TYR Long hair swimming cap REVIEW

To report back on the MERCH

+ covered ears! Hooray. This was unexpectedly the best thing about it.

+ felt nice and secure on my head

+ didn’t pull too much

— didn’t keep hair dry but I doubt ANY swimming cap actually does this

+ strange bubble at back of head where ‘bun’ part is? Wasn’t sure whether that was water or trapped air. Later I realised it was air. I conclude overall this is positive because it was nice to press, but it probably isn’t aerodynamic or whatever. (Well neither is my tubby corse).


TYR Long hair swimming cap REVIEW

29 Jan -Uptown Top Crampin’

DISTANCE: 975m 😦

TIME: forgot to check once again, but I have EXCITING NEW STATS, as follows!

  • 50m with pull buoy – 1m 53!
  • 50m regular front crawl – 1m 20!

Hold on to your speedo because I am SUPER SHARK.

CRAMP FACTOR: Cramp II: Shock And Awe. Absolutely horrific cramp. I meant to do 1,050m today but at 975 the cramp struck so hard that I had to abandon the swim. Cramp then lingered all the way back up the hill on the way home and only went away when I ate some salty chips – HMMMM!

LESSON LEARNT: don’t neglect crisps/banana on swim day, point toes even more.

NEW TINGS: tried a new 50m pool! This time, Crystal Palace. The Centre itself is a maze of corridors, it is not that they aren’t signposted, more that everything is signposted and points in every direction.

Biggest woe was lockers – first locker ate my 20p w/o even locking, second locker worked fine – until I realised I’d merrily locked away my goggles, and THIRD time lucky – enjoy your SIXTY PENCE from me, Crystal Palace.

Other mildly grim things = changing room. Much soapy hair-clog. I also forgot that children attend swimming facilities which aren’t in Central London during/just after office hours. It was FINE for the most part as they were all doing diving lessons and not in the main pool, apart from one little fellow who toughed out 100m (swimming in the wrong clock direction!) and then hung around at the end chatting to the lifeguard.

Am quite annoyed at the cramp. The whole thing was a bit of a struggle, and this was the first time I haven’t done the distance specified by the training plan. But the cramp wouldn’t go away, no matter how much I stretched it – SHIVERING by the side of the FREEZING poolside. GD it CryPal!

But on the good side, big up the CryPal CLOCK which is easy to see from everywhere and let me time a length! Whooo!



29 Jan -Uptown Top Crampin’

22 Jan – (pool places with you) i wanna go

DISTANCE: equals rate times time (OK, hands up, I completely lost track).

TIME: approx 45 mins.

But anyway, listen up my precious blueberries!! This swim was a milestone swim for me and let me tell you why!

This swim was my first ever swim in the MEDIUM LANE!

Well, 4 lengths worth of medium lane until the faster swimmers came in and I decided to head back to the cooler kids in the slow lane, but what about it eh?? FUTURE FISH DING DING DING.

Other than that, swim was a bit mildly irritating in parts, the pool was busy, the slow lane had a gang of dudes there to chat who swam up the lane in pairs *ngg*, and quite a lot of the slow lane crew were actually… really slow. Slower than me slow. But I still wasn’t fast enough to head to the medium lane, and even if I had been, that lane was a total bunfight so eff it.

CRAMP: dammit! Actually got cramp this time. However, it was after I hung out for a quick catch-up with fellow swim crew member who joined the medium lane late doors. I set off to do ONE length back, and halfway through the length the cramp got so bad I had to abandon ship and crawl out halfway. Drat it.

SWIM ITSELF: all crawl/catch-up/pull buoy ‘sets’, 2x BR for warm up.

Coach Chlorine was in the house (changing ‘village’?) so I have some HOMEWORK, thusly:

FAT HANDS I KNOW YOU’RE THE ONECoach Chlorine somehow managed to get a glimpse across the pool from the fast lane and comments that that my ‘catch and pull’ could do some work, particularly in the area of wot I am doing with my fingers in the water. Keep fingers pointing down, do not just flail around with flat hand. Perhaps something like this.


FAST AND FURIOUS: next week ‘going faster’ appears to be on the renshuu menu. Am a bit worried about this – only one pool I go to has a pace clock, and quite frankly, I can’t really see the hands through the goggle-filter! So assessing pace might be quite difficult. Here we go:

8 x 50 Aim to swim event pace 85 – 90 sec per 50 (15 SRI, PTC 1:45) 1 x 100 Moderate swim (60 SRI, PTC 4:00) 2 x 50 Aim to swim faster than event pace 80 – 85 sec per 50 (15 SRI, PTC 1:45) 1 x 100 Moderate swim (30 SRI, PTC 3:30)

So, errr… that should be… er… yeah. I don’t know. What?

UNCORRECTED PERSONALITY TRAITS: the skill development part of next week is called ‘alignment kicking’. I wonder if this is the same thing that Coach Fish Robb Fish is doing in this video? It looks like something that might make me splutter, get me nowhere fast AND be embarrassing as I flail about wondering if I’m doing it correctly. Yikes! Ah well, this might depend on whether I get a chance to go in a quiet pool.

AND FINALLY: I have hott new swimming merch i.e. viz a swimming cap for LONG HAIR. I shall report back on whether it makes any difference at all and if it turns me into Ruta Meilutyte (her hair is longer than mine).

Bonus Ruta Meilutyte content: presumably she is so fast cos she has to swim away from all the HAUNTED COFFEE.



22 Jan – (pool places with you) i wanna go

Training plan concern

This here training plan (dunno why it’s giving me the 2015 one, but it’s the same one as I have for 2016) that I am following does not appear to have me swimming 2.5km before event day?

Not having trained for a longer distance swim before, I don’t know whether this is normal? All I know is that when I have trained for a 5k/10k, the plans typically have you do that distance at least once before the event. But the longest distance it has me do is in Week 7, 1,250m.

I mean, I am not saying it’s easy, and as I have noted I am WAY off the time that Jolyon Finck CHBHN gives for each distance and I am informed sternly that this fellow does indeed know his stuff… but… but??


(Not that I am not a little relieved, as who’s got the time to do regular two hour sessions – and given my slow speed maybe even LONGER, but. Yknow? I’m not going to argue, I just found it a bit surprising).

Training plan concern

18 Jan – noodle arms

DISTANCE: 1,188m (here or there)

TIME: forgot to check again. Erm, I mean, no no, I AM THE HARUKA, I only swim free and definitely just didn’t splash straight into the pool.


It was fine, thank you for asking! I swam for a bit. I didn’t quite realise until I finished, but I did far more laps of crawl/pull buoy than BR – I usually think I am about even? But this time I just kept doing some more. This is probably actually quite GOOD?

But. Bilateral breathing only went about so so – am concerned than I am flopping myself around too much. I tried a little of the zipper drill, which Coach Chlorine showed me after several pints of wine. I couldn’t quite tell if I was doing it right – it feels strange?! And also, it feels like my arms are really inflexible (Just like the rest of me then).  AND, I would quite like to stop spluttering water please and just perhaps get on with the swimming a bit more! No-one else in the pool ever seems to choke like I do anyway muttergrumble, oh well I shouldn’t do myself down! I think I have improved a bit, choking notwithstanding (starting at zero ability helps).

ACHE FACTOR: my left shoulder/upper arm was sore as soon as I got out of the pool and remains so this evening, and I think my legs could do w/ 1x stretch too. I am actually quite PROUD that I am feeling something in my left arm! I am beefcake I AM THE SOUSUKE.

LUNG FACTOR: ahh yes the old lungs. I tried a few breaths every 3 strokes instead of two – but this also involves breathing on the left, which itself is difficult, also, my lungs appear to have very little capacity and ugh, argh, urgh. Only practice will help here.

CRAMP FACTOR: 0 – sweet.

ANYTHING ELSE? Once again, I gave a kickboard length some welly, and caught up to the person ahead of me! It nearly destroyed me but it felt quite good to actually go somewhere with the dread board. I wonder if I have a six pack underneath my massive gut?

OH DID I FORGET TO MENTION: I weighed myself to see if I might have lost any weight from swimming and HOORAY FOR ME I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life. How many calories are in chlorine? (I am sure it is all down to beefy muscle… sigh…)

18 Jan – noodle arms

15 Jan – kickpunching

After waking up exhausted from a hard Thursday night watching cat films, and forgetting my breakfast (2016 resolution to try and eat a banana before getting on the train is going mostly OK, but not this morning…), the only thing that got me in the pool this lunchtime was:

  • emergency Sainsburys “new yorker” sandwich w/ pastrami at about 10.30
  • a great deal of tea
  • stubbornness

DISTANCE: approx 1,112 metres (+/- 30metres depending on accuracy of lap counting)

TIME: about 45 mins.

THOUGHTS: managed to do several laps of semi ‘bilateral breathing’ – much easier if doing catch-ups for some reason, rather than constant f-c where it seems I can still only breathe on the right hand side. Still not easy. Tried to spend longer times underwater – not with a great of success but realise this is something I need to practice. Did much better at doing laps without stopping for a rest.

I had sought the advice of Coach Chlorine earlier that morning – well, technically what I did was more like “whining” – to see whether kickboard was really useful at all. My answer was: yes, but really give it welly. I interpreted this at “go full pelt”, so I kicked as hard as I possibly could. The first length of this, I managed to actually catch-up to a bloke doing slow BR (!!!), so I turned around halfway down and went back (still at full pelt).  A few laps later, I tried full-pelt kick again. After an agonising 33m, I had to take quite a long rest. The return length was done gently for the first part, and a bit harder for the latter, but I couldn’t get myself up to full pelt again. This is because I am unfit, and also the kickboard is the work of the devil.

WHAT I ALSO TRIED: I read somewhere that one should ideally always be exhaling – blowin’ bubbles – when face is underwater, and not holding breath. So I tried to make sure I was exhaling. I thought I did always exhale, but it turns out that’s not quite the case. One exhale turned into an embarrassing hacking cough and splutter when I forgot that you breathe the ABOVE water stuff. But, as my dear readers can probably tell, from my willingness to blather on about my feeble pathetic swimming efforts, I have little shame. So I just went back to the shallow end and ‘considered the lilly’ until I felt ready to go again.

ACHE FACTOR: not really any aches – no-one is more surprised than I, given that I went in with an aching shoulder from sleeping like an idiot; and


LUNG FACTOR: feeble fish.

In other news, I got a recommendation to get a book called MASTER THE ART OF SWIMMING, which applies Alexander Technique principles to swimming. It is subsequently on order, and I shall report back once I have taken a look at it. The recommender says it very much helped them in terms of body position in the water, so… why not?

15 Jan – kickpunching