I can't remember where I first read about this year's Swimathon - so probably on Twitter - and I'm fairly sure my criteria for entering were "ooh, it's half price at the moment" and the thought of getting a participation medal for something other than running or cycling.
I don't swim that regularly, but when I do I tend to swim between 1 and 2km. I chose the 2.5km distance (a nice round 100 lengths!) as it seemed like a sensible and achievable target - bearing in mind that I entered in January, and the event wasn't until the end of April.
I then promptly forgot to do much in the way of 'training'. Strava tells me I went swimming 4 times, and I did also make a token effort on holiday by swimming a few laps of the small grotto style pool on most days before heading to the hot tub/sauna/steam rooms...
I will now take a slight break in my waffley "I went swimming" write-up to tell you about two recent purchases that definitely enhanced the experience:
Oh wow these are amazing! I can't believe I've gone 20 years (if not longer... eek!) without being able to see when in the pool. I put off buying some for years on because I'm only an occasional swimmer, and I also wasn't sure how much of my vision they'd actually correct, thanks to astigmatism.
Turns out they're good enough - I wouldn't be able to drive or read a book, but I can clearly see the clock, the other people, and all the plasters and hair and general mank on the bottom of the pool. Lovely.
Towards the end of last year the battery life on my two year old Fitbit charge HR fell off a cliff, and the strap started to show a lot of signs of wear. After christmas I replaced it with a Garmin Vivosport. Same size/form factor, but with added GPS and fully waterproof.
It's got various activity modes - walking, running, cycling, weights, cardio, 'other'... but no swim mode. If I was swimming outdoors this wouldn't be a problem as I could use the GPS, but for indoor swimming it's only really useful for keeping track of time.
Originally I'd planned to participate in the official event, at GL1 in Gloucester. But that clashed with the Outdoor Bloggers weekend, so I changed my entry to a 'mySwimathon' - ie swim my distance wherever I want, within about a two week window. Very convenient, and I'm grateful that swapping was an option.
I swam at Leisure@Cheltenham, because it's less faff to park and seems to have more sensible opening hours. I turned up on a Friday morning to find that the pool was in 33m mode, so had to do some quick mental maths to figure out how many lengths I needed to do. 75.75. No longer such a nice round number - obviously I did round up to 76!
2.5k took me a smidge under 90 minutes. This is a long time to swim up and down a pool! I swam a mixture of breast stroke and front crawl - starting off alternating every 10 lengths, but once I started getting really bored (after about an hour) I changed every 5.
At this point I'm not sure if I'd want to do it again next year, simply because it was quite dull. I suspect taking part in the proper event would be more motivating though.