Just 17 days to the Liverpool Triathlon and I’m really looking forward to it. Half of me wants it out of the way because training for 3 events is now becoming quite hectic during an already rather busy time of the year, but the other half is looking forward to putting into practice all that I have learnt over the last few months. The swimming has become a big commitment because as well as regular pool swims I have done open water swims as well. I had two 45 minute lessons in Salford Quays and to be honest the second was a little disappointing as I only really was taught about turning and would have been better doing the 400m circuit at a steady pace along side all the other swimmers.
Tonight I did the circuit and didn’t know how hard I was going to find it compared to the up and down of pool swimming so had intended just to do a couple of laps but in the end I did 4 laps which was about a mile.
The water was an almost tropical 16.5 degrees and the tri-suit I was wearing under my wetsuit wasn’t really needed but as I’d be dressed this way for an Aquathon next Thursday as well as the Liverpool event it seemed the sensible thing to do. My start was a bit sputtery as I had goggle issues for the first 200m, which I’d never encountered before. I had got in the water quickly and maybe the swim hat was too low down my forehead thus preventing the top of the goggles from forming a watertight seal. I found a rhythm through the second lap and relaxed a bit, so as I completed it I realised I’d only been in the water for about quarter of an hour so thought I should do another lap. The 3rd was even more comfortable than the previous as I slowed my stroke further and I did a forth and final lap for good luck. In the aquathon I only need to do 2 laps before getting out and running 5k. I’ll have to be careful climbing out as I felt quite wobbly tonight, so will look to ease up for the last 100m before exit.
Andy, my Great North Swim competitor, has done open swims in Knutsford which he keeps asking me to join him for. It seems really silly to go all that way when I have a facility about half a mile from my office and despite his claims the water in Boundry lake can’t possibly be cleaner than that in Salford. The Ontario basin outside the watersport’s centre undergoes daily checks for cleanliness as kids use it for canoeing, it’s connected to a large flowing river (unlike an enclosed lake), there is almost no engined watercraft using the area and I found out tonight that the water is used for the air-conditioning system of the neighbouring Lowry Outlet shopping centre so has to be filtered as it goes into that system. Oh and it’s deep which seems to be a critical factor. Talking to a couple of guys tonight I should avoid swimming at Trentham near Stoke because the lake is so shallow you could wade most of the course, and as people walk/run through the lake it stirs up all manner of unpleasentness. They said that Liverpool docks are pretty good and though not as clean as Salford, the salt water provides even more boyancy. They also said don’t worry about the jellyfish, it seems that James might be winding me up or trying to psyche me out.