Swimming The English Channel : Week 1

I have decided to swim the English Channel.  As part of my commitment to fundraise and get fit for The 100 Peaks Challenge, I have decided to complete at least one major endeavour each month from now until the end of the Challenge.  Having completed Veganuary I am moving on to Fishebruary, and in that spirit have decided to swim the English Channel.  Obviously, swimming the real English Channel would kill me.  Literally.  I swim a very bad form of breastroke, with my head always out of the water, and will only be using that swimming stroke for this challenge.  So I am going to swim the 35km in the local swimming pool over the month of February.  That is 1400 lengths of the pool, and at the moment I swim about 78 lengths an hour, so it looks as though I will be swimming around 4.5 hours a week, although I am hoping that as my fitness and technique improve I should get faster…

I'm going to ignore the "Never going to get..." part of the lyrics

I’m going to ignore the “Never going to get…” part of the lyrics

Swim 1 : Tuesday 02 February 2016

And so, covered in goose fat, I set off from Shakespeare’s Cliff, near Dover.  I went for my first swim in this challenge after my goal-setting session at the gym.  It felt slow.  I am also having to get used to the frustrations of the slow, medium and fast lanes, with, for example, people going into the slow lane instead of staying in the general area when they do not want to be swimming continuous lengths.  It is not unlike lane discipline on a motorway.  Bad lane discipline.

  1. Swim (St Albans) – 80 x 25 metre lengths – 2000 metres
  2. Strava – 2125 metres
  3. Time – 1 hour 12 minutes 56 seconds
  4. Cumulative – 2000 metres – 1 hour 12 minutes 56 seconds

Swim 2 : Wednesday 03 February 2016

My next session was in the evening after the woman-only session, with a hoard of men waiting by the door as the seconds ticked down so they could invade the pool.  Actually, most of the women did not leave at the end of that session, so being in a woman-only session did not appear to be a deciding factor for them.  One issue I had was that the staff took out the lane markers towards the end of the session so that they could set up for the next session.  I understand the need to do this, but it disrupted my swimming.  For that and other reasons, I have already realised that I need to scale down my average laps per hour to 70, which means I will have to increase the amount of time spent in the pool.

  1. Swim (St Albans) – 68 x 25 metre lengths – 1700 metres
  2. Strava – 1850 metres
  3. Time – 57 minutes 17 seconds
  4. Cumulative – 3700 metres – 2 hours 10 minutes 13 seconds

Swim 3 : Thursday 04 February 2016

I encountered two types of public swimmer during this session – one bombing through, clearly much too fast for the lane he was in, and the other stopping at one end and practicing his kicking.  I mean, that was just beyond ludicrous, to be honest.

  1. Swim (St Albans) – 107 x 25 metre lengths – 2675 metres
  2. Strava – 2725 metres
  3. Time – 1 hour 38 minutes 19 seconds
  4. Cumulative – 6375 metres – 3 hours 48 minutes 32 seconds

Swim 4 : Friday 05 February 2016

This felt like a much better session.  Today I had to cope with someone swimming with a float in the medium lane, although, to be fair, they did appear to be using it as a training aid.  The pool and the lanes were mostly empty, which always helps.

  1. Swim (St Albans) – 112 x 25 metre lengths – 2800 metres
  2. Strava – 2850 metres
  3. Time – 1 hour 31 minutes 29 seconds
  4. Cumulative – 9175 metres – 5 hours 20 minutes 01 seconds

Sunday 07 February 2016

Swim 5 did not happen because I messed up.  I had fulfilled my weekly quota of lengths and was hoping to add in a few extra over the weekend, but I had not appreciate that the pool was not available to the general public in the evenings at the weekend, so that was an opportunity missed.  I need to be doing 350 lengths each week, I finished this one with 376, and I am happy with that.

Off to a good start

Off to a good start

This entry was posted in Fitness Training, Swimming, The 100 Peaks Challenge. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Swimming The English Channel : Week 1

  1. Pingback: Swimming the English Channel : Week 2 | JamesA's blog

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