Chris Mount's Challenge!

The Challenge

Starting this Saturday on the 13th August I will jump into the Thames and attempt to swim 137 miles from Lechlade to Putney Bridge. I will swim downstream, averaging around 10 miles a day, arriving at Putney on the 28th August.

I will have a small support crew consisting of one kayaker, who will help to keep me safe and carry our provisions for the day. My Dad is able to offer roadside support and will meet us each night. My friend's auntie has kindly donated her caravan for the trip. So we will sleep and eat there, venturing out for hot showers occasionally.

 

speedo

Why?

I have always wanted to swim a river from source to (almost) mouth in this case, and thought I would try my hand at the Thames. In its purest form I am doing because it is there and to see if I am able to do it, the thought of it scares me, and I like to put myself in these situations to see how I come out the other side. I want to see what happens when I am broken down physically and mentally. It's a real adventure through the heart of the country, in the country's most famous river

 

Before 6 months ago I was a casual swimmer, I would usual swim a couple of times a year when on holiday or in a lake or river in the summer. I have done several endurance running events before, including running from John O' Groats to Land's End, and running the Pennine Way. But after running the Pennines last year I was in quite a lot of pain with my knee, so I thought I would try my hand at swimming.

 

Training

dog

I have been training hard and consistently for around 6 months, a day each week in the gym and 4-5 days swimming. I like the regimen of training, and like to follow a plan that I will stick to. I have changed my approach slightly in recent years and listen to my body more now, I stretch more and aim for 8 hours of sleep each night.

 

Below is my typical training plan, which has changed a few times throughout training, but for the last few months I have been doing a plan similar to the below:

 

M – Gym session and 1-1.5hr pool swim + stretches

T – Rest/Yoga

W – 1.5 hr lake swim + stretches

T - Rest

F – Longer swim - 2hr+ lake swim + stretches

S -Rest

S – 1hr lake swim + stretches

 

Mental Training

Being able to push yourself mentally is almost as if not more important on these multi day endurance events. For me, I don't think I was born with mental toughness, but rather a curiosity to see how far I can push myself and see how my body and mind reacts in these situations.

 

I like the fact that if someone sets their mind to something, and wants it enough, anything is possible.

 

Nutrition

Nutritionally, I have had to make sure I've been getting enough calories in to replace the ones lost in training. I have been fortunate enough to be using some great products from Meridian Foods throughout my training. But my favourite by far, is hands down, Meridian peanut butter. I have eaten around a kg a week, and have it with my porridge in the morning, on toast during the day and spoon it out of the tub by evening. I would even take it with me on weekends away. Another thing that I love eating whilst I'm swimming, is a banana filled with Meridian peanut butter.

 

The Charities

I am raising money for two charities - Helen & Douglas House and The Cystic Fibrosis Trust - with the aim of raising £2500 for each.

 

I chose Helen and Douglas house, as they are a hospice who support children with life-shortening conditions local to me in Oxford. I chose The Cystic Fibrosis Trust as a family friend's daughter has CF, and I know first-hand how hard the illness can be.

 

Donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/ThamesSwim2016

 

If you want to follow the journey online or in person, take a look at my social media and maps below.

 

Social Media
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Maps
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The Route