The British summer took a long time to get its act together this year.  March was beautiful, with no rain (!) in the southeast of England.  April, May, and most of June compensated amply for this with unprecedented rainfall.  Things have improved somewhat since then, with reasonable conditions for Wimbledon, and for much of the Olympics, but all in all, not the best summer.  Not that this has any effect on training for swimming events, in mostly pool conditions.

The promised increase in length of ‘weekly long swim’ seemed to go OK, with an 8K swim before work last Wednesday.   The time required to do these things is starting to get significant now:  this swim used 2 hours 17 minutes of pool time, including 7 short rests of about 40 seconds.  Assuming I can get to the pool at 6 AM, and am swimming by 10 past, it is nearly at 8.30 by the time I am finished, and I am working quite hard to get to work by 9 AM.  I should be able to squeeze in a 10K though, and still get in at a vaguely respectable 9.30.

The pleasing thing was that the swim felt fine, and while I cannot say that I was as fresh at the end as when I started, the km splits remained pretty consistent throughout, averaging at 16 mins 30 s, slowest at 17 mins 4 s, fastest at 16 mins 4 s.  The second half was slightly faster than the first, and the fastest split of all was for the last km.

This morning I repeated 8K, but this time in 5, one mile sets.  Again felt pretty good, and not too shabby at 2 hours 18 mins.  It always feels odd seeing the people come into the pool, then leave and be replaced by others, who in their turn go on their way, leaving you behind plodding up and down counting t0 64 in your head over the course of each mile.

Next time I will write about swimming gadgets.  Good ones and bad ones.

Building Up

Have been trying to build up the distance in the pool prior to the Dart 10k in September.  Yesterday I managed a 4 miler before work, which, at 6400 metres, was 400 metres longer than I have ever swum before.  I also did it in mile sets rather than kilometre sets which was a change.  This was all fine, but boy did I know about it later in the day.  Yesterday also happened to be my 9th Wedding Anniversary, so Susie and I had dinner out at a local pub.  After being up at 5 to go swimming, I flagged rather badly by 9.30.  Sure, a few glasses of wine probably helped here, but then I have to admit that nearly 2 hours of fairly hard physical work, before a day at ‘proper work’ is going to take it out of you.   It does make me wonder what it is going to be like when I am up at 3,4,5,6,7 hour swims though.

Next week I will aim at building up to 7 km, then 8 km the week after.

I also got all of the CSA and CSPF pilot details down today, with a view to calling them over the next few days to see what slots are available for 2014.

It is very different to talk to people and say ‘I am going to do it in 2014’ instead of ‘I would like to think about doing it one day’, and very exciting!