As a result, I took the day off on Friday (3rd July) with plan of going to the Lake in an effort to wash away the woes of work, at least for the weekend. Britain had been baked in glorious sunshine with the occasional electric storm for the best part of a week so there was really no excuse. Local water temperatures had been discussed online. Whilst the River and Lake would now do little for my acclimatisation, we agreed it would still be of benefit to ongoing fitness training/conditioning.
Friday was no exception weather wise, heading to Ellerton pretty much straight after the school run, I hadn't bothered with breakfast, just a couple of cups of coffee. The water looked very inviting as the sun began to peep over the tree line to East into a clear blue sky.
A few swimmers were already in the water but none that I recognised. The plan was 8-10km, hourly feeding with Lucozade sport and a tin of peaches left on the jetty, no need for warm feeds today as the sun would do its job.
Aside from the lake being extremely weedy between buoys one and two it was just 'what the doctor ordered'
The huge benefit I find from wearing the Suunto is 'What gets measured gets done' ..previously I might have gone to the lake for a planned 3 hour swim, subconsciously it would be a plod, feeds would be slower, I would have no concerns about stopping to gather my bearings or speak to anyone treading water at a buoy as they usually do. It would just be a matter of running down the clock.
Now, I am very aware that 'bobbing' and passing the time is only fooling myself, I know all to well how this will be reflected on the Suunto, and that the distance will still need to be swam, so, if I am in the water I might as well get on with it.
With a glance at the watch every 3 - laps I could choose the time to feed and keep it more or less on the hour with some minor adjustments to the route.
Three feeds later and a mere 900m to swim all was well, a little fatigued but very happy with my efforts, I had predicted 20 minutes per km, plus 3 mins, I was therefore pleased with total time of 3h:14m for 10,020m.