Life has been great since I got back from the World Champs. I had three weeks out of the water and basically relaxed and caught up with family and friends. My girlfriend and I also went off to Cyprus for a week in the sun, it was great to let my mind and body recover.
As soon as I got back, it was straight into training with my squad in Loughborough. We start the season by doing a lot of cross-training. So on top of the usual swimming and weights we also do pilates, kickboxing, rock climbing, gymnastics and even a bit of ballet! Pretty much you name it and we'll give it a go. It's a great way to get strong and fit early in the season.
I really enjoy the rock climbing and there is a transfer of strength you need for in the pool, like the forearm grip and the power through the legs. I'm technically not the best at rock climbing but for me it's all about making me fit and strong and ultimately making me swim FAST in the pool.
Food, glorious food
Being a swimmer and training so much goes hand in hand with enjoying food. When I'm on holiday I tend to let my hair down a little and try everything, but now I'm back in the pool I'm a lot more reserved and try to make the right decisions to help fuel my body for the next training session.
I'm lucky enough to go to some cool places, so what better way to capture my experiences on my travels. I also enjoy golf, which I have picked up recently as a new hobby.
Quotes of the week
I get asked a lot from young swimmers and their parents about my diet. What I eat before and after training and what's best for my recovery. So I try to pass on all the advice I have in the best possible way. I do this in a couple of ways like on my website and via my Twitter account.
In my spare time I like to do all the usual things, like catching up with friends, going out for food and watching live sport or music events. I also have a real passion for photography. I'm lucky enough to go to some cool places, so what better way to capture my experiences on my travels. I also enjoy golf, which I have picked up recently as a new hobby.
So it's early in our season and I've already competed in some high class events such as the FINA World Cup series in Berlin where I competed in some fun events such as the 50m backstroke, 50 fly,100fly and 100m Individual Medley. It's good to mix it up a bit and have a bit of fun this early in the season. I was pleased with how I raced and most of all pleased with my skills, such as my starts, turns and under waters.
I want to be pushing myself and to put myself under pressure but at the moment it is not about times and winning, it is more about having fun and I tend to approach these races as sort of pressure training sessions. The meets really break up the training and are important to see how you are going against the best swimmers in the world.
I aim to be at my optimum shape twice a year, firstly for the British Trials and secondly for the major event of the season. And this year it's the London 2012 Olympics.
Right, it's time for me to hit the pool for some training and then I'm off to play a bit of golf!