02/01/2013 by Carl Reynolds
…to swim the Channel last year. I have a slot booked in Midsummer 2014, as I don’t like the dark. Unfortunately it’s also the coldest time in the season to cross – water between 11 and 14 degrees C. Like all aspirants I will fantasise about a calm, sunny, warm day; and like all sensible aspirants I will train for a blowy, choppy, cold day.
Last year I also had ongoing shoulder and general upper body musculature strains, stresses, aches, pains and so on. I decided to address this with rest, less swimming, regular stretching, swim coaching and some physio. It all improved.
Since then, I’ve been more sporadic in applying the physical knowledge I gained in my pains. Next week I start my 18 month programme. It means a lot of swimming. And, unfortunately, in a lot of warm water (you can’t do the distance in sub 12 water). Sounds tough. It is. But it’ll also mean comraderie, elation, reflection, exploration and the passing of some significant milestones.
My programme also covers diet (but not too prescriptively…can be summarised as energy/nutritional range/taste), swim distances and training patterns (again a frame, not a crossed i and t schedule), recovery and warm up (therabands and thoughtfulness), other sports (gentle, but whole body extending, handball, cycling and squash) and time to play and be with friends and family.
There are a host of blogs where you can read about the travails an aspirant Channel swimmer goes through. I’ll share some of my stories, but will keep musings of an aquatic ape as an essentially SLSC/swims with friends/bakery blog.