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Twin Running Cycling Swimming Scotland

Outdoor Swim Review: Carron Valley Revisted – March 2023 (Iain)

Previous review here

My shoudl I go for a swim rule is “if it takes longer to get to the swim than I spend swimming then don’t swim”

The weather was beautiful so I decided to see whether it was possible for me to swim yet. Its a 30 minute drive from my house to the reservoir.

The air temperature was -1.5 and the water temperature was 5.5C. I lasted 10 minutes in the water! Therefore my rule says “don’t swim”

I’ll try again next month once the temperature rises a few degrees.

Check out the video to see what a swim in Carron Valley Reservoir is like.

Ease of Access: Park at the gate next to the loch. Its 10m to the waterside. 

Water quality: Warm and shallow at the edge of the loch but it can noticeably drop in temperature the further out you get. 

Swim Quality: Excellent. Lots of things to sight against. Water is choppy but that makes it more fun!

Other People: A couple of folk out walking and the odd car/cyclist going by. 

Would I go back: Yes. It’s my default swim location. 

2022 Report (Iain)


Every year I download an info-graphic of my Strava training stats from

You can see last years here

This year my aim was to do more than 2021….

I was pleased to get over 4000 miles. I reached the Alaskan town of Juneau. Which is one of the only cities on Earth which can not be reached by road due to being surrounded by sea and mountain. It is sort of apt that the place I reached by swimming, biking and running is one of the few places were those three skills are required to get there!

The aim for the year was Celtman. You can read about it here or watch the video

My strangest (sporting) experience of the year was attempting to use St Andrews Swimming pool.

“Hello St. Andrew’s swimming pool, what time do you close?”

– 1430 but not if you want to swim. The tills close at 1330. You can’t swim after that.

“I don’t want to swim. I want a shower. Is that ok?”

– The tills close at 1330. You cant have a shower either.

“But the pool is open until 1430?”

Yes that’s correct.

I arrive at 1300. The receptionist sees me and says:

– your not expecting to swim are you?

“No, just a shower. “

– That’s fine. We close the tills at 1330

“Yes – I know !”

I head through to the showers. The life guard comes over to speak to me

– I hope your not swimming!

“Is this to do with the tills?”

– Yes they close at 1330

Why does the pool not want me to swim ??! What happens when the tills close that mean I can’t go near their water ? Why is it open until 1430 if I can’t do anything ?

I don’t think I’ll ever know the answer.

This year also saw what would be my final match of squash. After 15 years of playing once a week against the same man, he emigrated to Stranraer! Which might as well be Australia, as it’s so far away.

In this time we have played nearly 500 matches and I won the grand total of 20. So to anyone who says it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts… what a load of twaddle. It’s brutal losing every week. good riddance to him!

Just kidding. squash was one of the highlights of my week. I’ve started playing badminton instead but its not the same.

Overall, I got through the year happy and I can’t ask more than that.

Happy New Year Everyone.

Best Books 2022 (Iain)

My eyesight isn’t very good. It’s not as bad as Al Pacino’s vision in Scent Of a Woman but it is getting towards a Mr Magoo level of poorness. Thankfully, I’ve not crashed my car… yet!

I suspect anyone reading this who understands either of these references is also old enough to be experiencing similar vision related problems.

My vision has deteriorated to the point where I am unable to read a book at night. The low light level means my eyes struggle to focus on the letters on a page.

I tried every fix I could think of – turning on all the lights, using a Kindle, reading whilst wearing a head-torch. None of them helped. After a few minutes the words would go out of focus and I’d have to stop reading.

So I threw money at the problem. I decided to spend more money on one lamp than I have spent on all the lamps I have ever bought in my life. A serious problem needed a serious solution so I bought a serious reader lamp –

And all I can say is that is worth every penny I paid for it because for the first time in years I can now read in the evening. I can read for hours without any eye strain or issues. It is life changing. I can now read properly again in the evening.

Books I enjoyed – Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is the story behind a number of hit computer games. If you’ve ever thought it would be great to write games for a living then read this. It will put you off for ever. Writing games is very difficult and often not much fun.

The Runner: Four Years Living and Running in the Wilderness annoyed me as he didn’t live and run in the wilderness. He would pop into his local town if he needed anything. It should have been called “The Runner: Four years of hard living but thankfully lots of friends visited and I was close enough to civilization that I didn’t feel I was missing out on anything.” but that would have been harder to market.

The Final Empire is written by Bryan Sanderson. I’ve only just started it but its great so far. I bought it after reading that Bryan had created the most successful Kickstarter campaign of all time. He raised nearly $15million dollars in the first 24 hours of launch. If that many people like his books then it must be worth a try….

Breath is the type of book that would be much better if it was a long magazine article. Its worth a read but like a lot of science books it goes on well past the point it needs to.

and lastly the worst book of the year was Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!

Don’t read anything written by anyone who uses an exclamation mark! They must be a moron!