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Water Women: Jenny Landreth’s Swell and the Female Swimmers Who Changed the World

'Men could plunge in anywhere and everywhere willy-nilly... and women just could not. We were graciously allowed bits of the sea as long as men were some distance away' 

These days, for most women the barriers to swimming are usually no more taxing than managing to find a swimming costume that fits and locating the nearest pool, seaside or (for the intrepid) wild swimming spot. Yet as Jenny Landreth’s new book, Swell, explores, it wasn’t always that way. Exclusively for Waterstones she introduces her ‘waterbiography’ and explains why the history of women’s swimming is also an enlightening history of struggle, determination and the dogged pursuit of freedom.

Leap In: A Guide to Taking Your Swimming to the Next Level

Alexandra Heminsley won a legion of fans with her effervescent Running Like a Girl, her manifesto-cum-memoir  for anyone who has looked on with sadness at their running shoes lying discarded in the hall. Now Heminsley weaves the same magic in Leap In, her spellbinding account of challenging our basic fears of the water and rediscovering an almost spiritual new realm. Basic questions around swimming however abound, and in the following extract from the book, the author assembles her top tips toward diving into a new life of fitness and meaningful pleasure.

Run, Ride, Sink or Swim

Run, Ride, Sink or Swim

Posted on 26th May, 2015 by Lucy Fry

It's nearly Summer and all the Winter excuses to avoid exercise are quickly running out. Lucy Fry makes the case for the triathlon...