Its been some time since the last update. A lot has been happening both in the pool and at work….
After a great catch-up with Chloe and the other swimmers who are going over to swim the English Channel in 2015 last week, I decided that I needed to ramp up the training so set myself the goal of swimming 3 hours in cold water including practice feeds to see how the body would hold up. In order to not spoil the whole day and be able to spend some time with the family, I decided to also do part of the swim in the dark so arrived down at Sandridge beach for a 5:15am start. The first hour flew by and I stopped just after the 5km mark for a gel and some hot tea. Early into the second hour, the sun came up and as the three hour mark Steve jumped in to join me. I took a feed again at the 2 hour mark and was still feeling really good. The water is up around 14 degrees celsius at the moment so noticeably warmer than the 10-12 degrees it was one month ago. The biggest difference is that you don’t get an ice cream headache when you jump in! The third hour was a bit more of a struggle. Steve got out and I started to feel a little bored. Kept thinking about what it will be like in the Channel and that 3 hours is only just the start of that swim. In the end I swam for 3 hours 21 minutes including feeds and covered 15.1km. Pretty happy with that and after downloading the data from my watch, it was pleasing to see that my pace was pretty constant the whole time (with a stroke rate of around 25 strokes per minute – so nice and easy).
Over the coming weeks, there will be many more of these types of swims as I start to add open water sessions into the program. Looks like Wednesday nights are on the cards as well as probably Saturday mornings. The open water race season is also just around the corner and I must say I am really looking forward to it this year having done a lot more preparation in the Bay.
On a final note, successful Channel swimmer from 2014 Paul Hoffman just posted a video of his journey. It is a remarkable story and if you have a spare 30 minutes, its well worth watching it. It highlights the work that goes into an attempt and what is even more inspirational is Paul’s commitment to go back and conquer his goal after being unsuccessful in 2013. It brought a tear to my eye when he landed in France and you could see the joy in his eyes.