Saturday, 28 April 2012

Trapped... in The Tees

Since my last post training has been or rather was, progressing really well. Joe, Amanda and I have continued to train almost exclusively outside and quickly built up to the hour at 50f/10c at Ellerton Lake. We had been making more use of the River Tees due to the proximity and the fact that it is still cold and free!

Following some tightness in the upper back (a regular problem) I went for a sports massage with a therapist used by Joe. Usually after such a session I feel great and virtually pain free. However the only thing to report after this uncomfortable visit was nerve entrapment and extreme discomfort, to the extent that I was unable to sleep, drive or swim.

After some forced rest and alternative treatment I eventually returned to training. This last week we have had 5 swims in the River Tees, the temperatures have ranged from 47f/8.3c to 50f/10c. Sunday 22 April Amanda and I decided to swim to the 'pipe bridge' from our start location at Preston Park a distance just short of a mile, we made it to the bridge in around 27 minutes and were happy with the step up to an estimated 55 minutes at this lower than normal temperature. We turned at the bridge and then the problem became apparent, we had failed to notice the flow as a result of which we had a tough time getting back to the start. After 70 minutes and well over due, we crawled out of the water in a bit of a state. We had certainly pushed the boundaries. Amanda drove us directly to the gym where we had a great recovery in the steam room and sauna. Our teeth chattering whilst everyone else was sweating. We had some strange looks that for sure.

We now make a point of checking the strength of the river flow and direction and plan accordingly...better late than never. All but one session since has found the river almost still. That said, yesterday was one of the days where the river had more characteristics of an endless pool. Limited for time we swam for half an hour and hardly covered much more than 150metres.

Charlie walked the river bank and took the picture below


To summarise this weeks outside swims:
21 April River Wharfe Wetherby 35 minutes at 49f
22 April River Tees 70 minutes at 47f
24 April River Tees 57 minutes at 50f
25 April River Tees 55 minutes at 49f
27 April River Tees 25 minutes at 47f

The plan is to hit the two hour mark as soon as possible. Location to be confirmed.

3 comments:

Boudicca said...

Some great swims there and always great fun....2hours will be easy for you! Always good every now and again to have an 'omg' swim, makes you stop and think! Well done Mark!

Jack Bright said...

Well done on that swim, I am on about 40mins/10c right now but I am not training for the channel like you! 70mins is a long time in a 10c river!
difficult swimming upstream no matter how quickly you fly downstream the time is always slower because of the fight upstream. rivers differ but i think you need almost no flow to get a fair time comparable with still water.

Mark said...

Thanks jack and Amanda we are getting there slowly