In early 2020, many events were cancelled or postponed, gyms and pools closed in the UK, and lockdown changed everyone’s priorities, pace of life, fitness routines, work and entertainment.
Luckily, I haven’t worried too much about fitness and training as I’ve only committed to participate in one event so far this year, Dock2Dock 5km swim, which has not been cancelled, and scheduled for Saturday 12 September.
Cast off and adrift without swimming, I’m now anchored down and back in the water as lockdown restrictions are easing and outdoor swimming venues are opening and operating within COVID-19 guidelines.
My first swim of the year was on 5 June, at Liquid Leisure in Datchet.
A month on, my swimming fitness is improving and I’m not missing swimming pools one bit.
From an almost existential crisis to finding freedom, fulfillment and enjoyment through outdoor swimming; I need a very good reason to visit a leisure centre (a hot tub and sauna could tempt me).
Given my location in South West London, I am fortunate to have several open water venues in close proximity. My chosen lakes/venues are Liquid Leisure in Datchet, Heron Lake, London’s Royal Docks and The Haven, Bedfont Lakes Southside. The latter three require NOWCA membership (approx. £12 per year) and sessions can be booked using the app ACTiO.
NOWCA (National Open Water Coaching Association) offers a selection of safe swimming lakes and venues around the country, operated under the supervision and guidance of qualified coaching staff.
If you’re in the UK and looking for a safe place to swim, NOWCA is a great resource to help you dip your toes.