Swimming Bear

I’d originally planned to do an Olympic distance triathlon locally in October, but I had a schedule conflict and decided to do one in August instead. But the idea of traveling 3 hours to race didn’t seem like a good idea, so I decided to do one a little closer to home in September. I liked that decision since I’d missed a two weeks of training due to illness and traveling. Then my schedule conflict for the October race went away, so I switched back to that one, which put me ahead of my training schedule.

So I decided to step back to the correct point in the schedule, which made my training distances shorter again. Not really a big deal for running and cycling (I’m just better rested), but I can already tell a huge difference in the swim, which is what I really wanted to concentrate on this season.

My longest swim session before stepping back was 2250 yards, and it involved a lot of kick drills. I suck at kicking, and it made the swim sessions long and brutal. But I think it made me noticeably faster. The last two days’ workouts have only been 1000 yards total. Yesterday’s workout featured a 500 yard sprint, and I swam my best 500 ever. I mean, yeah, it’s still really slow, but it’s my best one by almost 20 seconds. Today’s workout had 5×100 with 15″ rest between. I was a little bit faster than normal on the 100s, but the real noticeable change here was the consistency. I only lost 2 seconds between my first 100 and my last 100.

Also, I’ve (finally) realized that the purpose of doing sprints in the swim is to raise your individual expectations of what “taking it easy” means. I’ve never gotten that before in the swim because I’ve always jumped into the pool and just did full distance at a slow and steady speed. I’m hoping this pays off in October!

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