Thursday 16 September 2021

Photo of the day - 16: Swim Serpentine is go!

After my post from a couple of days ago I found out that The Serpentine had been opened that very morning - which is good news as it meant that the Swim Serpentine would go ahead. This was also confirmed by the fact that I received my race pack.

I had already been looking to see what my plan B event was going to be for this coming weekend, but now I can look forward to swimming in Hyde Park in front of the thousands of people who go there for roller skating, jogging, cycling, horse riding, or just milling around - plus the spectators who will have gone there specifically to watch their friends and family. 

Due to Covid there won't be a grandstand or a jacuzzi like they have had in previous years, but I don't mind too much about that. I am looking forward to doing my first swim-only event of the year. Normally, I would have done more. I entered the Great North Swim, in the Lake District in June, and the Club to Pub Swim at Henley-on-Thames, but in both cases other commitments meant I couldn't go. I had hoped to do Dock-to-Dock at Royal Victoria, but that filled up very quickly. 

So the Swim Serpentine two miles will be my first event. I have not swum this distance before, so it's going to be a whole new world for me. The furthest I have swum is 1.5 miles. Folks say that you don't have to swim the whole two miles in training, as long as you are swimming regularly. Normally, I would have liked to do the full distance though, just to give me that extra confidence going into the water. But I know I have spent many sessions in the water - both in the pool doing drills, and in different open water venues, so I like to think I will be okay. 

For me, the main thing is to not allow myself to get cold. I could be in the water for almost two hours, so I must do what I can to not lose use too much energy trying to stay warm. I will need that energy to move my arms and legs through the water! Since the start of the pandemic, I have had my temperature checked countless times and it consistently comes out in the low 36 degrees Celsius - 36.2, occasionally even slightly below 36. Considering that hyperthermia begins to set in at 35.5, it's not surprising that I frequently feel cold - even on a warm day.

So as long as I have on my neoprene Heatseeker vest under my wetsuit, my neoprene hat under the official swimming cap, booties, and maybe even gloves I should hopefully be okay. People may laugh given that it is still summer, but hey needs must when you have this sort of challenge!  

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