Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Well dear readers, this very morning I completed 1 million metres, or 1000 kilometres if big numbers scare you. I will give you the full details at the end of the year as I am not finished yet. I will say at this point that it took me 202 swims, an average of just under 5000 metres per swim.
I am off to the US of A now so I will put in some big efforts before the Hogmanay.
Happy Christmas to all my loyal followers around the world. Our annual get together will be held in the usual phone box on New Year's day.
Look at my last entry and link onto my Open Water Swimming Magazine article.
Why didn't the BBC broardcast of Led Zepplin's one off concert have Stairway to Heaven? Disgrace. I want my money back.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Red Cross Sponsorship

I am delighted to announce that I will be swimming in 2013 to raise funds for the Red Cross in Northamptonshire. This money will go towards a new vehicle to accommodate people that have suffered fires at their home. More details to follow.

I am getting closer to my million metres for the year. I am currently on 970,000 so I should get there in the next 2 weeks, probably passing the total in the USA when we visit Kate, Doug and Tabitha for Christmas. Can't wait!

For those of you who haven't yet seen my H2O Open Water magazine article, check it out.

Lynyrd Skynyrd for President

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Million in sight!

My personal quest to swim 1,000,000 metres this year in nearing its goal with only 60,000 metres left to go. As I am averaging 20,000 a week , I should achieve this in the next 3 weeks, certainly before the end of the December.

Hope you  enjoyed my article in the Open Water swimming magazine. If by chance you missed it, please go to:

Enjoy. Don't forget to rock before you roll.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

H2O Open water Article

You will be very pleased to know that I have written an article for H2O Open Water Swimming magazine. This is the only magazine dedicated to open water swimming and is compulsory reading material for anyone undertaking such swims. You can read my contribution at:


Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Dublin revisited!

I have just returned from my annual trip to Dublin with Nick Owens and the First XV. We had an excellent tour with 3 good wins although the Irish tried their usual tricks.
"We have a few overage players this year, hope this is ok!"
"Well actually no it's not Paddy as the overage players all seem to be 6ft tall, ginger haired and 15 stone."

I did have a first as I had my first swim in the new Marian College pool. Lovely pool. The pool attendant was a hoot.
"You swam really well there fella, how many lengths did you do, 80?
"No I did 175"
"Jaysas, that must be a record!"
I have managed to get in 7000 metres this week which is 7000 more than any other weeks in Dublin.
And another thing. The Irish have a whole industry of being themselves. "you must have a Guiness in Dublin, it's better than everywhere else"
No it's not. It's as over rated in Dublin as it is everywhere else.

On the way to a million metres. Half term this week with Lizzie Kate and Tabby but I will get plenty of pool time in.

Keep the faith. Rock on.

Monday, 1 October 2012

1,000,000,here I come!

After my exploits over the summer I have now focused on completing 1million metres for the calendar year. (1000 Kilometres for those that prefer smaller numbers).
At the moment I have swum 821375 metres this year and this has taken me 271 hours and 37minutes, or if you prefer, just over 11 whole days of swimming!
Over the year I have averaged 3.03K per hour, although over the last 3 months I have averaged 3.31K per hour.
To reach the magical million mark I will have to average 15,000 metres a week for the rest of the year, which is no problem during the holidays as I do that sort of distance in 1 or 2 swims.
 School time is more difficult as there are limited opportunities to fit long swims in.
Still, I have averaged over 22,000 metres a week throughout the whole year so it should be possible.
Watch this space!
I am rounding up my Children's Liver Disease Foundation sponsorship this week, so those of you who keep saying that you will go to the Justgiving site, GET ON WITH IT

I will annonce my exciting new charity venture in the next week or so.

Don't forget, If God were a DJ he'd ROCK!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Round Jersey Swim, English Channel Swim

I have finalised the dates for my 2013 swims.

On the 22nd of June I will do the 44 miles around the island of Jersey swim. This is tidal assisted and hopefully will not take as long as the 2 way Windermere swim.

I have also booked a Dover to France swim on the 26th of August to 1st of September tide.

Training has already started and I am edging towards 1 million metres for 2012. Only 200,000 to go!

I will announce the charity that I am swimming for shortly as I am still collecting for  The Children's Liver Disease Foundation for this year's swim.

Don't forget, keep rocking in the free world!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

2 Way Windermere Swim

At the risk of totally boring you all to death, here are some startling facts about my 2 way Windermere Swim. Courtesey of the British Long Distance Swimming Association's offical record.

  • I am the first New Zealand born swimmer to do a 2 way swim.
  • I am the oldest ever to do this swim.
  • My 3rd of September swim is the latest in the year that this swim has been completed. 
  • This was the only completed 2 way swim for 2012.
  • I am the 24th fastest. The fastest time of 8 hours 44 is insane!
  • As I averaged 55 strokes a minute, the whole swim took me 42,900 strokes. (based on 13 hours swimming)
  • As I generally breath every 4 strokes, that makes 10,700 breaths.
  • I lost 4.5 Kgs over the course of the swim. After 27 beers, they somehow reappeared.
  • I felt like I had been in a car crash for 2 days afterwards.
  • I will never eat another Jaffacake again.
  • Am I on for a triple Windermere in the future. Noooooooooooooooooooooo!
I am currently organising my swims for next year. Big announcement next week.

Please don't forget Children's Liver Disease Foundation. Donations to:

Saturday, 8 September 2012

2 Way Windermere Swim Photos.

Here is a selection of photos from my 2 Way Windermere swim. Hope you like them!

Setting off, 7 am. Only 13 and a half hours to go!

On the way
Straight arm or what?
Sunset, 12 hours in, 1 and a half to go
At the finish. Cream crackered

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Double Windermere Conquered

Double Windermere conquered! You don't complete or finish epic swims, you conquer them! Yesterday I swam the 22 miles double length of Lake Windermere in 13 hours and 34 minutes.
I set off at 7am from Waterhead with my pilot Dave Carroll and crew Colin Hill, waved off by Lizzie, 2 seagulls and a stray dog. Everyone else was still asleep. The air temperature was a balmy 11C but the water was 16C which rose to 18C in places but was 17C for most of the swim.
I started strongly going through 6 miles in around 3 hours but then the mirror like complexion of the lake changed as we turned into a strong headwind and short choppy waves. These slowed my progress for the next 4 miles and I found this section of the swim pretty hard work as it was difficult to establish a stroke pattern. Lizzie was waiting for me at Fell Foot and this thought kept my going as by this stage I was really looking forward to seeing her. After 6 hours 45 minutes I reached the jetty where Lizzie waited. I floated about there for a few minutes enjoying a banana and a drink.
The swim back was psychologically easier as every stroke took me closer to the finish. Conditions were better and I made reasonable progress. After mile 13 I became obsessed with food as my body was very depleted and I was sick of the sight of jaffa cakes and bananas. I was desparate for a scone with jam, hot chips and a cup of tomato soup! Sadly none of the above were on board the boat but Dave and Colin gave me a cheese and beetroot sammie, an eccles cake, some rice pudding and lovely yogurt drink. Now dear reader, try eating any of these treading water when you are very cold and exhausted. Next time you are at the pool, take your lunch, jump in the deep end and try to eat it. This food really revived me and I powered on to the finish.
I reached Waterhead at 26 minutes to 9, pitch black and with a tasteful green light flashing on my goggles. Lovely Lizzie was there and was joined by 2 complete strangers who wanted to photograph the monster emerging from the deep. Embarrassingly, as I stood up after 13 and a half hours, I fell straight over and it took 4 or 5 attempts to stay upright. The shivering then started, although I did get my warm clothes on very quickly. Lizzie gave me a warmish pastie to eat. Just right.
After a long, long soak in a hot bath, I finally got the feeling back into my limbs and hit the sack. Amazingly, although I was totally exhausted I hardly slept a wink as my arms started to ache and I could not get comfortable. At 3 in the morning I had a filled roll. I have never typed that before.
There are many people that I have to thank. Lizzie is just amazing, so supportive, so patient. What a lucky man I am. Kate, Doug and Tabby have supported me throughout and their enthusiasm and love has driven me on. Vicci and Roger are stars and have always believed in me. Many friends and family have played vital roles and I thank you all.
Many thanks to all at Votive Leadership for their fantastic support.
Dave and Colin were incredible yesterday, the Langdale Chase Hotel was superb and has the best scones ever. It is worth driving there just to have 1. I would also like to thank my parents, although I could have done with another 3 inches.
Photos to come.
Please support Children's Liver Disease Foundation.

Keeeeeeeeeeeeeep rocking!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Jersey rewind

Home now, safe and sound. Unfortunately the wind in Jersey would not allow any attempts at Jersey/France or around the island swim over the last 7 days. The wind needs to be force 3 or below, we had force 5 to 7 every day. I did a number of training swims and it was impossible to swim any distance in the rough sea conditions. Hey ho, I will be back next year.
Now I will refocus for a very testing double Windermere swim on Monday. 22 miles, fresh cold water so a real challenge.
Please remember I am doing this for Children's Liver Disease Foundation. Many thanks for your donations, more welcome.

Lizzie and I met lots of lovely people in Jersey but the biggest pleasure and surprise was running into Simon Allen-LeBas, an old friend from the rugby days. It was wonderful to meet mum, Bill and Ryan and to see Tracey again.
Back to the Nene in the morning, lovely cold preparation for Windermere.
This immortal line applies to me regarding the weather.
Big girls don't cry.

Monday, 27 August 2012

White horses won't carry me away!

Well dear reader, what a weekend. Wind, rain, more wind and white horses all over the ocean. The weather has put paid to any attempt to swim to France as the wind has not dropped below force 5 and the tides are now against me. Bummer!
Yesterday I was invited to swim in the Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club Masters' Trophy race inside the breakwater at St. Catherines Bay. Inside the wall the water was calm, outside it was like being punched in the face by a fierce watery creature. Still, a swim is better than no swim and I finished 6th in the over 25's out of about 30 swimmers.
Now I will turn my attention to Windermere next Monday where I will do a double length 12 hour swim. School the next day, what fun!
What would life be without rock and roll. Dull, that's what.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Stormy, stormy nights!

Well here we are in Jersey. Really, really windy I am afraid. The sea is very rough with the wind at force 5 to 6. I had a swim this morning, very difficult conditions, almost impossible to swim into the waves. Sunday looks a dead loss so the JLDSC are trying to organise something for tomorrow, Here's hoping!
I will let you know.
Keep the faith and keep rocking baby! 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Hi Ho, it's off to Jersey we go!

Well folks, this is it, the big swim week. Lizzie and I leave for Jersey on Thursday ready for my Sunday swim. Unfortunately because of the great British weather, things are not going to be ideal, next Sunday is forecast for force 8.
If that is the case, there is no way the swim will go ahead as it will be impossible to swim safely in those conditions so The Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club are trying to get me a circumnavigation of the island swim on Friday. A mere 44 MILES!
If the weather is not favourable I have a double swim of Lake Windermere booked for 3rd September. I will get an extreme swim in one way or another!
Thanks to all who have mentioned that they would support the Children's Liver Disease Foundation. Most people have given me money directly but if it is easier please use the Just Giving site.

Don't forget rock is the food of life.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Huzzah, back to the rain!

Well here I am, back in the UK. After a 2 week sweat fest in hot, lovely, sunny Maryland we arrived at Heathrow this morning to be greeted by grey skies and rain. Did I miss it? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Lizzie and I made many new friends, so in no particular order g'day to ( please excuse spellings!) Mike and Renee, Ricky Bobby and Lucy,  Rob, Mary and Fiona, Glen and Sonny, Chris and Kirstin (fleeting but nice), Mike K, Joe, Alan and Linda (hope everything was ok!) , Jim, Megan and Joe, Bill and all the guys at the pools, Honey Harvest, Pat "Irish" Mahoney (great calendar) and half ironman man. Good luck!

The USA is a great place as it just has everything. Warm people, warm sun and most importantly, great swimming pools. Actually, I really mean Doug, Kate and Tabby who all made our stay so special.

Now I count down to the 26th and the first part of my double channel crossing. I swam 70,000 meters in the 2 weeks in the US so I will taper down now so that I will swim fresh.

Don't forget the Children's Liver Disease Foundation. Please see the Just Giving link on my last blog.

Remember, electricity was invented for Rock and Roll baby!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Land of the free!

Lizzie and I are enjoying a wonderful time with Doug, Kate and Tabby here in the US of A. The weather is wonderful and we are very settled on the Sea Shadow, our accommodation afloat the ocean waves.

Last weekend we sailed to Oxford, no, not that one, the one here on Chesapeake Bay. It is a really peaceful and lovely place although the trip back was a little lumpy.

But what about the swimming I hear you say! Well fear not dear reader I have trained very hard in the pool here as the Bay is totally infected with really horrible jelly fish. Yesterday I did a 5 hour swim in the pool at Annapolis. What a place.

Why doesn't the UK follow suit. This pool is 100 yards (yes yards, they don't do meters here) and 25 yards across. All the way across there are swimming lanes, over 40 in total. I swam for 5 hours in my own lane. Fantastic, a real swimming pool for real swimmers, not a 30 million pound play pool like Corby. No wonder the USA won 67% of the 2012 swimming medals!

Speaking of the Olympics, we are fortunate enough to have a TV on our boat. Are there any other countries in the Olympics as all you see here is USA. No one else and most of it is recorded, not live. And the ads, OMG, 1 race 3 minutes ads, 1 race 3 minutes ads, on and on and on. Then just as the track events get exciting they cross to pancake tossing as the Americans may win a medal. I am not complaining, it's just the way it is here.

Don't forget the CLDF.

                                                           story time on the boat

                                                         Granny and Tabby

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Hot, hot, hot!

As you are probably aware from the title, I am not in the UK! Lizzie and I arrived in the USA last night to stay on the boat with Kate, Doug and Tabitha and it is very hot. Lovely! We even have cable TV to watch the Olympics but NBC only show Americans.

I am planning to swim in Chesapeake Bay but it is infected with jelly fish at the moment and these are mean looking critters with big long stinging bits! This morning I did 8k in the marina pool. Tough life huh?

Don't forget to go on the just giving page for CLDF. You will see the link on my last post.

God gave us a gift. It's called rock and roll baby!

Friday, 27 July 2012


As you aware, I am swimming the Jersey/France leg of my double Channel crossing for Children's Liver Disease Foundation.

I can now announce that the justgiving site is now set up.

Please give generously for this worthy cause.

I have just had a great swim in the River Nene at Transor. Lizzie and I had a great afternoon in the sun. A great find!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Children's Liver Disease Foundation

I am pleased to announce that I will be swimming the first leg of my Channel challenge, Jersey/France, for Children's Liver Disease Foundation.
This is a fantastic organisation that has the vision that childhood liver diseases will be understood, prevented and treated effectively.
Please take time to check out the website as it is a moving education for all. Regarding donations, I have sponsorship sheets so please contact me. There will be a just giving site. I will let you know about this. Please keep reading!

Monday, 23 July 2012

North Sea delights!

Lizzie and I went over to Aldeburgh today so I could put some time in the open water. For once, it was a perfect day, 26C with the water about 16C.
The North Sea is a hard place to swim. The water is very silty, you really can't see your hand in front of your face! Not only that, there was a strong wind today that produced a big, choppy swell, BUT the current was in the opposite direction so I swam with the waves but against the current and then I turned around with the current but into the choppy waves. A true workout!
A reasonable jelly fish hit list, stung on both arms and across my chest, all in the same location on the beach. You could hear the language in Northampton! Still 8k done, felt great. Ready for Jersey. Made full use of Aldeburgh cafes. A great place to spend the day. Back to the pool now for a few days, mainly the Lido at Peterborough.
Don't forget.
Rock is king.

PS. I have just spent the night scratching like a monkey at a flea circus! Revenge of the jelly fish, welts over both arms. The things we do!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Welcome to my world!

It amazes me to see the number of people from around the world reading my humble views. This week there have been hits from, the UK, USA, NZ, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Ireland, Germany and Russia. Amazing. I hope you like what you see and don't get too bored!
I have had a very hard training week as I have had 2 big speed sessions as well as 4 big mileage swims. In all, nearly 50k this week.  Feeling really fit although I want to go to sleep at 9 o'clock every night.
Lizzie and I are off to sample the North Sea for a day, so I will do do some long cold hours there. We are both looking forward to seeing Kate, Doug and Tabitha soon and staying on the boat in the warm sun.
Good news this week. I have discovered a NZ shop in the UK. This is particularly important as the old NZ shop closed this year. This morning a parcel of Kiwi goodies arrived. Hurrah! Peanut Slabs, Pineapple Chunks, Milk Shakes, Minties, Milk Bottles and Macadamia Nut Chockie. Don' worry dear readers, I won't eat all this at once, it will take at least 2 days!
Don't forget.
If God was a DJ, he'd rock!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Flat out again!

As I am now on holiday, you may be thinking that I am resting, as suggested in today's title. Well dear reader, the opposite is true as I have had 2 very hard speed sessions this week. Swimming, flat out, get it? The first one was spread over 6400m (4 miles in old money) with a fast 3200m in the middle. This all felt surprisingly good and smooth. The second day I covered 5300m, made up of shorter sprints over 100m and 50m with short gaps in between. This was hard yakka as my arms were still a bit blown out from the day before. Still, I got the job done and felt good afterwards. Back to Peterborough tomorrow for a long easy 10k.
I am now a month away from Jersey/France. It can't come quick enough as I am jumping out of my skin. The paper today says that the weather is on the improve as the jet stream is finally moving north. Hurrah! Open water swimming is at the mercy of the weather so here's hoping August will be better than July.
At the moment I am listening to Hawkwind's Hurry on Sundown. Check it out, awesome!
Don't forget to rock before you roll.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Breakfast of Champions!

Huge week so far, averaging over 6k per swim and working hard. I am swimming 3.2K per hour and will increase this in the coming weeks and push up the average swim to over 10ks.
I have been asked a lot about what I eat before and on my swims. If I swim early, I won't have anything, but I will drink SIS energy drink during the swim and have energy gels as well. Disaster today as I discovered that my favourite gel shop in Peterborough has gone. Internet, here I come.
 If I start later in the morning I will have porridge, beetroot juice and a banana if I am swimming long. I do feel better swimming light so I don't eat huge amounts. The fuelling is done the day before. A word of warning. If you drink beetroot juice for energy, DON'T wee in the pool as it comes out bright pink!
 On the long cold open water swims I will also have water based hot chocolate from a baby's feeding cup.
It is a scientific fact that when you swim long distance you get starving hungry when you have finished. Peterborough has a great bacon roll cafe which is a welcome sight after swimming for hours on end! Breakfast of champions.
Don't forget.
God made rock and roll for you.

Monday, 9 July 2012

The Big Week!

This is my mega week to put in the miles as I approach my August swims. This morning I swam for 3 hours at Peterborough Lido. I will do a 6 hour stint later in the week and get over to the beautiful North Sea soon. I know that I have said this before, but Peterborough is my favourite pool as it just feels so good swimming outside in the cold water and being able to swim 50 m. It is a shame that is an 80 mile round trip to swim, but it is the closest open air cold pool that I have access to. It was great for me as for a long time I had the pool to myself so I could swim around the walls without having to stop. The sky this morning had to be seen to be believed as I have never seen so black a sky. Amazingly, the heavens didn't open although it is a buzz swimming in the rain. Love it.
As the legend Alice said, School's out for summer, so 62 sleep ins before the next work day. What a great job.
Don't forget.
Keep rocking the casbah.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

It's the final countdown!

Well, here we go. I can now say that my Channel swim from Jersey to France is next month. There have been all sorts of problems with these swims this year as the summer (ha, ha) has been terrible and the weather has prevented attempts thus far. Surely it has to improve for August!
I have a couple of big mileage weeks ahead before I taper down for Jersey. I feel that I am ready to go now but the extra weeks will round off things nicely. This morning I was the lightest weight that I have been for 10 years but I can't afford to shed any more weight as the cold water will hurt if I do.
Lizzie and I are looking forward to America and Chesapeake Bay swims in the sunshine. It will be good to get away from the rain and the gloom!
Don't forget the immortal words of Planet Rock.
Turn it up!

Friday, 29 June 2012

Cold is not that bad!

This week I had a rewarding 3 hour swim in the Peterborough Lido. This is one of my favourite pools as it is a 50.25m, cold, 1930's old fashioned decent swimming pool. I have used this in my build ups for several years and wonder each year if it will carry on operating as often there are very few people swimming. This week I swam for an hour with the early morning regulars, but then had the whole pool to myself for 2 hours. 4 lifeguards had to be on duty just for me.
Had my best swimgym swim this week, 30 minutes with the jets pretty much on full, doing 2000 strokes. This is a great place for developing fitness levels. Check it out.
One week left at school. Yahoo. Big swims to come!
Rock on

Saturday, 23 June 2012


Interesting dear reader. How do you read the title? Opportunity is nowhere, or Opportunity is now here. Admit it, you read the former, it's your brain you see. Well, this week I have been speaking to people who book swims. I am looking at 2014 with the opportunity to do Ireland to Scotland and/or Spain to Morocco . I want to do both but I really fancy adding Europe to Africa to my Europe to Asia. You see, opportunity is now here and I am going for it.
Another good week in the pool, lots of speed work,  2 x 3200m sessions with 3 x 5000m sessions. Feel really strong at the moment. I am ready for my first channel crossing from Jersey and I am looking forward to Chesapeake Bay. I am off to Peterborough Lido next week, cold, cold, cold.
A message for the leavers.
Well done ya'all. whatever happens in life, never forget this.
Meat should be thick, music should be loud!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

15th Channel Crossing!

There are websites that you can use that plot your progress across the channel based on the training swims you do. Well dear reader, as I am about to notch up 500,000 meters for the year, I am just about to start my 15th channel crossing. It has only taken me 152 hours so far. By the end of this week I will be starting the 16th crossing. Easy peasy.
Another good week training as I am now swimming up to 3.20k per hour as I start to work up to August. I will be swimming across Chesapeake Bay in the US at the beginning of August, jellyfish permitting, then the Jersey/France crossing. It is all getting very real now with only 3 weeks left at school. Happy days!
Rock on.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Cold Water. She No Go Bro!

Picture my week. Drove through teeming rain for 6 hours to get to Cornwall to get in some cold water sessions. Got to said Duchy to be faced with gale force winds, mountainous seas, 10C water, 12C air and fishing boats sinking. Unseasonal storms they called them! Not even a hardy soul like me could swim in those seas, it was too dangerous. So dear reader, I thought I could swim in the Lido in Plymouth. Sadly no. Not open yet. Well it is only June after all. There was nothing else for it but to head to the indoor pool at Saltash. One of my favourite pools as it is a great pool to swim in. Had 2 great sessions. Great to see Vicci and Roger. We said that we would come back in the summer.
Meat should be thick, music should be loud.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

4 Hour Sponsored Swim

On Saturday my school had a sponsored swimming event to raise money for our charity of the year, Mountain Rescue. I was amazed with the commitment of the children as over half of them swam over 100 lengths their hour long slots. I swam for the whole 4 hours and covered 12,000 metres. This was pretty mind blowing as the school pool is only15 metres long. That means 800 lengths and turns in 4 hours. Now I know how gold fish feel in small bowls. Yes I know they are all called Bob.
I felt fine afterwards and celebrated with a huge apple turnover that Lizzie had bought for me.
This has been a good week which included another 2 hour swim on Thursday followed by a session in the swimgym. I feel great and am very pleased with my training so far. Next week I will get into the cold water and do some serious open water sessions. Interesting to see how it feels as I am 10k lighter than I was this time last year.
I will update charity news regarding my summer swim soon. Waiting for a few details.
Keep on rocking in the free world.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Hard Core Baby!

This has been a far more productive week. You will be pleased to read that I am back to my bubbly self after my brush with the dreaded lurgy. The highlight of the week was Thursday's training session. I did 2 hours in the pool and then went straight to the Swimgym in Market Harborough. This is definitely hard core! For those of you unfamiliar with such places, the swimgym is like a swimming treadmill where you swim in the middle of the pool against a powerful current blasting at you from the end of the pool. I swam very hard and didn't move forward at all. Sounds like my normal pool sessions. I loved it and will do at least one session there a week in the build up to my August swim.
This week I will announce the charity that I will be supporting on the Jersey/France swim, so watch this space.
On Saturday we are doing a sponsored swim here at school for the school's charity this year, Mountain Rescue. Each year group will swim for an hour and I will swim for the whole 4 hours. A good excuse for a decent training swim.
Don't forget, it's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Hebdomas Horribilis!

Yes folks, this has certainly been a hebdomas horribilis, or for those of you not fluent in Latin, a really rubbish week. It all started so well on Monday, a good swim in the morning and then a great meeting with Jim Rees from From there, my snotty cold/hay fever developed into a full blown epidemic of personal proportions. It was so bad that I could not even think about getting into the pool. Like a brave soldier I battled on at school but felt horribilis all week. What a soft boy I have become.
Happilly, I feel much better this week and will hit the pool with a vengeance. Now it is fewer but much longer swims as I approach the big build up for Jersey/France. Still well on course and looking forward to the challenge.
Still rocking after all these years.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Votive Leadership Support and Sponsorship

This week I had a fantastic, inspirational meeting with Jim Rees from Jim is an ultra athlete who has competed in Ironman events and has had success in the Cycling Race Across America. He has kindly agreed to help me regarding motivational methods for now and the future.

I am pleased to announce that Votive Leadership will sponsor and support my Channel swims. They are Britain's market leaders in corporate leadership and have an impressive list of accreditations to their name.
I am thrilled to be involved with them as I am certain that I will benefit immensely from their knowledge and expertise. Their website at is well worth a visit as is their facebook page at
Rock on.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Privet to all my friends in Russia! Somehow I stumbled upon the stats for this blog and I was amazed and delighted to see that I have a number of people in Russia reading it on a regular basis. What a hoot! People are also reading in the USA, New Zealand, Germany and of course the UK. Come on you other countries, you don' know what you are missing. Well perhaps you do.
Lizzie and I went to the 7s at Twickenham on Sunday. A great crowd, great entertainment and a thoroughly top day out. Such is my dedication to the cause that I went through the whole day without touching a drop of alcohol. No you read correctly, not a drop. Mind you, the rest of the crowd certainly had my share.
I have already put in in a couple of hours in the pool this week although this is a busy week at school as I have cricket matches and Open Day on Sunday. It is looking like a couple of really early pool mornings in the offing.
Rock on baby.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Chlorine cure all

I have been a little under the weather this week. Nothing as deadly serious as man flu, but coldy and not sleeping well. Never the less, it didn't stop me swimming and I have had 4 pretty good sessions. My breathing actually felt better in the pool than out. The wonderful cure all nature of chlorine at work.

 Thursday's was the highlight as the pool at Market Harborough was rammed, wall to wall old people. I know that I am one as well but at least I move slightly faster than dead slow to stop! I like the pool at Harborough as the water is nice and cool. The people are also very pleasant although there are too many of them. The ever helpful lifeguards saw the problem and put an extra lane in for us front crawlers. (Are you reading this Corby. Your lane management is a disgrace.) Anyway, I digress. I put in a hard 6k in the time allowed before the schools arrived to take over the pool. Busy week this week so 4 good swims totalling nearly 25ks is a reasonable return.
Keep rocking.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Pyramid defeated!

My speed week ended with the dreaded pyramid on Sunday. 20 lengths down to 1 and then back up again. I maintained a really good pace and felt great that I had worked hard throughout the swim. I am back to longer swims this week, fitting everything around school days. I should get 4x 5k+ swims in this week. Lizzie and I are going to the International 7s at Twickenham on Sunday so here's hoping that I don't undo too much of my training!
There is one aspect of life that has me baffled. In packets of jelly babies, the endurance athlete's favourite rush, why are there dozens of red and orange ones but only a few green and yellow. They would probably say that it is customer response but I have never been asked, nor has anyone I know. This is frustrating as I hate red and orange and have to buy multiple packets to get out the green and yellow ones.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Speed Freak Week!

I am more than happy ploughing up and down the pool for hours on end. One in every four weeks is devoted to speed, not my favourite week! This week I have had two hard speed sessions with one more to come on Sunday. Unfortunately my Wednesday session was wiped out as the school pool had an ecological breakdown so I had to double up on Thursday at Kettering. I covered 7.5Ks, including 50 x 100mts. I will man up and do 100 x 100mts but I couldn't this week as I didn't have enough change for the car park! Why does Kettering charge so much to park outside the pool? If I am swimming long, I have to get an all day pass. Nuts.
Friday night I did 3200mts hard, managing to do it well under an hour. I wanted a bit faster but then remembered that I am 55.
Sunday is my worst nightmare. The pyramid! 20 lengths hard, 19, 18 down to 1 and then back up again. A great feeling when I finish, trepidation at the start.
Great news this week. I passed my medical for the Jersey to France channel swim. All a bit real now.
Keep rocking.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Stat Attack!

As far as my swimming year goes, the end of April represents the half way stage for me as I build up for my Jersey to France channel crossing on the 26th of August. At this stage I thought that it would be a good time to outline the training that I have done thus far! I am using the Zogg's my swim4fitness site as my training record. This is a great help as it automatically works out swim speed etc. So don't get too bored. Here goes.
So far in 2012 I have swum 336200 meters, spending 115 hours 31 minutes and 12 seconds in the water. This represents an average swim distance of just on 5000 meters per swim.
 I have had 2 x 15k swims, lots of 10k swims and recently concentrated on shorter 3.5k speed sessions. This has cost me 9 kilos this year and I am now close to my ideal swim weight.
Interestingly, I was doing 2.91km/h in January and February and now I have increased this to 3.11km/h.
So, onwards and upwards. Speed week this week. Rock on!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

April 2012

Having a good month so far, I will do over 100k in the pool. Hair bleached, skin wrinkled but loving every minute of it. Swimming very well, will increase speed sessions now and soon venture in to the wide world of the cold North Sea.

English Channel swim, Jersey to France

Currently I am training hard for my Jersey to france swim on the 26th of August. training is going very well, feeling strong, averaging over 30, 000 metres per week. I am building up my long swims doing regular 10Ks. I will increase this in the next few weeks as I hit the open sea and the cold water.

Setting off. 7am. Only 13 and a half hours to go!