Swimming lessons beached

You might have a point. (Photo: cornfusion via photopin cc)

You might have a point. (Photo: cornfusion via photopin cc)

Since I started learning to swim a few months ago, you’ve probably been waiting for news of my progress and how I’ve been managing to combine swimming, Pilates and marathon training.

I’m afraid I have to disappoint you, though. I’ve given up my swimming lessons – for the time being at least.

My main reason for stopping was that I wasn’t enjoying it. I love running, even when marathon training gets heavy and tiring. And despite finding Pilates tough I still get great pleasure from the feeling of a good hard workout. But swimming lessons always felt like a drag, from day one to day last.

Breathing was my main problem. I just couldn’t turn and lift my head enough to get in a decent breath, and perhaps I wasn’t relaxed enough to breathe in properly anyway – my attempt at a breath would be just a brief gasp that never seemed to suck in any air. This meant that I was always out of breath after just a few minutes of the lesson, and I never recovered.

What’s more, as my pre-marathon-training running increased I started getting cramps in my calf muscles while I was in the pool. My leg muscles are important to me at the best of times, but especially when I’m about to launch myself into a summer of rock-hard marathon training. Another point in the debit column against swimming, then.

Maybe in November, with the Dublin Marathon done, I’ll drift back to the pool. Pilates will cater for my cross-training needs until then, though. Juggling three demanding physical activities has proven to be a bit too much for me right now.

So, be careful when you’re running along a canal or by the sea – if you fall in, don’t count on me to jump in and save you.

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