Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Just Keep Swimming

Okay, so I am not a great swimmer, but I have been putting in a bigger effort this year to up my time in the pool, because more time swimming will equal faster swimming. Seems simple enough and, well really, it is kind of that simple when you are starting out in the slow world. Passed a certain point, technique starts to become the way to build speed, but right now, endurance and strength and comfort level are the way forward.

This becomes painfully obvious when you do your first 100m in 1:41 at what feels like a comfortable pace, then end up with an average pace of 2:10 for a 45 minute session. So I know that I can swim at some point, but the ability to hold that pace dies off.

Initially in the year I started off building slowly to not hurt my shoulders and back, building to 2000m sessions, then eventually 2500m sessions. As my races are at most 1500, 2500 seems like more than enough to get faster while limiting wear and tear on the body.

I kept my training simple,doing 4 week long sets twice or three times a week (if I could get that extra one in). Every 4 weeks I would change my sets up, going from short and speedy with lots of rest to more endurance based sets.

Recently with my Achilles issues, I have spent the last 4 weeks swimming pretty much totally with the pull buoy so minimize stress on the tendon. So totally endurance sets of 1800-2100m.

So?

Well at this time last year I swam 26.6 km in total. This year 79.9 km. Last year my average speed at the end of a set would be about 2:10, now 1:56 give or take. Huge improvement? For me, yes. I have hit a solid pace under 2:00 min/100m and for me that is key. If anything it is a mental break through. Also this is all pool based swimming, where I don't do flip turns, and don't use a wetsuit (the pull buoy is likely comparable to the wetsuit floaty wise, but with a wetsuit you get the float and a kick).

Soon open water swimming will start, so I will get to see just how real my progression is in a more race like situation.  Hopefully i will be able to get in the water even this weekend, either before or after my duathlon.

The end of June will tell how this whole swimming thing has worked out, can I beat my personal best (worst) Olympic swim time (I have only done one) of 34 minutes?

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