Open Water Swimming At Lenches Lakes

Last year, some of you will know I dipped my toe into the world of Open Water Swimming. I entered a 7 km river swim called The Bantham Swoosh.

I began my training in Whitsun Lake, the lower lake in March 2017 equipped with specialist swim wetsuit as the water temperature was a bracing 7/8 degrees Celsius. I was keen to do what the training suggestions referred to Acclimatisation Practices. My goal was to ‘swim’ for ten minutes in such temperatures. I surprised myself at being able to submerge my body into the icy depths, the wetsuit is a cracking invention.

Putting my face into the water to achieve a good body position for front crawl was the true challenge. My appreciation for the simple pleasures of swimming pool characteristics such as clear water, being able to see the bottom of the pool and follow lane lines heightened. When I put my face into cold water I struggled to breath out and I was slow to adapt to the clarity of water. I found I must engage navigational techniques to swim from point to point.

Over the next few months the lakes heated up significantly, I peaked at swimming for the best part of three hours, round and round the island on Whitsun lake and trying to keep to a straight line on Spring Lake. I thoroughly enjoyed it on many levels. Obviously physical fitness is a gift I appreciate and take lengths to preserve. Extended swimming in the lakes was fabulous and with a steady 300m circuit I soon clocked up the distance. I could see fish beneath me, hear birds, particularly the Reed Warblers and Swallows, dodged a few Pigeons swooping to dampen their breast feathers on the waters surface. I was privy to stunning skies, sunshine and summer showers. A delightful ativity.

My training was noticed by Fly Fishers, caravaners and campers, clubhouse visitors – word soon got around. We received requests from people wanting to go swimming. Following this over the last few months Lenches Lakes have been working with the Royal Lifesaving Society, British Triathalon and Sh2out to gain accreditation in all aspects of offering Open Water Swimming to the general public.

We aim to provide all year round sessions for recreational swimmers – and training sessions for people building up to a river swim or Triathletes training for competition. We hope to offer the Lakes for hire to Scuba clubs, swimming coaches and instructors, event organisers.

Once accreditation is in place we hope to open Spring Lake for timetabled sessions from April l 2018, days and time to be decided upon.

We will keep you posted.

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