So for the last couple of weeks I’ve been pretty much resting up. I’ve logged about 30 miles of running and on top of that I’ve finally managed to get some race specific training done.
Me and Tom have been able to get up to Southwater lake and train in full kit. Swimming up and down the lake, jumping out and running around it before repeating.
The first time I tried this I found it really tough. I very quickly learnt how difficult it is to swim in your shoes. Its like dragging a lead weight behind you, and attempting to kick is murder on your leg muscles (which you’re trying to save for the run anyway.)
Talking points from the first attempt:
- My goggles don’t work (cheapo emergency Zoggs from Tesco)
- I don’t have the strength needed for paddles
- I will not need a pull bouy
- I don’t get on with swim hats
But on a more positive note
- My wetsuit felt good, even on the run.
- No Chafing
- Running and swimming go together very well for me
- The water was sooo warm!
- My Inov8 X-Talons feel fine, if a little heavy in the water.
So before our next training session together I bought some new goggles, some base layers and some Bodyglide to help avoid chafing over longer distances.
Our next attempt was in the sea and there was quite a lot of chop. I’ve mentioned before that Tom is a great swimmer and this really showed in the sea. I struggled against the current in whichever direction and the salt water made me want to throw up everytime I downed a mouthful.
But we managed a decent distance out to a shipping bouy and back, we estimated it at about a mile. It looked much closer but when we finally got there I realised that its just fucking big! I’m glad we’re not swimming against strong currents at Buttermere, and praying for the lake to look like a mirror come Saturday morning.
My new goggles felt really comfortable, although I couldn’t see further than my hand as the water was too stirred up.
Last night we got up to Southwater again for our final Swimrun specific training session. This time I’d cut the legs off my wetsuit and donned my Gococo Compression socks too.
This session went perfectly, we dialled into a nice pace in the water with me swimming right on Toms toes. We’ve agreed that if I tap him on the foot then he’s just to ignore it, in fact, it means he can avoid checking to see if I’m still on his toes. If I pull his foot, it means I need to ease off the pace a bit.
We won’t be using a tether to keep us together as its just another bit of kit that we have to worry about, we’re going very minimal: no paddles, no buoys, no tether.
Visibility seemed much better this time round, Tom assured me it was just my goggles. I was actually able to see his feet. I’m anticipating this to be even better on the day up in the crystal waters of Buttermere.
Once again, climbing out and getting into our running stride felt good, we’re both pretty strong runners and fairly equal ability so we should both feel similar levels of comfort/discomfort on the day and know when we can push or ease off.
So thats training done, kit finalised, disclaimers signed. What’s next? Well, a 7 hour drive, 7+ hours of racing together, and 7 hours in the car coming home….we’re not even sure if we like each other that much! Tom’s already mentioned wearing a Belgium shirt for the Wales vs Belgium match in the Euro’s on Friday night – I’m Welsh by the way!
- Goggles: Speedo Futura Biofuse (Black)
- Base Layer: Nike Pro Core Short Sleeve T – Maru Swim Jammers
- Wetsuit: HEAD Swimrun Rough (Legs trimmed above the knee)
- Socks: Gococo Compression Superior
- Shoes: Inov8 X-Talon 212
If you’re going to be there at the weekend, I look forward to meeting you. Please make yourself known, especially if you’re staying in the YHA.
We’ll see you there!