How I’m Swapping 5km On The Road For 1km In The Pool

On the phone to my mum a few weeks back I shared with her that I was taking up an opportunity to have some swimming lessons and she asked “Are you going to have swimming lessons for the rest of your life?!”. I laughed and responded, “Yes, if I need to!”.

I don’t know how long you’ve been a part of my journey so I’ll fill you in quickly. I learnt to swim aged 30; just two years ago and it has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. I decided that it was a life skill and I needed it. I decided to do a triathlon too.

In 2016, I hit the pool every now and again but not working in a gym with access or having a membership it was something that didn’t get much attention. At the end of 2016, after founding the Winter Run Club I was approached by Speedo about their new campaign which has just launched- #Make1kWet – it’s all about how swimming can make you a stronger runner.

As I sat listening to more about the campaign at their recent launch I realised that I had in fact been swimming (albeit very poorly in lessons) when I achieved my half marathon PB at Brighton Half Marathon in February 2015, and wondered if there was any correlation.

Basically the challenge shows you how to swap 5K on the road for 1K in the pool (40 lengths of a 25m pool), helping runners to become fitter and stronger while enjoying the benefits of a full body workout through swimming. Take a look at this video about the challenge and to find out how I did on my first attempt:

A huge shout out to everyone at Winter Run Club who joined me for the filming of this! And also to TinyTY for letting us descend on their space that evening! Filming in the pool was fun too as it really was the first time I’d been in the water in a long time!

In Charlie’s words, where do I go from here in terms of my swimming training?

I started by taking a couple swim lessons with Swimming Nature based at Fitness First London Bridge (among many other locations). Each of my 60 minute lessons were with Sam who is a keen triathlete himself, and previous County Champion in swimming.

The standout difference between Swimming Nature and other swim schools is that instructors train in the water with you. This was definitely new for me! …I found it invaluable being able to see what “swimming” or the drills I was given should look like in the water (after reading, watching is my next preferred method of learning).

It also means that your instructor is able to work with you to ensure you attain the correct positions and get an understanding of what it should feel like when you are in them. I took away a lot from my lessons in terms of technique and areas to work on so I’m excited to put those into practice when I next go swimming…

I’ll also be using the beginner training plan for the challenge to help me structure sessions in the pool that I will do on my own. The programme lasts for 3 months but I think I will still have to play around with it to build up to being able to complete the sessions they have set. I’ll need some swimming buddies to keep me accountable so gimme a shout if you’re up for this!

I don’t have any short term goals to take on a triathlon again; I’m keen to master swimming in a pool right now so there is a little less chance of everything flying out the window when nerves hit at the start of the open water swim.

Been there, done that! It is however in my longer term goals… I’d love to complete the Sprint distance again to work on my technique and time, then take on a longer distance.

So, who’s gonna give this a go?! ..if anyone is keen for a little accountability I may create a little “leaderboard” in this post to keep track of your 5km times, 1km times and any progress! 




  1. Roslyn Rachel
    April 3, 2017 / 13:08

    Nice work Elle! Sounds like you've done a great job – I learned to swim as a child but I'm pretty sure my technique is "questionable" at best. I wonder if it helps with other styles of training, as well as just running?

    • Elle Linton
      May 30, 2017 / 21:40

      Well, I think it will defo help with cardio based sport / fitness… so cycling also. Otherwise, I'd say its a good method of training on days where you want to reduce impact and stress on the body but still get a really good workout, you know??

  2. Hayley Gradwell
    April 3, 2017 / 09:20

    This sounds like a great challenge!! I've just recently stared swimming after agreeing to do my first ever triathlon! Well done you on your achievements too!

    • Elle Linton
      May 30, 2017 / 21:38

      Thanks Hayley!! …good luck for your first triathlon… it's a great experience!!

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