“I’m delighted to be back writing my training diary this week, even though not an awful lot has happened since my last.
My last update in regards to training was that I’ve been able to get back into the water to try and gain back what I may have lost since access to pool, and open water venues shut due to the global COVID 19 pandemic. Well since then I’ve been absolutely loving my swim sessions and they’ve all been open water as swimming pools are still closed (which isn’t a bad thing).
The first week I was back started pretty lightly with swimming for 30 minutes very easily just get the feel and technique back. Considering I’ve been dry land swimming in my gym at home with resistance bands since March, I’m still feeling pretty strong with my swimming. For sure I’ve lost some of the threshold levels of swimming I gained in pre-season but I really don’t think it will take long to get back.
With my sessions for the foreseeable being in open water its really not a bad thing at all, because being a good pool swimmer won’t help. It’s great to be able to swim multiple lengths in a pool, but swimming out in the open, alongside hundreds or other competitors requires a whole different skill-set. The first is an ability to withstand the ‘washing machine’ at the chaotic start of a triathlon as athletes jostle for position. It’s not uncommon to take a foot to the head, or to have your goggles knocked off by someone’s stroke. When out in the open water you need to be able to lift your head up and above the water between strokes to look out for the buoys and markers which outline the swim course, where as when you’re in the pool you have a big long dark line from one end to the other so you can keep in a straight line. You also have the conditions to think about. The majority of my racing swims will be held in the ocean. Sometimes you have a perfectly flat sea but then other times it can be incredibly rough so your swim technique will have to change – arm speed, the side you breathe, when do you sight for buoys? There is many things to think about. So even though swimming pools are shut, training session out in the open will be helping me incredibly.
The government announced the other day that gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres are looking to be open from the 25th July, which is fantastic news but I think I will still be keeping my distance from the pool I swim in. I still don’t feel it’s going to be safe enough for me, and think for my health it’s better to stay outdoors.”
Follow Josh on Instagram @joshlandmann.