SWIM, bike, run | Strictly Swimming Review

With the end of the year fast approaching, my plans / goals for 2015 have been in the back of my mind. I started to create a little “bucket list” for things I wanted to do in 2015, in fitness as well as life in general. One thing on that list – adult swimming lessons. I needed to learn to swim.

In primary school, aged about 9-12 years old, I’m sure we attended swimming lessons for 30 minutes once per week maybe for about 6 weeks at a time. I kinda learnt how to do breaststroke one term, then promptly forgot by the time I went back the next term. I think I got up to completing my length, 25 meters of the pool before swimming lessons were over.

On holiday as a teenager and young adult, you’ll never catch me slashing about in the pool or the sea. I’ll dip my toe in for sure but that’s as far as it goes.

So when the opportunity to complete the Windsor Triathlon in June 2015 came up, it seemed destined for me. I promptly agreed then shat myself as to how I was gonna swim 750m (I’ve already decided to do the Sprint distance…baby steps and all with my FIRST EVER triathlon!).

The hunt was then on to find the perfect pool and instructor. As I do whenever I’m in need of information, I reach out to the 953 “friends” I have on Facebook…I mean, someone must know?! I got a wealth of suggestions and followed up each and everyone of them. The one that caught my eye was Strictly Swimming recommended by a trusted friend, yogi and fitness fanatic, Alex.

Before I knew it, I was booked in for my first private swimming lesson with my Instructor, Kat. The plan being to take private lessons until I’m ready to take their Triathlon Swimming course (also highly recommend by Alex!).

So off I went, convinced I couldn’t swim. After a brief chat poolside with Kat, it was straight into the pool for two lengths. I swam two lengths. I dunno how. I didn’t drown. It wasn’t easy though. It took the wind out of me and you could see I wasn’t confident with water being near my face.

Once I was warm, we started some drills to get me used to the water. Placing my face underwater, breathing out though my nose (or trying at least), then head under water, eyes open (with goggles, newly acquired that day!)…some drills up and down the pool with a float to get used to my face going in and out of the water….some gliding, fully submerging myself under water. You get the drift. No pun intended.

I left the pool after just 60 minutes having made my first attempt at front crawl. I mean I travelled at least 5 metres, which is 5 more than ever before.

Before this lesson, I won’t lie, I was nervous about taking lessons as an adult, and about the whole situation! I’d wondered what I’d gotten myself into. But I left having had more fun than I could have imagined when thinking about water and swimming. Kat was brilliant – patient and knowledgeable. I’ll be back for more in the coming weeks…

So here’s to the journey to the start line. Sunday 14th June 2015. Windsor Triathlon.

Are you fan of swimming or not?! Any beginner swimming / triathlon tips / resources for me?! 

Elle 🙂 

Some finer details: The soreness the next day after my lesson was off the scale. I used muscles that have been used to being worked in every other sort of way, My poor inner thighs. I picked up my goggles and swimming hat from the Speedo store in Covent Garden (the service I received was impeccable!). I owned a swimsuit. I think I bought it the year before I went to University so I could go in a jacuzzi at a hotel. Thanks to my Facebook / Twitter friends again for informing me of all the things I should pack for a swimming lesson. The club where my lesson took place, City Point, Moorgate, was perfect. Everything provided – robes, towels, shampoo, conditioner…everything. If you’re looking for lessons or to improve your skills in swimming check out Strictly Swimming. Now.

Before I leave, here’s a little “swimspiration” from the Sweaty Betty Spring/Summer 2015 Collection which I got to preview last year! Hoping this little number and I get acquainted soon!



  1. Laura Dryden
    November 28, 2014 / 23:12

    Well done, Elle! Sounds like you had a great first lesson! I'm learning to swim too and in a similar position where I hate putting my face in the water, it's hard and it's slow progress but I'll get there eventually! I'm not taking private lessons though, kinda wish I was when there's a couple of people there!Will be nice to see your updates on how your swimming is going!

    • Elle Linton
      November 30, 2014 / 20:07

      Thanks Laura! …and good luck to you too! …slow progress is prob the best! Will keep you motoring forward! Excited for all our journeys in the pool! 🙂

  2. Donna @OrdCyclingGirl
    November 28, 2014 / 16:40

    Wow! Well done, Elle. I'm very impressed that you've committed to a triathlon and plan to get taht first 750m under your belt. What an inspirational post. Wishing you all the very best with the training and the swimming lessons. You'll have 750m cracked in no time, I'm sure. I'm by no means the best swimmer, in fact I don't think I've been in the pool this year, but now that weather is getting ropey and I'm not getting out on the bike so much, you've inspired me to get back in the pool. (I might have to have a quiet word with the local leisure centre to warm up the water a tad first though!)

    • Elle Linton
      November 30, 2014 / 20:06

      Thanks Donna 🙂 …and thanks for stopping by! LOVE your blog…found it via a sky ride email I think! Hahaha! I get you! Usually I don't get in water unless I can see steam coming out of it! Here's to us splashing and spinning! 😉

  3. Beki Cadd
    November 28, 2014 / 11:09

    That sounds great! I'm in a very similar position to you, able to do a slow breaststroke with my head out the water but not confident with putting my face in. No idea how to do front crawl! Learning properly is something that's on my "bucket list" so I will follow your progress with interest 🙂 x

    • Elle Linton
      November 30, 2014 / 20:04

      Thought I was THE only person in the world in this position! …I'm back again for some more fun in the water this week! Will be sure to keep everyone updated on my progress!

  4. Lucy Edwards
    November 28, 2014 / 10:51

    Well done, great start! You'll be swimming that 750m no problem by next summer. I love my swimming lessons 🙂

    • Elle Linton
      November 30, 2014 / 20:00

      Thanks Lucy! …here's to my first triathlon! Yikes!

  5. Vikki Roberts
    November 28, 2014 / 10:27

    I haven't had swimming lessons since school but can sort of muddle through. I've done 3 sprint triathlons and 3 open water swims with breaststroke but today I attempted my first session in the pool designed by a coach (unsupervised). It really deflated me. I couldn't do everything he'd asked of me. I'm going to suck it up and take proper lessons in the new year.I give you a big thumbs up for being brave and getting on with it :)I love the SB swimsuits but they're too short in the body for me 🙁

    • Elle Linton
      November 30, 2014 / 20:00

      Oh wow! Hope you wrote up about your tri's on your blog so I can read all about them! …Thanks! Thought it was about time I actually did something about learning to swim rather than just wishing I could be bothered! haha! …good luck with your swim training too! No doubt, bigger and better things for you soon!

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