a couple of days with them is lovely and gives me a chance to rest and recover. Plus, it means I get to see our handsome Springer Spaniel Reggie and we get to go for runs and have lots of cuddles together. That is exactly what I did on Sunday, I slept, had Reggie cuddles, took him for a run and then we both fell asleep on the sofa together.
So, overall, it was a mixed week. I struggled with motivation, pain, muscle fatigue and pacing problems and I didn’t quite manage to meet my target distance swum over the week, which was 15km. But I did still manage to go to every planned training session, even if I was struggling with exhaustion and pain so even if I lost the consistency in terms of my swimming pace at least I still managed to train consistently and as often as planned!
This weeks swimming totals –
2 lake swims totalling 3500m
2 Pool swims totalling 4300m
1 Lido swim totalling 6100m
Total distance – 13,900m