Zoggs Swim Diaries: From my local pool to open water 10k

Zoggs International Marketing Manager Ben Hornett shares his journey from swimming once or twice a week in his local pool to taking part in the Jubilee 10k!


Swimming isn’t everything to me, but when I do swim it makes me feel great. Swimming before work sets me up for the day like no other sport can. For sure, I don’t have the best technique in the lane, and I certainly don’t go the fastest or furthest, but I am sure most of us are doing it for the same reasons – well-being, fitness and relaxation.

I swim on Thursday mornings with a small group of four or five as part of a weekly routine, usually working through a session from swim4fitness, and then swimming once another time in the week doing 2-3k each time, without much regard for how quickly.  I log swims on swim4fitness, and the most motivating bit is challenging other swimming buddies, which helps me to swim more and further each time I go.

I generally need a goal longer term – something in the diary to work towards to give a bit of purpose to the swimming I do. Having done a couple of 3k open water events last summer, I got a great sense of satisfaction just to complete them – and awarded myself self-righteous points!

This year, my open water challenge got a bit more serious. It was my brother who put me up to it –pressuring me into doing it, frankly I didn’t have any excuse not to, so when he signed up to the Jubilee 10k , an open water swimming challenge in The Jubilee River in Eton, I thought I’d better follow suit…

I stopped all other exercise in favour of swimming and I challenged various people to monthly distance challenges on swim4fitness.com, topping 35k a week at the peak of my training. I was feeling pretty good and the competitiveness really helped me to push myself more at the Thursday morning swim, motivating me to get in at least two other swims a week too. I couldn’t have my friends beating me, right?!

I did 5k three or four times, and managed 10k once in the pool before the event….. I also got out to Mytchett Lake a couple of times just to taste the water! I lost a bit of weight, and bettered my 1500m and 3k time to my best ever. It made me feel good – all because I had a stretching goal. Long and short of it is that I got Jubilee 10k done in 3 ½ hours - what a great day, and what a feeling to have completed it. There was an amazing atmosphere, and despite it being a competitive event, there was a fantastic sense of comradery; everyone was clearly there to have fun!

Best of all, I get bragging rights too – there aren’t many people who I haven’t told! Now that it’s done, I’m looking for something else, I need a bit more!!!