I’ve a new obsession. It’s not working, swimming or biking – it’s not even power and conditioning. It is incessantly and feverishly checking the climate forecast.
The Ben Nevis Braveheart Triathlon is simply 5 days away and, as autumnal because it feels in Oxfordshire, I’m conscious that autumnal within the north of Scotland is prone to really feel a entire lot chillier.
So, right here I’m [CLICK] on the BBC Weather app [CLICK] on the newly found seatemperature.org web site [CLICK] onto a well-known retailer to ‘window-shop’ hotter garments.
The forecast shouldn’t be nice. Not chilly – hovering round 13C, however with a lot of rain and winds of round 14mph. That’s okay. I imply, I’d slightly bike and run in sunshine and blue skies however it’s what it’s and you get on with it whereas dreaming of chips and sizzling chocolate.
The sea temperature is one other factor. Loch Linnhe was 12.8C on Friday, is 13.4C at the moment and is prone to be round 13C when the starter units us off at 8am on Saturday.
Ben Nevis and Loch Linnhe in all their glory
It’s not precisely ice swimming however that’s on the chilly facet. It’s roughly the temperature my native lake was at in early April once I thought leaping in and blasting two 500m laps made me courageous. This is a deep water begin and a course of 1900m so loads of likelihood to get chilly earlier than a stroke is swum and a complete swim of between 40 and 50 minutes, relying on how I fare within the sea loch.
I’ve by no means swum in neoprene gloves and booties and, as I consider within the maxim ‘try nothing new on race day’, I don’t suppose I can begin on Saturday. As the occasion attracts nearer, I’ve been pulling collectively ideas and recommendation from the good swimmers I’ve met through the years.
They’re not my favorite factor however simply getting my physique used to that feeling is probably going to assist on the day as it’ll put together me for the bodily and psychological shock.
Swim hats are usually not simply to maintain the hair out of the filters at swimming pools and that will help you be seen in open water, they cease a lot of warmth escaping. I’m packing my thickest hats and placing two on. I’m certain loads of folks could have neoprene hats as nicely.
Sound apparent however getting my coronary heart fee up and the blood pumping whereas I’m on dry land will get me going significantly better initially.
When the hooter sounds the temptation will probably be to dash laborious. Giving into that temptation will scale back my stroke size, lower the effectivity of my ‘catch’ and is prone to enhance any feeling of concern or discomfort once I lookup exhausted and realise I’ve solely moved about 20m. I’ll rely my strokes for the primary 100m and focus on reaching far and pulling lengthy.
The wonderful thing about swim, bike, run is that every self-discipline offers extra alternative for heat. I’ll pack hat, gloves and jackets for the bike and baselayers and overlayers for the run, and I’ll stay up for them within the darker moments. There additionally the small matter of reaching the highest of the best mountain within the UK – if that doesn’t encourage me, nothing will.
Anyway, I feel 5 ideas is sufficient for now; I’ve one other [CLICK] to get achieved.
13.3C? Oh no!