Swimming – Ongoing blog

As many of you know, I’m a Scout. Have been since the age of 6. In Scouting the highest award a youth member (an under 25) can gain is the Queen Scout Award. It’s quite an impressive achievement. I’ve had most of it done for a few years, but always had odds and sods left. One of the requirements I had left was 6 months physical activity.

The requirement: Take up a physical activity for 6 or 12* months, completing an agreed programme by taking part and achieving your objectives.

At first I did walking, but as some of you will know I started to struggle with foot pains. After a 4 mile walk with my Explorers a week later I still had severe foot pains and went to the Drs and was told I had planter fascitis (commonly known as policemans heel) and the recovery would be several months. After a couple of physio sessions I was told that with proper sole inserts (which I’m still waiting for by the way NHS) I would be on the road to recovery by late September. Too late for the QSA. So I decided on Swimming, knowing it’s good exercise and that I enjoyed it when younger.

Over the next few months I’m going to keep a diary of progress and aims and objectives to try and keep track of how it’s going. I’m not going to do a blog post on every session (after the first few I’ll probably just keep a record of how well I do and any interesting tidbits or happenings just so it doesn’t get repetitive and boring).

So here we go:

Week 1: Friday 3rd August 2012

Set my alarm for 6am and woke up a bit before half past 6. Quickly got dressed and grabbed my swim stuff (I’d dug it out the night before), as I was leaving the house I realised I’d better eat something first. Problem: I had nothing quick and easy that would release energy in the house. Took a detour to Sainburys arriving at about 6.45, it didn’t open until 7 so had to wait. Grabbed a nutrigrain bar and a lucozade and headed to the pool.

When I got there, the car park had several cars in it – not packed, but not empty either – it seemed the early morning swim was quite popular. There were no staff around in the foyer (people coming in were just putting their Active Swansea membership cards on the desk (I made a note to look into getting one) and going to change. I waited for two minutes, then went down to the spectator area and pool side to find some staff as I didn’t want to sneak in, didn’t know how much it costed exactly and didn’t have any change. Bumped into a guy I used to work with in the theatre who works there as a lifeguard who sent someone up to take my cash. Then I was ready to go.

Next problem: I didn’t have any change for the locker (it only took £1 coins) so I just put the stuff in one and made a mental note for next time.

Got into the water and started swimming – didn’t really set any targets or aims for first session. Did 15 lengths. Got out, showered and headed home.

Felt really good all of Friday. Had lot’s of energy and a kind of high. Decided that morning was best time for future swims as I had plenty of energy and felt good for rest of day. Decided to work out a schedule. Week 1 I’d gone Friday, week 2 I’d go Wednesday and Friday, then week 3 I’d add Monday on and go three times a week. I’d also set targets each session and try and improve on them.

Week 2.1: Wednesday 8th August

Got up at 6.30am and dressed. Had swimming stuff to hand and previous night I’d bought nutrigrain bars and lucozade ready. Got to pool by 7am and bought a pair of goggles. Also had change for locker.

All good so far.

Set myself target of 4 lengths then rest and see how far I got. First block was great and pretty easy. Second block I started having issues with goggles. They’d steam up every 2 lengths so by end of 2nd length I’d feel like an extra in Hound of the Baskervilles (the water version apparently). No biggie, just had to wipe them every 2 and then carry on. Block 2 was fine. By block 3 I was starting to feel a bit tired, but that’s a good thing right? Started block 4 and by end of 2nd length (length 14 in total) my arms were aching. Pushed on for 2 more lengths and as it was end of block decided to call it a day before they dropped off.

So 16 lengths, with a rest every 4. That’s the target to beat for Friday. Off for a shower now before work! Toodles!

Week 2.2: Friday 10th August

Felt ill so decided to give it a miss.

Week 3:

1. Monday 13th August

Arms hurt again. Did same as before – 16 lengths, rest every 4 (technically doing pause after 2 to wipe misty goggles, then rest after 4th). Arms didn’t start hurting until the 16th this time, so guess that’s an improvement. Think I should also time my rests, and how long I spend in the water.

Week 4:

1. Friday 24th August

First session for more than a week thanks to illness and alarms not going off!

Really felt the gap. Tried increasing my stamina by doing 6 lengths and a rest of 2 minutes. The 2 minute rest wasn’t long enough as I was still out of breath so took longer for the second one. I managed 14 lengths today. The last length I tried to alter my stroke to a breast stroke as it works more muscles, and I really felt that, so decided to quit there.

So 13 lengths front crawl, 1 length breast stroke. 6 lengths then rest.

P.S. Goggles still misting and annoying me!

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