Open Water Swimming Take Two: MediaCityUK Swim Challenge

As some of you may know if you read my blog about The Greater Manchester Swim, I took part in my first ever open water swim back in May. Well, I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for another Uswim event. On the 6th of July, I completed the 1.5km distance at the MediaCityUK Swim Challenge.

Great Open Water Conditions

I’m the blue sleeved wetsuit on the right (and no, you don’t need to go round the first buoy).

While I’ve already spoken about how great the conditions are at Salford (no waves, easy to spot buoys and a straight-forward course), this time around I had the added bonus of warm water. Registering at 19.5°C, I didn’t have a shock or cold-induced panic attack (always a bonus) and could just focus on the race.

A Growing Confidence

After clocking 22’24 on the mile distance, I was hoping for a time somewhere between 21′ and 21’30.

A Strong Start

I set off hard, swimming alongside a male swimmer that I dropped after roughly 300m. I then caught and overtook another swimmer, and that was that. I was pretty much on my own from then on.

A Personal Test

It’s always harder to swim fast when you don’t have anyone to chase or pace yourself on. Nevertheless, I kept up the pace, pulling hard and keeping my cadence up. I couldn’t see the swimmer ahead and I certainly didn’t want to get caught.

I kicked hard in the last 100m or so, conscious that I was now racing the clock. I finished in exactly 21 minutes, crossing the line in first place overall. Needless to say, it felt pretty great.

A Better Triathlon Swim

Any open water swims that I compete in are always done with the single ambition of improving my triathlon swim time.

Assuming the swim at Cardiff Sprint Triathlon was in fact further than 750m, I really do think I’ve got some fast times in me. My objective? I’m hoping for something around the 11’15 mark.

The Next Test

Following this swim, my next triathlon was in Geneva on the 14th of July (full race report to come). While I was feeling pretty apprehensive before the race because of the massive heatwave, I was hoping my swim wouldn’t be affected by it. Geneva’s short distance triathlon was only 500m. I was aiming for a sub 8′ time.

Want to find out how the race went? Stay tuned…

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