As I mentioned in an earlier podcast, self coaching can only take you so far. To get the absolute best out of yourself, finding a good local coach or an online training program can make all the difference. I’ve gotten a few days behind on my blogging, due to some really long training days, domestic relationship issues and work stressors.
On today’s training plan, is the most challenging of the three disciplines for me, you guessed it the swim. I’m to do a 200yd warm up, followed by a 400 fast pace swim, then settling in to a 4000 yard set. Basically, an Ironman 2.4 mile race day swim simulation. I must admit that my nerves always come for the swim. The multi trips to the potty, the procrastination with my goggle fixing etc. After a good stretching and warmup, I hop in the pool and off I go. I noticed they YMCA had 4 lanes blocked off and the lifeguard told me that there was going to be a children;s triathlon! Bonus! Talk about motivation and something to distract me from the 192 laps of the pool or 2.7 miles ahead of me.
I’ve learned that the warmup is crucial for me to have a good swim. It seems like it takes me a very long time to make up for lack of warmup. So I make warming up before I get in the water a priority. The 400 yd sprint was the part that worried me. In my mind, I guess I worry about tuckering myself out in a body of water with lots of swimming still to go. In this regard, doing this in the safety of a pool is a blessing in disguise. If I blow up after my 400 yard sprint, I can just stop and rest. But I was able to swim my fastest 400 of my life today. I’m sure slow by most swimming standards, but blazing fast for me. Hell Yeah!!!
After my 400, it’s on to the 4000 yard lap after lap after lap grind of swimming an incredible distance in the pool. In open water this distance doesn’t seem so daunting to me. I feel the same way about long distances on treadmills and bike trainers too. I guess being in nature serves as a great buffer to long distances for me.
I broke my 4000yds into 10 sets of 400yds drill sets. Meaning one 400 I’d work on arm entry, the next 400 would be relaxed breathing and so on. This breakdown of the 4000 yd set worked for awhile and then I lost count. LOL…. I found that if I focus on head positioning, the rest of my stroke takes care of it’s self. I could tell that focusing on certain aspects, like leg flutter actually seemed to slow me down.
One thing I have to fix is my toes started cramping. I don’t know if it’s from pushing my body weight off the wall 192 times or from lack of hydration and minerals. I’ll have to really make sure I’ve dialed in my pre swim nutrition, just in case.
Up next in Camp week? Is back to back 112 mile bike rides….. I’ll keep you posted.