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Category: Bridge to Bridge

Starting to get my swimming mojo back

Starting to get my swimming mojo back

It has been a long road, Shingles absolutely wiped me out and it has only been in the last week that I feel the drive to swim long coming back. Until last week every swim over 3km was a chore and felt terrible, and then last week last week I managed, a Monday 4km swim (with 4×100 IM at the end – out of practice on these!!):

a Wednesday 10k swim:

a Friday 3km swim:

…and a Friday evening 2.1km swim


…and a Saturday morning 3km swim:

All in all a good week – the shoulders really felt it on Sunday and the 4km in the pool this morning was really tough for the first 1km…times are better than at this time last year – 1:33-1:40/100m, as opposed to 1:40/100m average, which surprises me as I still don’t feel it….I still feel in recovery mode…

This week’s aim is to beat the swims I had last week….so 4km today, 10k Wed, Fri/Sat OW but with a 3-4km swim somewhere on Tue or Thur…next week is Chicago week, so swimming will be limited albeit in the rather beautiful pool in the Intercon in Chicago…

The Intercontinental Pool

As to races, these are still planned to be:

Thames Marathon/Bridge to Bridge – 14km

Windermere One Way – 17.5km

Serpentine Super Six – 9.6km

The Thames Marathon will be my 4th time doing it, and Windermere the 2nd. The Serpentine swim is a new one though, and I am doing it for charity, a little more information has come out on this since I last posted:

Super Six: Swim six miles with a combination of one-mile and two-mile events during the day. All the ‘Super Sixers’ will start in the same one-mile wave, then how you complete the total distance is up to you. Choose to swim event after event, or take a break before you continue on with your swim

Sounds like fun – looking at it I think I will swim 4 mile swims and then do a 2 mile at the end… I think….regardless I am raising money for a small charity that helps disabled and disadvantaged children in the UK to participate and progress in sport. This is done via mainly small grants to help buy much needed equipment. If you can help at all please head over to my donations page, THANKS!!

Until next time,





When the Le Tour came to Cambridgshire and training for a long swim

When the Le Tour came to Cambridgshire and training for a long swim

With July came a step up in distance for training for the Henley B2B. They average time I spent in to pool increased dramatically and the 16-1800m lake swims seem a distant memory. This week I have my first 6km swim planned, currently my longest has been just over 4km..but as you can see from the images below there is a big difference in my focus in this year compared to last –

Whilst the percentage may have gone up a fair amount, my distance has doubled, in 2013 I swam approx 19km in the period June to July and in the past 28 days I have hit 42km, this is over 10km a week which is almost as much as I used to do when I was a little sprog training in Carrick Sharks in Truro….

It feels great, my stroke is improving, I am more comfortable zoning out when swimming, I am gradually getting used to the idea of what I consider uber long swims (10km+) and I am enjoying it…

As for my ankle – it is improving gradually. I had a brief hiatus of improvement when I cycled Jules to the TdF on the tag along (she really is a bit big for it) but it was fun 🙂

We had a great spot on the route out from Cambridge to Saffron Walden, below were the two riders who led for all but the last 5km on this stage:

 and the eventual winner, Kittel, mid shot:

 and the KOM:

They looked like they were not going fast – but they were doing 40+kph at the time…seriously good riders- an amazing day 🙂
So June is almost over

So June is almost over

As June draws to a close my main race of the season is looming like a big scary thing, just over the brow of the hill…the 14km Bridge to Bridge swim….Aug 10 2014….

So what is it? Another year, just another challenge? 
Well, yes and no, the Bridge to Bridge swim is an endurance 14km swim from Henley to Marlow Bridge on the Thames. To give you some perspective, the swimming equivalent to a running a marathon is the 10km race – this is longer, almost half as far again, although it is with the current so on a good day it feels like a 10km (apparently)…
The reason I have this opportunity is I am not training for a triathlon.
My racing season finished before it started, not due to work or time pressures but just due to my body failing. During training, I developed tendonopathy in my ankle so I am out of running for 4-6 months and never being one to sit about and do nothing I started looking for a new challenge. I had looked at the Bridge to Bridge race several times but training up to swim that distance takes more time than I could afford, but not training for running means this year I have that time.
So far the swimming has progressed fairly well, I finished 5th in my age group at the FT Eton Swim (1500m) on 26 May and 9th in AG at the Great East Swim (1 mile).

For the first time since I raced IRONMAN Switzerland I am trying something I don’t know if I can finish. 
Please help by sponsoring me, so when I feel like quitting I will know that there is a good reason to keep going! I have this great opportunity due to FRANK Water Projects, they had a late spot when the regular entries had sold out. FRANK Water Projects ( is a small charity (Registered charity no. 1121273) that funds sustainable clean water projects in developing countries across the world. Since it started in 2005 it has funded 116 village projects. In a world where more than 4,000 children die EVERY DAY from a lack of clean drinking water, it’s clear that help is needed – please help me support this worthwhile small charity go to 
And finally….in the words of Dory…..just keep swimming, just keep swimming……
Hmmmm….so there goes my plans for the year….

Hmmmm….so there goes my plans for the year….

Well as I guessed would happen, my year of racing is well and truly in bits…..for once not due to injury but instead because of…guess what…work….yep I was asked to step up and support one of the global directors and now my diary is in freefall…between now and mid June I have three trips to Chicago, one to Madrid (for over a week) and one to Mexico City (for two days)…unfortunately these clash with at least two of the races I was planning and another clashes with my eldest daughter’s play….

So….where does that leave me…well…I think I need a new challenge in my diary, I am seriously considering the Bridge to Bridge swim (, their description of it is:

BRIDGE TO BRIDGE is a 14 km endurance downstream River Thames swimming event, from Henley Bridge to Marlow Bridge. This event is more relaxed than a race, and is aimed only at serious open water swimmers who would like to include a long distance challenge in their summer open water swimming season

14km…hmmm….can I do it? Well the longest I have swum ‘open water’ is between 4-5km when training for IMCH…and the furthest I have ever swum is 10km but I was in my teens and it was in a pool…so 14.1km…..could be interesting – I reckon I could keep up with the silver pod or at a stretch the gold pod….hmmm….

Two weeks after this is the Monster Middle….a 70.3ish race near Ely…it appeals as it is close…my biggest concern though is training….I just seem to be in a complete training vacuum…whenever I think things are getting better I seem to take two steps back….either through injury/work or illness…

Regardless I am still keen to race this year and I would like to do at least one 70.3, a long swim and maybe a couple of Oly distance races….let see what happens….

On the plus side the new Huub Archimedes is simply stunning…a 1.8km swim in it was executed with little effort in 28mins…it is supple, buoyant well fitting (in size SS) and the bicep/calf release panels really do seem to work…it is light years ahead of my old Orca Alpha…and I really mean that…

Once I have had a bit more experience I will write a more complete review