It was not blissful like yesterday's, but in a way it was almost better, because more rational--the mental connections were clicking into place like crazy...
1. I was in the mood to put in practice Dr. Rod Havriluk's cues--the arched back, the feet close to the surface, the arm bent at a right angle when it's directly beneath the torso and especially the smooth and strong transition to the push part of the stroke--and it was excellent, there was some drill work written into the sets also and for most of practice I felt really strong and powerful in the water, it was great.
2. Interval training! It is the first time I really properly have done a workout with rest for ages, and I suddenly really felt that it was going to sink in to my body in a different way--Wendy will be laughing and rolling her eyes, because we have emailed about this about fifty million times, rationally I know rest is important and part of my frustration at morning workouts has been swimming with people faster than me who do not take any rest, so that I am both working too hard and not getting at all the right rest between. But today on the set of 25s I really, really felt it, and it was quite amazing. (Mentally primed for it, I expect, by reading about the FIRST marathon training program the other day and contemplating whether it would be worth trying.) OK, my swimming is going to get a lot better.
(3. A series of conversations, including one today with the coach, has more or less persuaded me that for the May race swimming speed scarcely matters--an incremental improvement in speed that I have to fight for will hardly make any difference to my total race time, it's just the way the swim plays out at the half-iron distance as opposed to bike and run. Everybody reading this will already thought of this, but :10 or :15 difference per 100 still is barely three minutes benefit--lots of other easier ways to get three minutes. But that does not stop me from feeling that it is rather my heart's desire to get to be a better and faster swimmer, so I am going to still keep swimming as much as possible and try and get especially just very strong and comfortable in the water, so that aside from questions of people hitting me in the head because of it being a triathlon open-water swim, this not really being what swimming in the pool will help me with, it really will in any case benefit me to feel very positive about doing the first segment of the race with high comfort levels and relatively low effort.)
Too many hours ago now, I cannot remember the intervals as they were assigned and as I did them. We got started late, so I only did around 1900, not as long as yesterday. But I really, really enjoyed it. Lane to myself again, it really let me concentrate on the important stuff.
Warmup: 200 (100 swim, 50 drill, 50 kick), 3 x 200 (150 swim, 50 back)
Set #1: 24 x 25 stroke (coach said concentrate on two strokes only, so as to get benefit of moving through sequence, so I did 3 free and 3 fly for each, it was super-enjoyable!), 6 underwater on :50, 6 kick on :50, 6 drill on :45, 6 swim on :40 (times were something like this anyway I think)
Set #2 (only did part, would have been 4 x and then another couple small sets also, but we only had about 53 minutes altogether): 2 x 250 as 250 catchup-swim-catchup-swim-catchup by 50s, 250 finger-drag drill then swim by 125s.
Slightly evil, but I took it very steadily and it is of course highly beneficial for the wretched stroke...
I already feel the mental and physical benefits (possibly I am deluding myself, but the sensation is strong!) of having had a week with three highly suitable swim workouts with a coherent rationale. I love it...