Getting strong in the water

Somehow I force my body into the cold water. The onset of our Brisbane winter comes as a shock after the luxury of swimming in an ocean that felt like bathwater up in Karratha over the weekend. Sure, it doesn’t get frosty here but the water temperature has definitely dropped in the past week since I last swam.

Once in the water I feel a slight sense of panic as the cold grabs me so I push quickly through the water for the first 25m of my 300m warm up. My arms are slightly numb by the time I reach the middle of my second lap of the 25m pool but I tell myself to harden up and relax. It’s just the right pep-talk to get me swimming properly again. I complete my warm up without incident.

My main set today is 10 x 150m with 20 seconds rest at 50m easy, 50m race pace and 50m maximum effort. I feel strong in the water as I complete my first two repeats. And then, as I head down the pool for my third repeat I see the beautiful huge big ball of orange light rise from the eastern horizon as I breath. The site is magical and I draw strength from the rising sun. By the time I have completed my main set the sun is shining brightly in the morning sky and the birds singing their morning tunes loudly.

I am puffed from the exertion but feel happy as I set off on my 200m cool down. I swim it as 25m breast stroke and 25m easy freestyle.

I have decided to start using my heart rate monitor when I run and cycle. It came with the Garmin Edge 800 I won back in August but I’ve never used it because I didn’t know how. Not only did I not know how to use the HRM but I also didn’t know why I would want to. I have recently finished reading The Outdoor Athlete by Courtney and Doug Schurmann and it included an excellent explanation of the importance and effect of zone training.

There is a plethora of formulas available to calculate heart rate zones. I have decided simply to use the Schurmanns’ formula because I’m hoping to use their training plan to do some hiking training in the coming year:

MHR = 208 – (0.7 * age) = 186

HHR = MHR – RHR (48) = 138

Recovery = <65% HHR = <90bpm

Distance = 65% – 75% HHR = 90 – 104bpm

Tempo = 75% – 85% HHR = 104 – 118bpm

Interval = 85% – 95% HHR = 118 – 132bpm

Max = 95% – 100% HHR = 132 – 138bpm


Total: 2,000m swim



2 responses to “Getting strong in the water

  1. Kimberly /

    I JUST added my HR zones to my Garmin yesterday. Isn’t it odd that everyone has HR monitors but you don’t hear as much about how to use them properly? I will need to check that book out. I did a bunch of research yesterday and might post some of my findings later. After my marathon is over, I am totally starting over and doing the HR thing right!

    • I look forward to hearing more about your HR zones adventures too Kimberly 🙂 I had my first crack this morning and found that the formula above doesn’t work for me. My new post has my new findings in it 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s