Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Serpertine Swimming Club

I need to join a swimming club and I need to start swimming outdoors?
So maybe I should become a member of the Serpentine Swimming Club? Kill two penguins with one stone (swimming bird? get it? still not very funny? no. ok. maybe let's pretend I didn't say it then?) But it seems pretty cool. It's just £20 for the calendar year and membership allows you to use the club changing room and swim in the Lido area between 6am and 9.30am each day. As well as entitling you to enter weekly races, held every Saturday morning at 8am.

Unfortunately I don't think that there are regular training sessions - which is what I would really benefit from right now - just times when you are able to swim. And those times are a bit too early for a night owl like me. I also normally work on Saturday mornings and so I would probably find it quite hard to make most of the races. However, for £20 a year! Even someone as skint as me probably shouldn't pass that up?

Plus, although I've splashed about in the sea on holiday, I've never done a proper swim outdoors and so swimming in the Serpentine could be something I do for the Year31Project?

What do you think? Sounds like something I should do right?

I do have one small problem about swimming in the Serpentine however - though I will have to get over it quickly - which is that I remember that I once went on a pedal boat ride on the Serpentine with my (then) girlfriend. Looking into the water, it was clear to see that it was anything but clear, it was filthy and full of bird poo. It was a nice day (in mid-May) and there were lots of people splashing about and having fun in the water. But I remember the two of us looking at them with puzzled looks and agreeing that you would have to be mad to want to get in there with all those water birds and their poo! Yet here I am 18months later contemplating becoming one of those mad people on a regular basis! haha


  1. Hello,

    My wife reads your blog and pointed me here for a read. Swimming the Channel is a great goal to have, you'll have to put the work in to achieve your aims but you'll enjoy the journey and learn a lot on the way. I suggest you head on over to http://www.swimsmooth.com/ for some tips and advice. The site is run by my former coach and friends Paul Newsome and Adam Young, although Paul and Adam now live in Perth, Australia they are from the UK and Paul has himself swum the Channel so has first hand experience of the challenge. The website has a forum but also has excellent swim advice contained with the articles they have published. You should pay particular attention to Mr Smooth, the animated swimmer on their lead page. Efficiency is key in swimming long distances and you ought to be swimming 16-17 strokes per length in the (25m) pool so there is work to be done on your technique. Swimmers Shoulder is also a sign that your technique needs help but it's easily corrected.

    Paul coached me to complete the Escape From Alcatraz triathlon which involves swimming from Alcatraz Island to the mainland of San Francisco and also Ironman New Zealand, he is a great coach, a great chap and I trust his advice.

    Serpentine Swimming Club is a great club and they'll certainly help you out, Deal Triathlon Club is also another one to consider as they swim in Dover Harbour during the summer so you'll get a taste for sea water (which is, obviously, very different from lake water) or head on over to TriTalk and join the forum for some advice or tips there.

    Get involved, join in and good luck. Open water swimming is one of the greatest things I've done, it is truly magical.


    1. Hi Andy.

      Thank you for the info! I will definitely checkout the website for tips. Yes unfortunately my technique needs a little work. Some things I know - bad habits I've picked up over the years - and no doubt a few things I don't know about. 16-17 strokes per length (even if I'm a bit of a short arse? haha) that's good to know! I will definitely look into the clubs you have suggested and I will try and get in touch with Paul and Adam through the website. I would be great to speak to someone who has already done it. There are also some swimming teachers where I work so I will be seeking some tips from them too

      Thank you for getting in touch. I hope that you and your wife have enjoyed reading the blog and continue to do so. It's nice to know that people actually read it haha I also have this blog too (not about swimming): www.year31project.co.uk

      Best wishes,