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In the pool with Robbie Renwick and Strathmore Water














Professional photos: Jeff Holmes.
Sexy ootd: Adidas

I don't mention it much on my blog but if you've read every post ever and follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you'll be aware that I'm more into sports that anyone would initially presume and that I'm all over this Commonwealth Games stuff that's about to hit Glasgow. So when Commonwealth sponsor Strathmore Water got in contact to invite me along for a training session with Commonwealth swimmer, Robbie Renwick, as part of their Do More campaign my (somewhat) athletic backside was all over it.

I was nervous as I haven't been in a pool in about, say, three years (and even had to rush out to buy a new swimming costume). However - along with netball and dance - swimming was once one of my main sports that I partook in at some point in my life so I just hoped that I still knew how not to drown and stuff.

But when we met Robbie and he explained more about the Do More Campaign we were rest-assured that we would only be doing swimming techniques that we were comfortable with and could add to our own swim sessions. The goal of the Do More Campaign isn't to turn people into Commonwealth athletes but to simple get people in Scotland moving and make it a bigger part of our culture to participate in sports (more on that later!).

We had an hour in the pool with Robbie where we did some basic freestyling (his own stroke of choice), some breaststroke, and worked on some drills where we did breast stroke arms and freestyle kicks. We also did some team relays which my team lost and we were punished with some of the dreaded butterfly stroke. He also taught us some techniques such as looking at the black lines on the bottom of the pool (to stay straight and stay streamlined by keeping your head down), to keeping a strong core and also how to turn at the end of the each lane and kick off again from the wall (which myself and Stephen were magnificent at and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise).

After our swim (and a girly chat in the changing room) we were invited up to the press room for a wee natter with Strathmore Water and Robbie. We had a chat about the culture of sport in Scotland and how it can be difficult to get into sport here as it's not built into the education curriculum and only people who come from families who can pay for sports coaching have the chance to find a sport they really enjoy. I went to what was an average run-of-the-mill state school where the P.E. teachers thought a run about playing rounders was an acceptable lesson plan (there were sports teams however only kids who were already familiar and good at the sport were invited onto them which, again, were the kids who came from backgrounds where the coaching could be paid for). In contrast one of the other bloggers, Daft Mamma, told us about her upbringing in Canada and how sports are very ingrained into their culture and is very much built into the education system. And the chat also headed onto how some people in Scotland can't swim which could even be a life saving skill at one point (even I personally know people who can't swim).

We also had a chat about Robbie's nutrition - which is obviously that of a professional athlete but it can't hurt for us normal people to know about it. He's still a believer in having cakes and treats as long as they are in moderation and are part of a wider healthy lifestyle, and provided a titbit that Nandos and Wagamama are both good for healthy meals when eating out. His diet is on the high-carb side, and he does eat more protein than average because of all his training (and he can spend about £120 a week on food!).

And as for his training to be fit enough at Commonwealth level? Two and half hours swim session practising his techniques, then a one and a half hours in the gym three times a week to do some strength training. Then he meets up with his physio and massage therapists to make sure there aren't any undetected injuries - and then he also has a sports psychologist to help him with his mindset.

We also had a conversation about hair removal - because you know he's a swimmer and stuff. And he prefers shaving and isn't a fan of waxing! But he did reiterate that shaving streamlines swimmer and can give them that very important millisecond lead!


I'd like to give a a big thank you to Strathmore for inviting me along to this - it was certainly the most interesting opportunity I've had from blogging (my Facebook notifications were going crazy when I cross-posted this Instagram photo of me and Robbie). And thanks to Robbie for taking time out of his training. I'm really excited about the Commonwealth and this event definitely help get me in the mood (and made up for me having to say no to my offer to perform in the closing ceremony because rehearsals clashed with my tickets...true story). Also thank you for the goody bag with Strathmore branded sports stuff which should come in handy for netball (and maybe swimming).

Morag x
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