By: Blonde Two

Well either the sea water has finally got a bit warmer or my skull has got a bit thicker because I am at last managing to get in a bit of front crawl during my morning sea swims. Front crawl has long been my favourite stroke in the swimming pool but swimming it in the sea adds a few additional challenges.

Firstly, I keep swallowing sea water. Unlike the swimming pool which stays relatively flat, the sea inevitably has some type of wave to it. This wave, it would appear, can come from any number of directions, is not even and enjoys confusing Blonde swimmers. The picture above shows you what sort of view you get as you swim. Things go a bit like this:

  1. Head in
  2. Stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke (final stroke turns into waving in thin air)
  3. Head out
  4. (In theory breathe) but sometimes your head turns directly into the wave and breathing becomes swallowing

I think I am getting the hang of the breathing thing, you have to not actually take the breath until you are sure you will be sucking in air and not water. Kind of common sense I know but you don’t have to think about it in the pool.

The second thing I have been struggling with a bit is straight lines. In the pool swimming in a straight line is a doddle, there are lines to follow all over the bottom. In the sea I find myself all over the place. Within about fifteen strokes I can be facing almost 90 degrees to my starting position. I have been reading about it and you are supposed to do spotting (looking up at landmarks) but I am still too busy wrestling with my breathing to do that. I don’t help myself by only breathing on one side, this is okay if the land is to port, but when I am going the other way, every turn of my head looks straight out to sea and I get very directionally challenged.

Monday’s swim was a bit better. Although there were waves to contend with, the water was so lovely and clear that I could see wriggly lines in the sand. Apart from being very beautiful, they were also great to follow. My shoulders were aching by the evening so I knew I had been doing some work.