With only a month away until Swimathon 2014, it’s all go poolside. Although I wouldn’t exactly call myself proficient in the water quite yet, I’m having fun splashing about in the water. Here are five things I’m enjoying about my prep for #Swimathon 2014.
1. Swimming outside
I’m not a huge fan of the cold, never have been, never will be so the thought of swimming outside in a cold water wouldn’t exactly be first on my “fun-things-to-do list”. Brr, goose pimples appear on my skin just at the thought of it. Now the temperature has picked up a bit however and I have the opportunity of swimming in a heated open air pool in the middle of Central London and you create a slightly different picture.
Oasis swimming pool near to Holburn and Covent Garden is home to an indoor 25m pool and outdoor 27.5m pool. While the indoor pool has been my home for the majority of training, I’m starting to discover that the outdoor pool really is the place to be. You may skip, jump and leg it from the door to the pool but once you’re in the water, it feels so relaxing. Not only is the pool warm(ish), simply being outside in the fresh air reminds you that spring is on its way.
If you have a lido close-by, I recommend trying it. It really adds an extra dimension to your swimming training.
2. Experimenting with my stroke
I am working on my front crawl (or freestyle) but as with everything, I know it will not happen overnight. I’m persevering to find out how I can improve my breathing and efficiency. This means trying out different ways of paddling. Initially, I was trying left, right breathe, left, right breathe, which meant I was only turning my head to breath on one side. Now, I’ve introduced an extra stroke to make me more balanced in the water and also ensure I move further faster underwater. It’s not been easy and my left side is certainly stronger at the moment but I’m enjoying the challenge, experimenting with my stroke and finding out what works best for me in the water.
3. Experimenting full-stop
It’s not all work and no play in the water. Indeed, there’s something so childlike about moving through water that takes you back to the days when you splashed about with your friends. During my warm-up or even when I need a break from the drills, I’ll experiment by seeing how far I can swim underwater without breathing, diving down deeper into the water or I may even try and do the legs from the butterfly stroke – even at the age of 31 I can still try and swim like a dolphin, right? Essentially, I’m rediscovering what I enjoyed about swimming as a child and it’s still fun now 20 years later.
4. Swimming etiquette
I love running, I love cycling but when it comes to etiquette swimmers have it nailed (well the ones in my pool do). Maybe it’s the nature of swimming in narrow lanes that enhances and reinforces the etiquette, whatever it is, runners and especially some cyclists could learn a few manners from swimmers who acknowledge those in their lanes and ensure that their fellow swimmers know that they have entered into the flow of their lane. Primarily swimming is a solo sport but I really admire how those participating work together so that everyone can have a smooth swimming experience.
5. The relaxation factor
I find the whole process of swimming laps relaxing. The swimming pool is like an oasis of calm, especially when you have your head underwater, everything looks slightly distorted and you feel like you’re moving in slow motion through the water. When you spend most of your time surrounded by noise, it’s good to have those moments of silence and calm, all of which can be found in a swimming pool. And you know what, it’s really reinvigorating.
How about you? Are you a swimmer, what do you enjoy about the sport?
I’m a member of the Swimathon #BlogSquad, check out who else will be joining me at the Swimathon 2014 here.