For someone who doesn't even own a swimsuit, I know an awful lot about swimming. As I write this, G is at his Tuesday evening training session, trying to swim faster (but crucially, with less effort) than everyone else in the pool. I've picked up a few tips from him over the years.
- The time in seconds it takes you to swim a length in a 25m pool is the time in minutes it would take you to swim a mile - so a 15 second length means if you kept that pace up you could do a 15 minute mile.
- Its all about the arms - don't worry too much about what your legs are doing.
- The London Borough of Waltham Forest has just one 33m pool, which is closing this summer. But in 2012 we'll have a 50m - Olympic sized - pool.
- Anyone who can swim butterfly is a God.
- There are heated discussions in the swimming fraternity about whether one should look down at the bottom of the pool or forwards to the end of the pool when swimming front crawl.
- Swimming in a wetsuit makes you more buoyant, and therefore able to swim faster.
- Swimming in a cold lake in Essex at 6am on a Saturday morning is lovely.
- To really understand your stroke, get yourself filmed with an underwater camera.
- Being able to do proper tumble turns does make a real difference to how fast you go.
A wetsuit for triathlons and other open water swims is different from a wetsuit that surfers would wear. It is very close fitting and even comes with a slightly disturbing cap for the colder spring and autumn months, or for swimming in the sea....
G will be competing in his first full distance triathlon of the season this weekend, and the wetsuit will be keeping him buoyant in The Thames at Windsor for the first leg of the race. Even though I won't be there, I'll be thinking of him and hoping he swims like a fish!