Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Update, SwimRun training, Loch Gu Loch

Well its been an interesting few weeks since Norway, still have that buzz from the awesome day at Norseman but also felt a little lost and needed a bit more time off than usual to get the legs and mind ready for more training. To be honest I expected it, carrying training and keeping motivated from Celtman to Norseman in 5 weeks was always going to be a challenge and this was part of the appeal.

I took 6 days off completely, dosed up on CurraNZ and enjoyed the feeling of satisfaction that comes after a big event, not wanting to rush onto the next thing and just let things naturally take course. It took around 2 weeks in total and I can now say I feel ready to train again, although with a slightly more relaxed approach. Luckily the next race of the season is something completely new to me and coincided with the arrival of the new Zone3 Evolution SwimRun wetsuit!

SwimRun heaven, Levens Water, Coniston fells

So I now have a new way to enjoy the hills, trails and mountain tarns of the LakeDistrict, things just get better and better. So if you see a guy running about in the Ambleside/Coniston area, in a shortie wet suit, its probably me!

Goats Water below the shadowy Dow crag, its cold!

Yesterday I gave the suit its first proper test with roughly 15km running and 2km swimming in a journey starting on the shores of Coniston Lake, taking in Levens Water, Swirl Howe and Goats Water. A good first outing but plenty of potential up this way with a bit more creativity!

Its fun trying stuff out and part of the appeal of this new sport/adventure. You have to be fully self sufficient and need to balance this with being able to move as freely as possible in the hills. It reminds me a bit of alpine climbing in a way, you need just enough to keep safe and allow you to complete the route but not so much as to encumber and slow progress.

Evolution Swim Run Suit!! Awesome.

Luckily the new suit is designed specially for the sport in conjunction with a previous winner of the OtillO race, so a fantastic job has been done. The super flexible legs are very easy to run in, bit like a pair of compression shorts and can be turned up to regulate temperature and give more freedom of movement. Its is fantastic to swim in, super flexible around the shoulders has good buoyancy without being bulky and restrictive. The 'Rocket Pocket' round the back is a great place to quickly store goggles and swim hat for the longer run sections and the suit also has 2 smaller pockets in the front, ideal for gels etc. It comes with some 8mm calf guards, these make swimming with shoes on easy enough with having to use a pull buoy, so one less thing to faff with and give the added bonus of shin protection when you are exiting the water and slip, which you will! Saved me a few cuts and bruises for sure! I also found shoes can be stuffed in the small of the back for longer swims, for instance the 2km start of Loch Gu Loch.

SwimRun test kit :)

Other stuff I have tried are my La Sportiva Anakonda fell shoes, mega grip, fast draining and more than enough protection for the roughest of terrain. Injinji toe socks seems to work really well, no probs with toes wet and rubbing. Also tried using an UD Anton Krupicka race vest under the suit, replace the bottles with a small 250-500ml soft flask and it works fine as its so small and light you hardly notice its there swimming and I like the idea of having quick access to gels etc without having to dig around in the suit. Whatever its great fun trying stuff and sure I will whittle it down and keep things as simple as possible!

Also planning for next season is well underway with the help of Blair Davies, also know as Supercoach, we did some swim analysis, via skype which was invaluable and are planning to super charge the diesel engine for next season, as it seems to take me about 4hrs to get warmed up at the moment :)

Another cool development, great to be working with StriptSnacks as a member of TeamStript. Amazing all natural, additive free protein snacks, its hard to find products like this so great to be part of the team.

If anyone has any hints tips etc for swim run please contact me and same if anyone has any questions about stuff I am trying. Be great to hear from you.

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