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Macmillan All Out Swim challenge

Meet the swimmer taking on this year's All Out Swim challenge

Last year Sam Brett swam 2km at Tooting Bec Lido in south London to raise money for cancer charity Macmillan. This year she will be doubling her distance (and then a bit more!) to swim 5km at Brockwell Lido in the 2016 Macmillan All Out Swim challenge. The All Out Swim challenge takes place at four pools across the country in September and October. Sam has five months to get swim-fit and ready to take on the distance. We will be bringing you regular updates on her progress as she follows our training schedule, and editor Jonathan will be getting in the pool with Sam to give her some technique tips – as well as supporting her by taking on the All Out Swim challenge himself. First up, let’s meet this year’s challenger. 

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Name: Sam Brett

Age: 29

Occupation: Teacher

Why is it important to you to fundraise for Macmillan?

Macmillan goes above and beyond to support those with cancer. Myself and my family have been hit quite hard by it and have been supported well each time. The nurses are a much appreciated and needed pair of ears at whatever time from diagnosis to throughout treatment. With budgets getting tighter I want to help as much as I can to ensure that patients and their families get the support they need.

Why did you decide to up the distance from 2km to 5km?

I have completed the 2km over the last two events at Tooting Bec Lido and was thrilled to improve my time in the second go. To keep my sense of challenge going, moving up to the 5km was a no brainer! Doing the same event each year also means that fundraising gets more and more difficult. As I am increasing my distance I also want to increase my fundraising target so hopefully that will gain more momentum for my sponsors! 5km will be a huge challenge for me and I want to do it well.

How did you find the 2km swim last year? What were your high and low points?

The pressure was a little higher last year as I was put into lane 1 (all the fast swimmers!) so I was naturally nervous being in a lane with much more fluent swimmers than myself! I started off pretty well but became pretty tired around my last 500m. However, once I finished I was shocked to see that I thrashed my target time! This was probably due to making myself push much harder in training!

Have you swum much since?

I was able to continue regular training sessions after the event right through to February but unfortunately have cut back to once a week due to finishing my teacher training year. I plan on getting back to my old regime from June!

What are you looking forward to most about the training? And what are you dreading?

I’m really looking forward to getting my health back, it’s been a difficult year and feel I have lost myself a bit. I think getting back into a solid training plan will drastically improve myself mentally and physically. I am a little nervous as I am so used to training and swimming by myself, so it will be interesting to have regular input.

What part of your stroke do you think needs most work?

I am pretty happy with my legs and general body position but my arms need the most work, mostly positioning. I would like to speed up a bit.

Have you swum at Brockwell Lido before?

I am new to Brockwell and look forward to starting regular training sessions there in June!

Have you done much swimming outside this year yet?

No outside swimming so far this year – eeek!

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Sign up to the Macmillan All Out Swim challenge

Go all out for people affected by cancer and join Team Macmillan for this unique outdoor swim. Held in four outdoor pools across the UK, you can take on a 2k or 5k challenge as an individual or relay team. Whether you’re tackling the distance or you aim to smash your PB, you’ll be helping us to ensure no one faces cancer alone.

  • Brockwell Lido, London: 08 October
  • Pells Pool, Lewes: 17 September
  • Sandford Parks Lido, Cheltenham: 02 October
  • Letchworth Outdoor Pool, Herts: 10 September

Use promo code H2OPEN30 to receive 30% off the registration fee.

Sign up at macmillan.org.uk

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Jonathan is a year-round skins swimmer with a particular love of very cold water. He has competed in ice swimming competitions around the world. He is a qualified open water coach with a particular love of introducing new swimmers to the open water.