Stunning Country



The plan has been simple so far, as many 1-2 miles swims as possible during the month of May.

Now we are at the start of June the distance increases and hopefully by the end of June we will churning our 10km swims weekly.

7am this morning and we were greeted at Castle Semple Loch with these stunning views. There are many days when the weather is rotten and you still pull on the wetsuit because you have committed, today was a pleasure. Big Shoulders and me didn’t want to get out, a stunning way to start the day – 3.54 miles, 0.54 more than expected or planned for but we couldn’t resist.

More of these days please!


When you embark on any challenge you always have periods of doubt “Why am i doing this?” “I have got no chance of completing this” “What if i don’t finish, i will let myself and everyone else down”

I have to admit i have been having a spate of these thoughts over the past couple of weeks and i’m sure the other 2 participants will have these moments as well. Let me introduce my follow swim buddies who have also signed up to the challenge

Fi – swims like an olympian, technique is unquestionable, makes swimming look so natural and an around female version of me, a true love of all sport3 amigos in Loch Lomond

Shoulders – Big Chris, what can you say, power and power, self confesses his lack of ability to chill and slow down, in the Edinburgh swim festival last year he won the race ….. to the first buoy. An incredible talent, he’s 6 ft 12 inches with shoulders that dwarf his size.

Me – The Plodder, not fast, not slow, to put me in perspective i did 2 x 2.4 mile swims one month apart, i decided to do one race as fast as possible (65 minutes) and one race efficiently as possible (68 minutes) – 3 minutes worth of a difference and i was breathing out my ……. Therefore i have come to the conclusion an efficient plod is for me!

The 3 of us are hopefully embarking on this adventure / challenge / lunacy with an open honest approach, which i believe is the only way we can stay friends!

In training I’m always last to each marker and i totally expect that, so i decided to have that honesty with them and state that i felt i will be holding them back, their answer was very simple we are in this together, the Lochs are too cold at present and everyone just needs to stay as warm as possible for as long as possible.

So here we are heading into the months that matter, the focus and drive to get out of bed at 6am on a Sunday morning to head into whichever mass of water we choose. The worries are always there “What if?” The big fish and boats don’t worry me, its the psychology, and more importantly its managing those Demons

How do you Plan?

How do you compile a training plan for a 24 mile swim?

There are hundreds of books on how to prepare for a Marathon, a Triathlon or even the longer 140.6 milers, which always include some sort of training plan, structured ones that vary in length, “IronMan training in 12 week” the plans (that vary from quality to absolute bullshit, IMO!) that try and make the most extreme challenges look easy.

Lets face it – it isn’t called IronMan because it is easy. Therefore this is where i feel the foundation training plan for the epic swim will have a foundation that I am comfortable with, my plan for Regensburg in 2011.

I have spoken to each of my 2 swim buddies Fi and the Chris “the Shoulders” and we are expecting to complete the swim in approx 13 -15 hours therefore we have decided to base it on the Ironman theory for the following reasons; these are the only training plans that are anywhere near this length of time on the course and more importantly for me – i know this works.
A lot can be said on following training plans, but if you truly believe in a plan the confidence it can give you as you stand at the start is immeasurable.

What has been in place so far? The Loch’s are still too cold to be in any longer than an hour, (Loch Lomond this morning was only 1km in 23 minutes due to decreased temp over the past few days, due to rain and temp drop) therefore the basis of all training up until this month of May as been pool and gym work. Now we are into May the training plan is based on;

May = as many shorter distance swims as possible 1 mile to 2 mile ideally each swim, average of 8 swims per week between pool, sea and Loch’s

June = increase those distances once we remove the ice from the surface of the Loch!! Probably taking individual swims up to the 5-6 mile mark by end of the month

July = increase the distances again further to 8-12 mile swims but break a long swim into shorter 2-3 mile blocks, with break(s) between swims of 10 minutes and nutrition

One of the best pieces of advice i received was “You don’t train to finish an IronMan, you train to be at the start” and this is so true, you need to be in the best shape possible on the day of the event.

I fully believe the planning will be key to whether we are successful in August. We must develop a training plan that meets work / home life balance, but ensures when we walk towards this great Loch early (5am) on that August morning and we truly have the belief that we have done everything we could to take on this challenge.