In less than six months I will be in Ireland to attempt a solo crossing of the North Channel. My swim will start in Donaghadee, Ireland and end in Portpatrick, Scotland. This 21 mile swim is regarded as one of the most difficult swims in the world due to very cold water temperature, prolific blooms of jellyfish, and unpredictable conditions of the Irish Sea.
At the age of 65, I believe I can be successful in this crossing. My peak swim training season is in full force. I am swimming six days per week. Each day is variable swim training of 3+ hours. Every two weeks I have a very long swim endurance day. As each month gets closer to my target swim date, my endurance swims will increase in time (six to 10 hours). Also, cross train 5 days per week and weight lifting 3 times per week. My cross training includes eliptical machine, treadmill, and stationary bike. Because ocean temperature in Maine is still very cold at 36 degrees Fahrenheit, I am currently training in a pool. However, I expect to start ocean swims within the next two months and slowly transition to all ocean swims. To help with the process of cold acclimation, I have been taking cold showers and going for walks in lightweight clothing in very cold temperatures here in Maine....It works! I've been taking a stroke development class to work on improving my freestyle technique. This class has been a valuable asset to my training. I've been incorporating a six beat kick. This has been a huge adjustment.....for years I used a two beat kick, basically my legs went along for the ride when I swam any marathon. Now, I feel like I getting a better workout during my swims with a six beat kick. I am very happy that I decided to have someone evaluate my stroke. I am doing everything possible to have a successful swim.....now, for Mother Nature to be on my side.