We had a very special visitor on day two of Marathon Swims 2019. None other than Fran Brown, GB Paratriathlete World and European champion. Fran, who is ranked number one in the world, actually trains at the London Aquatic Centre, the home of Marathon Swims.
Before she sustained a life-altering spinal injury, Fran was a keen climber and swimmer. After her accident, Fran returned to climbing and used swimming for cross training, fitness and general health improvement.
As Fran was frequently swimming, cycling and running, she thought “Do you know what, might as well give a triathlon a go” (As you do!) Once she completed her first race, she got the bug.
We got the chance to have a quick chat with Fran on a very busy (and noisy) Marathon Swims poolside.
It’s a privilege to meet you Fran. So how often do you train in order to be so successful?
I train every day, on a full schedule it’s 18 – 20 hours a week.
Wow, that’s incredible dedication. What do you do outside of training?
I actually have two jobs; I’m a physiotherapist and percussionist. So I’m either drumming or playing percussion on west end show or helping people with their physical health.
You are a very busy and successful athlete. What do you think of Marathon Swims?
I think it’s excellent because it encourages absolutely anyone to have a go at something that doesn’t even have to be competitive. It’s you completing the distance for you. You can make it competitive if you want to but equally it’s just about having a challenge.
Why do you think Marathon Swims is so popular?
Anyone can swim. It’s open to absolutely anyone who wants to take part. People can push themselves that little bit further and have a goal. I think that’s quite important in health and fitness to motivate you to keep going. I like the fact there are so many different distances so you don’t have to commit to a massive goal if you’re new to swimming but equally if you’re not, you can do the marathon.
So will you be taking part next year?
Hopefully! I’m taking part in Tokyo 2020 so I’m focussed on that but who knows, I might add a Marathon Swims medal to the collection.