Tuesday, 1 January 2013


I love this picture, it makes me laugh every time. Snagged from this article on willpower at Sohee Lee Fitness. It is a great post and what I'm about to tell you about will seem to fly in the face of it at first glance, but it's all part of a Master Plan, honest.

I haven't blogged for a month or so - just way too much busyness going on - but I have kept going to USWIM Masters every Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's hard, hard work, swimming between 2-3.5km of drills and time trials/endurance work per session but I'm making obvious progress both on the clock (my 750m time is down to 16min from 20mins at the end of September - you can't sniff at a 4min improvement!) and in terms of the effect you can actually see. Definitely getting swimmer's arms and legs! Pity the Christmas excess has settled around the middle, but it'll go again. I also got my "Growing Gills" Fitocracy badge in December. That means I've swum 100km in my lifetime on the site, which actually tallies pretty accurately with 100km swum in this year.

Here are the challenges I've set myself for 2013 so far:



Participate in Janathon, which means daily exercise (though not today as I am somewhat hungover!) with an emphasis on running, and blog posts about it. This will help me both restart Couch to 5k....

...and hopefully win the two Fitocracy Duels I'm in, which run from 2nd-16th January. I plan to start tracking on My Fitness Pal again as well, so the first two weeks of this month are about shaking myself up and getting moving in the right direction. I haaaaaate tracking food but Christmas always makes my portion sizes (and sweet consumption) go haywire. But it can be fixed. USWIM Masters is back in session from 13th Jan so plenty of points to be gained there!

From 15th-24th I'll be taking part in Get Fit In The New Year... And For Life class, which is being taught by the founders of Fitocracy, to get a better grip on where I need to go with my training.

February & March

No specific plans as yet but I'd like to be getting close to 5k in both swimming and running.


 April is Swimathon month and I've entered the 5k Individual this time. I did the 2.5km last year and the 5k in 1992. I don't have an official record of that time but I'm pretty sure it was 2hrs 20mins or so, so that's the time I want to beat this year. I'm fairly confident I can get there as my 3km time is just over an hour now, so I should be pushing 5km at around 2hrs by April. My main issue at this distance is just getting enough clear water - not a problem on the day itself, but in open public sessions it's hard to get 2hrs without interruption. USWIM Summer season reopens on 20th April, though, so I should get a couple of nice long open water sessions in just before it.


No plans for May yet other than continuing to train for....


...the two-mile wave at Great North Swim. I finally made a decision! Well, it was made for me really because I don't have a two-mile event time and therefore couldn't be sure of completing the 5km in the right time-frame. Completing this one will give me a time for 2014, though, and after conversations with friends who live down that way, there's a good possibility I may do the 5k at Great East in 2014 as well. It starts to get really quite expensive at this point in both entry fees and transport/accomodation costs but it's just possible I may enter all five Great Swims in 2014.


July brings me back full-circle to Great Manchester Swim. I've completely changed my stroke and training regime since July 2012, with stacks more confidence and experience under my belt too - and it's my home ground. I'm hoping to shred at least 15-20mins off my 2012 breaststroke time (50m 59s) - sub 30mins would be ideal but we'll see on the day.


I plan to be properly prepared (ie, remember my goggles) and swim in the North Sea, no wetsuit, at least a few times!


Assuming it runs again in 2013 I'm keen to do the 3.8km distance of the Media City UK challenge, in my home waters at Dock 9. I finished last season at just over 2hrs to do 4km, and I'm sure all my training will pay off - so a sub 1hr 45 would be lovely for this one. And then...maybe the 10km in 2014? We'll also be heading up to Newcastle for the Great North Run, where at least one, probably two and maybe more of the Wood family will be taking part. But not me. Not this year...

After that, who knows? I'd love to get a few 5km runs in there, and a 10km would be amazing. There's also the Edinburgh 2k and Bala 3 mile swims to consider, if I can find the money and the transport. And I know of at least two other places within reach where I can swim open water, it's just a matter of getting there. And that bike's going to see the sunshine at some point, honest. But then, there's Tri-fle Ambitious and Far Too Ambitious....:)