This week I have taken things a little easier as its been my recovery/rest week. Originally, I was supposed to be taking part in the 10km Great East Swim but due to Blue Green Algae it was cancelled. The idea was to cover a reasonable distance towards the beginning of the week before giving myself at least full day of rest before the race. I decided to try to keep to a similar training programme despite not having the event.
The week began with a pyramid set at the BRJ Coached session, due to the set we did I managed to work on my pacing, albeit at a much faster speed. I also worked on the underwater phase and length of my freestyle arm pulls and now to break up a long swim am doing some sections where I focus on reaching as far in front as possible. Doing this not only improves my stroke over time but it also gives me a little something to think about if I am beginning to get tired or bored when swimming.
Tuesday bought my weekly river swim with Val, this week we did a beautiful route that I haven’t swum before. Starting at Riverside in Huntingdon we swam all the way along the back of Godmanchester, got out and crossed the path at the portage point, got back in the river and continued our swim all the way to the Brampton Mill and then swam back. In total the swim was just over 7.5km and took us just under 3 hours 27min. It was definitely the best swim I have done in a while, not due to speed or distance but simply because it was such an interesting and pretty swim with a friend and it was a new route, so I have never seen all the things we did when swimming. It gave me a new perspective on where I live and made me realise how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place.
On Wednesday I was feeling good and strong, but I made myself rest during the day because if I don’t give myself the rest that I need I would struggle and likely end up in a flare after my Wednesday evening swim, however, I couldn’t wait to get in the water!
It turned out I was a bit too enthusiastic as when I arrived at Lake Ashmore it was still locked up and thought I had got the day wrong! It did mean that when Andy, the organiser, turned up I could get in the water quickly and it gave me the chance to swim for an hour and 3/4s and I covered a further 4km. It was a peaceful, warm and sunny swim, which created yet more ridiculous tan lines! The other highlight (not sure that is the correct word) of the swim was the fact that I finally managed to go for a wee in my wetsuit!
I know what you’re all thinking – this is gross, why write this here and it’s a bit too much information but when I started my blog about training for Lake Windermere I said that I would document everything and the reality is that during my swim I will have to pee!
You don’t realise it but when you swim you do sweat a lot and I will obviously need to replenish the fuel I burn from swimming continuously by drinking and eating whilst I swim. Obviously because I will be drinking so much I am also going to need to go for a pee and despite having drinks during swims I have been really struggling to go to the loo when I am swimming and during my swim on Wednesday I finally managed it, I had to stop, tread water and concentrate but still…I did it and never thought I would be so proud to go for a wee!
Thursday was my normal strength and conditioning session with Gavin from Lifeplus Fitness, which focused on upper body strength and included working with dumbbells, a barbell and using the cable machine. I was supposed to be coaching someone that is new to open water in the evening but the weather was awful, there was thunder and lightening predicted and I decided the most sensible thing for the pupil would be to postpone the swim by a week.
The weather was still awful on Friday but luckily it was planned as a rest day anyway. The only things I was going to do were volunteer at the lake and then my friend was then driving me down to Suffolk so we didn’t have such an early start on Saturday for The Great East Swim. However, due to the weather the lake swim was cancelled as it was unsafe. Obviously, the Great East Swim had also been cancelled but as we had the hotel booked, we figured we might as well go down and find something to do. My friend and I tend to cause chaos wherever we go, we drove to our hotel on Friday night without getting too lost, although we did almost turn into the police station and then went into the hotel car park the wrong way… On Saturday we decided to go to Woodbridge and we had a lovely relaxing day with an amazing pub lunch! After getting home from Woodbridge the rest of the weekend was spent at my parents and playing with our Springer Spaniel, Reggie.
Stats for the week:
1 Pool Swim – 1500m
1 Lake Swims – 4km
1 River Swim – 7650km
Total for week 8 = 13,150m