Wednesday, 25 March 2009


Tonight I walked over to Peckham with a plan for a long swim. Camberwell pool is still closed which is a pain. The pool is Peckham is much busier than Camberwell and while there are some very good swimmers there are also lots of people who insist on doing slow breast stroke in the fast lane. To be fair to them, the other lanes are full of even slower people and so busy it is almost impossible to swim in them.

Even more annoying is that people insist on standing right across the end of the lane while they are resting between intervals. Quite often my view of the wall was completely blocked by people milling around while I was trying to find a few inches of wall to turn around on.

I need to work on my swimming though so I just got on with it. Nothing fancy was planned for tonight just a continuous steady swim for 3k. Everything was going fine until about 1.5k in. After pushing off the wall I could feel the start of some cramp in my left leg and foot. It was not a proper cramp just some tenderness, a warning sign that felt like it could turn into a full-blown spasm quite easily.

I carried on swimming and was very gentle pushing off at each turn. This is my problem area I feel, rather than pushing off with my foot flat against the wall I push off on my toes. This puts extra stress on my calves and feet. After a few more lengths the feeling subsided and I thought I was OK.

As I reached the wall at the end of lap 118, with 2 left to complete, I turned and planted my feet against the tiny patch of wall I had managed to find. Just before I pushed off I noticed someone else who had been standing at the end of the lane about to head off at the same time as me. In an effort to get in front of them, I was quite a bit faster and wanted to finish, I gave a really good shove against the wall and started to kick hard down the pool. At this point my felt calf completely cramped up and by the time I reached the middle of the pool I had to get to the side and drag myself out.

My calf muscle was totally solid and it took a few minutes stretching before I was fit enough to hobble to the changing rooms. All very embarrassing at such a packed pool. So I need to work on planting my feet properly for turns and making sure I am properly hydrated etc before swimming. I do not want this to become a regular occurrence.

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