This morning saw me up before 6am again for my 4th open water swim at Lakeside, Eastleigh. To be honest, the lure of the duvet almost lead to a lie in rather than the swim but I resisted temptation.
The good weather over the last 4-5 days meant that the water was warmed than previous visits which was a blessing. As the water temperature for the first lap always shocks my brain and results in me struggling to breath normally, I submerged my head to acclimatise.
I then set off on my first lap. The lake was definitely busier than of late and there appeared to be a pack of swimmers training together. I immediately saw several Lordshill Road Runners.
After about 3 laps I was beginning to wonder whether I could replicate my previous week’s performance of 9 laps of 350m. However, I kept on going. The excesses of my 3 day camping trip had resulted in a few extra lbs! Must really avoid temptation!!
After 6 laps, I was beginning to tire. By this point I was beginning to think that it was going to be another 9 lap session.
However, I wanted to push myself and complete 10 laps so completed the 9 laps and pressed on. As I’d committed to the final lap, there was no turning back. My legs started to cramp a little but I tried to swim through it. That worked.
As I got back to the lake entry area, I stood up and tried to get my balance. I immediately started to get cramps in both calves and couldn’t stand. I was soon sat in the water trying to stretch to relieve the pain. As soon as there was some relief I tried to stand again. Cramps again! Arghhhh!!
It took me about 8 minutes to get out of the lake and in the process I was convinced that the stones at the bottom of the lake would have torn my wetsuit. As it turned out, I was right. Gutted!!
A quick dash home with moments to spare before the school run.
As I washed my wetsuit, I checked for tears. There was a small one on one knee. Neoprene adhesive ordered hoping for a good repair when it arrives.
Having googled cramps when swimming, it looks like the cause is lazy leg kicks. I need to kick more and stop simply dragging my legs around behind me.
A few lessons learned:
(a) work on my catch and pull particularly the high elbow catch
(b) learn how to breath bilaterally
(c) spot/sight more often to avoid swimming unnecessarily far
(d) kick more to avoid cramps