Sexton goes solo

Katy Sexton will compete in all three backstroke events at next week's British Championships
Katy Sexton will compete in all three backstroke events at next week's British Championships
Kate Steels-Fryatt in action  Picture: Terry Scott

What it’s like to be an ice water swimmer

Have your say

Katy Sexton is striking out on her own as she prepares for the British Championships.

Sexton has parted company with Portsmouth Northsea as she gears for up for the event in Manchester, which begins next weekend.

The city’s former world champion has taken the decision to leave long-time club Northsea as she feels her way back from a period of injury.

Sexton believes managing her training herself is the best step to take and will allow the 28-year-old to tailor her schedule to her needs.

The golden girl, who gloriously swam to world victory in Barcelona in 2003, has linked up with former GB team-mate Zoe Baker in Somerset for her preparations.

Sexton will compete in all three backstroke events at the British Championships.

The Cosham swimmer explained she was looking to find her feet this year as she gets ready to compete. But Sexton is still looking to show the world she is around.

‘With all the injuries last year, I’m treating it as a rebuilding year,’ she said.

‘It’s about finding my feet again, racing and trying to put in a good time.

‘I was off last year with the injury and it gave me the time I needed to realise I need to look down different corridors.

‘The break may have been forced but I swam for 12 years without one and it was what I needed.

‘I was on a train and couldn’t get off it. It was moving too fast. Now I have a plan again.

‘I’m at the stage where I know what I can and want to do. I had most of my success when I was 20 to 21.

‘I’m now nearly 29 and can’t do what I did then. I’m old in swimming terms.

‘I have to do what I know will work for me. Some coaches can’t see that.

‘I can’t do 4,000m threshold sets three days a week. I’ve never been able to do that anyway. So I’m looking at some different things and doing some work with different coaches.

‘I want to go to Manchester and see what times I get now.’

Sexton feels managing her competitive swimming with other elements is giving her a better balance in life.

Her swimming academy is proving successful, as well as rewarding, for the Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

The growth of the set-up at Havant Academy is keeping Sexton occupied and giving her plenty of satisfaction.

She said: ‘It’s about keeping the scales balanced.

‘I’m training on my own and have the business to think about as well.

‘It’s not all about swimming.

‘I’ve made some social space and there is my work. It’s about getting the balance right in my life.

‘I look back to Athens in 2004 and I can see I had things overbalanced. It was all about swimming and I wasn’t at my best as a result.

‘I’ve had a break, which I have never had before, and I feel refreshed, so we’ll see where things go from here.’