You know that stomach-sinking feeling just before an exam when you know you’ve done all the hard work, it’s just putting it into practice? With only a week to go until D-day or should that be “SWIMATHON 2014 day”, I’m a bundle of these pre-exam nerves.
I have been enjoying my training, especially now the sun is shining and I’ve found my little Oasis in Covent Garden. But here I am, sitting on a Saturday evening, wondering what it will feel like next weekend at this time when it is all over. How will I do? What are my expectations? Will my goggles fill up with water?
Mulling over these questions is probably not the best thing to be doing just before bed and I put these pre-event nerves down to the novelty of it all. I have never participated in an organised swimming event before, and also down to the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever swum 100 lengths all in one go. Eek!
It will certainly be a double-first for me come Saturday, when I jump in and complete the 2.5k (that’s 100 lengths) distance in the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Swimathon 2014.
Thankfully, my mate Duncan Goodhew (ok, he’s not really a mate but he’s a jolly nice chap and he motivated me to learn the basics in the water) has five last-minute tips to help us “Swimathoners” make the most of our own particular challenge.
1. Streamline your body
Think tall and long in the water, make sure to stay as streamlined in the water as possible.
2. Use those arms
In all strokes (except breaststroke), remember that most of the power comes from your arms and not your legs.
3. And relax your fingertips
Keep ‘soft hands’ whilst you swim – relax your fingers, hands and wrists in the water to maximise speed.
4. And relax full-stop
Relaxation goes for the whole body too – the faster you want to go, the more relaxed you need to be. Make sure not to tense up your arms or legs or hold your breath.
5. Enjoy yourself
Last, but certainly not least, make sure to enjoy your training and Swimathon challenge. The sponsorship money you raise will help change lives, so get spreading the word now.
Duncan Goodhew comments:
“Whilst you’re staying streamlined make sure to relax and enjoy your swim – you’ve taken on a challenge for a great cause and will be helping raise much needed cash for Sport Relief.”
It’s important to remember that you’re doing the Swimathon for a good cause. It may feel like an exam now but that doesn’t mean it has to be laborious. Shock horror, I’ve actually quite liked/really got into some of the exams that I have taken over my lifetime. It’s only the anticipation beforehand that has proven a bit of a problem. Most importantly, enjoy your Swimathon 2014 and I’ll report back to you next week on how I got on.
Swim on friends…..swim on.