Although my Instagram feed would lead you to believe that the sole sport I partake in is running (with some sparse cycling outings, featured only if my riding partner is willing to sacrifice their Strava average by recording the event), recently I’ve plunged into the deep end – pun intended – by visiting the swimming pool more than once a year…birthday party swim sessions were never that thrilling anyway.

Yes, people, I’ve braved the soggy changing rooms, cold showers and faulty lockers. And I’m actually rather enjoying it – hence me now sat typing up this post still smelling of chlorine after this morning’s swim.

This seemingly sudden swimming obsession (if we can even call it that whilst still at this tender infancy) was sparked – clearly loving a good bit of sibilance at the moment – by a little too much running, to put it lightly. Apparently such a thing exists as the ‘10% rule’, which my Doctor informs me states that running distances should be increased gradually by no more than 10% at a time. Those of you who’ve been tracking my @stravarun 100km challenge (read post) will be aware that I took that challenge on with might. 50km in a week? Totally do-able. Two weeks later and I’m paying for my slight over ambition with a dodgy knee. Doctor’s prescription? Rest, AKA the worst thing ever.

Anyone who knows me – or follows my Strava feed – will be well aware of how big a part sport plays in my life, mark two on the cheeky pun count. Without it, I’m bored and quite frankly fed up. But there’s always another way. So of course I asked the Doctor about the possibly of swimming. His answer? Golden: “absolutely fine”.

Running’s A LOT less hassle than swimming, I’ll give it that. But there’s something I find rather therapeutic about gliding through the water. Length after length. Crawl after crawl. And there’s more plus points. When you’ve finished, you practically get a free shower. None of this sweaty business involved.

Let’s talk navigating lanes. A very tricky skill to master indeed. Especially when trying to overtake swimmers who splash around, legs flailing in all different directions, creating quite the choppy sea to attack.

The fast lane can be especially scary. I only ever venture into that territory if the opportunity presents itself. Take yesterday, for example. A nice calm surface adorning the water of the prestigious fast lane. Empty. Slightly smugly, I’ve got to admit, I paced over and dived in (pun no.3 if you’re counting). It was pure bliss. Just me, in my lane, doing my thing at my own pace. Stuff of dreams. Until a tidal wave of foamy blue water hit me. “Brilliant” I thought to myself, “a splasher”. At that point I continued, upping my pace as they chased me up the now volatile lane. As you can imagine, I was rather out of breath by the end of that particular swim.

Don’t let the hazardous changing rooms and revealing neoprene attire put you off. Swimming deserves to be up there with sports giants such as running and cycling in my opinion. Embrace the palaver. Swim; it’s the new ‘run’ (for me at least).



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