Up until recently all of my swim training has been in the pool. The only time I’ve ever swum in open water (apart from the sea) has been in a race. So I set about finding somewhere reasonably local where I could get some proper open water practice this season.
How we ever lived without the internet I don’t know, because with a bit of searching around I stumbled across the Tri2O Swim Centre, near Reading. Just a couple of miles off Junction 11 of the M4 and you are there.
The Tri2O website describes the centre as having a “friendly club atmosphere”. On hand to make sure you get the best out of your swim are a bunch of friendly staff, so no need to worry if it’s your first time, just ask any questions and they’ll be happy to help. There are male and female changing rooms, an on-site shop selling wetsuits, trisuits, goggles etc. and an all-important café for afterwards. See their website for full details. Ok, so now to the swim!
It’s a roughly rectangular 750m course with the largest turn buoys I’ve ever seen. Not much chance of missing these! @Tri2O last tweeted that the water as a rather warm 13 degrees. On the day it was 14.8. To be honest, to start of with, it was bloody freezing! I’m not sure I can give any advice to get over this. It took me a few minutes before I could keep my face in the water, but once I’d got used to it things were fine. By the time I was half way round things were great. Swimming in a cool lake in the open air beats a chlorine filled swimming pool anytime, even if for a while you think you are going to freeze your bits off!
You can find the Tri2O website here.