I was up at early o'clock this morning in the rain to go swim in Ham Lake (never knew it had a lake!). There were probably 30-40 mad buggers of all shapes, sizes and ages in flip-flops, wetsuits and colourful hats.
Open water swimming lesson number 1!
I had a dip in Hampstead Ladies Pond the other week (no wetsuit) so I was moderately confident that I could handle the temperature so that was one good thing. The buoyancy ... that's why breastroke in a wetsuit makes me feel like an inept turtle! The water was brown (note to self, must double check the state of my innoculations ... quite a lot of goose poo around here and lets not think about the rats). This meant that not only could I not see the bottom (as you do in a pool with a handy black line to follow) but I couldn't see 1 ft in front of me so you never know if you are about to swim into someone. On the plus side you don't use your legs that much in open water swimming (only worth 15-20% of forward motion and only that if you are really good) so much less risk of kicking people or being kicked.
Many things to get used to - how to put a suit on to give you maximum flexibility and space around your upper body, how to see whether you are on course for the buoy, brown water = weird (at best), breathing mustn't be forgotten
I think a 1:1 lesson is called for! ... once I relax into this I reckon I'll be fine ... slow ... but fine
Tomorrow - longest swim ever (that's happening quite regularly at the moment) - 3.5km ... wish me luck