Great North Swim Preparation

So big step forward today in my preparation for the Great North Swim, I donned my wet suit which I’d hired from here and which I had tried on at the weekend (tight but not enough to make me scream … just) and jumped into Top Barn Lake courtesy of these guys.  Here’s an aerial picture of Top Barn (my route in yellow) …

Top Barn

Top Barn swimming route ( in yellow)

Yes, that pale algae-green color blob.  Why is it algae-green color you ask … I don’t need to tell you do I?  Actually tonight it was pretty clear, thank heavens, and though I was dreading it, it was not that cold and with the wetsuit I never felt chill at all.
So I did the circuit of the lake twice.  A circuit is 750m, so that made a total of 1500m, much less than in the training sessions I normally do. Took me about half an hour, first circuit I did was slow, and I did a mixture of frontcrawl and breaststroke , just to get the feel of the water, the lake, the wetsuit, which were all a bit strange.  I then rested for a couple of minutes then went around again, this time all front crawl and at a pretty good pace.  I overtook a few swimmers and felt good all the way.
Looking down at the rather ugly weed, gave me great incentive to keep going, I can tell you.  It took a while to get used to looking up during the stroke to keep my bearings, but alternate-side breathing every 3 strokes really  helped me to stay on track.  The suit felt good, easy to swim in and I was very boyant.  I felt I was going along at a good lick, probably as the suit keeps you high in the water.
Getting out was weird, as I stood up and nearly fell over as I found I was very dizzy.  I put that down to not really having a fixed point of reference to focus on like you do in the pool, you have the black line to follow there.  Still, I  got over that after a couple of minutes, showered and went home, happy, as all-in-all it was a whole lot easier than I expected.  So I’ll pop along for another 3 sessions I think before the real swim, that, plus my standard training of 5 hours a week should see me through the waves of Lake Windermere … here’s hoping!
Oh and don’t forget, I’m doing it for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) who are a charity who run all of the countries Life Boats around the UK coastline. I’d really appreciate any sponsorship you might care to give to this highly worthwhile cause.  You can donate online via
Dave Mc

About davemcmahon81
Software Developer & Architect, User Group Leader, Speaker, Writer, Blogger, Occasional Guitarist, Man-made Global Warming Sceptic, Climate Change Believer, General Optimist but most of all proud Husband and Dad ...

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