Shelly’s ultimate challenge

Shelly Beresford -

It’s been a while since my last update, but let me assure you the training hasn’t stopped! In fact, I’ve stepped it up somewhat, but more on that later… So it’s already mid-March and less than 20 weeks, yes 20 weeks, until the big event. This realisation is both exhilarating and terrifying and reminds me that I have a loooooong way to go.

I have started swimming before work a couple of times a week, aiming to be in the pool at 7.15ish at the latest to get through at least 20 lengths, the swim distance translates to 30 lengths in my local pool, so by my calculations I need to be able to complete around 50 lengths before I attempt the open water. This isn’t a scientific calculation by any means, I think it’s more of a confidence thing – if I can get to 50 lengths I’ll have less chance of drowning in the Thames – that kind of approach! In order to support my new pre-breakfast activity I have a lovely new Speedo swimsuit, plus a kick board (not sure what to do with this yet), and a new nose clip because I can’t stand to put my head in the water without a nose clip! I really am a hopeless case! Anyway my nose clip is a racing one, my swimsuit a professional endurance one, and the kick board thingo (really what am I supposed to do with this?!) is red! I have everything one could possibly need to become a swimming champion!

I have also been watching swim coaching videos… they are American… and, surprisingly, they are really quite informative. My lovely, patient and understanding partner is helping me and I’ve been perfecting my technique on the floor in the lounge at home. Think long is the key, and reach, and look where you’re going, and blow bubbles – actually there’s lots of keys, and lots of things to remember, but at least I don’t look daft swimming on the carpet…

The good news is that during a particularly gruelling spin class I had the realisation that if I can last this for 45 minutes, the 20k bike ride is going to be a breeze! So that’s a massive tick for my cycling fitness! I know it’s not the same as being outside, but the weather is against me and I’m not going out until the temperature rises above 5 degrees! As for the running, I wasn’t worried as I run two to three times a week, however those runs are quite long and I need to start working on getting faster over shorter distances, after everything I would really love to complete the 5k in 25 minutes, but who knows what my legs will be like at that stage??!! So when this Siberian wind eases up, it’ll be back to lunchtime running, fast 3k’s a couple of times a week if I can, no rest for the bonkers…

However, you know what, all this physical torture (that’s how it felt this morning dragging myself out of bed to the pool) will be worth it, Lifeline is a really great charity and one people can get behind and support and if I can help that in anyway, then I’ll keep getting up early, you never know, I might even start to enjoy it… maybe…

If you’d like to sponsor me doing the London Triathlon and support Lifeline please go to my just giving page.

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