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Taper Time

In May we met Sam Brett, who is fundraising for Macmillan by taking on their All Out Swim challenge. The furthest she had swum was 2km but she wanted to up her distance to 5km and raise money to help beat cancer. Over the past months we have followed her progress, giving her training and technique tips. This is our last update before her swim this weekend at Brockwell Lido in south London.

Your big swim is on Saturday. How are you feeling?

I’m feeling okay. I know I’ll do the distance, but the pressure is kicking in, and I wasn’t able to swim as often as I would have liked once term started [Sam is a teacher]. However, I had a really good session on Sunday (marking my last outdoor session before the big day!) so that’s picked me up quite a bit.

What is the longest swim you have done in training?

4.5K! I would’ve liked to have done five but I ran out of time and fell foul of winter opening hours at the lidos!

How are you feeling about your stroke?

So much better! And I’m really starting to feel the work I’ve put in. I am feeling a lot more fluid right the way through, whereas before I had moments of smoothness then moments where I felt like I was going nowhere! I still have the odd moment where my arms try to sneak towards the middle, but this is happening less and less now which feels great!

Do you now have a target time?

I would really like to get it done in 1hr 45min, but I reckon I’ll be closer to 1hr 50mins.

How is your fundraising going?

It’s been trickier this year. This is my third Macmillan event and each time it gets harder to convince people to sponsor me again. I won’t mind if I don’t make the target, but it would be great to beat last years!

Help Sam meet her fundraising target by donating at…

What is your next challenge?

This is something I have been thinking about quite a bit. I am very tempted to brave my first open water swim, but I like the predictability of swimming in a blue box. But with me it’s a simple case of mind over matter.

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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.