Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spending time in the water

There are a lot of triathletes out there that have a love-hate (or just plain hate) relationship with swimming. It's understandable, as swimming is the least "intuitive" of the three sports. Water is definitely not a medium humans are naturally accustomed to. Although I am not a triathlete that despises the swim, in fact it had been my favourite of the three for years until last year, when my love for all 3 sort of blossomed out equally. One thing that I am a huge proponent of is swimming OFTEN. I like to swim 6 days a week, and definitely not all are HARD days, or even low intensity big-volume days. I believe in swimming often just to maintain a really good feel for the water, so never more than 48 hours goes by without me experiencing the sensation of propelling myself through this liquid medium.

Here's how I've broken it down per week:
- 2 group sessions lasting 1 hour, they are in the early AM and they are "SWIM FAST AND HANG ON"
- 2 group sessions again lasting 1 hour, although these are relaxed with maybe 30-40' of solid swimming but a huge focus on technique, with the middle 20' solely technique work. In those 20', we'll cover maybe 300m tops, as we focus on one part of the stroke or another (e.g. 20' of hand entry work)
- 1 group OWS; in the last few weeks the water had been too cold to venture out for more than 20' so it'd been a short burst to the buoy line in the lake, up and down it a few times, then back in and hope to god your feet don't fall off. Now, however, the water is a pleasant yet still chilly 11-12C (51-54F) so we can put in a solid medium length swim of about 2k.
- 1 solo pool swim, some decent mileage (maybe 3-4k), free-focused and with specific time or effort intervals that I need to hit.

It is the frequency of swimming that I believe to help the most in improving my swim economy and speed, and also I just plain love it. There is variety in effort levels and water conditions, group and solo work. Also... if I didn't attend the Sunday morning open water swims and had slept in, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of seeing these views:

Caaaaaaalm lake, that doesn't happen often! 
Swam out to The Rock, about a 2k trip. 

No comments:

Post a Comment