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Channel swim training the wrong way – everything was wrong

Channel swim training the wrong way – everything was wrong

It’s one week since my disaster and I still can’t make my mind out of it. Everything was very wrong. It was the worst moment in my life. I really shouldn’t have tried it at all before I am completely ready. I totally underestimated the difficulty of Channel swimming, thinking it’s not much different to swim 14-16 km along the coast. Let me start with my motivation. The primary reasons I signed up to do the Channel were: as a…

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Channel swim training the wrong way: the swim

Channel swim training the wrong way: the swim

All photos courtesy of my crew Deborah Vine unless specified. It has already been a few months since I made my final training update on my Channel swim, and I have now made the attempt. Here’s is the report of it. My booked tide was 12-17 September 2021. As I am a slow swimmer, the pilot had agreed that he wouldn’t take me out on a spring tide. Although the weather was good on 12 September, it was still spring…

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4-day trip to London and Dover: day 1 (Tooting Common again, night in the City)

4-day trip to London and Dover: day 1 (Tooting Common again, night in the City)

The hostel I booked was near Victoria train station, thinking that it would offer fast travel to Tooting Bec Lido which is right beside the railway line between London Victoria and Brighton. However it turned out that the fastest way to travel there was to take the tube on the Victoria Line then Northern Line to Tooting Bec, and then transfer to a bus there rather than using a National Rail train. As off-peak travel starts at 09:30, I waited…

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4-day trip to London and Dover: day 0 (departure, Tooting Common)

4-day trip to London and Dover: day 0 (departure, Tooting Common)

I went to London and Dover on a 4-day trip 10 August to 13 August this year, which was my first extended trip after I moved to the UK. I originally hoped to have a few international trips including to Poland, Germany and Sweden, but the border situation did not allow me to do that. As the United Kingdom is not an interesting country for me I didn’t travel domestically until this trip. (I’m mainly interested in countries with recent…

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Channel swim training the wrong way – the end

Channel swim training the wrong way – the end

As the last season of COVID restrictions took away the opportunity for me to do any pool training in Hong Kong, apart from the month of November, I was so stressed that it affected my well-being and I had to visit a psychologist. The measures I took to manage it including suspending training, limiting my time thinking and working about it, etc. I once considered giving up but I judged my situation was not as bad as to the point…

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Cold Half 2021

Cold Half 2021

On 21/2, I did the race Cold Half the second time as a solo. This race is my most important A race in Hong Kong, which serves as my benchmark after half a season of winter training. In 2020, I mentioned by doing this race, I could decide if I was ready to start my preparation on my ultimate dream channel swim. I did it and completed in 5:14, then signed up for a Channel slot in September 2021 despite…

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To give up or not to give up

To give up or not to give up

After my failed qualification attempt last month, I told myself that I would try again later in the month or February, but now God forbids me to do so. Since that week the weather has been consistently warm again that we now have returned to 16-24°C air temperature and 18-19°C sea temperature now. I have already found some people outside Hong Kong who are willing to take my September slot in case I decide to give up my Channel swim….

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My final 3 months in Hong Kong – giving myself a last chance to get improvement in swimming

My final 3 months in Hong Kong – giving myself a last chance to get improvement in swimming

As my Channel training in the past year went wrong in every possible aspect, the problem of not being able to get back to the right track has already made me too stressed that it’s affecting my health. After visiting a psychologist last week, I have decided to suspend my Channel training, and try to find a friend who’s willing to take my spot in case if I finally decide not to do it this year. My former Total Immersion…

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Channel swim training the wrong way – cold water swims went wrong

Channel swim training the wrong way – cold water swims went wrong

It’s now January 2021 and my Channel training hasn’t gone back to the right track yet. Everything is still wrong. Today I have come closer to giving up. Last month, December 2020, I tried to ramp up my training from 18 km / week before my head injury to 28 km / week in Christmas period. I got too tired and had to reduce to 20 km / week in the first week of January, and this week I should…

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Channel swim training the wrong way – 16 km benchmark swim

Channel swim training the wrong way – 16 km benchmark swim

In the past 10 months, my training went completely wrong. I could not do my desired training from February to September. I could only get back since October. Despite that, I didn’t believe my situation to be bad enough to give it up outright, so I tried to adjust my second training block (November to April) to compensate for my missing training previously. In my original plan, I would do a 30 km rehearsal swim in February, or alternatively my…

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