No, this is not a list of Pintrest fails. I had a pretty successful swim in the pool this morning. Since this is my third swim in as many days (a factor of Tower 26 open water swims starting and a shuffle of my schedule to accommodate it) I was surprised I held it together!
The main set was 12 X 100 descending 1-4. To make it a little bit more difficult it was long course. I am getting pretty used to swimming long course since I do about 2 times per week. That being said, it still feels really long and hard (TWSS, I couldn’t resist).
Above are my splits for the set. I am really pleased with my consistency and the fact that my fastest 100s got faster!
I am finally back in the pool after a 3 month break after Ironman Arizona. The break was nice because making time for the pool is always a bit tricky. The problem with taking a break is I knew I would have lost a fair amount of swim fitness.
I swam 8 X 100 at threshold pace the last week. After my 1000 yard time trial, my threshold pace came back as 1:40 per 100 yards. I know I can swim faster than that, but it will take some time to get faster over 1000 yards. After the 8 X 100 set, there is at least one aspect of my swimming that I am happy to see I have not lost. As a set goes on I tend to get faster. What I also liked to see was that as I got faster, I took less strokes! I would really like to swim 1:05 at Ironman Boulder this summer. This is promising!
Of all three disciplines in triathlon, the one that comes the easiest for me is swimming. I swam for 2 years in high school and that experience has really stuck with me. I am by no means the fastest swimmer in my age group but I am usually in the top 10% for sure. That has been very helpful when it comes to triathlon. I don’t need to spend a lot of extra time in the water because I already have a pretty big advantage on most of the others in my age group. Because of this I have not (in the past) tended to work that hard in the pool.
I am working with a coach to help me achieve my goals this year and of course that comes with swim training. I worked with a friend before who helped me greatly when I was training for a 2.4 mile open water swim. But other than that, I have managed my swimming on my own. My coaching for swimming so far has included drills (belcht!) and shorter sets than I am used to. I told myslef to give it some time and see how my swimming reacted to a different style of training. Well, it is working!
This week is an adaptation week so my volume has been scaled back and I get to do a couple of timed tests to see how I am doing. Yesterday I swam a 200 at 100% followed by an 800 at 90% with 30 seconds rest between the two.
See interval #4 and #5? I am pretty sure I have never swam that fast before (I really can’t remember my high school times). What we are doing is working! I am excited to see how this translates over longer distances but an 800 at that pace has me very excited! You can see the two intervals below to see more detail. I will add a link alter for the Garmin data (Garmin Connect is being crabby right now).
I was having a discussion with a fellow triathlete about what the difference between a “build” set and a “descend” set is when you are swimming. In both scenarios the goal is to swim faster and faster but they are a little different. When you “build” you usually do so within each interval of the set. So if you are swimming 4 X 100 build, you swim each lap in the hundred faster than the last (building). But if you are swimming 4 X 100 descending, then you swim each hundred in less time than the previous one (descending).
You may not have needed this explaination and it is quite possible that I have just confused you even more. The reason I bring it up is because I was lucky to get new training tool this weekend that really helped me see the difference between the two types of sets. I got a Garmin 910XT which is a great tool for analyzing your swimming. I am a decent swimmer so I don’t really look at my times or worry about them. But now I have a ton of data at my hands due to this new watch. When I was looking over the graphs of my swim this morning I noticed how the build versus descend was evident in the graph.
Set #1 shows 6 X 50 build. You can see that I was building because each 50 (except for # 4) shows my second lap was faster than the first. Building!
Set #2 shows 6 X 50 descending every 2 (swim two at slow, then two at medium, then two at fast). You can see that intervals 3 and 4 are faster than 1 and 2, and 5 and 6 are faster than 3 and 4. Descending by 2!
I am SUPER excited to use this new watch and I think it might give me the little extra push I needed to kick my butt in the pool.
Click here for all the Garmin data.