Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday swim

A good swim physiologically, so to speak (there must be some better way of saying that!), but it unfortunately awakened my inner grumbling striving voice--WHICH I may say is a voice that gives me great inconvenience, on the whole I think it is for the best that I have such a thing and yet it would be even better if I could shut it off at will!

Locker-room consensus: better-than-average Tuesday am workout.

(They are all 'canned,' so to speak, just hung off the thing at the end of the lane--the block?!? Is that what it's called? I feel ludicrous using swimming expert-knowledge vocabulary that really is beyond my grasp...--in ingenious little plastic sleeves with strings. This means there is really no coaching/intervention in the lanes...)

My usual lanemates were not there, so I was swimming with the real lane seven people, with mixed results. The workout (approximately--I can't remember all the intervals):

warmup around 400 yards I suppose, mostly free but I did 4-5 lengths of fly also, very enjoyable, and some kick...

8 x 75: evens fly back kick-free-free, odds free with 7-5-3 breathing (on 25s)
8 x 25: uneven sprint descending (on :40): 1/2 easy 1/2 hard, 1/2 hard 1/2 easy, hard, easy

3 x 75 free on 1:30
3 x 50 choice descending on 1:00
2 x 200 free on 3:30
3 x 50 choice descending on 1:00
3 x 75 free

Then a set we only had time for part of, 25-25-50-50 (and so forth, but we didn't get to 'em) kick-swim.

But here's the thing. These women are better swimmers than I, but also their priorities are different. It is inevitable that my free is much, much better and faster than my other strokes--I handle this by working really hard during the other stroke bits and by skipping repeats when necessary (I skipped one of the 75s at the beginning because I had used up a vast amount of energy trying to sort out the fly back kick--I still did not get the timing right, my double-arm back strokes were actively at odds with my dolphin kick...--and I skipped the third repeat on each of the choice 50s, I am just too slow to keep up properly). Really I am better off swimming with my usual lanemates, but it's not inappropriate for me to swim in real lane 7, my free pace is just fine.

However it is very striking: partly because they're all good comfortable swimmers, what they do is ignore the intervals, take no rest, and just swim everything at a comfortable pace. So for instance the sprint 25s were supposed to be on :40 (and I am thinking I do understand the intervals for the free, though the other intervals are just not relevant for me yet, I cannot repeat 50 back on 1:00 for instance, I can't even really quite make that time the first go round...). This means REST. And I understand the point of a mini-set like that is to take the rest. But instead we're just swimming down and back, not really taking any rest (say more like on :25-30), so the sprints are not really sprint... And then the pace for the 200s was quite leisurely, where really you want to do 'em hard and then take the rest, I would have swum those a lot harder left to my own devices!

Arghhh... it was making me slightly crazy though as I say I was physiologically enjoying my swim, hands still all nice and pawlike...

I need to check out that Masters swim at CU--what I want is a really consistent coached workout that will really push me to get better. This is fine for now, and the Thursday morning workout is great, but it is not exactly what I need...

Also: I am still not doing flip turns on warmup let alone main sets. I do need to work on this, but I am making an executive decision that a higher priority for now is to practice bilateral breathing. I never do it except on these assigned sets with breathing constraints--it's a bit better than it was at first, but I still have a super-strong preference for breathing on the right side that will not serve me well when I start to do what I most want to do in the world, that lovely thing called a sea swim...


Wendy said...

Yes, blocks! (Starting blocks.)

Interval training is interval training -- the rest assigned is for a reason. So really, those who don't swim the set as assigned are cheating themselves. (Except when the intervals can't be hit, and then the coach should modify them for the swimmers involved.)

Becca said...

I was going to say it is a block, but Wendy beat me to it. But I also was going to say that I have no idea what you're talking about in the rest of that parenthesis.