Ali in British Gas Great Swim training session on Windermere...Brrr!
As an open water swimmer, I have my idols and I was absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity this week to attend an open water training session with one of them – the Olympian Cassie Patten.
The media day was arranged by the British Gas Great Swim Series and was held at the breathtaking Lake Windermere. A small group of open water swimmers (including TV presenters OJ Borg & Jamie Darling) assembled around an extremely cold and extremely choppy lake, all of us wondering what was in store. The amazing Cassie Patten arrived and I suddenly felt very small and wondered what on earth I was thinking of when I agreed to be involved!
After being introduced to our coach, we were informed that the lake was a “lovely warm 14.5 degrees”. There were some choice words muttered at this point and I certainly contributed! After some official interviews and photographs we finally got into the water. The coach gave us some fantastic warm up exercises to do which really helped and I will certainly be using them in future open water training sessions. Cassie Patten gave us some excellent tips too. Unfortunately she was unable to get into the water because of the risk of injury before her race on Sunday so stood on the jetty watching us all – that alone was daunting enough!
After a fabulous session of sprints, being taught how to do race starts in deep water and then shallow water, the seven of us followed the canoe out into the lake to do what we love – to just swim. No pool walls, no roof, no crowded lanes – just freedom. And of course to be able to see mountains when you turn your head to breathe is completely and utterly breathtaking and is the reason I chose this fantastic hobby.
I just can’t wait for my children to be old enough to come and join me. They have been given such an amazing start at Puddle Ducks and because of this, I know they will be ready to start open water swimming very soon!
Posted by Ali on Monday, 23rd May 2011Go back to latest posts
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