Monday, 26 September 2011

It's Been A While... and Happy Blog Anniversary!

Where shall I start?!

I decided to have a break from swimming following the Great North Swim in June. I have probably only been in the pool a couple times since (with the exception of family swims!) and I needed the break to save my own sanity from the monotonous up and down of the local pool!

There has been a lot going on since then. Most noticeably my husband competed in the Leeds Triathlon again and shaved a fantastic 15 minutes off his time last year, thanks to his new tri-bike and a sub-30 minute swim leg. I have continued to cycle though it has to be said my enthusiasm has been waning recently as the evenings start to get darker and the temperature is cooler. I have a new interest in swimming again and I want to get back to training over the next few weeks. I have a few plans to help my training go smoothly and I also have plans to enter quite a few more races in 2012.

Three of my friends have also been bitten by the open water swimming bug and I am looking forward to swimming with them in 2012. It seems the high that is felt following an open water event is unrivalled and people are in danger of becoming addicted......!

I set myself a challenge for September to do the '30 Day Shred' DVD which is an intense workout you do at home. It only takes 20 minutes but it's hard work and as we have moved through the month it has been hard to stay motivated and make myself do it as it gets quite monotonous with no changes in the narrative etc. I am doing it with a group of hardcore friends via a Facebook group and we are now on the 26th day with only 4 more to go. It has opened my eyes to resistance training and it is something I now want to build into my fitness, as I think this will help me become a stronger swimmer.

I have also been reading about 'Total Immersion' which is an approach to improving your swimming which seems to shun more conventional methods and from what I can understand, claims to improve your stroke with minimal effort. This is taught in weekend workshops, DVD and a book. Prices are high and workshops are not local to me, but I am curious enough to watch the DVD, though I am still mulling it over. I want to be able to swim at least half of the swims I enter next year using front crawl (as in half the 1 mile distance), so I am looking at ways to improve my stroke and fitness to be able to do this. I will add a link to the 'Total Immersion' website and will let you know how I get on if I decide to buy one of their DVDs/books.

So, Sunday marks the 12 month anniversary of my blog, and it also marks my 35th birthday; so after eating lots of cake and consuming a fair bit of wine at the weekend, I shall be back in the water to put my training back into motion and setting myself goals for 2012.

So far this is what I hope to achieve in 2012:

  • To complete the Great Salford Swim
  • To complete the Great North Swim
  • To complete the Monster Swim at Loch Ness
  • To complete the Great Scottish Swim
  • To finish all of the above in a time of 45 minutes or less.
  • To swim all of the above events using front crawl/freestyle for at least half of the distances.
  • Enter the 2.5k Swimathon in April.

To help me reach these goals I intend to read more into 'Total Immersion', consider the purchase of a water-proof MP3 player and write training plans with set drills. I may use a pull buoy to help stregthen my arms and I intend to continue some of the muscle building exercises I have learnt through the '30 Day Shred'.

I also intend to continue cycling and may enter a 50k road sportive in May, although my bike is about to be put away for the darker months until March/April.