Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Time Trials and Tribulations

What does a 25-yard pool + a stopwatch + a lap counter equal? Yep, you got it; swim time trial!

It seems like it's been ions since the last time I goggled up for training. Oh yes, I've done some splashing here and there but it's been a long time since my shadow darkened the lane lines for more than hour. Next week begins the structured swim training and to establish a baseline for effort and volume my assignment was to swim 1,000 yards for time.

Just after 11 AM I ducked out of the office feeling like it was grade school recess. Within minutes I parked the car, dashed into the gym, jumped out of the shirt and tie, and dove into the water.

2 x 50 yards easy, 2 x 100 easy, 1 x 50 fast, 1 x 50 easy and I was ready. Swim coach, with stopwatch and lap counter placards in hand, counted down to the start.

On purpose I didn't wear a watch and coach didn't call out any time splits. The planned silence is to keep me focused on the technique and develop a sense of pace.

OK, so it's good for all of that but it's also good for the mind to wander. Somewhere around 500 yards sensory deprivation got the best of me and thoughts of what's going on at the office, the real estate holdings, and family crowded out thoughts of the strokes. Body position and breathing rhythm be damned, I just had to solve work problems during this recess. At 800 yards I was just as tired in the head as well as in the arms.

The last few laps were only a blur. My form was a mess and breathing labored but the tribulations were crystal clear. Finally, I was done.

1,000 yards in 18 minutes, 32 seconds for a swim pace of 1:51 per 100 yards. No world record for sure but a fair number considering the time away from the pool.

Soon, I was back in my car driving towards the office to tackle those things weighing me down in the pool. But...

... office stuff be damned, all I could think about during the drive were my swim stroke and breathing rhythm.

Stay tuned...


untpawgal02 said...

You are such a speed demon in the pool :) Nice Job!

untpawgal02 said...

You are such a speed demon in the pool :) Nice Job!

Eric said...

Funny how we focus on other things while we workout and focus on workouts while we are doing other things :-)

Eric said...

Funny how we focus on other things while we workout and focus on workouts while we are doing other things :-)

Mark said...

Brian, in addition to other swimming- and health-related issues, two-time Olympic gold medal winner Garrett Weber-Gale talks a lot about training and technique: www.garrettwebergale.blogspot.com. Check out his DVD on stroke.

Have a great (and fast) season.

tarheeltri said...

Great starting point. You have to be a big fan of repetition to love long triathlon oriented swims... way to hang in there for 800 yards! I have pretty good form I think because I never swam with a watch and only focused on form for years.

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