After last year's success, I have signed up again to the online new year fitness challenge that is Jantastic.
The programme has evolved to include swimming and cycling as well as running which ties in very nicely with my commitment to my daughter to take part in a triathlon with her.
I have taken out a two month membership to my local swimming centre so for January and February I am really concentrating on the swimming.
The January targets were all about frequency of workouts per week. I set myself a target of three swims and 1 run per week. Driven by a desire to 'get my money's worth' from the membership costs and discovering an unexpected actual genuine pleasure in my watery endeavours, I easily exceeded my swimming target.
Now we have progressed into February and the targets are focussed on distance.
Whenever I have seen people swimming in that effortless way, length after length, I have wished that that could be me. I longed to be that person gliding through the water, confident and at ease. Until now, I was the embarrassment making a lot of splash and achieving nothing but panic and a lungful of the wet stuff. I am proud that in four weeks I have left behind the old me and have joined the ranks of the gliders - sort of - my style is far from perfect but it is even farther from the spluttering wreck I once was.
I would probably be amazed if I added up all the lengths I have swum over the last month and converted them to kilometres... but however impressive it might sound, there is a very big problem. I can reliably swim single lengths but the turn and repeat part eludes me. At best, I stop, have a couple of good gulps of air and then set off again. At worst, I stop and have a five minute gossip with whoever I happen to be with before I go. I sometimes kid myself that I am waiting for a decent gap free from other pool users before I set off but that sort of excuse is not going to go well for the triathlon.
The Jantastic distance challenge is perfect to get me swimming continuous lengths up to the required 200 metres which is how far I will need to cover for a 'fun' triathlon. Two hundred metres equates to 8 lengths of my pool. Eight lengths doesn't seem too onerous a task until I remember the effort it takes to swim just one! My first week's challenge is to swim two lengths with a good turn and hopefully, I can build that up gradually over the four weeks. I am keeping my eye firmly fixed on the goal to be swimming 200 metres proficiently by the time my membership to the pool expires.
I am very grateful to Jantastic for providing the extra motivation when I need it. I am also grateful to Sports Direct for their next day delivery service as I seem to have slightly melted my current swimming costume trying to dry it out on a hot radiator. I shan't be doing that again!