I had an appointment with osteopath, Sam Burch at Fix today, for his assessment and treatment of my hip and adductor pain.

He seems to think it’s not serious and that there is no need for me to stop swimming to accommodate it. I just need to minimise my kick. 

Beforehand, as always I was having doubts about my fitness. 

It was  great to have such useful and positive feedback .

Looking forward to Torbay swim now :)


Shoulder injury prevention 

Here are a couple of videos by USA swimming showing various exercises to prevent swimmers shoulder. 

The videos focus on 3 main muscle groups: The rotator cuff; the muscles that stabilise shoulder blade; and the muscles that make up the core of the body. 

Part 1

Part 2

Good swim 

I did a two hour swim in Dover harbour today . Short and sweet 

My first sea swim this year . The water temperature was around 14c

I went down with Mel and Tim and three other swimmers. Tim wanted to try out some feeds. I wanted to test my arm. 

My arm worked, but it took me about an hour to find my stroke. The feeds combined ovaltine and Endura and went down a treat. 

I can still taste sea salt in my mouth though and my tongue feels kind of numb . 

Post swim I ate a family pack of jelly babies , 6 mini battenberg cakes, a family sized portion of tiramisu, lots of nuts and a plate of pasta. 

Feeling sick now. 

Going to bed


I saw Sam Burch at Fix sports injury clinic this morning. He did some releases and massage for my shoulder. 

We discussed pain and he advised me on the kind of activities I should and shouldn’t do in order to promote my recovery. 

Fortunately  he doesn’t think it’s a serious injury. Though it is difficult not to take it seriously.

It’s mostly inflammation around my shoulder which is causing stiffness, pain and clicking. He gave me some theraband excercises to do to strengthen my rotator cuffs and suggested taking painkillers if, after exercise, I have pain. 

He also said I could swim,  but:

  •  not swim hard 
  • that if i feel pain while swimming, to modify my stroke, entering my hand closer to the body, rather than at full extension
  • not to over rotate my shoulders
  • Avoid club swimming
  • Avoid butterfly 

He also pointed out that all athletes incurr injuries during training and even compete with injuries or niggling pains. 

So, though the injury I have may not have cleared by the time of my swim, this doesn’t mean I won’t be able to do it. 

Fingers crossed 

In the afternoon I swam at Clissold Leisure centre, just to stretch and maintain mobility and test and adjust my stroke . In certain positions my shoulder was excruciatingly painful, but after a few experiments, changing hand entry and body position, I found I could swim quite well pain free.  

I swam for about 90 minutes , resting every 100m. I also did some kicking drills. 

I hope I have not aggravated my injury further. We’ll see. Tomorrow morning ..

West Reservoir Swim

I’m supposed to be competing in a 3km swim organised by Capital Tri at the West Reservoir in Stoke Newington tomorrow morning. 

I have a niggling shoulder injury which leaves me in two minds as to whether or not to participate .

Sam, my osteo, says it’s a minor and thT I can swim as long as I don’t go too hard. Though he also seems to think in a race context this might be difficult. 

Tim thinks I should swim but take it easy.

5 hours to decide. 

(Of course I swam! Easy , all-day pace. 

Water temp bubbling 17 degrees!

 I then went on to do a training session with Tim and Lorcan at London fields. 

It’s Monday 23 May now. I don’t seem to have damaged my shoulder from yesterday’s swim. Good news!)

Get on with it

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: