Sharon’s Festival Challenge Blog: Preparing To Train In A Lake

A good day for an Open Water Festival.

It’s April and I’ve had my first conversation with friends about when we are going to start training in a lake!

I have to say at this point in time it’s not something I’m relishing. Every time I’ve seen what should be a beautiful oasis of blue water surrounded by lovely countryside, it’s been very very cold, windy and raining!

It’s not inspiring me to get into any water apart from a pool at the moment.

“Every time I’ve seen what should be a beautiful oasis of blue water surrounded by lovely countryside, it’s been very very cold, windy and raining!”

However, since agreeing to do the challenge I now look at lakes around the country in a different way. I find myself not only thinking but saying out loud “I wonder if you can swim in there”. For a hardened pool swimmer like me, this comes as something of a shock (and for those that know me would possibly think I’m ill).

A trip to Rother Valley

I’ve also had a sneaky trip to Rother Valley Country Park to have a look at the lake.

Even though it was a lovely sunny day I still wasn’t tempted to get in for a quick swim and the water felt freezing. It definitely needs to heat up a lot before July and I’m glad I’ve chosen to wear my wetsuit.

So I’ve swam my 800m Freestyle race in the pool despite being very nervous and even when I was diving in I couldn’t decide how fast I was going to swim it.

“After leading on the first 50m and ending up last in my heat all I can say is…I think need to work on my pacing!”

After leading on the first 50m and ending up last in my heat all I can say is…I think need to work on my pacing!

But at least I have some idea of how to swim a longer distance event now and know that for the 1500m challenge I will have to swim at more or less my training pace.

The British Masters Champs

British Masters ChampionshipsI also raced in the British Masters Championships at the start of April and had another realisation. I love my pool races and can never see myself giving up as it’s the way I challenge myself to train harder.

It makes me very nervous and I have to make the effort to try and enjoy it. But there is none of the same pressures for the open water challenge. I’m just going to do it to see what happens and I’m starting to see why people love this type of event.

There’s no expectations. Just you and a few friends having a little dip in the lake!

This is how I’m going to think of it but the competitive side of me will still want to do my best so it’s back to the pool training sessions for me, and fingers crossed I’m going to keep up with my three times a week swims I’ve managed to achieve in March.

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