I find it quite hard to put down in words how truly amazing every single swimmer has been over the year. I do believe open water swimming is a journey and the journey starts with a Facebook message or email, even a chat with a friend and sometimes it’s super scary to start with the initial contact. Some swimmers it’s taken a massive amount of effort and encouragement to actually just get to the swimming pool in the first place for the journey to begin. Swimmers arriving back in the pool after being ill is an exhilarating experience but also nerve wreaking. Every single pool2lake swimmer has achieved this year. Some swims have been so hard you can’t ever imagine carrying on but you do. Some days your body is so tired and the thought of swimming makes you want to cry but you come to the class. Other days you are so excited to see your swim buddies and want to mash the workout. Every single one has accomplished so much. Please be so proud and happy with yourselves.
2020 starts again with new challenges. It’s a good idea to have a look and see what you would like to achieve whether it’s in the pool or open water. Share with me your goals so I can help you along the way and make sure I am offering your all the skills to get there. I have had a few swimmers already who have shared what they want to achieve.
Think about what events or recreational swims you want to do. Maybe you want to attempt a sea swim? Maybe you want to swim 10 lengths of front crawl without stopping. They are your goals and important to you.
All the pool classes start the week beginning 6 January 2020. I get excited for the start of all the new classes as it’s nice to see old swimmers and meet new ones.
Here is a little bit about each class on offer.
Monday 7-8am is held at Hatfield Leisure Centre, with one lane which is 33m long. The group will have a maximum of 7 swimmers. You definitely start your week off on a good foot with an early morning swim.
Harpenden squad which has been running for 3 years now and most of the swimmers have been swimming there for over 2 years now. Some have been swimming for 3 years. It’s a super vibe. The squad runs on a Tuesday at 9.00am and 9.45am. 9.00am is a busy session with lots of energy. 9.45am is a quieter class and a good place to start for new swimmers. Just allow enough time for parking. The pool deck is bursting with pool kit and lots of activity.
The Tuesday 12:15 squad at Luton Inspire is a new session and growing. This session was introduced to allow the Harpenden squad to continue swimming when the Harpenden pool closes in May 2020. Swimming at Luton inspire is a real treat with the lane at 32m. Free parking and about a 15-minute drive from Harpenden.
Brand new squad on a Wednesday at 6:15 am. Yes, you read it correctly 6.15am!!!! A good session to develop your stamina and endurance by swimming in the 50m pool. Good practice for Ironman and for long distance swimming. I love coaching in the 50m is you can really get stuck into the drills and get the technique right. Give it a go and see if the early morning works for you. I will try not be too happy and bouncy at 6.15am!!!
The other new group is the 7.30pm – 8.30pm at Townsend school in St Albans. What happens is when you’re new a swimmer joining a big squad its very daunting coming in and seeing all the swimmers zooming up and down is enough to make you run away. So, when some extra pool space become available I grabbed the opening and created this intro to squad. The squad is limited to only 12 swimmers so that people can get a better understanding of the how a squad operates and build your confidence.
Wednesday 8.30pm – 9.30pm Townsend School, St Albans is the main squad with 4 lanes and full of high energy, also zooming up and down.
Events which I have planned.
New Years Day wild swim at 10.00am. Email for details.
8 March, is the Pool2lake Swimathon at Luton Inspire in the 50m lane. No rules!!! You choose your distance what you want to achieve and you have 2 hours to do it in. I plan on swimming with Steve 5k, anyone welcome to join.
20 June is the Summer Solstice wild swim. Yes, it’s waking up at a stupid time. We had so much fun last year. A wild swim, picnic and watching the sun rise. Perfect!!!
The Henley Swim festival on the 12th of July which is a brilliant event for all abilities. It’s a great swim for the whole family to come along and they can watch you swim. Children eight years old can give it go by swimming the 250-meter swim. Older children there is the half a mile and 1 mile.
My Irish Swim in September was so much fun. Pool2lake swimmers are going to join the Aqua School Ireland swimmers on the 26 September for the Gaelforce Killary Fjord event. The event is open to anyone wanting to give it a try. Jumping off a fishing trawler and swimming in the most magical setting. Not to mention the fab hospitality of the Irish.
My goal as an open water coach is to provide good swim workouts to help improve your front crawl. I firmly believe good quality drills transfers to an efficient, streamlined, balanced front crawl stroke. Also having a positive transition from the pool to lake is very important to me. Having a positive first experience in the open water will allow you to build confidence and grow as an open water swimming.
Open water swimming is definitely a journey and the pure joy of being in the water.
Happy New Year to you all.