The start of my last full day of the Tri50 swim camp began with a greatly appreciated lie in, albeit a 7:15 alarm call to prepare for the aquathlon ( relaxed racing apparently ). It may seem a touch severe, but after an intensive week it was certainly needed. Previous mornings consisted of very early sea swims in the warm but rather choppy Atlantic ( certainly character building and great fun ).
Walking to the pool earlier, my thoughts were a mix of how incredible the week had been thus far, and how could I possibly put into practice everything I had learned over the past few days, which of course you can’t, as the majority of the learnings are to be taken away and worked upon and reinforced over the coming weeks and months ( or dare I say years, as Jo keeps reminding us “ it can take 8 years to learn to swim properly “ ) having said that my own personal improvement over the week has taken me very much by surprise.
By way of background, I arrived here on the back of needing to greatly improve my swimming technique in preparation for my attempt at the Ironman distance. I’m still fairly new to triathlons, having only taken up the sport some 18 months or so ago, after a lifetime of running has left the bodywork in some disrepair. Earlier in the year I had completed in several sprints then stepped up to the Olympic standard distance, including the ETU European trials, where I’d come unstuck with my poor swimming technique being exposed over the longer distance. Having discussed with friends and clubmates, I embarked on several swimming lessons which whilst useful didn’t provide the necessary 1:2:1 interaction required, nor did they allow for reinforcing the points on technique.
Therefore after stumbling upon the Tri50 website and their November swim camp I arrived hoping that an intensive week of coached sessions would help improve my technique.
So back to the aquathlon, after a week of open water swimming, pool based technique sessions, video analysis, CSS tests, classroom based theory and a whole load of informal advice and tips ( including the invaluable tip of wrapping your feet in plastic bags to effortlessly slide into your wetsuit !) , I opted to swim 800m then head out for a two mile run.
So sitting here writing this blog, my garmin has told me I completed new personal records for both the 400m and 800m in the swim and completed it without coming out of the water totally “knackered” as they say in the North East. So yes I’ve gained an incredible amount in a very short space of time all thanks to the Tri50 approach. Also on top of the swimming the whole week has been great fun, great location, great resort all with a great bunch of supportive like minded people, all willing to share their own experiences. I’ll certainly be looking to return and do it all again soon.