Thursday, 28 April 2016

Drag Appreciation Drills

There are some interesting points here, some of which may have an impact on your fatigue / energy levels particularly on a long swim. Worth a watch. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


We have been working quite hard in the grotty chlorine pit over the winter, the benefits of having regular training partners in Bill and Ben are massive, we constantly race each other during our interval sessions then put the world to rights in the sauna afterwards which is always funny and a great way to unwind.

With the arrival of April, it was time to make the dreaded return to open water, as always it would be mentally and physically tough getting back into the cool water. Last year I was late (mid May) starting outside and paid for it throughout the season.

Whilst the air temperature is fluctuating and the water remains below 11º, the plan as usual is restrict training to our local river, it's only about 2 miles from home and it's free. 

After this we venture further afield as the time in the water increases. 

The target and general benchmark for this time of year is 60 minutes at 10ºc. 

I've included a little map showing our normal start point of the Jetty at Preston Park and some markers we use as sessions increase.

Thus far we (combinations of Ben, Amanda and Bill) have 

8th 11minutes @ 8ºc 326m around the jetty area 
10th 21 minutes @ 9ºc 989m around the boats+
18th 17 minutes @ 8ºc 718m around the boats
20th 34 minutes @ 10ºc 1690m to first boat
21st 34 minutes @ 11º 1910m to tennis courts
25th 50 minutes @ 10ºc 2620 second corner and boats
27th 33 minutes @ 8ºc 1700m around boats and first corner 
30th 36 minutes @ 8ºc 1900m boats almost second corner left

I am yet to hit the benchmark, BUT, it isn't too far off (providing the sleet and snow stop!)

Sunday, 10 April 2016

The Oldest Goat

This is a heart warming inspiring story of Walt Schneebeli, who, at 90 years of age is still swimming around Aquatic Park San Francisco, and has been doing so since 1948 ! Like he says .. Everybody wants to be the old goat !!

Can't wait to visit this place next year.

Enjoy this lovely video..

Friday, 8 April 2016

We are good to go

On Wednesday this week I completed my swim medical for the J2F Swim, that little tick from Dr Ish. indicates that all systems are go!!

Camp Eton 2016

Good Friday 2016 and time to drive to the delightful town of Eton where I was pleased to be attending the annual 'Camp Eton' training weekend organised and hosted by Nick and Sakura Adams.

The drive was pain free and I was soon checked into The Christopher Hotel ideally situated within walking distance of the pool and classrooms for the forthcoming activities. Nick then gave myself and a couple of others including swimmer extraordinaire and all-round lovely lady Suzie Dodds a whistle stop tour of some of the Eton grounds including the beautiful chapel and gardens.

The format was basically lots of pool based swimming against the clock interspersed with classroom presentations on all manner of subjects related to open water marathon swimming.

Around 24 swimmers (mainly London based) were in attendance. The first item on the timetable was a pool swim at 7am Saturday Morning, the session lasted a couple of hours, the details of which were delivered by Nick from poolside. I was obviously looking too comfortable as a result of which Mr Adams moved me into a lane with two very talented swimmers Deirdre Ward and Marcus Wadsworth, in this lane I was well and truly beasted.

After 5300m and several helpings of maxim the time had come to exit the water and rush to the classroom for informal introductions, snacks and the first of several excellent power point inputs.

Following lunch and another speaker it was back to the pool for another swim and yes, more maxim. (I was working hard and probably drinking more than normal due to effort and perhaps a little over heating.) This was another intense set against the clock during which we clocked up another 5000m.

Back to class for the remainder of the day where the after effects of maxim began to take hold. (enough said for now)

At the close of the day and in an effort to be well enough to attend the evening meal, it was necessary to attend the pharmacy for some much needed medication (you get the picture)

Early to bed for an early rise thanks to the start of British Summer Time. I didn't sleep too well for some reason, as normal as soon as it was time to get out of bed I suddenly had the urge to snooze. Alas, no such luxury, the schedule insisted we be in the water, warmed up and ready to start the 10km set of 100 x100 at 6am ( which in my world was 5am thanks to the clocks going forward)

photo Sam Mould.

As a result of the previous days abdominal issues I made the decision to 1. stay off the maxim 2. swim without a swim cap in an effort to stay cooler.

The 10k set was soon over, we were fed and watered throughout by Nick, Chris and JCR. I felt good and was delighted to have another good session in the bank. The best news being that my belly had stabilised and I was good to go for the classroom.

More speakers including video analysis from Ray Gibbs (Swim Canary Wharf) then off to the pool for some stroke correction and drills.

An excellent weekend with about 21km of work, a great if tough kick up the rear and and much inspiration from both speakers and swimmers alike.

Many thanks to Nick and his team for their hospitality and efforts.

Highly recommended