Wednesday, 17 February 2016

This Girl Can Swim for Sport Relief

A week ago today I took to the pool for the first time in, oooo, months! I didn't give myself time to think too much about it, heading there straight from teaching the early morning class at the gym and promising myself left over pancakes for breakfast if I didn't bottle out. Getting back in the pool after so long made me a bit apprehensive. What if I'd forgotten something vital, like goggles? What if the water was really cold? What if I got in the wrong lane and either held everyone up or had to keep hanging back? What if I'd forgotten everything I learnt when I took swimming lessons for front crawl this time last year and looked like an idiot? None of these things happened. The pool was warm, I managed a reasonable front crawl and found three pairs of goggles in my bag. And I got my pancakes for breakfast.

Swimming isn't something I tend to choose to do even though I generally really enjoy it when I get started; I need a purpose, a goal. So when Get Berkshire Active got in touch to say This Girl Can were teaming up with Sport Relief and encouraging ladies to challenge themselves, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get back in the pool. Sport Relief are hosting runs, cycles and swims up and down the country and encouraging everyone to get involved and raise some money. You can do anything from a 1 mile walk to a 50 mile bike ride, so there really is something for everyone. I'll admit that my first choice would have been the 25 mile cycle at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park but logistics put pay to that idea. The 6 mile run didn't feel like a challenge so swimming it was. I took part in Swimathon last year and was delighted to be able to complete the 1.5km distance entirely with front crawl so what better challenge than to attempt the next distance - 2.5km!
Post Swimathon 2015
So how am I going to train for this? Well I started by committing myself to swim by buying a block of 10 sessions at my local pool. By prepaying I avoid thinking about the cost per session as a barrier. I've also signed up for a free session at a leisure centre a bit further away that has just been refurbished and finally I will be dusting off my Thames Valley Triathlon membership card and getting to as many of the training sessions as I can. I signed up last summer and have not been to one single session in any discipline since. Ooops!

I've planned out exactly when I'm going to go to the pool and put them as appointments in my diary. No excuses for forgetting, allocating the time to other things or putting it off because I can't be bothered to go home to get kit after work. Organisation, packing kit the night before and being accountable are key. I've swum 3 times in the past week and am feeling stronger each time.

I'll be attempting my swim on March 19th at midday and I will, of course, be writing a bit more about my training in the lead up to it, and letting you know how I get on afterwards.

If you fancy a challenge, why not head over to the Sport Relief events page and sign up for something yourself! Or perhaps you'd be kind enough to sponsor me for my efforts. Give me a little extra motivation for getting to the pool before breakfast. It's all for a great cause. Thank you.

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