Active Travel



Why I’m Taking On A Swimming Challenge…

Mar 30, 2017 | Cross Training, Running | 8 comments

This morning an email came into my inbox… 12 weeks to go until the Henley Classic Swim.

That would be twelve short weeks until I take on my first proper swim event, the Henley Classic, a 2.1KM swim down the Thames along the Henley Regatta course.

Luckily, my swim training was sort of kick started a few months ago during a campaign with Speedo that I’m finally able to share with you…

Make 1K Wet

Speedo challenged me to swim 1K in the time that I can run 5K. Sounds easy, right? Well that’s still 40 lengths which is quite far for me. I’m not sure the last time I swam that distance, especially not for a specific time.

But I love a challenge. So I set myself the target to do just that, with a strategy of swimming every fifth length in breaststroke to give myself a bit of a breather.


Check out my video to see if I managed it…

Do you think you could?

It was so much fun making these videos – especially the one running around Henley and showing the crew (and now you guys) some of my favourite areas to run. I was definitely self conscious being in a swimming costume (in January!) in front of the camera, however as soon as I started swimming I forgot about the film crew and focused on swimming as fast as I could!

So, where do I go from here in terms of my swimming training?

Well obviously, with the Boston Marathon less than 20 days away, that’s my core focus for the next three/four weeks, and then I’ll switch to a more swimming/weights/running plan. I’ve downloaded the Intermediate training plan but will be upping the distances to ensure I can cover double the distance at the end of June!

My ultimate goal is that I want to complete a half ironman (or, gasp, one day a FULL Ironman) – and to do that I need to be able to swim and cycle a lot better than I can currently (Have you checked out my recent cycling video and voted for me here?) Signing up for the Henley Classic with my aunt in June seemed like a great push towards the swimming, and I know that the swimming fitness will also translate really well into cardio fitness for my running.

Although I’ll be focusing a lot of training on swimming endurance, I also have a couple of half marathons, a 10 miler and potentially a triathlon in the summer months to train for. Not to mention the Tokyo marathon in Feb 2018 that is already on my mind…

My half ironman goal is in the pipeline for Aug-Nov 2018 so I want to ensure that I keep swimming on my training plan beyond June 24th, it’s a great low impact workout, improves breathing control and gives you awesome back muscles – thinking about my wedding dress bod! 😉

This campaign is sponsored by Speedo, however signing up for the ultra swim at the crack of dawn through my own doing. Ironman activities have not be discussed with future husband…whoops.


  1. lalaforte

    I swim for cross training and to train for triathlons as well – it’s a fantastic workout when you need to give your legs a break but still get a hard cardio session in. For your triathlon, make sure you do some block workouts, where you try to do either running or biking immediately following the swim. It’s the absolute worst to go out too hard in the swim portion and then totally hit a wall during the bike or run, so it’s best to get a handle on effort levels and conserve energy for the later portions of the race.

    Good luck!

  2. Chiswickmum

    So glad you are getting into swimming. All those lessons aged 8 finally paying off!! Great videos too.

  3. Nicole

    this is so cool. i wonder if my swim time would be near my 5K run time. was yours??

  4. veryhealthycaterpillar

    Wow this makes me want to set better goals and challenges with my fitness… I fleet between wanting to run and want to muscle build. I need to stick with something!!

  5. Cathryn

    Fantastic video, you looked amazing. I would never get in front of a camera in my swimsuit so you basically won from the start!!

  6. Steph Coulton

    Good Luck Charlie. Going swimming is on my new years resolution list…. I just haven’t quite got around to it yet despite buying all the gear.
    I must get onto it…. haha.


    Steph |

  7. Amy

    Well done Charlie! My two kids are currently taking lessons so I can’t wait to get in the pool myself as it’s such great exercise.

  8. Florence O'Hara

    Come and do the IRONMAN Nice in 2018!!!!!! 😀


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