280 Lengths Done… Man that was tough….

After having done no Insanity Workout on Friday or Saturday due to energy levels and this cold, cough and lack of sleep you could say I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the swim.

Nonetheless, I still prepared for the swim really well. I have been eating really well all weekend, went to bed on Friday at 8pm to regain energy levels and had 0 beer Friday or Saturday like last weekend. I got up this morning at 6 and got all of my energy drinks and supplements ready and prepared my swimming sections as follows:

Warm Up First Sub-Section Main Section Second Sub-Section Cool Down
Lengths 42 70 108 30 30
Pace 60% 80% See Below 70% 60%
Minutes 41 51 90 24 27
Actual 28 41 71 21 21
Main Section 1 Main Section 2 Main Section 3 X
Lengths 6 6 6
Minutes 6 5 4
Pace 60% 70% 80%


I had an energy bar on the way to HLC and then when I got there, with the recommendations of a training manual I read 2 weeks ago about dynamic and static stretches before a long swim, I asked the HLC desk if it would be possible to use the gym just so I could do some warm up stretches etc. The desk lady looked at me, scanned my free card given to me by Serco and then with a puzzled look on her face she said “Your membership entitles you to both pool and full gym facilities at every leisure centre in Bolton”. NICE – Thanks again Serco! So anyway I did some light Insanity-type warmups in the smaller gym area with a small treadmill run and full stretches until I got a bit sweaty and then went for the swim, taking an energy gel in the changing rooms.

When I got into the pool and prepared for my swim, I already started to become a bit concerned as my hand was shaking terribly when holding my drinks bottle!?! At this point I thought today’s swim wasn’t going to be as smooth as last weeks. Still, I started off slow as usual into the warm ups for the first 40 lengths, getting into people’s way and almost submitting myself into the slow lane (like the old days!).
Then I started the 70 lengths of 80% paced first sub-section and at this stage I could tell I wasn’t 100%. Still I completed these and took 10 sips of my energy drinks every 15 mins as usual. Then came the main section where I decided to split it into 6 x 18 sections, each of these 18 I was supposed to do 6 @ 60% pace, 6 @ 70% and 6 @ 80% but it quickly became apparent I didn’t have the energy to push hard at 80% so it quickly became just 6 x 18 lengths at around 70% pace.

At this stage my back and shoulders started hurting and aching so I decided to do 6 lengths on backcrawl – Oh god I pretty much forgot how to even do this stroke, hitting the lane dividers! Although this did seem to alleviate some of the pain, I realised my watch didn’t add or detect these lengths on my watch total lengths counter – For some reason that really annoyed me to a point that it started getting me down, thinking I’ve still got SO far to go and I’ve just done 6 lengths for it not to be counted AND THIS is just a small drop in the ocean compared to my 1,000 lengths in 8 weeks. I’LL NEVER DO IT!!!

At this stage my mind started wandering, daydreaming, drifting almost into an out of conscious state, thinking this will never end. I lost all awareness of who was in the pool with me, what time it was, how many lengths I did etc. I decided to get out of the pool after half way through my main section at 3 x 18 lengths and took an energy gel. I got back into the pool and I really started losing my marbles, I couldn’t even do 2 x 18 in my head… I kept getting 32… then I thought let’s try again 2 x 16…. 16 or 18… and this carried on for TWO whole lengths.
Luckily at this point I found a bit of energy come my way and I started taking on a bit more energy fluids… I think my body was starting to get used to it a lot better. Then when I got to 5 x 18 I then checked my totals on my watch to realise that I had actually done 6 x 18 and had finished the main section, leaving me with only 60 lengths left. At this point I started feeling quite pleased, thinking wow I’ve done 220 lengths now, and then I realised I was still going at a pace of 60 lengths in 40 mins which is decent pace. My stroke wasn’t powerful nor was I going that fast but it was consistent and could feel that I would finish the last 60 without any problems. At 30 left I then thought WOW 250 lengths done but I was really slow, struggling to cope… and then finally at 280 I was absolutely done… battered!

Now in a comparative way, I completed last weeks 200 lengths without any issues at all whereas at 150 lengths today I was choking with energy so I obviously wasn’t 100% fit. My mum had a go at me when I got to hers telling me I was silly for pushing myself when I should be resting but this was a mental battle more than a physical one today, one which I triumphed in. I HAVE been taking care of myself, better than anyone I know. Physically, Yes I should have rested but in terms of a mental battle I have a fantastic sense of achievement knowing I have a step further towards my target.

Next week 340 lengths… I can surely do that without any major issues as long as I am fit and mentally prepared. Today also made me realise how much of a mammoth challenge this really is going to be… but it HAS to be like this.. .because THIS is what’s going to get people to pull out their cash for the fantastic charities. I NEED to be more promoting of this challenge, of the charities and most importantly myself at the moment. Although I want no personal gain from these challenges other than looking trim etc, I need to reward myself and stop hiding away and getting shy when doing training. If I find people aren’t interested, don’t know what to say or only want to give their counter opinions it’s their issue.
I’ve done everything I can to get their attention by choosing the high difficulty grade of challenges. People like Emma (Pete’s), Ste and Daneka, Angela and Mark Whittle have especially shown a great interest and respect which is really REALLY nice, very welcome and will help me towards my targets.

God I felt exhausted today though, although after a nice shower and a lovely family meal I feel great physically and my illness is now hopefully at an end and I can hopefully focus on my training next week being at 100%.

2 thoughts on “280 Lengths Done… Man that was tough….

  1. Pingback: Meh, the challenges are miles away! Maybe they’ll never come? :-) | Run Fat Ging Run

  2. Pingback: 340 Lengths Completed | Run Fat Ging Run

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