xmas break #2

Helpful “keep breathing” tips from Keri-Anne Payne. (actually, being reassured that I don’t have to breathe on both sides is always welcome. Last time I tried breathing on the left I drank half the pool and left the other swimmers floundering in the sudden shallows whilst I choked). Thanks Keri! Please don’t make me wear a wetsuit!


xmas break #2

whilst i am on xmas break #1

Here is Coach Robb again with a pool booey buoy video. What a delight his pronunciation is! He makes reaching for the pool buoy a delight, and the video is actually pretty good too.

I actually quite like the pool buoy, it is a billion times better than my nemesis the rotten KICKBOARD.   It does ram home the feebleness of my weak spaghetti arms.

But if it helps me stop being like the guy who manages to swim fc at a 45 degree angle, I’m all for it. And as an extra bonus, it might help to stave off the dread cramp due to less leg kick…

Hooray for the pool buoy!

whilst i am on xmas break #1

18 dec – netflix and drill

Last working Friday of the year, the high holy day of pub amateurs – what an excellent day for a swim. Accompanied by DJ Chlorine, we had the lanes to ourselves for a fair while and excitingly I learnt a DRILL!

STATS: unmeasured. In pool until pruney and crampy, which indicates no less than 30 minutes at least.

THOUGHTS: lovely empty pool…

SWIM ITSELF: 2x BR, then 2x FC, 2x pool bouy, 2x FC, 2x BR, 2x PB, 2x BR (all this approx from memory, addled by time, chlorine and some pizza express wine), at which point DJ Chlorine joins me from the Fast Lane to give me an impromptu swimming lesson! SO EXCITING!


  • lesson 1: see how long you can do fc for without taking a breath. I am not sure how long it was but it was more than 5 metres (I wish the pool had more measure lines on the pool floor…).
  • lesson 2: catch-ups! here is my favourite youtube swimming coach, coach robb, of “pool boo-ey” fame, showing us about them.  Benefit of this = getting longer reach – going further and using less energy than frantic splashing! Thus:
  • lesson 3: THE WRIGGLY WORM, i.e how to do dolphin kick! I managed about three wiggles underwater before cramp called me but I pretty much felt like I was the Michael Fishman Phelps of the slow lane.

MARKS OUT OF TEN: DJ Chlorine is very kind and said my fc was doing OK! My tips are to do some more with pool bouy, to keep making arm go high above the water and basically “swim more”. I also intend to practice catch-ups a lot, I enjoyed them a lot more than I thought I would when they were being shown. BR review: probably not that good! But I’ve had years getting into bad habits and Not Trying I suppose!

TO DO: more catch-ups! More FC underwater before breathing. Heels closer to BUM in br. (Some wriggly worm underwater when no-one is watching…)

But for now it is the festive season so I will probably have a break for a while to improve my bouyancy by eating as much quality street as possible whilst intaking much needed hydration courtesy of my friend Harvey S. Bristol-Cream.

18 dec – netflix and drill

16 Dec – baseline swim

16 Dec 2015 – so this morning was the first time I made an active effort to see how far I was swimming. This should give me an idea of my baseline ability now (not  a lot), and where I need to get to by March (i.e. a lot).


Providing my counting was correct, I did 726m in approx. 25 minutes. Utilising MATHS, I think I get the following:

726 metres in 25 mins

29 metres in 1 min (just under a length of the 33m pool)

At this speed… 2,500 metres would take me 1.433hrs (86 mins = 2500/29). Yikes!


  1. Is ^^^ that maths correct?
  2. 1.4 hours is a long time. I shall be a prune.
  3. I need to speed up.
  4. I really need to speed up… (ok ok 2x lengths were with the kickboard with which I go so slowly time starts running backwards).

SWIM ITSELF: several lengths with friendly pool bouy, 2 lengths kickboard (my legs get me around all the time, and are usually very helpful and useful but it turns out in the pool they do zippo), several lengths freestyle, several lengths BR, and no cramp at all!

CONCLUSION! Hooray – but go faster! How to go faster? I dunno.

16 Dec – baseline swim

Utterly fascinating first post!

Intro courtesy of sportsrelief: Hello, I’m challenging myself for Sport Relief 2016 by swimming 2.5km to raise cash that will help to transform people’s lives across the UK and the world’s poorest communities. If you could sponsor me, I’d be really grateful as your generosity really will help to make a world of difference to people living unimaginably tough lives. From me, and on behalf of those you’ll help, thank you.

So yes, the above ^^^ is what I have challenged myself to do in March 2016. Having been swimming A Bit in 2015, and achieved my goal of “managing to do a length of front crawl without sinking”, I wanted to do a Bigger and Better Challenge.

Therefore I signed up for the 2.5km swim, on the basis that, if I’m going to rattle a tin at people then I should give them some hard work in exchange for their sponsorship money.

I know that 2.5km is probably beyond me now – so I have started this UTTERLY FASCINATING swimblog to try and record my progress, if only because my sports relief page will only let me do an update of 420 characters. Geez, guys! There’s more to a fundraising effort than twitter updates!

So, here we go! Baseline swimming ability post coming up.

Utterly fascinating first post!