Despite enjoying swimming I have never taken the time or had the foresight to ask a coach for some tips. I have been the classic “I love swimming but struggle to breathe”.
So now I am determined to change all that.
I have therefore found a great challenge which is to swim the channel in the summer.
Swimming the channel will be a real achievement for me. I recommend everyone to always have a goal. A goal is a rudder which steers you in the direction of achievement and satisfaction.
In training for the channel I am keeping a log of the distance I swim which has been on-going since August 2008.
Below is a diary of how I started my training journey.
I will put key points here and achievements:
Total distance =88km
Swimming in group stamina class, I did 30 minutes first and then a further 1 hour in the class.
I was the quickest in the class which is a big step for me because I was not when I first swam in these classes.
My fastest length was 16 seconds (25m)
Total distance =104 km
26th January 2009
Thanks to the competitive nature of training in a group, My speed has improved dramatically. I did 121 lengths in one hour (2.775 km).
I am finally starting to believe I can swim the channel.
Total distance =132 km
I am now Swimming 3 times a week. Twice in Eds class for an hour plus 30mins before. The third session is for 1 hour and i concentrate on technique.
Total distance I cover per week is around 8km.
Learning catch up
I went over the catch up technique for swimming today, it is a stroke that will use less energy and so is perfect for the channel.
Also we measured our speeds:-
25m = 16 seconds
50m = 35 seconds, this is 8 seconds faster than December
100m =1 min 24 s, this is 13 seconds faster than December
Total distance = 152km
I had a technique session with Ed, I have finally realized how unimportant it is to reach far as the first part of your stroke mainly propels you upwards. Its only the later part of your stroke when the hand is horizontal to the direction your traveling that your stroke is most effective in propelling you forward.
This will save me a lot of energy, which I can focus on the final part of the stroke.
Total distance = 160 km
Swimming today was great. By using the catchup technique I slowed my stroke right down and I was able to consentrate on each stroke pulling me through the water.
I reduced my stroke rate from 17 – 18 strokes per length down to 16.
I really felt like i was swimming rather than fighting my way though the water.
Last week I broke my hand playing rugby.
So now my hand is in a cast, which means i am unable to swim at the moment.
I will see the doctor on Wednesday so I will hopefully not need the cast anymore.
Its not a massive problem, I’ll be back in the water soon.
4 weeks of kicking
I have swapped my cast for a splint so I am able to get in the pool.
I can’t use my hand though. So I will be perfecting my kicking. This is really good because my kicking is the weakest part of my swimming so in 4 weeks time I should be a pro.
My current Kicking speed with a float is :-
20 lengths = 35 minutes
2 lengths = 1min. 55 sec.
1 length = 50 seconds
It is important to measure where you start so you can look back on see how much you have improved. This gos for any goal.
13 minutes quicker in 4 days!
I did 20 lenths of kicking (with a float) and felt much stronger. I was able to carryon with little rest but I ran out of energy at the end of every second length.
20 lengths took me 22minutes which is 13 minutes quicker than 4 days ago.
This shows how quickly the body addapts and how important it is to measure your abilities and progression.
Full swimming again
I am finaly able to swim again, I was able to complete 3 lenghts using my hand. As I didn’t want to rush it.