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Simply Swim Interviews: Keri-Anne Payne

Earlier this week we were thrilled to be invited up to Blenheim Palace by British Gas Swimming to chat about their Swim Britain Event, which is due to be held there this September. It’s also where Open Water Champion and Olympic Silver Medallist Keri-Anne Payne will be right there swimming with you! It was a beautiful day at the palace and the lake looked pretty inviting, so definitely check out the Swim Britain website to find out more about how you could be diving in this summer. We had the pleasure of meeting Keri-Anne on the day and she kindly answered a few questions for us, so if you’re thinking of participating in a open water event anytime soon, read on and watch our videos.   Tell us about Swim Britain 2014? I think for me it’s about getting people involved in swimming, it’s about getting families involved as well, so you can come to Swim Britain and you can do it because its a relay challenge with four people, so it’s really exciting that you can come down. Last year I did the relay with my family so it was really nice that we could all swim together and do something as a family together.   What percentage of training do you do in the pool compared with in open water? I do about 99.9% of my training in the pool and a very small percent of my training in open water, because I have to do so much in the pool it’s very hard to regulate trying to do several thousand metres a week in the open water or in a lake, so everything I pretty much do is in the pool and my training for open water will be races that I do around the country and around the world.   What do you think about whilst training and competing? During swimming sessions generally there is something to think about, so my coach has given me a focus for the session, whether it’s a hard session, a easy session, something along those lines, but my mind always wanders. It’s from what i’m going to cook for dinner that night or when i’m going to go shopping next or what i’m going to see at the cinema or what i’m going to bake or anything. So generally during training its a bit of all sorts and then when i’m racing its usually that really annoying song that you hear right before you get it, but I end up singing one line through the whole of my 10K.   How much core work do you do in your weekly training regime? I do a fair amount of core, I don't do too much weights training because to be a open water swimmer you need to be lean and kind of slim rather than really beefy because then if you’re going to be too big then it’s going to be hard for you to kind of swim through the water when you really need it, so for me its all about the core, its all about doing the cross training in the gym, so sit ups, press ups, all that kind of stuff. I'm a bit of of a weird one I like feeling sore, I like waking up the next morning feeling i’ve done something the day before, so for me any kind of core exercise, but I'm really into yoga at the moment so generally any kind of yoga moves that I can do before training is what I try to aim for.   How much of your training is dedicated to your technique? Technique work is always at the front of my mind when i’m training, it has to be there, you have to make sure your using the right technique, especially when you're doing hard sessions and pace sessions, thats when it’s probably the most important because your putting yourself and your body under real pressure, so if you can have great technique during training when your under pressure then when your swimming easy it should just flow and be what it needs to be.