Keyvan’s 14k swim for Alzheimers – Update 3

Just exactly how do you prepare for a 14K swim?

I could see some small progress swimming 3 times a week through most of last year, but I felt inefficiencies pouring out of every move I made. That’s when I opted for  a 1-2-1 video analysis in an endless pool in order to have my technique pulled apart and analysed.

The endless pool is like a very large Jacuzzi with a high speed smooth water jet at one end, which you swim against, while being filmed from all angles….and just like a treadmill, you have to be careful as you come off otherwise you will be plastered against the back of the pool (personal experience!).

Ten mins in the pool followed by a detailed poolside review showed me just how awful I looked! My coach, Jason (a very patient man, I must add) was picking holes in so many areas. My arms were crossing over. My hand, elbow shoulder alignment was all wrong, which meant while I was propelling forward I was applying the brakes. Rotation was poor. My kicking was ugly and scissor-like. At that point I looked up and saw my ego pack up and walk out of the door leaving me deflated! Having discussed the video for over 30 mins, we adjusted a couple small things followed by  a very optimistic pronouncement by Jason, “Just do these two things and everything will fall into place”….yeah right, I thought to myself.

Back in the water and within 10 mins, I was swimming 12 seconds faster over 100m! That’s huge. Extrapolating that over 14K would mean I would swim it 28 mins faster! Of course, it doesn’t work like that, and building endurance and the right mind-set is just as important as the technique, but good technique provides the speed and efficiency that are critical in cutting your way through the dense water….and I also have a new theory supported by real evidence that swimming distance is directly proportional to the density of water! Or in other words, the longer you swim, the thicker the water gets!

The training squads that I attend are structured to provide focus on technique coupled with long distance swimming to aid with muscle memory and endurance. Speed is built through Fresh & Fruity sessions where we are asked to swim PFQ (Pretty Flippin’ Quick). Every now and then we have open water skills session, where a group of us crammed in a small lane to simulate open water race starts, drafting in different formations, handle kicks in the face and other body parts and working our way around busy buoys.

A typical weekly schedule which may be 4 or 5 sessions consisting of:

  • Monday 0630-0800 – Technique / Endurance
  • Tuesday 2100-2200 – Squad training / Technique / Open Water skills
  • Thursday 0630-0800 – Technique / Endurance
  • Friday 0600-0700 – Squad training / Endurance / Speed
  • Sunday 1500-1630 –  Squad training / Technique / Endurance

Of course with the spring season starting in April, some of these session will take place in the Cotswold lakes….that’s when the fun starts.

So, to wrap up, here’s what happened with my training in the pool last week:

Fundraising progress

We have made pretty amazing progress so far, but all contributions towards Alzheimer’s Society is greatly appreciated.

Please donate, if you can, by following this link:

Thanks for reading and catch up soon.

Keyvan Shirnia

By Daniel Swann