This is it, 2013 is finally here.... almost 2 and a half years since I booked my Channel slot. I can’t believe my swim is actually this year, it feels so close, but so far away at the same time. Mainly when I am in the pool struggling to get through a set, feeling tired and lethargic. I am thinking ‘if I am struggling to get through this set how the hell am I going to get across the Channel’. Other days when I am gliding through the water and feeling fast and strong I can’t wait to get into the water at Dover and power across. A bit of a mental roller coaster for sure.
It has been a mixed month for training, what with winter colds and yup, more impact on sleep. I have had to miss a few sessions due not getting much sleep at all with both kids up in the night. I had a slightly worrying week where each day I was getting less and less sleep and I started to feel sick and a bit dizzy. At that point I knew it was time to take it a little easier for a few days.
My long swims have been interesting, I have switched from doing straight long swims (on advice from Nick Adams) to mixing them up with a variety of paces and distances. I do this throughout the rest of my sessions, but I thought I had to do long straight sessions each week to get used to the continuous swimming of the Channel. Not so, I am assured. I was amazed at how quickly an 11km swim could go when it is mixed up. Even with very short rest stops, mentally it is much more interesting, the change of pace keeps it fun and it is easier to keep up a good pace if there is a 10sec stop between reps. I am converted. My only concern is that surely it can’t be this easy (I say this in relative terms)....surely there has to be more of a struggle in training. I have been told on a number of occasions that the real training starts in Dover in May.....
This is also the month that I have decided to start increasing my weight. I have been advised (again by Senior Adams) that I should aim to get my weight up to around 90kg. Not as much as I had feared which is good, but still a lot more than I would like. Rather than go for a big bang and eat a tub of ice cream every night in the month leading up to my swim I have decided to build my weight slowly in the hope that it will be a more ‘healthy’ approach. I have started to increase the size of my portions and snack on nuts, oh and eat more chocolate. I am getting some very funny looks from work colleagues when I come in with my lunch.....it is huge. It is even more amusing as everyone in the office seems to be on the January diet and is counting calories and I am trying to go the other way. I will enjoy it while I can.