Sharon’s Festival Challenge Blog: Open Water Swim Training

Oasis lido at Covent Garden. Sharon Lock has visited while completing swim training sessions.

Oh dear it’s the March 1st already. Where did February go?

For all you budding open water swimmers, you should by now be training fairly consistently in the pool and starting to feel comfortable with longer distances. However I have to admit my wonderful advice should be seen as ‘do as I say, not as I do’.

My determination to get at least three training sessions a week into my schedule has been difficult to maintain. Although the challenge has made me get into some interesting pools over the month just to try and get some training in. Whilst I travel around the country I have experienced the delights of an open air pool near Covent Garden in London. Water a lovely 28 degrees, air temperature seven degrees but I don’t think this can count as an open water swim! I’ve also had a dip in the Manchester Aquatics Centre and the Arc at Matlock. I think I’m going for the most pools a person can swim in, in one month.

My total amount of training sessions in February has come to 12 just scraping into the three a week. Although a few of them were only about 45 minutes long and meterage must have averaged 2,000m at the very most per session. I’m not worried about if I’ll finish the 1500m challenge but I’m not sure how pretty or fast it will be.

My current concern is finishing the 800m event I’m entered into on Sunday. I’ve been warned from my fellow swimmers not to pull out and to ‘treat it like a training swim but just get a bit faster towards the end’. I’ve not managed to practice this distance so I have no idea at what speed I should swim but I think once it’s over at least I’ll be able to say I can race over half the distance of the challenge. At this point I’ll just be happy to finish the 1500m challenge. I don’t think there will be any racing involved.

My new aim for March is to get my wetsuit out of the cupboard (after finding it first) and make sure I can still fit into it. If I can get it on after the lack of a new year’s diet then I should be half way there. I also need to maintain at least three swim training sessions a week but also make sure these add up to more than three hours a week.

Good luck fellow challengers. Let’s hope a grey and dull February turns into a sunny March so that lake starts warming up!

Read the rest of Sharon’s Festival Challenge Blog here.

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