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Just keep Swimming or: How I diverted from my training plan and did something else instead


Around a month ago I wrote a blog telling those who cared (or not) that I have entered Iron Man and how, being for the most part a Runner 'by trade' I was daunted by the cycle and particulary the swim parts of the event.


Well my training didn't get off to the flying start I had hoped as I somehow picked up a problem in my right hip and also with my right shoulder which kind of put the skids on things. Having had some treatment, some rest and having eased myself back into things I am happy to say things are a lot better although I'm not 100% recovered from both issues.


So what's all that got to do with my title? Well, aside from giving people an update, I thought I would raise a very important point when it comes to training. I am of course following 'A PLAN', however, any plan is really only ever a guide. Anything can happen: injuries, life events, sickness, fatigue or even 'not feeling in the mood' can all scupper even the best laid plans.


Well, what do you do in these circumstances? You adapt of course (I'm sure you don't really need me to tell you that though....?), you make the best of the time you have, the facilities available and you listen to how your body is responding.


Nowadays my training is a lot different than when I first got into running and now I have recovered from my 'niggles' for the most part and had a good weeks training this weeks training looks like so:



It used to be mostly full of those little running chaps (and yes the odd strength session or spin class here and there but not so often) but now you can see it's much more varied.


"Yeah so, and what's that still got to do with your title" some of you may still be asking in anguish. Well, the point is that it's not exactly 'to the plan', there's not as much cycling in there as I would have liked but then again the weather over the last two weekends and weeks hasn't exactly been great outside and I am still recovering and....


Today, I was supposed to (like all my swim sessions) warm up, do some drills, then do some main set intervals and then cool down all whilst trying to perfect my ridiculously bad crawl. However, what did I do today? I said "Sod that, I want to see how long I can keep going without touching the bottom of the pool". My previous record was breaststroking 16 lenghts (400m), so I thought let's see if I can do 32 lengths? A big ask but you don't know till you try do you? I set off and 1 hour later had completed 1500m. Although it was breaststroke and it was slow and was not the crawl I need to do on the day I now feel more confident about being in the water for a longer period of time and for good measure I added some new PBs to my swim records on Garmin.


Let your training plan guide you not rule you. I might just do this Ironman thing yet!

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Nick Peterkin, Whitefield, Manchester United Kingdom

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