Apparently the lake at Alpe D’Huez is a bit fresh and I am not the best in the cold. So very sensibly decided to venture down to Box End early this morning to practice swimming in cooler open water… What could possibly go wrong…
Actually EVERYTHING it would seem!
To put this in context (for those that I’m not connected to on Strava), I have been swimming the thick end of 9,000m a week for the last couple of months and making a point of working on structured swim sessions. So one lap around the lake (800m)… Well I wouldn’t even bat an eyelid.
I had completely underestimated what 12 degrees would be like. Even the bloody ducks looked cold! I did all the ‘right’ entry acclimatisation stuff… ALL of it 😉 But ultimately just couldn’t get my breathing sorted or keep my face in the water.
My carefully honed bi-lateral breathing. My dialled in pacing. My catch and high elbows… Well all that went to shit in seconds I can tell you 🙁 Half the lap was some kind of thrashing around type of thing loosely related to front crawl and the other half was breast stroke to keep my face out of the water.
The only positives are that I have time on my side to get this sorted (OW is going to get prioritised during the next few weeks). My wet suit still fits. And I didn’t drown!
Other than that it was a complete car crash… If anyone wants me I shall be out on my bike for a couple of hours to recover…
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Thanks for the encouragement Steph 🙂 You are spot on, not done any OW since last season so it might take a few sessions. And it was bloomin cold!! First triathlon of the year is June 1st so time to get a few more sessions in before that.
Ed, it takes time to acclimate to OW….particularly when the water is very cold. The more you practice, the more the breath will settle. Well done you!