Swimming this week has been of the slow and steady variety due to a few nights with poor sleep (fortunately not back down to 2.5 hours). Learning to accept that there will be weeks where I can push it and others where it’ll just be a steady distance builder has helped me enjoy sessions more and not feel like I’ve failed to improve. Instead I’ve been thinking of the things I take to the pool with me to make the whole experience a little more pleasant.
Two things relate to the fact I really don’t like standing on gritty changing room floors. First I change into plastic flip-flops at the pool door and keep these on right to the pool edge, second, I use a wetsuit changing mat (plastic one side, towel on the other) as my swimming bag so I put that on the changing room floor when getting dry then get back into flip-flops at the end. The mat is waterproof and also stops my swimming kit from soaking everything else in my bag.
A swimming hat stops my hair rendering me temporarily blind during tumble-turns and means my goggles don’t leak as frequently, I found silicone ones don’t rip hair out either, I love my new #ThisGirlCan hat! Anti-fog drops for goggles help as I don’t have to become a human windscreen wiper every 100m. Earlier this year I also treated myself to a gadget, I’m not a gadget person normally but I bought a watch which counts your lengths, because it seems that in water I am unable to count in sets of 10. I’m worried that owning a sports watch as well as hand paddles now means I have officially crossed the line into ‘proper twit’.
Naturally I’m concerned about looking all the gear and no idea. Having not had a swimming lesson since school, my ‘freestyle’ technique probably leaves a lot to be desired – I’ve given up trying to get tips from YouTube because every piece of advice I read seems to have a counter argument; “swim fingers spread to reduce effort” “swim with your fingers in a cup” “don’t roll your body” “ensure a good roll to get your head high above the water” it’s enough to confuse anyone. So I’m going to freestyle my freestyle until I can find a better source of information. Do they do swimming lessons for grown-ups?