Training for Celtman 2021 – March (Andrew)

Celtman is going ahead!

But I must admit to some nerves. Swimming pools don’t reopen until the end of April and the lochs have only just started to warm up and reach 5 degrees. Yet, just a few weeks later, we will need to swim 3K in the sea. That’s a big ask and one that I do worry about as a lack of training will certainly mean a slower swim, at best. There will be an increased risk of hypothermia and I’ll certainly be more tired on the bike after swimming without adequate training.

To help prepare, Iain TwinBikeRun spotted that Pinkston Watersports was starting open water swimming in it’s canal lock again in April. We were able to book a weekly session through to the end of May so at least we’d have one swim a week. I’ve also applied for the Arlington Baths for membership so I can use their pool once they reopen, which I thought was an expensive but safer option than trying to get in the Glasgow Life swimming pools. And, finally, I hope it’s sunny for the next two months so that the water can heat up and I can get back to wild swimming. Five degree is my cut off for swimming as the effort to swim is not matched by the time in the water. If I’m going to spend at least an hour trying to get to a loch then I want more than just a few minutes in the water.

Hopefully, all this effort, will help bring back some swimming ability before June, assuming it does go ahead. Because although the organisers have announced that it will I think it may be too ambitious to hold it so soon after lockdown eases because athletes may say that a lack of swim practice is just part of the “extreme” nature of an “extreme triathlon”, sometimes athletes need protected from themselves.

I am reminded of sitting in a boat waiting for a swim to start when the organisers announced it was cancelled due to high winds. The safety boats couldn’t sail and there would be no one to protect the competitors. “It’s okay,” shouted one man, “I don’t need a boat!”. However, some decisions need to be taken out competitors hands, especially when those hands haven’t been in water since lockdown 3 started in December.

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