Richard buzzing with excitement on the big day
Were you a keen swimmer before the event?
I used to swim when I was younger, but hadn’t done any serious swimming for about eight years. I thought it would be a great way to get fit and I wanted to do something a bit different to raise a bit of money for Macmillan.
How did you find the training?
Training wasn’t at all as hard as I thought. It was a case of just building myself up slowly to get to the full distance, then doing it over and over until my time went down a bit.
I managed to injure my shoulder joint (by sleeping on it, oddly enough) three weeks before. So I actually swam the distance doing breast stroke, which was fine although crawl would have been better.
Had you swum in open water before?
I didn’t actually practice in open water, although I wish I had. Muscles tire quicker as it is colder and even in the Victoria docks there is a bit of a current that you need to swim against.
If I was to do it again I would get myself down to a lido, or train for a longer distance to make it a bit easier on the day.
What was it like on the day?
I was hugely excited on the day. It was completely different from swimming in the pool, as it suddenly looks like a lot further. I was quite cold, however that is partially my fault as I lost the arms to my wetsuit.
I could see my family cheering from the side lines of the docks and it was an amazing feeling running into the water with the other swimmers after the starting pistol fired.
It was a great feeling finishing the race and has been one of my favourite charity challenges ever.
Any tips for our future swimmers?
My top tip would be to get a thumb lap counter. It’s a good way of counting your laps (if you lose count like me) and tracking your times without breaking up your stroke.
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