Thursday, 4 July 2013

Swimming without a wetsuit.

Whilst my focus should mainly be on the half ironman in September, it has to be said that I'm thinking about life after half ironman, when I hope to move back towards swimming challenges.  13 days after the half ironman, my post-race treat to myself is participating in the Chillswim Coniston swim, where I will swim the length of Consiton in the Lake District - 5.25 miles or 8.5k.  It's going to be tough, because I don't have the time in my schedule to do the long swims that I would usually do for a distance event like this (although I am putting in a 5k set most weeks, and I have at least got 3 10ks and 1 14k under my belt from the two previous seasons).  I'm going to make it tougher for myself by aiming to do it non-wetsuit, unless the weather is truly horrific.

Since my inadvertent non wetsuit swim in early May, all of my lake swims (bar races) have been done without a wetsuit (probably not helping my wetsuited times :-), and I've gradually built up from one lap, to two, and even three this last week (a lap is c1k).  Of course, the temperature can vary wildy (from 14C to 19C) and it also seems to make a big difference as to whether the sun is shining on my back.

With that in mind, when I had the opportunity this week to do a midweek 3.8k, unrested, I thought I would give it a go without a wetsuit.  I knew I wasn't going to be setting any PBs as I didn't want to push it too hard with a race coming up on Sunday, and more training to be got in this week.  So I thought doing it without a wetsuit would be a different dimension, whatever time I did would be a non wetsuit PB!  I think the water was somewhere between 17 and 18C but actually felt pleasant.   I felt like I was swimming strongly, which meant that it was a right pain that there were not the usual race buoys (large inflatables...) but just small water buoys, which coupled with a large lake, surrounded by trees made it very difficult to sight.  Oh, and the fact that they hadn't removed the buoys that weren't part of the course...  I got lost, and according to Mr Tuna, this accounted for at least 5 minutes of my swim.  Which is a shame as I was hoping for sub 1h10 on my first non wetsuit 3.8k (wetsuits tend to save quite a bit of time...), and I came in in 1h11.  On the plus side, I was second overall, first woman and first non wetsuit...

Of course, all of this has a purpose, little baby steps towards the plans that I am making, of which more in due course.  Right now, it's time to take advantage of being on leave for the week and go out for a short bike followed by a run...


  1. Only a triathlete would "treat themselves" to another race less than two weeks after a half-Ironman. Just sayin'. ;)

  2. You came FIRST and that's so impressive. Well, so's swimming in a lake with or without a wetsuit!

    When are they going to improve the safety of these things, though? That makes me really cross!