The secret to getting better at any of the three disciplines in triathlon is to break your workouts in to three different parts. One of your workouts during the week should be at your “race pace” and should be kind of the build up portion of your week. You are slowly adding distance to this workout, but you are doing it at a good intensity.
The next workout that you should try to incorporate, no matter the discipline, is speedwork. If you go out and run 5 miles everyday, at the exact same pace, and don’t push yourself, you are never going to get faster. You have to shorten the distance but double the intensity every once in a while to get better. Whether this is a track workout for running, sprints on a bike, or fast 25s in a pool, they are essential to build as an athlete.
The third workout is a slower, longer distance workout. The idea is to slow down and not abuse your body, but to push the distances. If you are doing a program of some kind, and see that the program says you should run a 10 min./mile pace, and you know you run a 9 min/mile, that’s what this is simulating. Take a look at the distance. It should be one of your longest workouts for the week.
Well today’s swim wasn’t supposed to be that third type of workout, but the next thing I knew I was getting in the Easton YMCA’s cool pool with only 45 minutes to swim. Since I was still reeling from the effect of a hard week, I decided to shorten my warmup (4×100 yard SKPS) and go right in to a long set. Today’s workout would only be 2000 yards again (about 1.15 miles) but the longer set was going to push me. The first long set was a 1 x 1000 yard set with no breaks. I finished this up with little problem after my shoulders warmed up. A quick 30 second break between sets and I started on the second set. The second set was going to be a 600 yard effort and then a cooldown but as I swam, I watched the minute hand getting closer and closer to the time that I had to leave. The second set would get cut short, to a 1 x 550 yard, so that I could do a short 50 yard cooldown.
Overall the workout felt well and the swim is normally my weakness. If I keep doing these distances, my swim should greatly improve. The biggest thing is finding the time and gettin a stroke evaluation to make sure that I am as efficient as I can be in the swim. I don’t plan on spending LOTS of time on this because, let’s be honest, no one ever wins a triathlon from an incredible swim.
We practice in the pool to swim because on the bike, you coast. On the run, you walk. In the water, you stop….. you drown.