Saturday, May 21, 2011

Open Water Swimming at Rother Valley - the beginings

Open water swimming was great, it really was. I've been so looking forwards to it for many weeks. For me it's not just about training, it's about the freedom of swimming outdoors, even if I am wrapped up in a very expensive, highly technical wetsuit.

I arrived first at Rother Valley country park and kept warm knitting in the vanu until they let us through the gate. All registered and signed-in I took to the novices group to learn some extra techniques. Any knowledge will help.

The first lap was frightening. Usual frozen forehead, sharp breaths. Looking down over the weeds lurking in the depths below I had my usual panic attack but then concentrated and got the hell on with it. I realised it was good to see the weeds meaning the water was so much clearer than many of the lakes and rivers in the UK I have swum in through last years tri season.

The useful technique I learned was turning around the buoy. Very useful, really and I wouldn't have learned it if I hadn't done the novice session but I also learned not to do the novice session again. I stuck around incase I learned anything else and it was good to practice mass starts and draughting amongst friends.

The standing around started to get to me after a while and my hands began to claw. I lasted it out as long as possible, thinking, "I'll just do one more, one more". Finally one more was too many. My technique was going downhill. I called it quits and headed for the changing rooms. Two people declared me genius for bringing the remnants of my morning coffee pot with me in a flask. Seemed like an obvious idea to me.

Satisfied with a good training session which, although not great in terms of distance, great for toughness training and a great deal of fun. Looking forwards to next week.

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