andy’s english channel swim: august 2007

May 19, 2007

2007 05 20

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 9:16 am


Consistency improving - after 5 months of working on my stroke, I am definitely travelling more easily. I am maintaining speed with less effort, and have moved on from the brute force & ignorance of last season.

The test will be to maintain frequency & quality over the next two months - if I manage that without interruptions thhen I will arrive in Dover feeling very  confident. 

In the meanwhile, my business partner Renault & I are off to London & Geneva for a week for business - I’m relying on Lewis Pugh to find me a pool in London. 

May 4, 2007

Month ending 2007 04 30

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 6:26 pm


So much for the consistency; April really turned out to be a foolish month - no consistency of training, no real quality, nothing useful to report apart from a PB Robben Island time of 2 hours 14 mins in very cold water (started at 14 degrees & finished in 10 degrees). Milage is down on this time last year - refer to the charts above. I will simply have to knuckle down & slog through the hard yards over the next 4 months if I expect to put this thing to bed. 


Launching, Chris enjoying the ride out, and Ryan glad to get going.

Pic 4:Swimming with Erica, who swam the Channel last year just after I left Pic 5:Chris & Ryan on Blaauwberg beach Pic 6:Sunshine on my back after 10 degree water! 


Pic 7 Chris really felt the cold! Pic 8:Under way with the ever-present Tucker at the helm Pic 9: Erica warm & happy again  

Oh - words of encouragement: Roland Schoeman wished me well for the swim, with the parting commment "Rather you than me!" My response was the quote on the wall of the White Horse pub in Dover "When the going gets tough, the sprinters get out." I used to be a sprinter 20 years ago and I got out last year, so those words are still haunting me.

March 29, 2007

Week 2007 03 25

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 5:33 pm


Not breaking the sound barrier, but the consistency’s starting to look ok.

Missed training on Friday as we had to put down Cecilia’s favourite mare Silhouette after 36 hours of colic. At 22 years Silhouette was no youngster, but had had an illlustrious competitive career with numerous national titles to her name.



March 20, 2007

Week 2007 03 18

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 4:50 pm


Didn’t train on Saturday. I had joined the South African contingent that had just returned from their successful Rottnest (Australia) swim at Granger Bay, including Gary Austin, the only South African to have completed more than one English Channel swim. We hoped to swim the longer Robbben Island swim, the 10.5 km to 3 Anchor Bay.

Unfortunately on our arrival at the island the conditions were far worse than initiallly expected, and the swim was called off in spite of Mel & Gary having lubed up & covered themselves in sunscreen to ward off the storm clouds & rain.

Week 2007 03 11

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 4:38 pm


March 6, 2007

Week 2007 03 04

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 4:47 pm
The week started off pretty well, but on Thursday night Cecilia & I had a bout of "irrational exuberance" and made serious inroads into our wine collection. On Friday I found a secluded part of the pool well away from the squad, and did just enough to appease my conscience for the day.
The Polar Bears’ regular mile swim at Clifton on the 1st Sunday of the month looked like good training for Dover - 12 degrees & a real washing machine!
To swim or not to swim?  
pic 1: to swim or not to swim!
pic 2: the bouy was lost beyond the beaking wave
pic 3: Ram (in white cap) reveling in the cold water! 

Week 2007 02 25

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 4:44 pm

February 20, 2007

2007 02 18

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 6:22 pm


Earache kept me out of the water during the week; surfing Dr Mike Broodryk (see Resources) shone, prodded, probed & cleaned before making all the right reassuring comments that it was nothing serious. It’s obviously time for new earplugs - I have the best ones in town. They are made by an audiologist who makes a mould of my ears & then makes the silicone plugs. Voila - custom fitted, not hard plastic off the shelf!

February 12, 2007

Week 2007 02 12

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 6:06 pm

Back on the road again.

After a couple of false starts over December & January, I’ve managed to regain some consistency in my training.

The tank isn’t full, but it is bigger. 

At 110 kg so am I - that’s 20kg more than I weighed when playing provincial rugby 20 years ago. But my conditioning seems to be returning reassuringly quickly - just got to restrain myself from doing too much too soon, and to stick to the plan. To paraphrase an expression any systematic trader would know:

Plan the training, then train to the plan. 

August 4, 2006

Week 2006 08 06

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 11:11 am


I think the physio stuck a dozen needles in my back just to shut me up, but my first acupuncture session was startlingly successful; I had a light swim the next day, and was back in the squad sessions by Thursday.

Saturday finished with a 15 x 50m set, with the successive 5 x 50m in 60 sec, 50 sec & 45 sec intervals. Felt good & strong, finishing each on about 36-37 seconds with long controlled strokes.