Friday, 29 June 2018


My return to exercise took another tentative step forward this morning. Yesterday it was a paddle and this morning it was a swim down with the squad at Swim Smooth.

Getting myself down to the pool this morning was not the easiest task. Firstly I know that I am not feeling great at the moment, recovering from this cold, combined with the fact that I haven't swum for nearly 4 weeks is a nasty mix. On top of the the lack of form and conditioning was the fact that it was something like three degrees down at the pool this morning. Not an easy morning to get out of bed.

Got down there I did though, which I am just a little bit proud of.

Coach Paul has a favourite session called the Goldilocks Set. It is not my most favourite set.

Typically Goldilocks looks like:

4 x 100m @ threshold pace
200m @ threshold pace (Baby Bear)
4 x 100m @ threshold pace
300m @ threshold pace (Mama Bear)
4 x 100m @ threshold pace
400m @ threshold pace (Papa Bear)

You will notice that the distance gets longer, but the pace doesn't get slower. It is one tough session, which is part of the reason it is not my favourite thing. Actually while what I wrote above is the standard Goldilocks Set, Paul takes great pleasure in making it slightly different every time. For example this morning we did it backwards, starting with the 400m and finishing with the 200m. Contrary to popular belief, having the efforts gets shorter didn't make them any easier.

Anyway, for some mystical reason I seem to have an uncanny ability to return to the pool after an extended break just when Paul thinks it is time to put on another Goldilocks set. I am not sure how many times it has happened, but it is a few, and it happened again this morning. Far from stellar physical condition mixed with one tough threshold session = winning.

Despite my lack of fitness and health I did actually managed to slog through the session today, which I am pretty proud of. It wasn't pretty, or fast and I did cheat quite a bit by using pullbuoy and paddles for all the long efforts, but I am going to claim it anyway. This morning was always going to go one of three ways.

  • Option 1 was that I was going to feel miraculously great and swim wonderfully. This was always a long shot. 
  • Option 2 was that I would feel okay, swim average and survive.
  • Option 3 was that it would all fall a part after 1500m and I would be getting out at 2000m.

I was fully prepared for Option 3 to occur, so in that context, Option 2 feels like a bit of a victory.

Like with all the exercise I am doing at the moment, today didn't feel great, but it felt better than yesterday which felt a lot better than Tuesday. That is really the moral of the story at the moment. Each day I am feeling a bit closer to full health and I am building a bit more fitness. Like everything sports related, perseverance is the key.

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