Following my private swimming lesson with ex professional swimmer Harry Needs, I was invited down to try out the Metro Masters class with Life Leisure at Grand Central in Stockport.
Having only learnt how to swim front crawl 7 days prior I was incredibly nervous about attending a group that had the word masters in its title!
As I arrived at reception I was given directions to the pool and reassured that was another ‘new girl’ there too. Phew, I wasn’t alone in this. Or so I thought…
Once poolside I sat with said new girl & chatted with her establishing that although she was new to the Wednesday group, she had been before but not only that, she was returning to swimming after some time out after teaching and competing a few years ago. Gulp.
The masters classes are aimed at all abilities from improvers, returners & competitors with a strong focus on helping you achieve your personal goals. The groups are lead by 2 expert swimmers giving you top advice on technical aspects alongside developing your speed and endurance.
There are a selection of sessions available and the first 2 sessions are free!
Monday: 25m training at Romily Life Leisure 20:35-21:35
Wednesday: 25m training at Stockport Grand Central 21:05-22:05
Friday: 50m training at Stockport Grand Central 18:35-19:35, 19:35-20:35, 20:35-21:35
There’s no contract and you can pay £10 as you go but there’s also the incentive of paying by monthly direct debit which makes each session a bit cheaper.
I was one of around 30 swimmers on the Wednesday evening session and was put in lane 8 (the slowest) with another guy of similar ability. I had no idea way to expect and when Harry started talking about drills I had no idea what language he was speaking.
I realise now how daft I must have seemed but hey, we all have to start somewhere. We did the following sets:
4 x any stroke for warm up
8 x head touch whilst wearing fins
2 x arms only using pull buoy
16 x Intervals – slowly one way, fast back
4 x zip up drill
4 x fingertips trickling on water surface
4 x windmill arms
2 x max effort
4 x slow to concentrate of stroke
4 x any stroke to cool down
Total = 52 lengths / 1300m
(Forgive me if my terminology is a bit off!) This was not only the furthest I’d ever done in front crawl, but the further I’d swam full stop! I was over the moon with the achievement.
Starting a new group can be such a daunting thing & there were so many times I nearly didn’t go because I was so nervous. Whenever I start something new I usually talk my friends into joining me but on this one I buckled up and jumped right in.
I really enjoyed the Masters class and perhaps after the wedding when the purse strings are not so tight this will be something I’ll do more often. I’m really enjoying swimming and would love to become a stronger athlete.