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Lockdown 3... On the plus side...

OK so I expect that 2021 hasn’t exactly got off to the start we were all hoping for with a new lockdown that has closed pools, lidos and many outdoor swim venues, with no end date in sight and a legally enforceable instruction to ‘stay local’ and avoid unnecessary travel, it’s looking likely that many swimmers will be out of the water for some considerable time….

So for me it’s time to look for some positives and make the best we can of a new Lockdown. Here are some of my positive thoughts and ideas to feed the swimming love whilst we can’t get in the water

1. Enjoy those swimming related books (non swimmy related books are available... apparently!) that you were given for Christmas. In my case, there were already quite a few swimming books in my ‘to be read’ book pile before Christmas, so with the cold, wet and dark evenings raging outside, I’m looking forward to lighting the fire, curling up with a blanket and a hot water bottle on the sofa and losing myself in some swimmy related tales.

2. Fix that nick in your wetsuit that you can’t fix when it’s always wet. My pack of Wetsuit glue and patches has been out on a side to remind me to fix that nick in my suit for well over 3months… but how to fix it when it’s always wet…. (To my skin swimming friends, yes, I know and thank you for your suggestion and solution but…). A week out of the water and it should certainly be dry enough to fix now, though I do need to figure out a way to keep the cat off it so that she doesn’t get stuck to the glue too!

3. Read the January issue of Outdoor Swimmer Magazine…. In January! If you’re anything like me, I’m always finding myself reading the fantastic Outdoor Swimmer Magazine from cover to cover several times and then again just to be sure…. But this does mean that I’m a bit behind and usually reading the Jan mag in Feb! Not great when I get to the competition page and find the deadline passed 24h ago!!! So this month I’m going to get stuck in, in time!

4. Plan your swimming adventures for later on in the year. Well, there are so many swim adventure holiday companies to choose from nowadays that it’s not hard to find a swimming trip that suits you and your swim goals…. Lots of them do UK based breaks so if, like me, you are wary of planes and airports in a global pandemic then stay in the UK. For starters check out:

5. Get outside and enjoy your local area… There are such huge benefits from getting outdoors, even if just for a quick 10mins ever day…. So helpful for our mental health and general sanity during this dreadful time. Connect with nature and breathe in the fresh air… big deep breaths! And keep an eye out for puddles and ponds and potential swimmy spots that you never thought of before.

6. Make a swimming locations bucket list for when we can all travel again (and when you win the lottery!)… Top of my list is the Bahamas, closely followed by a return trip to the stunning lochs of the Scottish Highlands. Enough said, off to buy a lottery ticket!

7. Support a local company that has swimmy based goods and art and treat yourself to some fantastic, pretty and/or useful new things. Check out a few of my favourites

- Kirstie Louise Rowe

- ‘Flow’ from WaterActivated (for environmentally safe wetsuit lubricant)

There are of course many many more and I will try to add to the list as and when my ‘keep busy in Lockdown’ activities allow!!!!

8 - Sign up to our ‘Cold Water Considerations’ Online coaching session! An hour online where I will go through with you 40+ slides that explain all I know and have learnt (from experience, science and reading loads!) over the years about cold water swimming. A safe way to start your cold water experience!

9. Nail your swim specific land based training. As many of you will know Pilates is my ‘go-to’ S&C routine but there are so many swim specific things that you can do on land to make sure that you’re ready to get back in the water stronger and with as little loss of swim fitness and form as possible! For more ideas, check out my post from 14th Jan 2021 or go to….

or the Outdoor Swimmer Magazine website training tab

For less specific but equally fab challenge, try routines online from big names like Joe Wickes and Tom Daley, or the challenges, plans and online classes from the local Leisure Centre Teams or the many PTs out there putting training ideas and sessions on for all…. Check out Marc Trussell’s ‘Project Hardcastle 19’ posted on FB from 19th March 2020

10. Do some swim related goal setting and training planning for when you can get back in the water so that you are ready to hit the water with a splash and crack on.... maybe outline your 10K training plan (happy to help with that if need be!) or a dip a day plan or create some new swim sets to try out in the water (I can also help with that!)

11. Tidy the house, scrub the patio, put the Xmas decs back in the loft before March and paint the hallway…. Yeah, only kidding, that one was just for laughs!

Whatever you find yourself doing in Lockdown 3, hang on in there, the water will be waiting when we can get back to it. Meanwhile, stay safe and well out there folks and keep your chin up and your smile on the right way round!

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