Claire Russell – Channel Swim (part 5)
En route to France……………..6 weeks to go.
Friday night…. The eve of our dawn swim.
I love my bed, so it must be something special that will drag me out of it, in the middle of the night to be on the beach at 4am ready to swim!
It has been the fastest month of my life EVER, going from 20minute swims up to 3 hours one day and 4 the next. That is just the beginning though, training is going to get REALLY serious now with just 6 weeks to go.
This week I have had my last 1:1 session with technique coach Ray Gibbs. He’s shown me a tweak in my timing that will give a little extra speed, without any extra effort. Get in!!
My stroke has improved so much since I started coaching sessions with him a year ago. ( Ray Gibbs Canary Wharf- see link below)
Poor technique burns more energy and is likely to cause injury, which is why I went to see him in the first place. I have tried to be the model pupil and do ALL my homework; the end result is a much more streamline stroke that looks effortless. Don’t be fooled by my lack of splash though…… like a swan, there is a lot going on under the water.
So far I have been lucky not to chaff while swimming, but I won’t get away that for any longer, so I will be joining the ‘lube queue’ tomorrow morning.
That will be a strange one to explain to the police…. in the dark, on the beach with a vast pot of Vaseline.
ITV Meridian are coming to film me tomorrow… not sure which I am more nervous about, the 6hour swim or the TV cameras?
I think about lot of things while I’m swimming….
Food, the next feed is a great motivator.
Concentrating on technique; there are so many different aspects to think about.
The plan is to get into auto-pilot where my mind can wander. In the tough patches I have started using a simple mantra: “I can and I will, watch me” the slogan on our hats.But tomorrow I will be looking forward to my post swim massage with Debs.
Post script. I completed my 6 hour swim in 15.4 degrees. The last tip from Ray made a huge difference to the recovery stage of my stroke, so my arms didn’t ache as much as usual. This swim means that I have qualified to swim the channel WooHoo. The massage was truly wonderful… Thanks Debs.
Link below for the piece in the local news:
This weekends theme was pyjamas… in honour of our early start. We must have looked dodgy, because at 3 in the morning we were approached by some lads looking for drugs! A six hour swim would give them a high they would never forget!!