Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First post-camp swim

I was not awake last night, or even this morning. Normally I look over my plan for the next day and get myself organized for it. I figure I'm paying for it, and my coach went to the trouble or writing it out, the least I can do is, well, do it. I knew I had a run today, that was fine. It was only just before getting in the car to take Linda to work that I scrolled down a little further and realized there was a swim for today too. And that it was too late to get myself all packed up to swim at FOMC. Maybe just as well. I wasn't really with it yet.

It slowly turned into a nice day. I spent some time in the basement doing some gentle stretches and joint looseners to get ready for the run. This was the first real winter run of the season with maybe 4 cm of snow on the ground, and -5 or 10 or so. Nice and crisp, sunny. The sidewalks were pretty good, but the streets were a bit slippery.

Started very slow, and let my legs decide when they wanted to pick up the pace. The very fastest I was going was maybe my half marathon pace, very aerobic. Eased off about 10 minutes before the end of the run, for a total of 40 minutes. Worked on posture, especially the lean. Not to go faster, but to run with less effort and reduce the chance of slipping. If your weight is solidly over your foot it's not going to slide out from under you. Did more stretching after. Legs were feeling a bit tired, but not too bad.

Went over to the local pool for lunch time. My main thought was to work on my catch, keep my elbows high, and try to play with my balance by keeping my chest and head lower. Oh, and to start doing flip turns.

There were intervals for several distances, but I really paid attention to the 100's. I was supposed to go on 2:10 first two easy, then next two harder. I would normally do these in 1:50 relaxed, and I'd have to work a bit to be 1:45. Today, relaxed, thinking about stroke and form, but going easy, I banged out 1:40. Then did it again. Not breathing hard at all. Then 1:35, breathing a little harder. Then 1:31 or 32 and still not going all out.

The 150's were on 3:00. Each one was to start easy and build throughout. Each one was 2:40, giving me 20 seconds rest. The last one was a bit sloppy and I had to hustle to finish it in the same time as the others. The last 50 was sub-50 seconds, and it didn't feel like I was pushing that hard at all.

I counted strokes several times throughout the workout, and was consistently at 18. Normally that's where I start and gradually degrade to about 20 or 21. As you might imagine, I am totally gobsmacked by how much the times dropped, just by making some small adjustments to my stroke! And that's on my first try, without doing the flip turns during the workout. I did the flip turns during the warm up and cool down, during the easy strokes between the main sets, and during some easy swim after the workout. I learned that you have to be looking straight at the wall and not to one side, or you'll tumble sideways. Swam an hour total.

Given these results, I have to say the camp was a total success for me! Between my coach watching my swim a few weeks ago and fixing some stuff, and the more detailed analysis available using slow motion replay, and trying to swim mindfully to apply the lessons, I've seen an amazing improvement in my swimming. I am very impressed and pleased! There are still lots of things to fix. I've got this weird twitch part way through the pull I want to work on once I get the catch totally nailed down. Can't wait for the next swim!


  1. Nice to see you again and good job on the swimming. I am excited to hit it too - I am even motivated to try a 4k time trial just to see where I am now- compared to where I want to be....

  2. Well now I've read two people's testimonies about this awesome swim camp and underwater video thing. Maybe something to it? Nice splits for those 100s, smokin fast! Great job and glad you are experiencing good weather (at least my KK quick conversion calculator thinks that's good weather-maybe you could install a celsius/farenheit converter on your side bar for us idiots down south?). Nice work!

  3. Sorry my last comment came out wrong. I def. did not mean you only LOOK like a real swimmer. Your times are awesome!! Keep up the good work!!

  4. thats great improvement. i might have to try something like that after i get past the details of my current dogpaddle method. :-D

  5. Awesome splits!!! Great to know the camp paid off.


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