Swimming

Nailed it!

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).

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.27.48 AMAbove are my splits for the set. I am really pleased with my consistency and the fact that my fastest 100s got faster!

Speed versus strokes

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 9.13.46 AM

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!

Swim Progress

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.

swimdata1

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).

swimdata2

Build or Descend

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.