The Ben Nevis Braveheart Triathlon and a frenzied forecast concentrate


I have a new obsession. It is not operating, swimming or cycling – it is not even strength and conditioning. It is regularly and feverishly checking the climate forecast.

The Ben Nevis Braveheart Triathlon is just 5 days away and, as autumnal as it feels in Oxfordshire, I am conscious that autumnal in the north of Scotland is probably to really feel a entire lot chillier.

So, right here I am [CLICK] on the BBC Climate app [CLICK] on the newly found web page [CLICK] onto a nicely-identified retailer to ‘window-shop’ warmer garments.

The forecast is not fantastic. Not cold – hovering about 13C, but with a lot of rain and winds of about 14mph. That is ok. I imply, I’d rather bike and run in sunshine and blue skies but it is what it is and you get on with it whilst dreaming of chips and hot chocolate.

The sea temperature is a further issue. Loch Linnhe was 12.8C on Friday, is 13.4C currently and is probably to be about 13C when the starter sets us off at 8am on Saturday.

Ben Nevis and Loch Linnhe in all their glory
Ben Nevis and Loch Linnhe in all their glory

It is not precisely ice swimming but that is on the chilly side. It is about the temperature my neighborhood lake was at in early April when I believed jumping in and blasting two 500m laps produced me brave. This is a deep water start out and a course of 1900m so lots of opportunity to get cold ahead of a stroke is swum and a total swim of amongst 40 and 50 minutes, based on how I fare in the sea loch.

I’ve by no means swum in neoprene gloves and booties and, as I think in the maxim ‘try nothing at all new on race day’, I do not believe I can start out on Saturday. As the occasion draws closer, I’ve been pulling collectively strategies and tips from the fantastic swimmers I have met more than the years.

Cold Showers

They’re not my favourite issue but just finding my physique applied to that feeling is probably to support on the day as it will prepare me for the physical and psychological shock.

Double hat

Swim hats are not just to maintain the hair out of the filters at pools and to support you be observed in open water, they cease a lot of heat escaping. I am packing my thickest hats and placing two on. I’m positive lots of folks will have neoprene hats as nicely.

Warm up

Sound clear but finding my heart price up and the blood pumping whilst I’m on dry land will get me going a great deal far better at the start out.

Approach concentrate

When the hooter sounds the temptation will be to sprint tough. Providing into that temptation will lessen my stroke length, reduce the efficiency of my ‘catch’ and is probably to improve any feeling of concern or discomfort when I appear up exhausted and realise I have only moved about 20m. I will count my strokes for the initial 100m and concentrate on reaching far and pulling extended.

Good thoughts

The fantastic issue about swim, bike, run is that each and every discipline offers additional chance for warmth. I will pack hat, gloves and jackets for the bike and baselayers and overlayers for the run, and I will appear forward to them in the darker moments. There also the modest matter of reaching the prime of the highest mountain in the UK – if that does not motivate me, nothing at all will.

Anyway, I believe 5 strategies is sufficient for now I have a further [CLICK] to get performed.

13.3C? Oh no!


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