With my contract signed and the money handed over, the whole Channel thing is starting to seem much more real, the positive outcome of which is that I've started to knuckle down a bit more to the training. Looking back at my training logs for this time last year, I'm doing less distance in the pool (usually between 10-15km / week this year, compared to 15-20km/ week last year), but the intensity has definitely increased now that I'm training with the club three times a week, and I think that's a positive exchange for now. I've also added in a LOT more cross training than I was doing last year - a couple of runs, a spinning class, a bike ride, and most recently, a pilates class each week. Plus, Penny and I are also doing a session of Total Immersion drills each week to work on our technique, which is really helping. I'm aiming for about 10 training sessions a week, with about half of those in the pool, and the rest doing other stuff. I sometimes panic that I'm not doing enough distance, but hopefully, all this cross-training, and high intensity pool work, will prevent injury, and in the long run, speed me up a bit (or at least give me the capacityy to turn on some speed if I have to when I'm in the Channel). And then I read other blogs and panic that I'm not doing enough training, full stop. It's just so scary to think that I could be blowing this whole thing by not getting it right now. 'Tis the season for self-doubt, apparently, but I'm trying to hold my nerve.
And so, by way of reassurance, and just so that I don't forget the joys of the long, steady swim, I've decided to set myself a little Christmas challenge and am going to do two 6 hour pool swims - one on Christmas Eve and one on New Year's Eve - with the goal of increasing the distance covered for the second swim by 5%. I'll let you know how it goes.