Thursday, June 4, 2015

60 Seconds With... Mark Deans (Open Water swimmer)

Open Water (and City of Glasgow Swim Team) athlete Mark Deans, has recently returned home from a 3 month training period in Australia and the Best Fest (Open Water Swim Festival) in Colonia Sant Jordi, Mallorca. Mark continued to show his true talent within open water as he placed 1st in the 10k Western Australian State Championships. 

Mark has a true love for water if he's not swimming you'll find him by the sea kitesurfing which is his favourite sporting activity (apart from swimming obviously)! 

We had the chance to catch up with Mark to hear all about his recent travels:

What inspired you to brave the cold and try open water?

My main events in the pool were the 1500m/800m therefore I thought I would challenge myself to something different and I found that I excelled as the distance increased. I also wanted a change of scenery rather than just swimming up and down the pool.

You have recently returned home from a 3 month training period in Perth, Australia how does training in Australia differ from Scotland?

In Australia I trained in an outdoor long course pool every day whereas when I train in Scotland I have both long course and short course sessions. In Australia we trained for 2/3 hours and I covered up to 80k per week in the pool compared to about 60k back home.

What was your reason for going to Australia?

After completing my course at college I decided I was going to take a gap year to concentrate on my swimming so I decided to go and train with the distance squad at Perth City Swimming Club to see what they do differently.

How did you find competing in the waters of Australia?

As I am used to dealing with the cold water in Scotland, I had to acclimatise to the complete opposite weather conditions in Australia as some days it was reaching up to 44 degrees! It was exciting to race in Australia as Open Water is a much bigger sport out there so having the chance to race against the best in Australia was a great experience for me.

What’s your greatest achievement so far?

Competing for Great Britain at the 2014 Open Water European Championships in Berlin.

Distance events can be mentally challenging for many swimmers how do you prepare for 10/15/25ks?

I just think about all the hours I have spent in the pool pushing myself through lots of hard training which allows me to relax as I know I have done all the work so the result should be good. 

What are your future goals for swimming?

To take my Open Water swimming to as high a level as possible and hopefully compete at the World Championships and the Olympics Games.

Since being interviewed, Mark competed in the first 'Red Bull Neptune Steps' - a world's first ever uphill swimming competition, which he WON. The event challenged swimmers to take on a 420m sprint swim up the Maryhill Locks in Glasgow, climbing various obstacles on their way as they attempted to navigate eight climbs along the famous stretch of canal. Click here to read the full article covering this event

Follow Mark on Twitter @markdeans1 

Mark was interviewed by Victoria Milburn