Boredom 

The thing is you have to stay interested if you’re going to do this kind of swimming. It’s not a walk in the park or a picnic by a lake. But I am bored . I am bored of thinking about swimming all of the time . Plus I lack discipline .

If you look at the documentation of swimmers finishing their channel swim it’s rarely marked by jumps for joy. Mostly it’s marked by sighs of relief.

I can’t wait to get this done so I can move on. 

Tomorrow morning I’m swimming in the Champion of Champions in Dover harbour . 3 races totalling 9 miles.

I’ve done longer swims but still, I’m a bit nervous about this one because I  don’t feel in the best shape. I’m also underweight. 

When I did my six hour swim in Folkestone in 2012 I weighed about 18 stone. I few weeks ago I was 15 stone. I’m now 16 stone. I just hope i have the energy reserves to keep going. 

It’s forecast to rain throughout the day,  so I expect a bit of chop. That should keep the boredom for setting in. 

Calm seas can be very enjoyable but when the waves start bashing you about you really must swim for your life.  

And this is it. Or, there it is

And here I am just holding on

Cycling

I have done two two hour continuous swims in the last couple of days.

I mention these swims because it’s actually been quite some time since I last swam without stopping. Since the summer time I’ve got into the habit of doing short sprints and lots of drills.  This is the kind of  training Tim recommends – interval training,  which is all about beating the clock – doing the same distance but at higher speeds.

The problem for me however, has been that mentally I’ve been feeling  somewhat out of tune with distance swimming and I’ve been struggling to swim more than 200m at a time.  So these longer swims  are intended to test my stamina and concentration.

During the swims, to counter the onset of boredom and fatigue, I found myself cycling through different styles of front crawl every 50 to 200 metres. This allowed me to rest and stretch different muscle groups  and test and refresh connection with the water. Changes in my stroke were largely prompted by having to do lengths.  Turns can interrupt ones rhythm but  also offer the opportunity to reboot and rethink ones stroke. It was quite an enjoyable swim and I’m pleased not to have injured myself. Also I think I have reduced the amount of splash I create on hand entry. I hope this is the case and I wasn’t imagining it.

In the course of long swims one needs to continually test and correct ones form in order to maintain an efficient stroke.

The swims were  useful in building my self confidence and made me think that I need to do at least two or three long swims a week in addition to  my interval training. This will help me assess the impact the interval training on my speed and form over a longer course.

Will speak with Tim about this tomorrow.

Also need to stay hydrated and time my swims!

Time is important Iacono! The faster you swim the quicker you can get out of the water, which for a channel swim is particularly important.

Slow swims increase exposure to cold and increase risk of hypothermia-

Stay warm – swim fast!