Sunday, 26 April 2015

24 Little Hours

With less than one week before the first major event of 2015, I thought it an ideal time to put 'pen to paper'  There has been a fair bit of chatter on social media regarding the event 2S4L 2015 held at the most picturesque Guildford Lido in Surrey. For those unaware the lido is a 50m open air, heated pool, the water on the day is said to be around 23 degrees C.

The surroundings are very well kept, on a sunny day you would be hard pushed to find a nicer location for pool swimming.
The event itself is simple yet brutal, swim 1 mile on the hour EVERY HOUR for 24 hours. The actual start is planned for 9am Saturday 2nd May 2015, there are two waves one starting on the hour the next at 30 minutes past.

This week start times and lane allocation was distributed by the organisers Jim Boucher and Lesley Zimmerman. I am listed to swim in the latter wave starting at 0930, in Lane 3 together with 4 other individual swimmers I am yet to meet, plus one three person relay team.
Being the advanced planner I am, we are pretty much ready, certainly more so than 2011 when I last completed this test of physical and mental torture. We leave home Friday mid morning for the 280 mile drive south, arrive, set up recently purchased tent and drop equipment for the following day including sleeping bags, inflatable bed, comfortable seating, wet weather gear etc.

After the 2011 event I wrote three related posts. The first here about the day in question. The second here included some lessons I should have learnt, the crazy thing is, I have just had a quick scan over that post and I have NOT addressed one of the big issues, that is having at least 12 sets of swimming togs. It is not pleasant putting on sopping wet trunks at 3 in the morning when the air temperature is far from desirable. I probably have around 8 pairs so that will have to suffice.

One thing that will be 'catered' for is my belly! last time I was feeding on the usual sweet items, jelly babies, rice pudding, gels, chocolate and so on, eventually I yearned for something savoury, hence this year I will indeed take the sweet things but also enough savoury items to feed the 5000. I am thinking cold boiled new potatoes, chicken breast, sandwiches (without crusts) and perhaps something we can warm up, the likes of pot noodle, plus of course all manner of drinks hot and cold, last but not least some white not controlled substances just maltodextrin previously maxim but now the more palatable products from 'CNP' and 'MYPROTEIN'

The final relating post from 2011 was with regards to the after effects.

The major difference for 2015 is the compulsory requirement for a 'swim buddy' who will have the unenviable task of looking after me between swims. This will be a huge benefit. One thing I really struggled with previously was resting fully, without stressing about falling into a deep sleep and thereby missing the start of the next mile.

My final advice;

  • swim your own swim, leave your ego at home, do not race the other swimmers in your lane or any other lane, the speeds within your lane will soon settle down and the swim order will organise itself. 
  • Do not switch lead out swimmers mid mile, get into the zone and swim ITS ONLY A MILE.
  • Do not worry about counting laps its only 32 or 16 if you count from start point, plenty of people will have a Suunto or Garmin to take care of that.  
  • Quickly get into and master your routine between swims initially it almost feels like too much rest, believe me you will need every second once darkness descends. 
  • IT IS COLD during the night, get out get your wet kit off and get dry, eat drink and rest. 
  • Take lots of towels and be ready for all weathers. 
Stay out of my tent unless you are coming to give me a massage !  

Above all else
  • Enjoy :-)
and feel free to comment below 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Bye Bye Windows

After some very frustrating tech problems I have finally switched from Windows to Mac, I absolutely delighted to have made the transition, as a result I should be able to keep the site updated on a more frequent basis with no more excuses.

To that end, the latest news is a return to salt water, granted it was only a fifteen minute dip in The North Sea at Costa Del Seaton Carew near Hartlepool The Mecca for Open Water Swimmers! (NOT) but we were very happy with this for the first outing on 2015. After some screaming and crying about ice cream headaches and brain freeze we did manage to actually swim properly for 600 metres.

It was an ideal opportunity to test the Ambit3 previously mentioned, the GPS Tracking features all worked a treat, we purposely stayed close to shore as can been seen from the route on the image below.

Pool wise training has been going superbly well with Bill, we have been doing interval sessions on virtually every occasion we manage to train, the direct consequence being a slight increase in speed and return to fitness.

The 24 hours Swim For Life (2S4L) at Guildford Lido is imminent therefore recent sets have circled around1600m breakdowns for example 1600 warm up 16x 100, 8x 200, 4x 400, 2x 800 all on build to max effort maintaining form and bilateral breathing. If you are unfamiliar with the 2S4L then please read the previous  write up from 2011 on list of favourite posts (left side bar)

Dublin beckons this weekend for hydration purposes! after which it will be head first into the swim season 2S4L, Eton 10k, Wykeham 5k, C of C 9 miles etc.

Stay tuned

P.S. The tide was in we didn't just walk the zig zag on the sand! Cheers Google