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Keyvan’s 14k swim for Alzheimers – Update 11

red mist: …used in reference to a fit of extreme anger that temporarily clouds a person’s judgement.

Arguably, my favourite swimming set is the Red Mist. These are endurance sessions, where you swim slightly slower than your CSS pace  over longer distances. These sessions are called Red Mist, because they are mentally challenging to complete and sometimes during the session a lot of negative thoughts come into the head, which you need to put aside – this is the Red Mist descending on you! Good discipline to push through to the other side, even if staggering to the finishing line.

The most important thing is not to set off too fast. That is a killer!

The antidote to Monday morning blues

Monday, 6:30am.

Set 1: 4 x 400m @ CSS + 4 (that’s swimming each of the 16 length of a 25m pool at slightly slower than my CSS pace)
Set 2: 3 x 400m @ CCS + 3
Set 3: 2 x 400m @ CSS + 2
Set 4: 1 x 400m @ CSS + 1

Adjust tempo trainer (26.5 sec) ….stick it under the cap…take a breath…GO…

…and I setoff on the first set..this is  the warm up so difficult to judge the pace on the first run…feels so easy…Could go faster…focus on pace….slow down…too slow?… touch the wall and tempo trainer BEEPs after 26.5s…pace is spot on…push off the wall…this is easy!…I could do this all day…focus on catch…too fast?….hit the wall…BEEP…length 14 of 16….kept to the beep…wall…BEEP…last length….everything feels fine…wall….BEEP. Rest for a beep (26.5 secs)….BEEP….GO GO GO….

As you start to get tired and the pace notches up, each set progressively gets harder. Head is feeling hot. Not a lot of time to think. Not a lot of time to catch breath. No time to take a drink. Last 400m of set 3…3.2K into the session….BEEP…GO! Arms dropping off. Meeting the beep at the wall for the first 6 lengths. All good. But suddenly…brain drifts off…I gotta finish off that proposal….need to call John…BEEP….Wall…BUM!!! Too slow. Gotta swim faster….focus you idiot….BEEP….Wall…focus on the catch…hold on, why has my stroke rate gone down….faster you idiot…BEEP….wall….two more lengths left…push hard…water turns blue from the swearing under the water…Wall…BEEP…GOTCHA…one more length….Wall…BEEP….and breath….

Last set….Adjust the tempo trainer to 25.5…Gulp….BEEP….and off we go…this is now as tough as it gets….arms dropping off…just about meet the BEEP on the 2nd length…Slower swimmers in the way…how inconsiderate…losing focus…gotta overtake…BEEP….wall…missed it….you know it would be easier just to stop at the wall….do it…you know you are tired…you’ve done 3.7K….stop now…everything falling apart…Corbyn will become the next prime minister…BEEP…..where’s the wall? Wholly molly….way behind…I am not stopping….ignore the little bugger on your shoulder telling you to stop…harder….BEEP….eventually the wall….last length…Given up on the beep by now…like a beaten up marathon runner entering the stadium staggering all over the place I come home….head burning…breathing hard….can’t see anything around me…a minute later the mist starts to lift…4K done….at least I didn’t stop half way through the last set.

That was so much fun, must do that again next Monday! Only slightly faster!

Fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society

I am training for the Henley-on-Thames 14K swim marathon and the Dart 10K this year, while attempting to raise £5,000 for Alzheimer’s Society. You can donate toward this amazing charity via JustGiving: justgiving.com/keyvan-shirnia

I am grateful for all your support and thanks very much for reading.

Keyvan Shirnia

By Daniel Swann