Sunday, April 10, 2011

Swimming 3,000 meters!

This week I did the longest swim workout I've ever done at 3,050 meters.

And I felt such a high after I did the workout! Another milestone on the books towards the Arizona Ironman in November. Woo hoo!!

It was a Wednesday afternoon and crazy busy whilst in the middle of training, changing jobs, relocating, and planning a vacation.

So I was late to get to the swim and meant I was on my own vs the usual dynamic duo. I looked at my Endurance training book that had examples of various workouts and glanced at the swim. I was aiming to get an Endurance swim in, so looked at the Endurance Form swim.

The first workout had this cryptic code written, which I am only starting to learn with my secret decoder ring (aka Coach Julie!)

W/U    200 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull
            6x75 (25 R, 25 L, 25 DPS)

Main    200 (00:15 RI)
            300 (00:15 RI)
            400 (00:20 RI)
            400 (00:20 RI)
            300 (00:15 RI)

C/D     200

I wrote these details down on a yellow post-it note so that I can attach it to the end of the pool. I don't have a good memory for these types of workouts and I spend all my time counting the laps to make up 200 meters or focusing on the swim stroke (arm enter in water, pull arm, breathe now....)

I started swimming and after the Warm up (W/U) I was tired! How was I going to do the rest of the workout!? It had also started raining, but as I was wet, it didn't really matter being in an outdoor pool. I told myself that I would do the first 2 parts of the Main section and then see how I felt...I could skip the next 2 parts to be more at the distance I'm used to (1600 meters).

At the point I had to do a 400 meter brick, I said to myself "Lucy, you've never done a 400 meter before, and you just did 300 meter and it was not as bad as you thought. It's only another 4 laps in the pool on top of that". So I did the 400 and sure enough, it didn't feel bad.

I like to calculate math when I train and somehow keeps my mind focused on things outside of where I'd naturally go which is negative thinking about my capability and attitude. So my math focuses on constant solving of equations of "% complete" and I work it out over and over again. After the 400 meter section I was 50% complete in the main section....if I made it to 50% then the hard work is done. And I congratulate myself for making it to the 50% point....going into the session I didn't think I could do it and I questioned myself in the swim....but now I am 50% complete and DEFINITELY able to finish the whole swim.

So I carried on and sure enough after 2:20 hours I had done 3,050 meters! Woo hoo!
The time was a good reminder for me that the IronMan Arizona swim cutoff in 2:20 hours and I will have had to have swam 3,862 meters (2.4 miles). So I had 79% of the distance complete at this point in the cutoff time.

I don't consider myself a fast swimmer, but it's a good reminder of why I am training and to consider the timing. I have over 6 months plenty of time to get into speed with endurance workouts in!

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