Stepping It Up in February

The longest distance I ever swam in a month was 100 km.  Not too shabby.  I did it twice in fact, in March last year, and in January this year.

This month I resolved to step things up a little, planning to hit 110 km in the month.

Things have been going well.  The month started on Saturday 1st with The Big Chill in Windermere.  Only 480 m that day, but it was in 5 C water.  I have a blog in preparation after this event, but there’s a lot to get in there, and it is taking time.  The first week continued with a swim in Bletchley on the way back from the Lakes, and swims every day till Friday, including 2 on Thursday, before work, and at lunchtime.  A mixture of short, sharp interval and fast sets, and one four mile steady swim before work.  28 km on the week.

No swimming on Saturday or Sunday as I had my boys for the weekend.  Also a steadier week to follow, only 18 km over Mon-Thurs, but again, a double swim on Monday, a rest day on the Friday before something bigger on the weekend…….

I had a back-to-back 10 km planned for the weekend of the 15th/16th.  I wanted to test myself and see how the shoulders held up to another sustained piece of swimming.  Helen gave me the idea, as she had done the same thing a few weeks ago in the build up to her imminent Rottnest swim.   It all went very well, surprisingly well actually.  The Saturday 10 km went off very smoothly in 2 h 51 minutes including feeds.  Not blisteringly fast, but steady, smooth, and mostly enjoyable!

I was daunted on Sunday driving to the pool, but needn’t have worried.  The second 10 km swim of the weekend also went well.  I could feel the previous day’s work in the shoulders, but dropped into a lovely effortless stroke for miles 3, 4, & 5 at least.  2 h 53 mins including feeds.

Monday was a 2 km recovery swim, 4.25 km of intervals on Tuesday, followed by a lunchtime, ‘swim 3 km as fast as you can without stopping’ set on the Wednesday.  Much to my surprise, it was a record time for me for 3 km straight, at 46 mins 30.  Awesome!  I did push pretty hard, and my shoulders complained a little, but that was fast for me!  I was slightly concerned that too many distance sets would have made me sluggish, but this proved me wrong, for the moment at least.

By breakfast time tomorrow, I will have swum 39 km on the week, which is a lot for me.  I will deserve my weekend of rest with my boys, and the 1 hour of sports massage I have booked for Friday lunchtime!

I remain on course for 110 km in the month, and February is short…….

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