Monday, 30 June 2014

Panic panic panic

The forecast for Friday looks terrible.  Saturday doesn't look much better.  (Saturday is the planned contingency day).  I hope that I haven't done this taper and go all that way not to swim.

I know that the forecasts are somewhat inaccurate at this stage.  Yadda yadda yadda...

Sunday, 29 June 2014

29th June - weekly catch up - the taper blues

The taper blues arrived this week...  My friend Carrie at Fitness and Frozen Grapes talks about the taper crazies; for me it is definitely a case of the taper blues, which, in conjunction with chronic depression is somewhat interesting.  It's not entirely surprising, I've been training very hard (the last weeks have totalled 35.6k, 24.1k, 35.1k, 34.3k, 31.7k, 32.1k, 28k, 28.2k) and so my body definitely feels like it needs a rest.  It felt weird not going to the lake on Monday night, and I was looking forward to doing my pilates DVD instead, but I was just too tired.  Since Friday night I've felt REALLY tired, and ended up taking an extra rest day yesterday instead of heading down to Bournemouth for a sea swim (which, by all accounts was quite brutal...and it was raining), and didn't even really feel that much like swimming today, although it was ok when I did.  Yesterday I also felt like I was fighting off the beginning of a cold, and remembering doing my half ironman with a cold last year made me feel a bit stressed.

Speaking to other people who have done similar marathon swims, less is definitely more in the last 10 days and I need to trust in that as it has led other people to success!!  However, a little bit of me wonders if I left the taper a little too late.  Hopefully not.  I also need to adapt my diet a bit this week - I've spent the last couple of months focusing on optimising my protein intake, to keep me feeling full after a lot of exercise, and also to make sure that my muscles were being repaired.  Now that I've stopped training hard, my glycogen feels a little bit depleted, so I need to concentrate on a carbohydrate rich diet for a few days.  Luckily I have the week off work so I can hopefully rest a reasonable amount and not get too stressed (as an aside there are other stressful things going on for me right now, so I am hoping that they don't derail things too much!).  The first pack of my bag is mostly done, but I still need to write my feeding plan and buy a few more things to eat :)

What did I do this week?
Monday - 3k pool swim am
Tuesday - 3k outdoor pool swim am
Wednesday - 3k pool swim am
Thursday - 4.1k pool swim am
Friday - OFF
Saturday - OFF
Sunday - 4k pool swim
=17.1k - shortest week for quite a while!!

What is the plan for this week?
Monday - 2-3k pool swim
Tuesday - 2-3k pool swim
Wednesday - 2-3k pool swim or OFF
Thursday - little splash in Windermere
Friday - big splash in Windermere :-)
Saturday - off
Sunday - recovery swim

Sunday, 22 June 2014

22nd June - Weekly update - final week of full training

Overall a pretty good week of training, until today!  Having swum 9k yesterday (in the pool - yes, 360 lengths!), by the 4th lap of the lake this morning I was ready to get out.  Laps 5 and 6 were a real struggle, arms were tired and I was tired (it didn't help that I'd not slept very well for the second night running).  I did revive about halfway through the 8th lap and thought I could make the 9th as planned, but because I was swimming in skins, I was a lot slower and there wasn't time :(  Bit frustrating but at least I did complete 17k in under 24 hours.  If Windermere is as hard as today, then it will be hard, but I will be rested and there will be a certain amount of adrenalin to help me along.  I know that I can get through hard swims, even when my mood is low, so I take that experience into the event next week.  I hope my mood will improve a little before then...

Tapering is the order of the day from tomorrow.  I won't be going to the lake in the evening and I'll only do a short swim on Thursday.  On Saturday we're going to the beach for a swim race, and then Sunday I'll either have a shortish (4k) swim at the lake or take myself to the pool.  Priority for this week is lie-ins where possible (actually, I don't think that will be any more possible than usual, except for possibly Sunday!!) and just resting those arms and myself.  Sports massage booked for Tuesday, and may book another one before the event.

What did I swim this last week?
Monday: 3k pool swim, 2k lake swim
Tuesday: 3.1k pool swim
Wednesday: 6k lake swim [had the day off work]
Thursday: 4.5k pool swim
Friday: off
Saturday: 9k pool swim
Sunday: 8k lake swim
=35.6k swum

What is the plan for this week?
Monday: 3k pool swim
Tuesday: 4 or 3k pool swim (have day off work)
Wednesday: 3k pool swim
Thursday: 4 or 3k pool swim
Friday: off
Saturday: 3.8k sea swim race
Sunday: 4k swim somewhere.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Windermere kit list

Starting to think about what needs packing for Windermere, time to put together a kit list I think.  Feeding plan to follow.

Neoprene hat
Silicon coloured hat
Swimming costume
Mirrored goggles
Clear goggles
P20 suncream
Vaseline/body glide
Thermos flask (for hot water to mix squash)
Plastic cup on string (for handing over food)
Two water bottles on string (for passing drink)
Dryrobe/down jacket

Orange squash
2 litres of water (or thermos filled plus 1500ml water)
Two bananas, cut into 1/3s
Vegan jelly bears - 1 packet
Jaffa cakes
Something savoury?

For the crew:

Sunday, 15 June 2014

15th June - weekly catch up

An "easy" week this week, where I swam just 24k (which would be a hard/long week in the winter!), but bizarrely I feel almost as tired at the end of it as I have done where I've done a lot more swimming over the weekend.  I suppose the mixture of a couple of bad nights sleep, low mood and stressful week at work contribute to that.   I was pretty tired at the start of the week after the previous week, and the sports massage was greatly appreciated on Tuesday.  Otherwise, it's been a fairly normal week with the exception of swimming at a different lake (which I stupidly forgot to photograph) today, as we were spectating/cheering some friends in a triathlon.

What did I swim?
Monday: 3.1k pool swim am, 2k lake swim pm
Tuesday: 3k pool swim am, sports massage pm
Wednesday: 3k pool swim am (was v pleased with myself as I actually had time for longer and had the lane to myself but I got out in the spirit of it being an easy week!)
Thursday: 3k pool swim am
Friday: off
Saturday: 5k pool swim
Sunday: 5k lake swim

What's the plan for this week?
Last hard week before taper, although a bit worried about my slightly niggly shoulder, so will have to keep an eye on that.  Here's what would be great to achieve:
Monday: 3k pool swim am, 2k lake swim pm
Tuesday: 3k pool swim am
Wednesday: [am on annual leave] - 5k lake swim am
Thursday: 5k pool swim am
Friday: off
Saturday: 9k pool swim
Sunday: 9k lake swim

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Weekly catch up - 8th June - a whole lot more swimming

Another big week of swimming with 35k swum, ending with my first event of the year, The Jubilee 10k.  I'll write separately about that later once I've got the pictures from Mr Just Keep Swimming.  I'm not sure I quite fulfilled my goal of covering the Windermere distance over the weekend, as the Jubilee 10k was current assisted, but I will have another go in two weeks time.  For now, some recovery swimming over the next couple of days, and then "short" swims (5k) next weekend before one more big week, and then just under 2 weeks of taper.  Getting close!

What did I complete this week?
Monday - 3k pool swim, drills focussed.  Arms surprisingly fine after the 10.1k the day before, but I bonked whilst cycling home which suggests that I hadn't eaten quite enough :)  I was coaching in the evening so had to miss my usual Monday evening lake swim
Tuesday - 3k pool swim
Wednesday - 3k pool swim
Thursday - 6k pool swim
Friday - 2.1k pool swim - I had the day off work and went over to Wallingford for a tweet-up with L at the outdoor pool.  It was beautifully sunny and quite the thing for a day off and I just focussed on a little splash around and making up the distance that I'd missed from Monday.
Saturday - 7.5k pool swim
Sunday - 10k Jubilee river swim

What's the plan for next week?
Monday - pool swim am, lake swim pm (if feeling not too tired)
Tuesday - pool swim am, sports massage pm (can't wait!)
Wednesday - pool swim am
Thursday - pool swim am
Friday - off
Saturday - 5k pool swim
Sunday - 5k lake swim

Monday, 2 June 2014

1st June - weekly catch up - June gets off to a good start.

As the title says, June got off to a good start.  5am alarm, at the lake by 5.45, and ready to swim at 6am.  Unfortunately the sun had not managed to get up, so the lake was hidden by mist and we were restricted to the small 300m loop for the first 90 minutes.  By the time we finished it was sunny!  (See above)  Nonetheless, after 2h53 minutes, and 17x300m+5x1000m I had completed my first 10k swim in nearly 2 years, entirely unrested and only 6 minutes off my PB (some of which was down to a chat at the food stop, and swimming an extra 100m due to the 17x300m).  I'll take that! Here I am on a jelly bear stop.


In fact, it rounded off an even bigger week of swimming than last week, 34.3k swum.  Pretty good, especially as my mood was v low and Monday evening/Tuesday morning swims were slow and sluggish.  I was also lucky to be invited to swim at the lake on Thursday morning when it wasn't officially open :-)  5 of us did a nice 6k swim as a group which was great.

What did I swim?
Monday - 3.5k pool swim am, 2k lake swim pm (hard, race pace swimming)
Tuesday - 3k sluggish recovery swim
Wednesday - 3k sluggish recovery swim
Thursday - 6k lake swim
Friday - OFF
Saturday - 1.2k whilst coaching, 5.5k pool swim (pool closed early for an event, plus I was jolly tired still, and ended up spending 4 hours asleep in the afternoon!)
Sunday - 10.1k swim!

What's the plan for this week?
Unfortunately I can't get to the lake on Monday night as I'm needed to be on the other side, and stand on the side of the pool and cover a coaching session, so I will probably make up for this by doing a little swim on Friday, technically a rest day, but I am off work so it will probably involve a little pool tourism somewhere.  I'm then planning a "split the distance of Windermere" weekend, with 7k on Saturday and 10k on Sunday.  The 10k is actually an event that I've entered, my first of this year, down the Jubilee River.  Looking forward to that, not least because it involves more of a lie in than the usual lake swim does :-)

Monday - 3k pool swim (drills focussed)
Tuesday - 3k pool swim
Wednesday - 3k pool swim
Thursday - 6k pool swim
Friday - 2k pool swim
Saturday - 7k pool swim
Sunday - 10k Jubilee river swim