Thursday, June 18, 2009

Swim Meetup Workout #2: 1050 yards!

Kelly and I attended our second swim workout with Andy's tri meetup group tonight and had an amazing time. I swam a total of 1050 yards! This is twice as many yards as I swam last week and with a much better stroke! While most of this was not consecutive, I did much better at maintaining a proper stroke/breathing rhythm for longer and needed less rest between laps/lengths. Is there such a thing as swimmer's high? If so, I got it! I was so pump that I could not shut up on the ride home and at the dinner.

The workout:
  • warm up: 350 = 7 x 50
    we were at the pool about 30 minutes before everyone else (because we did not run due to the weather), so we did most of these on our own at an easy pace and with plenty of rest
  • drill set: 200 = 4 sets of 2 x 25
    each set was a different drill to work on technique
  • main set: 350 = 4 sets of 2 x 25 + 50
    the 50s were supposed to be a consistent medium to fast pace, while the 2 x 25 were supposed to get increasingly faster with each set. I have no sense of pace while I swim (and there was no lap clock) so I just focused on surviving each lap. Kelly and I skipped a set of 2 x 25 to recover.
  • sprint relay: 100 = 4 x 25
    There were 6 of us, so we had 2 relay teams of 3. One person started at one of the pool and the other 2 at the other end. We swam 25 yards hard when the other person reached our end. The faster we swam, the less rest that person had. lol. I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I would.
  • cool down: 50
    I was too exhausted to do anything else.
  • pull buoy - I swam with a pull buoy the whole time. This really helps me focus on improving my stroke without worrying about my legs and keeping my body up. Without the pull buoy, my butt dips too far down and its a struggle to stay afloat. I need to add the legs and work on my kick eventually, but one thing at a time :)
  • nose plug - My main problem with swimming with my head in the water is that I almost always end up with water up my nose when I put my head back in the water after coming up for air. That sends me into a mini panic and completely throws off my rhythm. I still panic every so often and flail about, but with the nose plug I don't inhale water, which minimizes these episodes. I am sure I look like a total dork, but it is totally worth it.
  • keep my head down - I used to swim with my head completely above the water, because I didn't know how to breath otherwise, which wasted a lot of energy. I didn't realize how much until I started swimming with my head in the water. That simple change has made all the difference, and I can really feel myself gliding through the water.
  • exhale under water - While I get this breathing thing down, I tried holding my breath for as many strokes as I could while blowing air through my mouth under water (I think I was practically swimming with my mouth open most of the time lol). Somehow this helps me keep a good rhythm and make it easier to get air when I came up to breath. At first I could go 2-3 (or more) strokes but eventually I had to breath every other streak.
I am sure there are other things, but I am too tired to remember. My left shoulder is hurting a bit. I hope I don't have a repeat of the shoulder issues I had before because I am really starting to get the hang of this.

Swimming with Kelly and this group is very motivating. Had I been doing this on my own, I would have probably quit after 200 yards. Andy, the meet up organizer and couch, is awesome. He does a great job adjusting the workouts to our different skill levels, yet I still feel part of the group.

I can't wait for next week's workout! Kelly and I are going to swim on our on Tuesdays and do a repeat of his Thursday workouts from the previous week. The possibility of me doing a real triathlon, specifically the Trek Women Triathlon on September 6, is looking better and better :)

PS: We did some bad math and thought we swam 1550 at one point, but that was just wishful thinking in our delirious swimmer's high state. As Kelly put it, "swimming and doing math is like drinking and driving" lol. This is why I like training with Andy and doing drills, because I can just go home and recall the drills to figure out how far we swam.

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