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Friday, March 09, 2007

Frustrating swim

I swam a workout assigned by my coach at masters today instead of the one the rest of the group was doing. It worked out fine, because no one else was in the slow lane today. Heck, even when they are there, most show up late and it wouldn't matter because we wouldn't be at the same point in the workout anyway.

So, here was the workout:
600 warm-up
4 x 100 build each one
3 x 800 (#1 - easy pace, #2 - moderate pace with HR 120-150, #3 - hard pace with HR > 150) - she wanted time for each 800
100 cooldown

The warm-up went fine. It is hard for it not to go fine though. I knew I was in for a slow go today though when on the 100s, I was doing them in 2:05 and could not go any faster. I guess given that, I shouldn't be surprised by my 800 times.

The last time I did this workout, I did it in the 20-yard pool at my gym. I didn't think those extra 5 yards per length would make that big of a time difference, but they did. Last time, my first 800 was 16:40 and the last was 16:24 (about 2:05 pace per 100). This time, my first 800 was 17:56, 2nd 17:50 and 3rd 17:48 (about 2:14 pace per 100). When you break it out on a per 100 basis, it doesn't seem that bad and as I said, I knew the 25-yard pool would make me slower (fewer times pushing off the wall will do that for you).

My question though is, "what is the point of kicking your own butt on the last 800 to only make an 8 second difference over 800 yards?" For an Ironman swim, I'd only come out about 40 seconds slower than if I swam at "kick butt" pace and I'd feel better after. Wouldn't I be better off going at a slow, aerobic pace and concentrating on form? Maybe that was the point of the exercise. Or, maybe it was to teach my body what faster means and then try to get to the point where that arm turnover feels easy. I guess I should ask my coach.

Yes, it was a frustrating swim, but I made it through it. I always say that I'd rather have a boat load of frustrating, bad training days than 1 frustrating, bad race day. Don't worry. Game is still on and attitude is still positive!

Hope you all have a great weekend! I have my first race of the year on tap this weekend - a super hilly 15k run that my coach recommended as great training for Lake Placid. My pals, Sam J. and Carie are running it with me. Good times!


Blogger DaisyDuc said...

Hmmm, I definitely am not one to help on swim questions!!!

Yeah, first race of the yea is always exciting--HAVE FUN!

9:18 AM

Blogger E-Speed said...

Maybe that is the point. In IM the swim seems like a place where you don't want to watse any energy right?

Who knows.

Hope you have fun at the 15k on Sunday!

See you tonight!

9:37 AM

Blogger Mallie said...

In the whole scheme of things IM, the swim is the shortest part. Also, it being the first part you have a good chance of blowing up and making the other two legs harder if you don't take the swim in the proper light. I'm not training for an IM, but I would say that a conservative, not slow, swim is probably something to think about.

12:11 PM

Blogger Mallie said...

P.S. Thanks for the donation!!! Send me some photos and color ideas and I'll get started on your header ASAP. I'll have it done before the weekend's over.

enduroeejit at

12:12 PM

Blogger TriShannon said...

Good luck this weekend!!

Not sure about the swim, but my coach also has me doing intervals that are at a faster pace than my endurance pace. There must be a reason... they are the coaches.

9:06 PM


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