Monday, 18 April 2011

Less and More

School holidays always present added logistical considerations, what with working shifts, child care and now the Easter break, it will come as little surprise that the last week has been a little stop/start in terms of training, however..every cloud...

Monday I managed an hour in the pool at Total Fitness, though I haven't been back since. I didn't get back to the water 'til Thursday when I had a really nice swim at Ellerton Lake (with Amanda Bell and Jo Charlton) the temperature had settled to a steady 55f, I got into a nice rhythm swimming 5 laps in the desired 60 minutes.

The facebook group I mentioned on a previous post, were then invited to a Sea swim at Seaton Carew on Saturday 16th, the day was fine and warm, very little breeze and glass like water conditions,joined by 3 other swimmers (Amanda, Kate, Phil) and Charlie armed with the camera for evidential purposes, I swam for another 40 minutes at 50f 10c...I was delighted that all three other attendees agreed to take the plunge without the rubber for the final two or three minutes..I just wanted them to experience the water and the freedom without their second skin. There was no complaints and everyone seemed to have a great time, to the extent that most are looking forward to more time in the salt...I told you salt is good for you!

Sunday was another gorgeous day, which allowed for another trip to the coast, this time accompanied by KGB, I entered the water alone swimming for another 47 minutes at 51f (there was a patch at 53f which felt amazing, though it didn't last!) The sea was once more glass like in appearance, I don't really like the water being so patchy as the good news is allowed followed by the bad.. which makes me clench my teeth under water and curse out loud! That said I am pleased with the progress and should top the hour in the sea this week all being well. I have also been nursing the remnants of an ear infection as you will notice by the cap in the photographs, it seems to be doing trick..better safe than sorry.
So... for all I only made the pool once, the increase in open water time is good, looking back on last years records I can see that I am around a month ahead, which is ideal considering the enormity of the goals that lay ahead. After all it is now less than two weeks til the swim4life (24 miles in 24 hours) closely followed by the gruesome Champion of Champions in Dover Harbour.
There has also been some other excellent news...swimming alone in cold open water for anything more than a couple of hours can be soul destroying, hence I am grateful to the other swimmers joining me at this early point in the season. However, better still is the my new find - Peter Windridge France, he is an English Channel aspirant with a slot booked for this summer with CS&PF Pilot Lance Oram, he only lives in Leeds about 60 miles away. In an ideal world we will be able to meet up and perform our longer training sessions together which I can tell you makes a massive difference.


Flip said...

Twas a great day out. I feel this is the begining of another big adventure :-) Many thanks .

Pete Windridge-France said...

Cheers Mark. Nice to know you too!
Now the clocks are changed and the evenings are longer, I have an idea. I reckon I could nip up to your neck of the woods after work for a few "acclimatisation swim" to get used to braving the elements. I can get cover for my disabled lad Archie (who needs 24/7 support)on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays. Any chance? I reckon I could get to Stockton by 6:30pm. Once I'm in the swing of things, I think we can look at some serious distance on a weekend! Let me know either way - cheers

Mark said...

excellent Pete
no point coming to stockton though!
the gates at Ellertom Park close at 6pm so hopefully you can make it there om time
will speak soon
hope you are enjoyng the emails!

glad you liked it
all you need now is something to train for


Triathlon Tips said...

Brrr! Looks pretty cold Mark!

Whats the Champion of Champions in Dover Harbour?


Mark said...


C of C is a BLDSA annual event, which comprises three swims in one day as follows
5 mile swim - 9:15am
3 mile swim - 1:30pm
1 mile swim - 4:30pm
a designated course in Dover Harbour, the course being set using GPS.

To complete the full Champion of Champions event, competitors must complete all three swims and the Championship will be decided on the basis of the lowest aggregate times

Outside the Champion of Champions event, swimmers will be able to enter one or two races separately but such events will not be eligible for the full Champion of Champions competition. Entry to only 2 races will be the 3 mile and 1 mile events and entry into only 1 race will be the 1 mile event.

In order for competitors to complete the full Champion of Champions event, they must complete each individual event before the designated time for the start of the next element

The water will still be cold and no feeding til the end of each swim