Over the last 2 weeks I have taken part in a number of swimming galas as suggested by my coach Steve from Swimpodium.
The first race was the 400m Freestyle. I was so terrified that I worked myself up into a bit of state internally. I was the only Masters swimming, the rest were the competition squad from the club aged from 10 to 18 years! Also they had put me in the top speed heat as thought I was a Masters swimmer and so must be fast! This freaked me out so they did manage to change my heat, but I was still swimming against faster swimmers which wasn’t great for my pace especially in a race I had never done before. But I got a base time that i can now work from.
The next race was the 100m Freestyle. There was one other Master swimmer taking part so we gave each other support. I didn’t beat my personal best, but came close. Seeing as I am about 2 stone heavier than I was when I swam that I am quite happy.
The next swim race was the 200m Breaststroke. I was happier about this one as I knew what happens at the gala and could feel more relaxed. I got anxious as my heat came round but just decided to swim my best and get another base time to work from.
The next week was the 50m Freestyle and the 100m IM. I had come down with an annoying cough during the week that had gradually gotten worse. I decided to give the 50m Free a go and see how I felt. It went okay so I did both races. I definitely wasn’t feeling 100%, but you can’t control when you get ill.
The final gala was the 5th over a 10 day period and was the 200m freestyle swim. I shouldn’t have swum it as I was fully taken over by a cold, but I did it anyway and got quite a good time. I spent the hour before the race alternating between the steam room and jacuzzi and that worked wonders.
- 400m Freestyle – 6:45.69
- 100m Freestyle – 1:25.17
- 200m Breaststroke – 3:40.22
- 100m IM – 1:35.89
- 50m Freestyle – 38.77
- 200m Freestyle – 3:08.43
I have mixed feelings about galas. I enjoyed these as they were with my club, but I don’t enjoy the competition side. I find it hard to concentrate on racing myself and forgetting everyone else. This is something Steve is going to work on with me and I think it will take a lot of practice.
I plan to take part in the club galas and the Wiltshire galas next year with the aim to keep improving my race technique and hopefully times.