Swimming In The Big Pond

Swimming In The Big Pond - student project

I've always been a swimmer. A knee injury at 18 stopped me; from there I went to university and discovered beer, got a desk job, and had children. Exercise just didn't figure until I realised I couldn't actually pick the baby up without pain, let alone the 6yo.

I managed to get hold of a Beta invite for Fitocracy and together with support from family, friends and the Fito crew I've never looked back. I started to swim again just over a year ago; cried and complained my way through the first few months of lifting and then startled myself by not only starting to run but discovering an all-consuming passion for open water endurance swimming. Last season I swam Great Manchester Mile and ran City of Salford 5k. I find running helps my breath control and lifting is giving me the all-round awesome (my arms and legs are looking great, though I can't seem to shake it off my belly).

I now train with a Masters group and a fantastic Channel coach, and after some time off for illness I'm back to running 5km. In 2013 I'll be swimming a pool 5k, the Manchester mile again, and I'm off up to the Big Pond - Lake Windermere - to swim 2 miles in open water. I also want to take part in my Masters group events and run a 10k by the end of the year. I want to do it all faster than last year and be ready to swim 5-10k events the following year, perhaps with a running half-marathon too. By then I'm hoping to be fit enough to get over my fear of the hilly area I live in, get my bike out and complete a triathlon before I turn 40.

My problems are

a) sticking to an effective training schedule consistently whilst managing a family and freelance work 

b) managing the nutritional needs of 1 endurance nut, 1 runner/lifter, and two small, rapidly growing, incredibly active little girls. We all need different things. I've built up a lot of fat over 20-odd years of inactivity and I know it's slowing me down - but I don't really understand how to get rid of it and how to balance my needs with everyone else's. That's what I'm hoping to get out of this course.