Swimming the distance

The water is definitely getting colder as summer starts to come to an end. This means that the local YMCA pool will be closing soon and the rest of the local pools will soon be deserted as only those of us tough enough to swim through winter keep showing up for our laps. Not that our winter is cold; mornings range from 5’C to 12’C and rain is usually rare.

I started my session by chatting to my friends Robyn and Jayne who happened to be at the pool this morning. I dangled my feet in the cold water as we talked. It felt good on my foot, which is still giving me trouble.

After Jayne and Robyn left I warmed up with 300m freestyle. I felt strong in the water and moved straight into 14 x 100m repeats with 5 seconds rest between each. A few months ago this set would have been really difficult and I was nervous about the set before I started. I needn’t have been; I’m swimming well these days. I alternated my breathing, doing 100m with 3-stroke breathing then 100m with 2-stroke breathing. I race and do most of my training with 2-stroke breathing but still breath bilaterally but alternating my breathing arm every lap (in the pool) or 50 strokes (in open water). The 3-stroke breathing made these sets quite solid and it felt good to stick it out instead of reverting to 2-stroke breathing.

I finished my session with a 100m cool down alternating 25m breast stroke and 25m freestyle.

I know I’m on the right track for Byron Bay. I completed my 14 x 100m set in less than 20 minutes, including the five second recoveries. It gives me confidence that I’ll not only be able to swim quickly at Byron Bay but also that I’ll be able to do so efficiently, leaving more energy for the bike and run. And isn’t that what swim training is all about.

I’ll still be swimming after this triathlon season because it will be good for my upper body and core strength as I train for my ¬†Australian Alps Walking Track adventure. I’ll need that to carry my hiking pack and to scramble to the top of some of the mountains I’ll be crossing.

Total: Swim 1,800m

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