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3 months to go Until Charlotte's Big Swim

With 3 months to go until I start my big (cold!) swim to France, I’m nervous and excited at the same time.  Having wanted to swim the English Channel since I was 7/8 years old, it sometimes shocks me that it is actually happening!

Training has been going well, both in the pool, cold waters and on land.  With the water temperatures rising in lakes, rivers and the sea, I can increase the time spent in them to ramp up the cold water mileage.  Alongside the swimming, another really important part of training is the eating, and lots of it!  English Channel swimmers need to put extra weight on as the body will call upon the fat reserves for energy.  Since the beginning of 2014 I have put 9kg (1.6st) on, this is part muscle, part fat.  Without the extra fat, swimmers are risking failing their attempts due to running out of energy and therefore getting cold in the waters that can be so cruel.  I have found eating so much, all the time, everyday, rather hard.  Although it may sound great, trust me it isn’t!  Even if you’re not hungry or not feeling too well, the food still needs to go in, and as soon as you go for a training session you’re losing those calories again!  I am aiming to gain at least another 3kg over the next month or so, then it will be a case of maintaining it alongside my training.

May brings “Dover Training”, where a fantastic team of volunteers are on hand to support and encourage all hopefuls on our mission to make it to French soil.  Each swimmer is given a time to stay in the water at Dover Harbour on a Saturday and Sunday and you’re not allowed out until that time has passed - unless you’re looking rather hypothermic, then you’re allowed out!  So when you’re sitting down to a nice Sunday lunch, think of me swimming anything up to 8 hours in that chilly water, backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards...with only a 30 second stop each hour to take on liquid form calories and the odd jelly baby to keep me going!  The volunteers are an incredibly knowledgeable team and I cannot wait to get down there and learn all I can from them.

Fundraising has also been a success, with a great Charity Night on my 30th birthday back in March, where my family and friends managed to raise and amazing £1,023.17 by taking part in games, bidding in the auction and making donations in lieu of gifts.  

This, along with everyone’s generous donations, has helped to bring the current total to £4,418.59!

I am overwhelmed by people’s generosity and support, I can’t thank everyone enough.  Please keep the donations coming over the next few months - they REALLY do keep me going.  Literally.  When I look onto the cold water I am about to step into on a rainy, windy day, I think of the funds raised and my aim to add to this as much as possible, and it keeps me going.  In I go, into the chilly water...