Sunday, 16 October 2011

A True Love/Hate Relationship

I went through a small era earlier this year where I could not get enough of swimming. My 50 metre sprints were fast and I was game for any opportunity to get in the water regardless of time, place or temperature. I even got a bit told off by coach Shaun for wanting to get up and do a quick 2k in the lake before a massive cycling day on the Alpine Training Camp

An early season swimming course with Steve Bailey had me powering down the lanes and I went into the summer with serious swimming enthusiasm. Then somehow, throughout June and July the swimming just went onto the back burner a little as I focused on other things. It started with not doing full sessions and jumping out of the pool fifteen minutes early, then thirty minutes early, then it was down to two sessions a week and so on and so on. 

In the last two months the swimming love has been totally lost. I have been wussing out of nearly every session and despite having my swim kit with me every single day, I have successfully managed to talk myself out of getting in the pool for such reasons as "I really should get home to watch Spooks" and "Ooh I did just do an awfully big back set, I wouldn't want to over train". Even on the rare occasion I have made it into a session, I have been a bit grumpy about not being quick enough or feeling strong enough so I have favoured getting out after twenty minutes and enjoying some jacuzzi time instead.

I signed up again for Steve's ten week Strokewise course; a series of technique-based sessions that I was hoping would rekindle the swimming love. Last week - I must admit - I was on the verge of ringing up to cancel my place and jacking in triathlon completely based on the fact that swimming really isn't for me. Dramatic, yes, but I really could not find the tiniest bit of motivation to get into the pool.

Luckily I held my nerve and went along this morning. I'll let you in on a little secret: I loved it! The session took everything back to basics and without all the pressure of speed intervals, sprints and kick sets, I didn't feel that horrid pang of inadequacy that has been haunting me in recent weeks. I happily pootled up and down the lane thinking about where my arm was and if my hand was at the right angle and didn't have a stress in the world!

Granted, there is a lot to work on. I appear to be completely unable to achieve any forward propulsion whatsoever from the mystical technique of 'sculling' and no matter how hard I try  I cannot understand how it is possible for your hand to enter the water before your elbow does, but I feel extremely positive that in another nine weeks time these skills will be acquired.

Brand new motivation and enthusiasm for swimming followed immediately after exiting the pool and I genuinely felt excited about my next swimming session. The love affair is back on!


  1. Aww, good stuff! The sessions were great and slowing it down is key. You are awesome girl, but not as awesome as you're going to be! :)

  2. Oh, that was me - Nicky Y!