It’s getting more difficult to get out of bed now that it’s getting light later in the mornings but it’s the first day of my 75 day preparation for the Byron Bay Triathlon and I’m determined to stick to the training program I downloaded last night. I’m terrible at sticking to routines, being something of a free spirit. But I also know that I can achieve great things when I am focused and disciplined.
With sand in my eyes I roll out of bed and stumble into the shower to help me wake up. It’s dark outside but at least it’s still summer so the air is warm. I say good morning to our kittens and put some food in their bowls before downing an Up and Go, throwing some lunch in my bag, and grabbing my swimming gear. I’m cruising down the road on my motorbike under a blanket of early morning stars.
I decide to go back to my old haunt, the Aqua Logan at Springwood to start my new training program. This is where I trained as a junior and where I started my season before I started swimming more sporadically at various other pools. It takes half an hour to get there in the commuter traffic but that’s normal, and by 6:30am the sun is shining brightly and I’m in the water.
The 50m pool has been split in half, which frustrates me a little bit because I don’t like the stroke-stroke-turn that is swimming 25m lengths. But the good thing is that it means I can follow my program properly – it’s been designed for a 25m pool and today it says to do some 25m sprints.
I slip into the deep end of the pool and feel the cool water sooth the slight sunburn I got over the weekend. I feel strong as I do my 300m freestyle warm up and remember a time just 7 or 8 months ago when 300m was my entire training session. Now it’s my warm up. I take a few minutes to stretch my arm muscles after the warm up.
The first three weeks of my training program are aimed at developing speed so it’s no surprise that today’s swimming session includes twelve 25m sprints with 30 seconds rest between each. I complete the first 8 sprints in 15 seconds each before I start to tire and find my speed slowing to almost 20 seconds per length. While I usually swim my 1,500m with a strong but even 6-beat kick, I complete my 25m sprints kicking as hard as I can. I can feel my feet up on the water surface pushing my body forwards as my arms add a strong pull.
I’m breathing hard after my twelve sprints so I take a 90 second breather before starting my next set: 3 x 300m pull with 20 seconds rest between each. I place the pull buoy between my legs and start swimming. I concentrate on my technique as I pull through the water. I focus on making sure my elbows stay high, my arms are reached out on entry and that my pull through the water is powerful. I feel like I’m gliding and I imagine myself leading the swim at Byron Bay, knowing any swimming success needs to be credited to Carol, the swimming coach who first taught me to swim when I was five years old and then was my squad coach until I was 18 years old. She wouldn’t be calling me Spaghetti Legs now anymore – I’ve certainly tamed my lower limbs over the years.
After an enjoyable set of pull I finish with a 200m cool down. I do the first 50m breast stroke, then 50m kick, then 50m navigation swimming and finish with 50m breast stroke.