4th open water swim

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

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