"Why am I not faster?"
I asked myself that question for much of 2016. I didn’t feel strong on the bike, and I lacked the power needed to produce great race results. I knew the reason, deep down, was that during that winter I had no plan.
Lacklustre sessions 2 or 3 times a week; a few gym sessions here and there; I think I even attempted one run. Let’s just say that I didn’t see much progress…
I was reading one of our Wiggle blog posts last July, and came across the Speedo Fit Plan. Created with Ritchey Porte, (who later that day beat Chris Froome to the top of a mountain in Le Tour), it promised to benefit cycling performance, with plenty of other health benefits too.
It evolved into a personal challenge, for me. To get fitter, stronger, and more comfortable on the bike; whilst getting involved with a completely different sport.
"But I'm no swimmer. I'm a cyclist…"
The concern that I had, was that I had no swimming experience. I could make it from one side of the pool to the other; but as for completing a proper training session? No way.
5 weeks into the programme, and I wish I'd started sooner…
It was hard at first; I ached terribly after the first few sessions, and I knew I stood out in the pool. With bad form, and terrible endurance, I felt a little embarrassed.
Everyone I spoke to said persistence was key though, and my swimming progress has been astonishingly fast. The reason? You can recover so quickly from a hard training session in the pool, which means I'm able to complete 3 sessions a week: one endurance, one strength, and one technique.
I get my sessions from the fantastic Swim Coach by Speedo - an amazing website that lets you choose your sessions by sport, ability and length.
Kitspiration for 'Speedo Fit'
Compared to cycling kit, swimming kit is a relatively small investment; but it makes a huge difference to performance.
My Speedo Swim kit
- Speedo Fit Pinnacle Jammer - A pair of compression shorts, that pull your core up, and keep you horizontal. They've made a huge difference, keeping me fast and streamlined.
- Speedo Fastskin3 Swim Cap - This does what is says on the tin. A cap designed for pure speed, fitting the head perfectly.
- Speedo Fastskin3 Elite Goggles - The fit around the eye is perfect, and their curved lenses offer a wide range of vision. The best way to describe them is like a pair of Oakley Radar sunglasses, but for the pool.
- Speedo Training Aids - A hidden treasure. These have allowed me to 'break-down' my stroke, and make my training even more efficient.
I'm impressed with how much detail goes into such 'simple' bits of kit, and so far it's making the difference.
Stay tuned to the Wiggle Blog for more updates on my programme, and more reviews of the Speedo Fit Swimming range!