Deep Water Running

Yes, the logo is upside down, but the belt works either way up!
DWR is suggested as a no-impact alternative to regular running.

Some people do it as an exercise in its own right - part of something called "Aquacise" I'm told.

It came to my attention as an exercise to keep the running legs in shape while injured.

I heard about it while at the Swim for Tri camp at Club La Santa in Lanzarote.

One of the Ironman competitor athletes on our camp had battered his knees into bad shape and ran in the pool as an occasional alternative to a long, slow jog.

A few weeks ago I sprained my ankle.

Stupidly, I thought the injury wasn't too bad an kept running on it for a week until one day the ankle let me know how daft I'd been.  It hurt.  A lot.  I couldn't cycle, either on road or on the turbo.

Yes, it was a great opportunity to work on my swimming but since then I have been climbing the walls with frustration at not being able to get out and run or ride.  Oh, and climbing walls isn't good for the ankle either.

It was suggested I try deep water running.  So I bought a Speedo belt on eBay and today tried it for the first time.

I think I"m doing it correctly.

A friend who works at the pool told me she used to teach Aquacise and thought my technique was fine.

Turns out there's quite a lot online about deep water running, including the video below.

There are different 'sets' to do, additional equipment to buy, techniques to master, and it's a common thing for triathletes to do.  but frankly, these seem to complicate what is actually a very basic exercise.

The only thing I had to think about was coordinating my arms.  since they're not used for balance, I found I had to think about which arm was working with which leg.  Worth trying...

Swim For Triathlon - Benefits of a Training Camp

This time last year I was not remotely interested in swimming.  Now I swim three times a week and recently clocked 36mins for a 1.9km open water swim.  Which, for me, is astoundingly good.

What changed?  Quite simply, I was taught to swim... all over again.

You might think you can swim, but if your last swimming lesson was taken forty years ago with your Mum as the instructor, let me tell you, there's a lot to learn.  

Liz my wife has always been a 'keen swimmer'.  I wasn't.  I'd sit in our car reading a book while she was in the pool cranking out lengths.  Dull.

Only once did I attend regularly back in 2009 and that was to endure 400m, the distance I'd have to swim in a sprint triathlon in which I'd agreed to accompany my brother-in-law.  

At the time, 400m seemed like a huge distance.  My arms got tired, I was out of breath and I couldn't wait to get out of the water.  MORE

Lanzarote Ironman 70.3 2015 - Notes to Self

I'm new to triathlon.  I tackled my first middle distance event in July followed by two sprints and after each I've written a debrief.  

These thoughts are many for myself, but I've put them on my blog in case others find them useful too.

Lanzarote was my first 'Ironman' branded event.  Partly I wanted to discover whether I liked their approach, and on the whole I do.  
I've heard it derided as simply a money making business, and compared to many other middle distance events, it is a lot more expensive.  However, there was something about the razzmatazz that appealed.  More.

New Podcast - Toronto

David Johnston who runs the Paddling HQ website is the guest in this month's podcast.

David lives and coaches paddling in Toronto, Canada.  In this podcast he picks three great areas which visitors ought to explore.

Urban paddling out of Toronto itself; East Georgian Bay; and the northern part of Lake Superior.

Even if, like me, you live nowhere near these places I still urge you to take a listen.  You might not have thought of heading there for a kayaking holiday before, but you you might now.

Check out the podcast at Sea Kayak and as usual in iTunes

New Podcast - Kayaking Shetland

If you've listened to all the Sea Kayak recordings then you'll know we already have an interview about routes off the Shetland Islands.

So why another one?

When I recorded the first, almost ten years ago, I asked author of the Pesda Press Guidebook Tom Smith to pick his three favourite paddles.  

We assumed ideal conditions, which is a heck on an assumption for Shetland, as Liz and I discovered when we went kayaking there in June.

So we hooked up with Angus Nicol who has taken over from Tom Smith and he have us a rough guide to paddling these extraordinary islands in less than perfect conditions.  You'll find the recording, along with many others, at and in iTunes.

First Sprint Triathlon - Notes to Self

Last weekend I raced my first Sprint Triathlon - The Loch Lomond Beastie.  

750m swim, 15km mountain bike, 5km run all in the grounds of Balloch Country Park and superbly organised by Loch Lomond Swimming & Triathlon Club.

These are the notes I made afterwards, mainly for my own benefit so I won't forget.  I am new to triathlon so please - experienced triathletes - add your contributions in the comments.

Like the half-ironman distance I ran two weeks earlier, I was aiming for a time not a finishing position. That said, with 117 competitors this time, as opposed to 28 at the Highlander, I was comping to place around the middle.  MORE

First Half-ironman distance Triathlon - Notes to Self

Every so often I like to attempt a challenge with a real risk of failure.  From walking the Pacific Crest Trail, to making kayaking DVDs, to cycling the Raid Pyrenean - in all of these I was absolutely uncertain as to whether or not I could finish.  

On Sunday I took on another challenge.

Now I have completed my first middle distance (half-ironman length) triathlon, The Highland Warrior organised by No Fuss Events.

I planned to write myself a de-brief so I don't forget all the many point I learnt.  Then I thought, "why not turn it into a blog post"?  Someone, might find it useful.  

Better still, more knowledgeable, experienced triathletes might add their own thoughts in the comments below.  So here goes.