My new training plan has me serious about swimming. While I only swam a few times during December, January and February, under my new plan I’m swimming 2-3 times a week. And I’m not just pottering up and down the pool alternating between freestyle and breast stroke with the odd few laps of butterfly thrown in. No, I’m working hard doing 1,500m – 2,000m of freestyle as proper sets. That’s further than I was training in the few sessions I was doing and I’m now swimming those metres much faster.
My body is responding well to the new swimming regime. My arms, chest and back feel stronger, and if truth be told, I think my buttocks are also getting even firmer from kicking during the fast sets. Who knows, maybe I’ll blow all the other 30-34 year olds out of the water at Byron Bay if I keep swimming like this for the next 10 weeks.
Today I swam out at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre in the Sleeman Sports Complex. It’s the most divine pool to swim in. The water is crystal clear, the lane ropes are bright yellow with red markings and the ends of the pool are covered in those yellow electronic timing mats you see at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. The pool is indoors and has stadium seating around it, making me feel like a champion even though I’m certainly not. The great thing about feeling like a champion is that it makes you want to work the session and swim like one.
The only bad thing about swimming at Sleeman is that we used to have our regional swimming carnivals there when I was a school child and walking past the marshalling room made me relive the anxiety I used to get before races. I used to be so anxious that I’d want to vomit. I’m sure it affected my performance because I swim so much better these days but am never nervous before a race anymore. There used to be so much pressure to perform for the sake of our school’s pride and, for me at least, much of my self-image was bound up in whether I won or lost a race (not that I ever won a regional swimming race – I was always just there to make up the numbers).
I felt fantastic as I dropped my body into the pool. Next time I go to this pool I’ll probably start at the shallow end because it was difficult to do my post warm-up stretch trying to balance on the narrow ledge at the end of the deep end of the pool. But the nice thing about starting from the deep end is that I really felt like a swimmer (we always used to start from the deep end when I trained with a squad).
Today’s session was:
Warm up: 400m freestyle
Main set: 5 x 200m freestyle flat out with 20 seconds rest
Cool down: 100m breast stroke