Since I made my pledge to do the Great North Swim next summer, I have been swimming three times, to try to judge my fitness level and see how much work needs to be done. Monday I managed half a mile, with a rest in the middle, but time was limited so I had to get out. Yesterday I added another 10 lengths (the pool is a 16m one, so 100 lengths is a mile), again with a short stop in the middle. Today I had plenty of time before work, so I decided to challenge myself to do a mile. This was partly to test my stamina and partly to practise pacing myself.
The good news is I can swim a mile without stopping, hurray! The bad news is it took me about 55 minutes and the last 20 lengths were a real struggle – I think I got through on sheer willpower alone! My muscles are pretty achy now as well, so I guess they need some work. That gives me a good baseline to work from, hopefully.
I have decided to seek professional help (insert joke here…) and enlist a personal trainer to guide me in my mission. I can’t really afford to have regular PT sessions, so I have found a trainer who works at my local gym, who offers personalised gym programmes, and explained my aims to him. He will write me a simple plan, which I can update as and when I need to, and later hopefully I will get some PT sessions as well.
I have gone down that route because I don’t know what to work on for the best, and I would rather get help from someone trained and educated specifically for this. I know that I will need to do more than just swimming to prepare, and I’m looking forward to getting started! In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll probably be in the pool!

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