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aztimm's training blog

Friday 06012012: o/w swim in The Serpentine

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I ended up skipping the Otter team swim last night, in lieu of going to swim in The Serpentine this morning.

I got up early, headed out to the Tube, took it to Knightsbridge (the same as Harrod's), and went north to Hyde Park. I got to the Serpentine and snapped this picture:



Walked over to the main swimming area, and found 2 guys who directed me to the changing area. I stowed my backpack, put on my drag suit, grabbed my goggles, and went to the water.

There's a little dock-type structure with a ladder on the end. There were 3-4 people in the water when I started. I went down the ladder...which I hate because it exposed me to the cold water gradually--I'd rather jump in and get it over all at once (like ripping off a Band-Aid).

Online the water temp was listed as 20C, which is around 68-70F. I've been in 65F water before, not pleasant but doable. The water today felt around 70F I'd guess.

I got in the water, started with a little freestyle, but my lungs briefly started to seize up. I switched to some breaststroke to calm myself down, and after 5-6 strokes I switched back to free.

So the swim...
There's a 55 yard course setup within buoys. As there weren't many people when I started, I just stayed in that area. 55 yards down, then the same back...13 times.
I was thinking of getting out, when on that 13th time, a guy just faster than me went under the buoy...and went nearly to the bridge (I guess another 55 yards). So I followed him down, then went back, but stayed just outside the buoys, but followed the course back to about that area.

So I'd guess my total was 1760 yards.

(edited: right around 3500 yards, I'm too lazy to add it all up)

After I climbed out, I looked around and there were just tons of people in the water, about 70% wearing wetsuits, and several more about to go in. I went over to the outside shower, which was even colder than the Serpentine water, so I barely rinsed off, then went back to the changing area (was glad I brought a rugby shirt), got dressed.

Before I left, I went back and chatted with the gal who was sitting kinda guarding the dock (she wasn't there when I got there). She said they'd be doing relay races tomorrow, but just inside the buoy'ed area...and anyone can swim as long as they don't interfere. I guess I'll decide if I want to get up early to go over for this again.

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Updated June 1st, 2012 at 11:50 AM by aztimm

Tags: open water
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Swim Workouts

Comments

  1. tjrpatt's Avatar
    68-70 isn't bad. Then again, it might be rough for you "skinny" folks. The Serpentine looks cool.
  2. qbrain's Avatar
    Interesting. Not sure that sounds all that fun.
  3. aztimm's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tjrpatt
    68-70 isn't bad. Then again, it might be rough for you "skinny" folks. The Serpentine looks cool.
    Well I'm not quite as skinny as I've been
    I think the bigger factor is living in such a warm climate. They say (not sure how much truth there is to it) that it thins your blood after a few years, and makes you notice cold weather much more. I do know when I go to visit family in PA I need an extra blanket, even in Oct. I'll be there for Thanksgiving weekend (part of it I guess), as my 25th high school reunion is happening.

    As to the lake, it is concrete nearly the whole way, with some dirt/silt on the bottom. It wasn't too deep, I could stand for much of it, if I really wanted to (I did once or twice).
  4. aztimm's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    Interesting. Not sure that sounds all that fun.
    It was a bit more fun as more people showed up and I had people to swim with. But at first it was a bit boring. I was pretending that swimsuit_addict was swimming beside me

    And when I figured out that the distance was half what I originally thought it was a bit depressing. I had left the map up from the Serpentine swim site, when I just booted up my computer I got suddenly happy (less than 2000 yards in an hour didn't sound right).

    Some people are more suited to be pool swimmers, some open water I guess. Pools are ok, just like running on a track is. But I'd much rather swim where I can actually go somewhere
  5. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by aztimm
    It was a bit more fun as more people showed up and I had people to swim with. But at first it was a bit boring. I was pretending that swimsuit_addict was swimming beside me
    No wonder I'm tired, having to swim both actually in Iceland and virtually in London!

    (Glad to be of help though . . .)
  6. Sojerz's Avatar
    I got in the water, started with a little freestyle, but my lungs briefly started to seize up. I switched to some breaststroke to calm myself down, and after 5-6 strokes I switched back to free.
    For me, fly seems to work - it's mentally a bigger negative than the cold water, i think . Although i did br too to calm down the last time i was really hyperventing in cold water.