Keyvan’s 14k swim for Alzheimers – Update 14

I reckon John Denver wrote this song while dipping his toes into some Colorado lake.

Lake 32

Sunday. Awake at 4:20. Excited by the long swim ahead. 6:50 am. Nicola the Mermaid-come-Torpedo and I start our first big parameter lap.
I keep telling myself: Go slow. Go slow. You have 6-7K coming up. Keep to the 66 strokes per min beat, which emanates from my tempo trainer trapped under my cap. A melodic monotone….beep….beep…beep. I can’t really explain it, but in silky smooth water, I find that beep taking me into a trans-like state.

Eventually I do catch up with Nicola (since I can’t swim faster, I cut corners, but I think I got away with it!) and manage to match my pace to hers. Just for 400m or so, but that was all I needed to tune in the stroke, the catch and my pace for what is about to come.

Bridge to Bridge (Thames 14K) team training

The Thames swim is broken into 4 segments by 3 locks. The team training session today was to swim 5-7K with some simulation of getting food and drink on board as we climb out and back over the lock.

Feeding Station


Jason’s master plan


About to kick on


3.3K done with the sunshine on my shoulders!


6K done. Another 750 to do with my arms dropping off.

Lessons learnt

Two major conclusions I have come up with:

  1. Take a much bigger red float next time round and zig zag in front of Jason. That’ll confuse him!
  2. Watch out for the coach cutting in front of you at a menacing pace!

Great team work and support. Loved every minute of it.

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:

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

Keyvan Shirnia

By Daniel Swann