5x50 day 4 - I went for a swim!: So far so good... - Couch to 5K

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5x50 day 4 - I went for a swim!


So far so good on the challenge - I ran on days 1 and 3, walked on day 2, so today was time for something new - after all, one of the aims of the challenge is to do exercise you wouldn't normally do.

So - I was up early (for school holidays) and leaving the family to find their own breakfasts I headed out to the pool.

Now, I'm no more a natural swimmer than I am a natural runner, and inevitably one has to expose one's body (or rather bulges) more at the pool so this wasn't without a little trepidation. However, I'm pleased to report that I have survived the experience and may even repeat it. I managed an extremely slow 22 lengths (550m) in 30 minutes. I don't know what I expected but that is at least a starting point. As instructed I have logged it at 5K on the 5x50 website.

I did notice that 1) thanks to running my legs felt quite strong and 2) I could keep going pretty well and didn't have to stop at the ends of lengths for more than a second or two. However, I think my technique could use some help and I might even investigate lessons. What one earth have I turned into in the past 6 months? Some kind of exercise addict!

Good luck team with the challenge today - has anyone else tried something new yet?

22 Replies

Wow I think that's great! I'm not doing the 5 x 50, but am enjoying reading how everyone is getting on. I can thoroughly recommend a few swimming lessons, just a few little changes can really make a difference.

Well done you!

thinnerandfitterGraduate in reply to petal51

I'm sure that my technique can be improved a lot - after everyone's comments I'll call tomorrow. Thanks!


Thats brilliant Ann! Well done for taking the plunge!! Sorry, couldnt resist! ;)

I took swimming lessons a few years back as I have never been a strong swimmer and had no techinique to speak of and found it really beneficial. It gave me more confidence when swimming on holiday but have never really gone swimming here other than when I was a gym member but thats too expensive now...... :(

I havent tried anything different unfortunately but the kayaking sounds interesting!!!! :D :D


thinnerandfitterGraduate in reply to SBG356

Hi Sue - I just went to the local council pool (and added 1.5km walk there and back). I think swimming could help with arms, which of course running doesn't.

Where did you get kayaking from as an idea? Sounds like fun but also cold and wet :x

I'm going to try and add cycling to my repertoire within the next week or so - that's a new challenge in itself as I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 22 and haven't ridden regularly since- and that's a long time ago now!

Good luck!

SBG356Graduate in reply to thinnerandfitter

:D Kayaking is one of the activity choices on 5x50 - strikes me as a strange choice when you think of all the things they could put on there! :)

I will be doing my Davina workout at the weekend to work on my arms and core; I used to do this 3 times a week but since running has taken over my life I just dont do it as much now so this challenge is helping me get back on track!

I didnt learn to cycle until I was 17 and then loved it but like you havent ridden for ages....plus I dont have a bike now :( Maybe I should go out and buy one like Con-Brio did with her fancy pink mountain bike! :D

With your swimming lessons, they usually do beginners, intermediate and advanced but like you say below, if not you will have to get a personal trainer; hope he is hunky!! ;)


thinnerandfitterGraduate in reply to SBG356

I still have a bike, but since my 14 year old is taller than me now she has "assumed" it. Maybe I can nab it back - after all she doesn't ride at all during the week.

Not too sure about the swimming lessons now - I noticed something on the website referring to the "50+ fun club" as having swimming lessons. Now - I know I *am* 50+ (only in the past 4 months, mind) but this is the first time I've been eligible to join something - and I'm having very mixed feelings about it! Maybe I'll have to get a personal trainer instead as you suggest :-D

PS have been sneezing ever since the swim session. Hope I'm not getting a cold. I did have to walk home in a bitter wind with a wet head though.

SBG356Graduate in reply to thinnerandfitter

:D :D I turned 50 last July and havent as yet joined or taken advantage of anything that specifically has THAT number in it so know exactly where you are coming from!! I dont feel my age and actually dont take any notice of anything aimed at THAT age group; I forget in fact that it does include me!! ;) Now, if you were talking about some financial gain as a result of reaching THAT age that is a different thing entirely; suddenly I am happy to admit my age! :D Personal trainer is the only way Ann!!!

Oh no, really hope you are not coming down with something :( Mind you it could be the chemicals from the water; lets hope it is only that x


Well done, especially since this is something new to you.

You sound the same level of swimmer as me. I went to the pool last week for the first time in several years and managed about 20 lengths in 30 mins. My legs felt very strong and could have gone for longer, but my arms were knackered and this despite doing plank pose regularly! I, too, lack technique and would like lessons. Hmm, maybe I should look into it now.

thinnerandfitterGraduate in reply to swanscot

I'll find out about the arm damage in the morning I expect! Plank usually gets my abs rather than arms - had a miserable weekend with ab pain recently after a particularly hard toning class!

I'm going to enquire about swimming lessons tomorrow - but I also need to think about getting the bike out. I think variety will be important to get through the next 46 days!

Me too. Hoping to swim on Friday afternoon which will be the first 'proper' swim in years. maybe a few lessons to help my technique (what technique) might not go amiss as I'm not that far away from doggy paddling still :-)

thinnerandfitterGraduate in reply to AnnieW55

With you on the doggy paddling :-) I went early (before 9) this morning when it's mostly (even) older people and really very civilised. Most people seemed to do very efficient and "correct" if not fast strokes. I was doing my best not to splash with my breast stroke! I also got a bit worried as a couple of times I felt my left knee "click" quite badly and I was worried I might injure myself (and not be able to run....)

All the best with your swim on Friday xx


Very well done for getting out of your comfort zone! My swimming amounts to my sinking! ;-( My mother had such a huge fear of water after seeing a young boy drown in her childhood, I never learned to swim. As an adult, I've never been brave enough to take swimming lessons. I love the water though and may investigate doing some water aerobics. We have been running/walking but just as soon as we get rid of the snow/ice, we will probably pull the bikes out. :-) Like you, I never dreamed I would of joined an exercise challenge just 6 months ago! :-) Gayle

thinnerandfitterGraduate in reply to gdeann

Hi Gayle -

Do have a go at water aerobics - I did that in a couple of places in CA when I was expecting babies. In the first place it was very nice - it was summer so lovely and warm in the early evening. Next time around we'd moved house and in the new place we did aerobics in the deep end (!!!!) wearing flotation device things. I wasn't sure to start with (at 6+ months pregnant I was sure I'd sink) but actually it was great there as well - you soon got over any fear that the floaty thing wouldn't hold you up.

Maybe getting in the water each week would also give you the confidence to do swimming lessons (after all - 6 months ago would you have thought of running??)

Good luck!


Well done! Trying different things gives new muscles a workout as I'm slowly realising today!

I went swimming last night and because of my newly found stamina I went hell for leather for half an hour non-stop and wasn't even slightly out of puff - I was really chuffed with my little self BUT as today has gone on I'm beginning to ache in muscles that I didn't know existed :x My arms are killing and whilst most of my legs are fine thanks to the running, the insides of my thighs are on fire. I'm hobbling about like a 100 year old! For this reason, tonight's 5k run has been postponed until tomorrow and I'm now going to do a gentle 5k walk with other half and then sink into a warm bath. At he end of 5x50 I'll either be a wreck or fit as a flea :D

thinnerandfitterGraduate in reply to Khrissy

Oooh - thanks for the warning Khrissy - I really don't want a lot of aches but I guess I'll find out in the morning. It's supposed to be a run day tomorrow but I was beginning to think I should leave an extra rest day now and then so if the pain is too great I'll be walking.

Thank you all for your replies! It sounds like I should investigate the lessons - in fact I've already checked - the website says you can do adult "learn to swim" but nothing about people who can already do 22 lengths (hey get me eh?) but need guidance. Maybe I'll have to "splash out" (sorry) on individual lessons instead of classes. Anyway, I'll call the pool tomorrow.


petal51Graduate in reply to thinnerandfitter

Just a thought - you could try contacting your local swimming club for kids, and one of their coaches/teachers may teach adults as well or they may be able to recommend one.

The teacher we have used teaches all ages and abilities and is fantastic - used to dealing with all types, sizes, attitudes, abilities etc!

thinnerandfitterGraduate in reply to petal51

Good idea - I don't know of any local swimming clubs but I'll ask around when I'm back on the school playground after the hols. Thanks


Well done for diving in at the deep end... have made me think I should take the plunge next week sometime, ha ha...! ;-)

I like swimming but am not very good (screw kick on breaststroke, and last time I went was very unfit so front crawl was just that - a very slow crawl!!!)

Just did walking today in central London ( went to the Natural History Museum with grandson and daughter; had to queue for 1 hour 20 minutes in freezing wind just to get in the biulding!!! I am going to hit the gym downstairs later either for 5k walk or use the exercise bike depending on work and how the calf feels ( it's ok at the mo, even after carrying 3 stone grandson on my shoulders when he got tired, and then up and down stairs at the station when he was fast asleep on the way home!) :-)

OK - so I did phone them... and got an answering machine! Now waiting for them to call back.


It's great to do something new :) For me swimming was my sport before running and I did it 3 times a week. Now the running has taken over, but with the challenge I'm making time to get back in the water. Investing in swimming lessons would be great for you.....it doesn't hurt if you can do it properly. I have to say that 22 lengths in 30 minutes is fantastic going for a newbie. Good luck with the rest of the challenge ;)

thinnerandfitterGraduate in reply to rockchick69

Thank you for your encouragement. I was pleased with 22 lengths - I was expecting to stop, puffed out after about 3 so running has clearly done me a lot of good. I was in the "slow" lane though and was overtaken many times by the very elderly man sharing the lane. The pool haven't returned my call today so I'll chase them on Monday. Only slight issue now is that I've now got some kind of headachy, sinussy coldy lurgy which has kept me pretty much inactive today. I'm hoping it's something I'd have got anyway and not a reaction to a bug or chemical at the pool. Hopefully I'll be better in a day or two - don't want to fall too far behind on the 5x50 challenge!


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