Well it is now May and my swimming training is coming along rather swimmingly! I have completed several 1 mile distances, which is several more than I managed last year, prior to the events. My freestyle/crawl continues to improve and I am finding it gradually more natural to breathe to the right, as well as to the left. I read somewhere that it is worthwhile persisting with bi-lateral breathing, and yes, it most certainly is. (It used to come naturally to me when I swam crawl in short, sharp bursts, but things are slightly different now I have slowed my stroke down and do it over longer distances.)
I have been keeping a closer check on the clock and I have completed the 1 mile distance in 47 minutes, twice in the last fortnight. So close to my goal of 45 minutes - frustratingly so! I have been swimming at the Aquatics centre in Leeds and this allows me to swim 50 metre lengths, rather than 25 metres, which is much more satisfying. I have been swimming 5 lengths of breaststroke, 5 lengths of crawl, so doing 3 sets of this, with an additional 2 lengths at the end to take me to 32 lengths, or the 1 mile distance.
I have noticed my breaststroke settles into quite a powerful, consistent stroke almost immediately, but I struggle with my breathing on the first set of crawl lengths. By the time I do the second set of crawl (by which time I have swam approximately 750 metres) I feel stronger and focused and can swim crawl without too much of a struggle. I assume this is down to me warming up and into the stroke, but I could do with this happening a little earlier! But overall I feel things are gradually improving and I felt like I could have continued today and done a few more lengths. I am contemplating setting myself a distance goal of 2km, just because I feel like I could, but also because I have never swam that far before. But I want to focus on increasing my speed over the mile, and I am not sure swimming further will necessarily help with this.
In other news, Dylan competed in his first triathlon of the season last weekend. He took part in the Tadcaster triathlon, which is a sprint distance tri (500 metre indoor swim, 14 km bike, 7km run). He did really well and finished it 6 minutes faster than last year. I was there, taking a few photos:
Dylan came 51st out of 310.... HOW AMAZING??? Very proud! It actually inspired me to start thinking about entering a triathlon, but I can't get passed the fact that there is running involved. I don't want to run, thank you very much. BUT.. BUT... big BUT!! I will hopefully be involved this year in one of my favourite triathlons; the Leeds triathlon allows you to enter a relay team, where three people compete in the three different disciplines. There is a 1 mile open water swim, and after that the baton is passed to a cyclist and later a runner. I have started to put a team together with a couple of friends, and hopefully this will become a reality in Leeds, in September :-)