I love the weather in this country, but it can make training tricky to plan ahead. One minute it is sunny, the next tipping down with rain, and then back again. This weekend has been a great example, and the only safe way to get around this is unfortunately training indoors – unfortunately sods law is you then spend it looking out the window and avoiding the glare reflecting of gleaming cars outside.
One area you can’t really go wrong though is the outdoor pool – in fact I actually prefer open air swimming in the rain, as the crazy kids, side-by-side gossipers and generally anyone who does not have their head down in the water tend to stay inside, as demonstrated this afternoon where I had the pool to myself. There is nothing like the feeling of freedom you get swimming outdoors, lying back looking at the sky, weightless, head partially submerged to drown out any sound. If it is really going for it you can even (sort of) replicate the washing machine feeling of the start of an open water race, only without the side effect of being repeatedly whacked in the head and ribs by others. I really can’t understand why others don’t catch on.
And as I am sure everyone does when in such a solo situation, I thought I would shake things up a bit and try some butterfly. Now there is a good reason I only do this when on my own, and I am pretty sure that had it not been pouring down, the pool would have been half empty by the time I reached the other side. I am pretty sure I have written about others doing this in a busy lane and it is just plain wrong. The stroke is also about as knackering as you can get in the water, and although I had just done 80k on the bike, that was all lower body, so this was trying to get the blood going up top. It is also why I have huge respect for the likes of Phelps, Thorpe et al who can smash 200m (!) at full pelt. I also wish I could get a picture like this one whilst flying down the pool.
Top tip for those thinking of giving this a go: Make sure you leave your towel inside whilst you swim, if you are actually planning on using it to dry off afterwards…