So the shop is closed today and I got a break from the Oxford police job as well, a rarity when they both work out like that so I knew that today was the day that I needed to get to the pool. Laura said that she had some errands to run in Easton… perfect! I check the cool pool schedule at the Easton Y and find that 11:30 is wide open. Now for some odd reason I already have a bag packed up. It’s probably from some broken promise to myself that I was going to swim, but today is the day!
I know that it is the first time that I have been in the water for a LONG time so I make a promise to myself that I am going to stop at 2000 yards. That roughly translates to 1.13 miles, so it’s pretty presumptuous to assume that I can just get in the water and swim my half-Iron distance.
Almost every swim session I’ve ever done starts with the same warmup. It really gets the body ready for what is about to come and, hopefully, by the end of the warmup, my shoulders are loose. The first set would be written out as 4×200 SKPS (or Skips). The letters designate Swim, Kick, Pull, Swim. The Swim portion is a full stroke with a kick, the Kick portion is… well…. just kicking. The Pull portion is swimming with a pull buoy so that no kick is necessary to keep the body planed in the pool. Wrap up with a final 200 Swim. TOTAL WARMUP – 800 YARDS
I figure that with an 800 warmup and a 200 cooldown, I’ve only got 1000 yards in the middle for the body of the workout (good math, huh?). I split my 1000 in to an interval session and a drill session. Just getting in the pool and doing lap after mindless lap gets you nowhere. Much like running and biking, to get better, you have to push yourself. That means long sets, intervals, sprints, etc.
The intervals are one minute intervals and there are 10 reps of 50 yards. Now an interval works like this. You get a set time (in this instance, one minute) and you have to complete your swim within that time frame. If you get done early, you have the remaining time left in that interval for rest. If you get done in 60 seconds EXACTLY, you better hit the wall and go because you have no rest time. Fortunately, I am able to make all of my reps with plenty of time. Even my slowest 50 yards is 50 seconds. Not a bad way to start.
When these are done, I take a 60 second break and then do a little backstroke, to prep for the next set. This next set will be a drill set. Looking back, I should have done this before the intervals to remind myself of proper technique. Without proper technique, you WILL NOT do well in the swim. 5 reps of 100 yards with 50 drill and 50 swim. The drills go in the following order. Catch up drill. Finger point drill. Kick only. Doggie Dig (I hate these!) and then a 1,3,5,7 stroke breath drill. I’ll explain the drills in a later post but I’m pretty spent by the time I’m done.
My cooldown set just a straight 200 yard pull. I really try to focus on proper rotation through my stroke and to get a good pull on each stroke. I always find myself just slapping the water when I get tired and that is not doing ANYTHING.
Overall I feel good. I check out when the Talbot YMCA Masters team practices and I am going to try and join them in the mornings. I find that having a coach to critique you always helps. It is just very important to let them know that you want to focus on freestyle. Many times in Salisbury, I would go to a Masters practice and here those dreaded words…. BUTTERFLY. LOL!
Total Yardage – 2000 yards Time in Pool – 1 hour (not continuous swim) Good/Difficult Effort