Meet a member at a distance – Sue

Where are you based and what isolation approach are you following/have you followed? 

I’m based in London and usually swim twice a week with Spencer at Crystal Palace and Ernest Bevin. I also swim at Tooting Bec lido a couple of times a week through the summer. 

I am a physiotherapist at King’s and we were hard hit by COVID. I was redeployed to work on the wards, still as a physio, but helping to get patients strong enough to go home ASAP, as well as carrying out general nursing tasks and managing a team of amazing colleagues. My usual workload all stopped, my rota changed at short notice, all leave was cancelled and PPE became a daily chore; so training was a big release from work life both physically and mentally. I cycled or ran to and from work everyday, taking advantage of being allowed out twice a day during lockdown!

How have you coped with the break from training?

I usually train for triathlon so I was still able to keep up two thirds of my usual routine, and replaced swimming with yoga and HIIT sessions. I think the break actually did me good initially but then I was itching to get back in the water.

Have you managed to get back into the water yet? If so, how was it? Any recommendations?

I started going to Divers Cove and Shepperton lakes on weekends, but the time taken to travel there and back reduced my motivation somewhat. Thankfully Brockwell lido, directly on my route to work has reopened and I swam there for the first time last week. Having a line to follow and clear cool chlorinated water felt fantastic,  although apparently we’re not allowed to do butterfly (sorry Steve, I tried!!).

How are you getting on with Steve’s gutbusters/virtual challenges

I’ve not been doing the gutbusters – running, cycling and HIIT has kept me busy enough! I didn’t have any swim competitions planned until Nationals in October but I was supposed to be doing a full Ironman in June which has been postponed to next year. Setting some mini training goals has kept me motivated and I’ve done two virtual half ironman triathlons and some virtual running races, but I don’t get the same buzz as a real competition. I’m hoping to get in a late season open water or tri race but I expect it to be more of a time trial than an actual race.

Any recommendations for team mates?

I would say just enjoy the break from intense training and do things you enjoy to keep active and healthy. Exercise is great for our mental well-being and is one of the only things within our control at the moment. Make the most of getting outdoors with no pressure of hitting targets or reaching competition fitness.

How is your partner/family/housemate coping with you missing your regular training sessions?

Apart from whinging about big scary fish in the lake and missing the smell of chlorine, I think I’ve been a joy to live with…

What are you most looking forward to when you can get back to training?

I miss training with my Spencer buddies, having a good natter during recoveries (again, sorry Steve) and the post session exhaustion and hunger. I am looking forward to some juicy endurance sets, mixing up the pace and strokes/drills, and can’t wait to feel fit again in the water! 

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