There is nothing in triathlon that evokes such a swing of emotions as winter swim training. Putting on a wetsuit in a chill wind, knowing you are going to be even colder when you enter the water – it takes an effort not to turn around, head to a café and read the paper.
Instead, with Youri and Ben and Niall there, I have the willpower to head out into Ohama Bay. The wind is already brisk and rising all the time. We head out to the rock in the middle of the bay so Youri and Ben can climb out and jump back in. The water is getting clearer as winter arrives and Mt. Fuji is now visible.
By now, I’ve warmed up and starting to slip into a relaxed rhythm. We head out to Chojagaski where waves are colliding on the sand bar. It is so beautiful.
On the second side of our triangle, heading out to the three yellow buoys, the swell and the chop is building. We hang around enjoying a warm patch in the water, but I have to start moving again as seasickness wells up. The third side of the triangle is easy as we get pushed hard by the waves. We turn around the rock by the beach, head out and repeat the triangle for a 1500-metre swim.
It is cold in the wind so we head into the hills for a short run along the coast, returning for panoramic views of Ohama Bay. As Van Morrison sang, “Wouldn’t it be great if it was like this all the time”.