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Italian Adventure - LEN cup final

I really enjoyed my recent trip to Santa Maria di Castellabate in Italy. It was my first competitive 10k in over a year.

The day I arrived the water looked stunning through my bedroom window and I couldn’t wait to get out there!

The sea is never predictable which is one of the reason I love swimming in open water. Two night of fierce thunderstorms. Lightning striking ever few seconds creating huge swells and making the sea very choppy. On my training swim two days before the race I noticed a thin cloud from the sky to the water, on closer inspection it was a water spout, a mini water tornado if you like! Needless to say I was out the water pretty quick.

Race day arrived and the sea was still very rough and wavy. My focus for this swim was to finish the race and work on a few new things. I was really pleased with how the race went and how I swam. In the last 500m I found myself in a position to take the lead and finish off the race and my first competitive 10k with a win!

The South of Italy is such a beautiful place and somewhere I will visit again!

My aim for Rio is to be the complete open water swimmer. I know my strengths which have helped me in the past and I’ll continue to work on them, but now I’m looking at the areas I know I can be better at. The British Swimming camp in Majorca was a great opportunity to start and of course gain some valuable open water training.

This year is was important for me to take a season out of racing the elite circuit however I still want to be ‘race fit’ for the start of my World Championships preparation in November.

I rarely get the chance to train in the open water in the UK and this British Swimming trip involved swimming in the sea everyday with all 23 swimmers along with a 5k and a 7k race too.

As part of our training, Bernie Dietz our performance director with head coach and former team mate, Alan Bircher donned their kayaks and joined us in the water on what we called, “Bernie’s sea safari”.

For me the aim of this trip was to learn new things like swimming in a pack while also practice things I am good at like bouy turns. During these safaris we practiced pack swimming, leading, drafting, feeding and turning around bouys. There were also more opportunities to race when we did some individual and team time trials, practicing skills like sighting. As a bit of fun we also did some elimination style rounds which were fun and different to anything I had ever done before.

It was great to put that training into practice on the 5 and 7k races. I was a bit nervous about racing as I’d not trained as much as normal. Racing with the boys was a great opportunity to practice pack swimming, something I would usually shy away from, preferring to lead, stick to the sides and away from trouble! This time however as part of mission to be a well rounded open water swimmer, I wanted to experience it and learn from it. Like most fears in life I found that it wasn’t as scary as I thought it was! The extra bonus for the trip was that I won both races!

I thought this trip was a real success, I had a lot of fun training and racing and I feel like it was a massive benefit on my journey to becoming a complete open water swimmer.

The next stage of my journey is to The Cayman Islands for The Flowers Sea Swim. The 1 mile swim and 5k will also be mixed men and women. The perfect opportunity to learn again.


#HappyMothersDay to all you wonderful mums! I hope you all got some #Daffodils if not, this is for you xx

In case you missed my adorable niece trying to say daffodils …… Or Dappadils as she says! Here it is again

The One Show & Sky Sports 2!

What have I been doing? Well it’s been a very busy and productive start to the year! I have been to South Africa to race all 8 miles at the Midmar mile swim in Pietermaritzburg. I then went onto Dubai with my swimming club for a competition and training camp.

I have spent a lot of time traveling from my home in Edinburgh to London to do some filming with Film Nova for a feature on The One Show! The journey has been so much fun and didn’t feel like ‘work’ at all! I’ m really excited to be doing my first ever presenting feature for the One Show this week, Wednesday 7-8pm. Please give it a watch and let me know what you think.

I have also been around the country on a road trip to see a lot of British swimmers ahead of the British Gas Swimming Championships this week the 10-16th April. This is the Qualification meet for The Commonwealth Games. All 12 swimming sessions, heats and finals, will be streamed live on the British Swimming website with myself and Hannah East presenting every session. I started off my road trip in Middlesborough to see Aimee Willmott. I travelled through Leeds, Derby, Loughborough , Millfield and it all ended in Bath when I saw all 15 athletes at the intensive training centre there including Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson.

It was really good to catch up with everyone and see how training has been going and what their hopes are for the Championships and the Commonwealth Games in July. I also found out a few interesting facts about some of the swimming, James Guy for instance spends his weekend fishing! He just can’t get enough of water!

I am really looking forward to being part of the presenting team for the British Gas Swimming Champs and can’t wait to experience a swimming competition from a totally different angle! Sky are showing the final 3 evening sessions live on Sky Sports 2, so make sure your glued to your computers and TV’s.

But don’t think that this is me going for a new career …. Well not yet anyway, this season I have taken some time out of competitive racing. I am still in the pool 5-6 times a week keeping fit with my swimming club, Warrender Baths. My focus is still very much on open water and the exciting road to Rio! But with no major competition for Open Water this year myself and my coach, Laurel Bailey decided that a year out was the right preparation.

You can catch me on The One Show this Wednesday 7-8pm.

You can also watch me on the British Swimming live streaming of the British Gas Swimming Championships #BGSC14 from 8.55am Thursday- Tuesday.

And on Sky Sports 2 Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night from 6pm .