My swim in Loch Ness was such a success, I knew I wanted to go swim in another loch soon – and with a spare Monday going, and a nice June day too, I figured what better thing to do on a day off. So that’s what I did.
When I got home yesterday I sorted out my swimming bag with everything I think I might need to go open water swimming.
With a finished of 10 crossed leg unaided get ups.
Then by 12 I had all my gear in the car and I was ready to drive up to Aberfoyle where I’d scoped out a small loch to hopefully swim in.
I’ve not been there before, so it was maybe a bit of a gamble, but if it didn’t feel right I wouldn’t go in. It turns out it was fine, so I got on with getting my wetsuit, neoprene shoes and gloves on, and took my dry bag with some stuff in it down to the loch side, and wore an old pair of trainers too.
I used my Apple Watch to track the swim, but it didn’t work too well. I realised this and decided I’d try to count my strokes… about 1,000 freestyle strokes in blocks of 50. And some exploring too.
I realised that when I was in the water I needed to know where I got in … so I’d hopefully know where I got out… so I put my trainers in a tree so that I’d hopefully be able to see them from the loch.
I got in a little gingerly…. with a soft waters edge… but it was ok. Then I swam west for about 150 strokes…near to the end of the loch. Then turned back and swam to the other end of the loch.. up to about 600 strokes.
I did wonder if it would have been better to get in there, but I was fine where I’d got in. At the east end of the loch it seems colder, so it was maybe deeper than the rest. Bearing the cold in mind… I kept up the swimming, abs still felt fine… still in 50 stroke blocks.
On the way back I got up to about 850 strokes and stopped to see my trainers in the tree… so I knew that’s where I should get out. I then swam across the loch (north) and south, to make the strokes up to about 1,000.
I did think it might be a struggle to get out, on the soft marshy land, but it was ok / quite easy really. I got to my dry bag and took my towel out to dry off a bit… then got my old trainers from the tree and put them on (over my neoprene socks).
Afterwards I walked the short distance up to my car, before getting dried off, changed and eating lunch. I ate as my gear hung and dried for a bit.
Here’s where I walked… off road, but on a rough track (mountain bikes go there). At the right turn I met a couple who I checked with to make sure I was ok the right path back to the loch (sign posted Aberfoyle).
It took just over an hour to drive back to Glasgow… and I realised good thing to add to my swim kit bag is some cotton buds to get the water out from my ears.
Swimming in lochs is great, fresh water… no chlorine of pools and no salt from the sea.
I think I did about 1,400m or so… in 45 mins of swimming, and the walk too. That’ll do nicely. A good new hobbie to do when I fancy it, hopefully in lochs and reservoirs… or maybe the sea (but I think I prefer fresh water).
Where’s your favourite places to swim outdoors in Scotland?