Open Water Swimming – the first time!

I guess this was the next step after completing the sprint triathlon. If I was going to proceed to the next level I would need to get out there in the open and out of a pool.

The local triathlon shop runs a guided swim at the local reservoir up in the Pentland Hills. After popping into the shop musing about buying a wetsuit they told me I should go along, try a wetsuit on they supply for free to try and then see how I felt after a first outing. This is what I did.

It was cold, slightly damp and a bit of a wind up there at Threipmuir but nevertheless I turned up and tried on a wetsuit. I had not been told to bring a hat so I was hatless which was a bad idea according to the saftey guy but I persevered and entered the water. The water was freezing cold on my toes but the wetsuit was nice and snug so that I couldn’t feel any water getting in, not until I took my first stroke! First stroke in and a wash of water went down my back following the depression of my spine down to the bum. Brr! It was enough to take my breath away. Not good, however, I carried on swimming around the course they’d laid out with buoys.

I managed one lap, keeping my head out of the water by doing a breast stroke and a bit of front crawl. My hands and feet were freezing and numb, it was time to get out after a quick spurt!

Even with the cold and the lack of hat, I actually enjoyed myself and vowed to get a wetsuit so I could do it again!

I bought a wetsuit (online after getting a right size from the tri shop – a bit cheeky but they’re £60 cheaper on line at wiggle!)

The next Wednesday came and I was all up for going again, but this time it had been warm and sunny. The weather had improved a lot and this had warmed up the shallow reservoir. It was a beautiful sunny evening in the hills this time around. It was great swimming in a place where i’d always run around. The swim was better this time as I had a hat, I wasn’t catching my breath because of the cold and I felt a lot more comfortable.

It took a while to get used to swimming in a wetsuit and also the fact that when you’ve got your head in the water the visibility is poor as the water is brown and murky, though tastes a lot better than council pool!

It was so good, that since Wednesday, I’ve been back again twice! There’s some photos below:

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