Following on from last weeks first triathlon, I decided that I needed some help with my open water swimming, well intact I need help with all my swimming but that is another point! I was looking on the Human Race website and came across an open water seminar run by RG Active to be held at Dorney Lake.
The session was 90 minutes long, and promised a 50/50 split between classroom and in the water. Booking was easy, and it was all set for a 9:00am start on Saturday morning.
Unfortunately, Saturday morning bought rain, rain and more rain, but as I was going in the water it didn’t really matter.
The session was run by John Brame, an ex-pro triathlete and obviously a really good swimmer. His presentation style in the classroom was very relaxed and was certainly aimed at making us all feel more relaxed.
The topics covered included, wetsuits, googles, lubrication and some useful advice on starting. For someone as inexperienced as me, this was all useful stuff, especially about how to treat your googles, yes I leave them in their bag, but I spit on them and rub the inside of the lens, therefore removing the anti-fog!
Once the classroom bit was over, we had a session on how to put on our wetsuits correctly, I have to admit mine looks a bit like a battlefield and is in need of some repair, a job for a sunny day in the garden I think.
Wetsuit on, and it was into the lake, the water was a little chilly but following the feet, hands and face steps it soon seemed ok.
We started off exploring the buoyancy of the suit by floating around on our backs, and then it was off for the first swim, this was to give him a chance to see what our swim strokes looked like.
John then shared a simple tip to both lengthen our stroke that utilised the buoyancy of the suit and was simple to put to use.
We enacted a mock start to get us used to the washing machine effect and what it felt like to be hit and battered a bit.
For me, unfortunately on the last swim I got a touch of cramp in my hamstring, it meant a tow back with the canoe, a combination of the cold water and the fact I was a bit tight in the hamstring before I started.
I really enjoyed the session and thought it was good value for money, personally I could have done with more time in the water, and being a slower swimmer I was aware that I didn’t want to hold up the faster swimmers and possibly I should have been more selfish and worried about it. The coach gave excellent information and after the session the other coach (sorry can’t remember his name) was more than happy to talk to me and offer some advice on a few aspects.
You will have noticed I have not really given too many of the actual details of the session and this is deliberate as I think if you attend such things, you should try and give an honest opinion of them so people can decide if they want to attend themselves, not give all the details so people can read them and use them, after all these coaching businesses won’t last if people don’t use them.
In summary, a good session and one from which I leant a lot, and has given me a little more confidence in the water. Would I recommend it? Simple answer yes, if you are a beginner like me then it is ideal.