Branching out...

OK, not quite running, but its all linked I suppose.

As you probably know, I blagged a long weekend in Spain a fortnight ago. A good amount of that was spent by the pool at the resort, and splashing about. It made me realise 2 things;

  • I quite enjoy swimming
  • I'm shockingly bad at it

I would swim a length (not even a proper one, as it was a shaped pool), and I'd be out of breath. I can only do a front crawl, and even then I'm keeping my face out of the water as I don't know how you're supposed to breathe. It's all a bit of a train-crash really...

I was taught to swim when I was fairly young, as I suspect most people are. I was a pretty weak swimmer back then, and I have recollections of doing 1000m doggy paddle, taking approximately 2 hours to do so! It was very much the case that you were taught enough to not drown in the local river, but not much more. I never really went back in the pool after that, and at uni did scuba diving, which teaches you to use the fins and your legs (which is utterly against the concepts of swimming). Add onto that a fairly unfit young lad and you have the ultimate model in swimming mediocrity.

Fast forward to now, and I'd like to think I'm in a better shape. While I'm not bulked up, I'm mainly lean mass, and have a bit of endurance to me...of course this doesn't help one whit in the water, as I'm still splashing lots, and moving little. There is one important change though...I'm not above taking lessons now, and I reckon mentally I'm in a better shape to take on board what I'm being shown...after all, I've been taking running training on-board for a while, as well as general fitness advice.

There doesn't seem to be a market for "adults who can slowly drown" swimming classes. Plenty for non-swimmers, but no improver classes (I suspect a lot of this is pride...most people have a paradigm that swimming lessons are for youngsters), so I contacted a local leisure centre (handily only half a mile from my house), and asked their opinion on my best route. They recommended a course of 1-to-1 lessons with an instructor, and the price was a lot less than I thought it was going to be! So I start in 2 weeks time... I did the paperwork last night, and met the instructor, giving me a chance to cover off where I was, what I'd like to be able to do and where I feel I'm weak (breathing and technique...basically the 2 aspects of swimming). She was very pleasant, and seemed confident that I could be gotten up to a much better standard.

I'm quite looking forward to it. I love the idea of being able to nip round to the pool, swim for 30-40 minutes, then get on with my life, and it will be a good accompaniment to the running training, as well as the general fitness training!