“It’s good to be back” are the word which summarise the last two months of training. In August i decided to join the Ryde Aussie Masters Swimming club to help with my breathing for running and so far it’s been the best decision i have made. Back in primary school and the early high school days i use to be an elite junior swimmer training 6 sessions a week with the Ryde Swimming Club. As my running developed from a junior into my teenage years the demand for sessions substantially increased, so the swimming slowly faded away as it was almost impossible to do both and pretty hard on my parents to be driving back and fourth.
I started swimming when i was 3 year old in order to help my asthma and it definitely fixed it. Almost 15 years on, i have decided to get back into the swimming because i’ve realised how important the swimming is to my overall endurance as a distance runner. I was a little nervous getting back into the pool after such a long time bur it’s amazing how much form technique is still with you when you start swimming again.
Since joining RAMS i have competed in 2 club carnivals and looking at competing in state age next month and maybe national age next year. The main thing is though is that it has been the squad swimming which has really helped with my overall endurance with the running.
Since having my heatstroke 2 years ago i have had to pay close attention to my breathing and heart rate. I feel as if i have more stamina and i can breathe in deep into my lungs which i couldn’t do before previously to the swimming squad training. At this point of time i am only able to fit in 2 sessions of swimming max a week with my running along with my full time teaching job and coaching but i feel as if it’s already made a difference.
The real test was on Sunday’s trail 20k and the results definitely proved the swimming has helped. Last year i ran around 1:28 for the 20k and this year i ran 1:21 which i was really happy with. There is definitely more room for improvement but after 2 months off earlier this year with patella tendonitis i have been very happy with my progress and training with the Run Crew. I also finished in 3rd place which put the icing on the cake.
My aim at this stage, is to try and be as consistent as i can with my training and keep up the swimming as i believe i will keep getting stronger and stronger. The squad training i do consists of reps of 50’s, 100’s and 200’s all with short recoveries. Some of the swimming sessions i have found just as difficult as my running sessions. Being a runner, i am not using my arms as say a sprinter would, so my shoulders get pretty sore. My swimming coach Greg Lewin is trying his best to correct my freestyle technique and it’s definitely paying off taking 2 seconds off my personal best over the last two carnivals in the 100m freestyle. Iv’e realised how much technique helps with the freestyle.
My focus is definitely still with the running but it’s nice to be back in the pool and making waves again. I have been asked whether or not i’ll compete in a triathlon and i may but need to get some more experience with the cycling and open water swimming which is something i’ll try in the Summer.
My aim is to compete in a few track meets, maybe do a bit of travel at the end of this year to compete in an international trail race and big goal is to do the UTA22K. With the swimming i have dreams of competing in the FINA Masters cup but we shall see. It has been super important that i stay extra organised with my teaching as teaching takes up alot of time externally whether it’s through lesson planning, designing resources or even doing external education courses. At the moment i am coping and staying very focused.
A big thankyou to my sponsors Chief Bar, Skins Australia, TomTom Global and to my coaches Gary Howard, Benny Saint Lawrence and Greg Lewin.