Friday, 4 July 2014

Some things I learned from my Windermere swim

I got quite a few things right, but there were a few things that I could improve on, and it's all been a rather useful exercise for doing a longer swim like a 2WW next year.  So I'm noting these down now so that I can come back and have another look.

1. Definitely pack some savoury food.  I'm still trying to work out quite what this could be for someone who can't eat gluten or yeast.  Cheese straws or mini cheddars would have been ideal.  I need someone to start making these
2. Be polite and as cheerful as you can to your crew.  I read this somewhere, and I think that it is true.  Crew will respond better to you if you are being nice to them.  I didn't actually feel the need to moan at all on the swim, but I was conscious that I didn't want to moan to the crew, not least as I didn't think it would go down very well with a channel swimmer.
3. Label what's what.  Mr JKS was apparently having a minor panic because he thought we were going to run out of squash.  There was actually more squash in another non transparent bottle.
4. 3m of regular string was fine for tying bottles from.  Ditto the plastic cup for solid food.  No need to tie string to more than 2 bottles because it can always be transferred
5. 1 litre bottles of bottled water are about the biggest you want to have on the boat because they are nice and easy to handle.
6. Do more core work.  I worked very hard on my core whilst I was in plaster, achieving a 5 minute plank, but once I came out of plaster, that lapsed a little.  Ok, it lapsed entirely because I was so excited about swimming.  I did notice that my back hurt quite a bit after some of my longer swims and I think that might not have happened if I had kept up with the pilates.  After the swim, I noticed that the muscles down the side of my abdomen were a bit sore, so they obviously got worked pretty hard and I think pilates would help with that too.
7. The training I did for this was absolutely spot on.  Now I've got to work out how to adapt that for a longer adventure :)
8.  Book a sports massage for after the event rather than having to try to scrabble around to get someone to fit you in.
9.  Communication between the crew and the swimmer isn't that easy, the best way seemed to be short messages written down.  We would have found some pre-written sheets with the km markers on or a white board handy.

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