Yes, after almost two months of taking it easy in the hope of recovering from my groin injury I seem to aggravated it again.
It’s incredibly frustrating not to be able to sprint or swim hard. I’m hoping that with a bit of rest and more hip flexor + adductor stretches I can get back up to speed. My anxiety however is that I might not be in the best shape for the channel. Fortunately I still have a few months ahead of me to recover and get in shape.
My coach, Tim Denyer, seems confident that I can do it, but I may need to make more changes to my stroke if this injury persists.
So far I have been focusing on my hand entry, high elbow and arm pull, but I may need to reduce my kicking to a two beat kick as opposed to a six or four beat kick.
Kicking plays a key role in regulating rhythm and timing of the arm stroke and breathing. It’s useful to be able to change kick rate to control my overall speed through the water.
The English Channel is the busiest shipping lane in the world and there are particular areas of it I need to get across very quickly in order to avoid getting run over by ferries, cargo ships and the like. I also need to be able to up tempo to beat the changing tide.
I am encouraged however by the accomplishments of Paralympic swimmers and think, well, yes I may not be able to kick, but I’m not going to let that stop me from achieving my goal!
It’s not uncommon for athletes to train and compete with injury . The challenge for me is to use my training to develop physical and mental flexibility that will enable me to adapt to a wide variety of scenarios, whether it is high waves, cold winds, pain or injury .
In fact, Tim was telling me how, after leading the field in a lake swim, he sustained an arm injury and ended up having to complete the swim using one arm only.
So yes, it’s a pain not being able to kick. It really is. But I just have to change my stroke. I can do it . I know I can. I just have to get on with it.
Here’s a video of some amazing swimmers getting on with it: