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.