After my attempts at swimming in a loch or two and the sea in June, I figured it was about time I got back in a loch for a swim. With Tollcross closed for an event this weekend, and the weather being warm, it was a good time to do it.
I was looking at a lot of different options over the last wee while… I prefer fresh water swimming to sea swimming, and ideally I wanted somewhere not too far away. I looked at some lochs in the Trossachs, and one day I’ll do them, but this time I decided to go to Dumbrock Loch just north of Milngavie.
It’s about half an hour away, or 11 miles… you can park in the car park at Mugdock (9-630, it’s closed outside those times), then it’s a half mile walk to the loch.
Here’s good directions from the wild swimming womens Facebook page:
It wasn’t too busy at 11am when we got there, but there were enough people there. (There was also a big dog called Derek … who seemed to want to chase and eat my tow float!)
I used my Apple Watch to track my swim this time, and it seemed that the length of the loch was about 250m.
I did the distance in about 5-6 minutes I think, so that gives me an idea of how long it would take for me to swim distances in open water (vs the pool – faster in the pool as it includes multiple push and glides).
The floor of the loch was a little rocky / bumpy at parts… hence my slight trip up going in here, but it was fine. I settled in fine to the water and temperature once I was in, but then it was about 19-20’C in the air.
I swam across the loch first, getting to grips with my new hat, and trying out my tow float for the first time. It’s this one here from Start Fitness. They’re good for a few things: 1. To keep stuff in – your phone or camera, keys etc. 2. For others to see you. 3. For use as a floatation device if you get tired or into difficulties.
Then after settling in a bit, I did a length of the loch… and back. Then I did that another two times… so six times up and down all together.
I felt a bit like I was going squint at points and I was trying to ‘sight’ a bit better than I had been. Fit girl was on the side (taking pic and videos) and at one point I didn’t realise how close I was to the edge (apologies for the sweary word in the video, I didn’t realise how close I was to the edge!).
I ended up being in for about 50 minutes… around 1800m in all. So that’s good.
It was a good place to swim, close to Glasgow, easy to get to and park, not too busy and the water was fine too.
Oh and I had a good bit of fuel afterwards… a tasty burger and chips in a local pub.
That’s me been swimming twice a week for about 4-5 weeks now and I’m really enjoying it. I’m building my distances / time in the water up from about 2000m / 40 mins ish to 2500m / 45-50 mins. And over the next few weeks I’ll build it up to 2500m-3000m twice a week.
It was fun today anyway. I’ll try to do this once a month or once a fortnight at a push if I can, plus plenty pool swimming.