andy’s english channel swim: august 2007


December 13, 2005

Week 2005 12 11

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 9:20 pm

I suppose that there’s a lesson here - the consistency does it: the 20km glass ceiling finally gave way. The rule of thumb is that a week’s training distance should be the same as the event distance. That makes my next target a 35km training week. Attendance at squad training sessions is reduced at this time of year(!) so I will try to kickstart my weight-training program in the 3 weeks that coach Brian Button suns himself at the beach.

I had the good fortune to have Kenny Craig as a guest at my home over the weekend - a 70 year-old man who has run 40 Comrades marathons consecutively! He has also run the 1400 km from Lands End to John O’Groats averaging about 110km daily for about two weeks at the age of 49. He certainly has practical ideas about how to approach & train for endurance events, but was extremely humble about asking & giving advice. That too is a lesson in itself, and far more appropriate than my testosterone-filled rugby background. He left me with three thoughts:

  • it’s not about the time, it’s about finishing
  • on training: use LSD (long slow distance!)
  • identify 3 core thoughts to concentrate on during the event.

I reciprocated with a copy of Tony Sellmeyer’s book "A Journal of Long Distance Swimming in South Africa" (see http://www.capeswim.com/shop.htm ). I certainly hope to stay in touch with Kenny both in the run-up to August next year, and also thereafter. He only (!) has to run two more Comrades’ to become the person who has run the most ever.

December 5, 2005

Week 2005 12 04

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 1:19 pm

After a good session on Monday, I started Tuesday’s early ‘fly set too enthusiastically and "tweaked" my right shoulder (pecs?). Unsurprisingly, distance training & butterfly typically don’t mix well (the odd hooligan excluded - there are recorded swims of both Robben Island & Channel swims in butterfly (Julie Bradshaw 14 hrs 18 mins in 2002).

Nonetheless, believing discretion the better part of valour, I left the pool for 2 days, and followed up with an easy 3rd day, not doing the sprints at the end of the session. This seems to have paid off, as the last 2 sessions of the week were good ones - 4.5 km & improving quality. Hopefully this augurs well for breaking the glass ceiling of 20km for a week.