Meet a swimmer at a distance – Claudia in Germany

I am an out of towner currently located in Germany who swims in local, national, and international meets for Spencer whenever I find the time and opportunity. I joined Spencer in January 2017 and enjoy the camaraderie and relays the most but also the small/dual fun meets.

Where are you based and are you able to swim?

I am currently located in Germany and we had another ease of our lockdown rules last week – May 11. So stores are open regardless of size/square meters, restaurants are open under social distancing rules, and crucial considering the current weather situation and this being Germany: Biergarten are now open. Masks are mandatory in stores and public transportation and also getting in and out of public places (like gyms, museums,…).

We are not allowed to return to the pools before May 20 – outdoors and May 30 – indoors. While writing this, I just signed up for a swim on Wednesday morning when the first outdoor pool will open. To be able to swim you need to make reservations for a block of time and you can then swim during that slot. This way the number of people can be limited and they can also track and trace you (in a worst case scenario). There is also a 1 hour break between blocks for disinfecting the place before the next block starts.

The pool where Claudia swam on Wednesday

Training for clubs though will only commence after May 30 if the numbers of infections do not surpass a certain number of people in a region (50 per 100,000 in a week) by that time.

I am already swimming open water since the beginning of May and was lucky that we had one week of really nice temperatures in the Lake.

Can you remember your last swim session before lock down?

Yes, absolutely. That was March 15. I decided to have one more fun swim with a friend before everything closed down. More than 8 weeks ago already.

How are you coping with being out of the water?

I am still adjusting to using my own shower all the time and as a consequence having to clean it much more often. I have been out of the pool for prolonged times before but usually by choice.

Otherwise trying to stay busy with work, staying fit and healthy, and doing little projects around the house. Generally I am trying to remind myself how much I have taken for granted and am happy that no one in my direct family of circle of friends is in a high risk group. So I consider myself lucky in that respect.

What do you miss most?

On the swimming side the routine of regular swim training and the satisfaction that comes with completing a good training session but also the people, chatting, having a drink after workouts.

I am also missing the option of just going somewhere when I feel like it. And finally, not being able to travel and probably not being able to do so for a while.

Do you have a daily fitness routine?

Yes, I started running the day pools closed. I run 2 days on 1 day off 3 days on 1 day off and do core/strength training on the other days. One run per week is running hard. I start every day regardless of running or core/strength training with a mobility warm up. And finish most days with a short swim-specific yoga practice. Sometimes do some skipping rope or stretch cords. I think I will try to keep that mobility warm up. I quite like that routine and it does not take much time. Running is getting decent, I dropped quite some time on my average speed compared to when I started and I hope it helps to keep some endurance. My biggest issue with running is: I can only run before breakfast. My body does not handle food and running at all. Not even after a couple of hours after having eaten. But I plan to also continue with a bit more running when I am back in the pool.

Any recommendations for team mates?

Hang in there, stay safe and healthy.

Which competitions have you missed/will you miss and how will that affect you?

I missed a smaller local meet here in Germany the weekend everything started to close down. I missed US Nationals in Texas which I had signed up for. That one was particularly hard as it was the 50th anniversary of US masters swimming and I was going to meet Jessica Rathke. I had been really looking forward to that meet. I am also missing PanAms in Colombia which is sad as well as my former roommate moved there a couple years ago and we had hoped to meet.

My hopes are now on Sheffield and to see my Spencer peeps.

How is your partner/family/housemate coping with you not swimming?

I think I am tolerable with all the running 🙂 but wouldn’t bet money on it.

What are you most looking forward to when you can get back in the water?

Seeing that black line and doing a flip turn. The friendly look of a pace clock.

Any plans for Open Water swimming over the summer?

I signed up for the IOW Pier2Pier Swim. Not sure that will take place and whether I will be able to travel if it does.

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