Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 1: Swimming in Circles

On Sunday morning we met for breakfast in the hotel and then headed to a meeting area for a briefing about what the week would entail. We were introduced properly to the two guides and also to the rest of the group, everyone had arrived at that stage. About half of the group were signed up for a Channel swim, a few people were there to increase their open water distance and then we had a couple of non-swimmers along with their partners. We were given some information about how the week would work-the plan was for two swims a day and all the swims were to be timed swims rather than trying to cover a particular distance. We were to keep in our groups and try to swim together as much as possible. They wouldn't give us any information in advance about how much we were going to be doing each day-they wanted to keep us on our toes! Finally all of the chat was done and we were told to get our stuff together and that we were doing a 1hour swim in the bay outside the hotel.

We all got ready and greased up, and in we went. It didn't really matter if we stayed in our groups or not because we were only swimming around in circles of about 400-500m anyway so they told us to go at our own pace. Regardless, I soon realised that I had a very similar pace to one of the guys in my group, Mark. We stuck together for the swim, and swam together for the rest of the week-it's always so nice to find people that you can swim with comfortably-usually during a long swim one person will slow down more than the other but we must have slowed down the same amount because we stayed together even during the longer swims! It was really nice to have company for the week. 

The circles started to get very boring-I think we did 8 rounds of the bay in the when they told us at lunch that we were doing 2hours in the bay again that afternoon, we were going mad! Myself and Mark decided to make the circles as wide as we possibly could, so we swam out towards the edge of the bay until we got shouted at and then kept as close as possible to the edges the whole way around! It made a small difference-we did 14 of the wider laps in the afternoon.

It wasn't a hard day by any means, but it was very boring. But then again, swimming the Channel will be very boring. Freda’s advice when people complain about the boredom of training is “you’re swimming the Channel, it’s meant to be cold and boring!”. So I guess that it was a good training day…mentally anyway.

After the swims we had a seminar about Channel swimming…the rules and regulations, the admin side of things that we need to get sorted and some advice about feeding. Freda gave us the feeding plan that she has made out for her swimmers in Dover, which will prove very useful I think. Lots of helpful information!

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