Well, after months of training the #BlogSquad has now completed the Sport Relief Swimathon 2016 challenge.
I didn’t really have a time in mind for my swim, all I wanted was to be able to swim it within the hour and enjoy myself. I’ve been in training for Swimathon since December but in February I started my triathlon training which meant my pool sessions changed to involve drills and all sorts of other fun things, rather than just thrashing out the distance. Because of this I really didn’t know how well I’d do as I have always considered myself a slow and mediocre pool swimmer. Well, after completing Swimathon I can say that I have a new found confidence in my swimming ability.
I arrived at Whitstable pool at 11.30am, signed up and collected my #TeamRedSwim hat. This was the first time I had been to Whitstable pool so I was quite unfamiliar with the changing area and didn’t even know what the pool would look like – I always like to be able to visualise a challenge before I complete it so this was a little daunting. Once I was changed and poolside I was raring to go, my body felt fuelled and well-rested and I just fancied a bit of a swim. Things were looking good. My husband was there to cheer me on and to take a few photographs, and he also ended up being my lap tracker which was convenient.
The Swimathon organiser at Whitstable, Frances, gave the briefing to the eager swimmers and told us that Whitstable Swimathon was the most popular event in the South East and was doing really well nationally too. We were then split into our lanes and were told to get started as soon as we were ready. This is where the carnage began…!
Those of you who have read my previous blogs will know I’m no fan of sharing a lane with other people, and for Swimathon I had to share with at least 15 others making it very busy. Some of these were children too (and those of you who know me in real life will know I’m not a big fan of small humans) which made it a little problematic as everyone was of varying ability and the children tended to congregate at the end of each length causing congestion, or didn’t quite understand the etiquette of keeping to the side so that someone could pass them after a tap on their foot. This was probably the most frustrating part for me as I am sure I would have been 10-12 minutes quicker if I hadn’t been caught up with so many people. There was also a family swimming side by side at various points which again caused issues for those of us wanting a competitive swim.
Even though the above was annoying, the whole ethos of Swimathon is to ‘swim yourself proud’ and to get the nation swimming – so I’m pleased there were so many families and non-regulars there taking part in such a great cause.
I really was amazed with how I performed on the day too which has given me a confidence boost for my upcoming summer triathlons. I now know that I can easily achieve my distance in a decent time so will focus on improving my strength and speed over the next few months. As swimming is definitely my weakest discipline, this is hugely reassuring.
The following day my husband went to the Olympic Velodrome for some track cycling and decided to call into the London Aquatic Centre whilst he was there to check out Swimathon. His photos made the venue look spectacular and I have a feeling this will be where I choose to swim for next year’s event – I also really like the idea of a 50m pool!
Here’s hoping all other Swimathon-ers had a fun time, too!