Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Swimming PR during taper

My legs were a little stiff from the long run on Sunday but they were not bad. I slept in on Monday morning but still got to work early. It is amazing how much time you have in the morning when you are not riding 20 or 30 miles.

Chris shot me an email about swimming at lunch – I had been on the fence about swimming or taking the day off. I would always rather swim with someone so off the pool I headed. Chris was wrapping up his warm up when I arrived – he had just put in an easy 500 or 600 yards. We chatted a bit about the upcoming age group nationals in AL. I wished that I could have made this race – it is going to be huge but I have other races on my plate.

While we were talking Sam showed up – I have not seen Sam since the early part of the summer. He has been travelling the country training and racing. Sam whipped out a workout and we set to it. It is good to be with Chris and Sam – in this group I am the slowest by far – it really pushes me.

There would be no warm-up - We started off with 4 x 200 yards with 15 seconds reset. My 200’s would be challenging at 3:00, Chris would be at 2:50 and Sam would be at 2:15 – (ouch). The last time I was in the water with Chris we pulled off several sets of 100’s at 1:30 pace – 200’s would be a challenge.

Although out of breath each set was completed. In fact, while they did not get easier, once I warmed up I did not drop off the pace at all. We moved onto a single set of 500 yards. Sam would again be about 1:10 – 1:15 per 100 and Chris was going to do 1:40’s. That was my plan also – I was going to pace off of Chris for as long as I could.

The first few laps were actually kind of easy – I looked at the clock and we were right at 1:30. Chris has a giant flip turn and at each end of the pool he would gain about ½ a body length on me – I would speed up a little to maintain the pacing. This kept up for the entire set until the last lap or two. I finished the 500 yards at exactly 7:30 which is a 1:30 pace – which is a PR at that distance by about 25 seconds (Chris finished just ahead of me – just a couple of seconds).

We finished up with 6 x 200 yards at all out pace with 45 seconds rest. The first four were good – I was still swimming the same pace (1:30) however I dropped off on the last two – I dropped to about a 1:32-3 pace. This was a challenging workout for me. It tested my cardio swim fitness. My arms never got tired or sore or anything – although I did start to feel it in my back.

It was not that long ago that 1:50’s was a good 100 yard set – and I certainly could not have strung 500 yards together at a fast pace. And even more important – I am actually starting to enjoy the swim. I know that I have said that before but this time it is more than just positive thoughts!


Marci said...

Nice job on the new 500 PR in the pool... that is awesome!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Great job on the pool! There's not much better than seeing progress :)

Kristin said...

I've never gone that fast, 1:50s are still normal to me and I'm over the moon when I'm in the 1:40s. It's great to hear it's possible, sometimes I think I'll never get faster!