Abi swim training

Treading water pt3: dealing with injury and over-indulgence

A glute injury may have hampered beginner swimmer Abi’s training slightly, but with the right stretches and exercises she can learn to swim in a straight line again!

Just as as I was beginning to get into my swim training stride in early spring, I injured my right glute doing a 10K off-road running event at the end of March. Most of my pool training throughout April and May was hampered by my trying to swim in a straight line because the tight glute kept making me veer off to the right. I tried using a pull buoy but that just exacerbated the wonkiness, so recently I’ve been doing lots of glute and hip stretches (namely ‘Thread the Needle’ pose and ‘Pigeon’ pose) and Pilates exercises to help the injury, and even went for a sports massage. The muscle is still tight but things have definitely improved, so here’s hoping the next few months before my River Arun swim will be more plain sailing!

Read part 1 of Abi’s training blog: getting started
Read part 2 pf Abi’s training blog: learning front crawl breathing

Time for a detox!

I’ve just got back from a gorgeous family holiday in Corfu – the hotel was a swimmer’s paradise with a huge outdoor saltwater pool and a sheltered bay with water as calm as a lake. I swam every day but it was an all-inclusive hotel so I over-indulged a fair bit on cocktails and ice-cream throughout the holiday. Because of this my training since returning to the UK has felt rather sluggish. Nothing that a good nutrition fix can’t sort out, I’m sure! Lots of lemon-infused water and colourful Mediterranean meals!

Next few weeks of training

Now that my right glute is a lot better, I can refocus on improving my front crawl technique. Recently a fellow swimmer spotted that my arms go very deep in the water for the ‘pull’ part of my stroke. This is inefficient because it pushes water down rather than backwards, and will fatigue my arms and shoulders, risking injury. So in future sessions I’m going to follow Simon’s advice in his ‘How do I perfect my swimming catch’ article – to push my elbow outwards while bending my arm, which should make my pull shallower and therefore easier.

I’m also going to learn sighting in open water (it seems tricky!) and I’m excited to try out my new Garmin Swim2, which my husband bought me for my birthday. With this new gizmo I can start setting myself some drills and tracking my progress. I’m not a tech aficionado but it looks simple enough to use. Wish me luck!

Abi is training for a 4-mile swim in the River Arun with Aspire, a spinal cord injury charity. Please donate to her fundraising page to help people with spinal cord injury live full, independent lives.

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Abi writes swimming news stories and features for the Outdoor Swimmer website and manages the social media channels. She loves to swim, run, hike and SUP close to her home in Herefordshire. While she’s a keen wild swimmer, Abi is new to the world of open water events and recently completed her first open water mile. She has previously written for The Guardian, BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC History Magazine and Ernest Journal.