Lake Swimming in Wales

As you may know from a previous weblog entry, I’m doing a mile swim in Lake Bala next Sunday in Aid of Diabetes UK. I thought I’d better do some training for it so yesterday I did a mile swim in the pool at the Sport Centre. 68 lengths non-stop isn’t the most exciting of pastimes but I had the pool to myself and did it in 25 minutes so it wasn’t too bad.

I’m not sure how that time will translate into open water swimming though where there are no lane lines to follow, chop to contend with and I’ll be wearing a wetsuit. I’m not used to the wetsuit yet and it is probably a little too tight (read review here – TYR Hurricane Wetsuit review), so today I headed up to Llyn Pendam for a swim in fresh water to give it a go.

As well as trying out the wetsuit, I’ve been trying to get my GPS receiver (Garmin Forerunner 305) to work whilst swimming in open water so that I can tell how far I’ve swum. I first tried it on my wrist, but the movement of my arm was recorded so it looked as though I’d swum twice as far as I actually had. Next I tired it on my ankle but for some reason that didn’t work at all and it recorded no distance at all. Today I tried attaching it to my head by fixing it to the back of my goggle straps.

My wetsuit is still a little too tight so breathing is a bit of a problem but it isn’t too bad. However, I forgot my swimming hat so to start with it felt very cold. I started getting ice-cream headache so had to stop a couple of times but once I got used to it I was OK. Having the GPS on my goggle straps seemed to work a treat though and it recorded my distance just about right I think. I only did four lengths of the lake which was half a mile in 12 minutes 28 seconds which is about right.

So, I’m not quite ready for next weeks swim, I could certainly do with a few more practice open water swims first, but I won’t have time for that and I guess it is supposed to be a challenge!

Here’s my GPS track from today – although it wasn’t quite so sunny up there this afternoon!

Swim route

Swim route

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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