It’s a glorious summer’s morning and I arrive at the Victoria Point YMCA just before they open the doors. I’ve never swum here before but my friend Robyn will be here and it will be nice to have company for my swim session. Not that there’s much chance to interact during swimming training, what with our heads being underwater and all, but just knowing someone else is there will push me to swim that little bit farther today.
I start with a 500m freestyle warm-up, breathing every three strokes instead of my usual two-stroke breathing. I feel stronger in the water than I did yesterday; possibly because yesterday’s swim has loosened by muscles. The pool is a uniform shallow depth along the entire length, which helps me feel like I’m swimming quickly. But the water is murky. I can’t even see the other end of the pool, which is only 25m away. I usually can see the full length of a 50m pool so it’s a little disconcerting. Perhaps they had the wrong chlorine mix today.
I notice Robyn has arrived when I am part-way through my 500m warm-up. We say “g’day” to each other when we both reach the same end of the pool and then continue our laps. Robyn is doing 60 laps (1.5km) in the lane next to me as part of her training for her first triathlon. I’m doing my own thing; having a lane to myself is a pleasant luxury.
For my second 500m I alternate between 25m butterfly and 25m Biondi fly. My shoulders ache as I push through the set. I know I haven’t done enough swimming. My third 500m set is also a strong one; I alternate 50m breast stroke with 50m freestyle sprint. It feels great pulling quickly through the water.
I do a 300m set alternating 25m breast stroke, 25m back stroke, 25m freestyle, 25m backstroke. I was going to do this for 500m but Robyn has finished her session so we stand at the end of the pool chatting for a few minutes. I always make time to socialise with my friends during training because sporting glory is always fleeting but friendships are what makes life worthwhile (not that I’m going to have sporting glory anyway).
I finish with 200m. I do the first 100m alternating 25m breast stroke and 25m freestyle before finishing with 100m freestyle. I thoroughly enjoyed the session (other than the murky water).
After my session I explored the facilities the YMCA gym has to offer and the price of using them. Membership rates are fair:
- $29 joining fee (which includes a personalised training program) + $55 per month (no lock-in-contracts or minimum terms)
- $14 per gym session (whether weights or group fitness) for non-members
Pool entry only costs $4 for non-members and Masters swimming classes are held every Sunday morning for $10 including pool entry.
I think I might head down to the Y every now and then to mix up my training with a Les Mills Spin, Pump or Step class. I can see the benefits of each: spin for cycling, pump for Tough Mudder training and step for general leg endurance training. My partner often works night shift and this might be a fun way to squeeze in a second training session a few times a month. And I think some Masters swimming sessions might just do me good – not so much for stroke correction but more to have a decent training hit out for swimming.
Total distance: 2km