I actually like swimming. Yes I do!
I can take or leave swimming, and for much of my adulthood I’ve left it. I always get too cold in swimming pools, then I get too bored, then I hate the getting out bit, and I really dislike my hair going all curly and frizzy after being attacked by the chlorine. So the past few years have been a battle of mind over matter to get me to focus on swimming for triathlon race purposes.
But I have been steadily, ever so steadily, improving. Then on Friday I headed for my second swim session of the week at Maryhill Pool and suddenly realised I was actually looking forward to the session. I think that given the choice I might have gone for the swim session over a cycle or run that day. Since I’m following a triathlon training programme courtesy of part-time coach, the Mighty Vickster, I didn’t have much choice but I could easily have not bothered.
Working through the swimming session, doing sets of 50m, 100ms, 200ms and 400ms, I found I was enjoying myself. Yes, it was hard work but it was manageable. I also felt as though my swimming technique was a bonus rather than a total handicap. Believe me, I have mostly always felt that my swimming technique is dreadful but it seems to be improving.
I have to thank the eternal patience and skills of the GTC swim coaches for years of input into my swim style (or lack of style!). I have also benefited from some one-to-one swim coach sessions with the Mighty Vickster. And swimming for an hour every day at Club La Santa in Lanzarote during the recent tri club coaching camp has done my swimming a huge amount of good.
I still have days when I’m more “clothes spinning round in a washing machine” than a decent swimmer but I now hold my own in the middle lane at swimming sessions (between the development lane and the dolphins). The biggest revelation is that I actually like swimming now. This is something I never imagined would happen.
The only problem is that I have to overcome my big fear of open-water swimming because my forthcoming London Triathlon is in the River Thames, or somewhere equally yucky, cold and open-air… I plan to force myself into Loch Lomond once the water warms a little. (Does it ever warm a little?!) I’ll keep you up-dated on how that goes. Prepare to laugh a lot at my displeasure!
Oh, and if you have a minute and a spare pound or two I’d be really grateful if you could sponsor me. I’m doing the London Triathlon in July in aid of Breakthrough Cancer charity and I need to raise £500 in total.