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Posts tagged with: pool

Getting Back to Business

The past 7 days have been pretty tough on my schedule, and have made a big dent on my training. I know a week still isn’t so bad being out of the game, but I missed last Saturday’s last build ride against some monster headwinds, and even though I ran on Sunday, I did NOTHING until today, which was a scheduled swim. I pulled a 60 hour workweek in 4 days, so the company gave some of us Friday off. I took the whole day to recover from the madness, slept in a little, cleaned house, ate some delicious pancakes in Hollywood, and relaxed the rest of the day. It was magical.
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Year 2 – 1,000 Yards

Last year, I didn’t hit 1,000 yards until mid-February. Around this time, the team had their 1k marker set, but I was still in my “special” lane still learning how to swim. If I remember correctly, I was still using the paddle board. I was still taking private lessons at UCLA, learning how to breath, learning how to FLOAT. I was “at risk” of not completing the swim portion of our triathlons. Coaches were baffled and worried, but were always there to help. Just a few months after, I completed my first triathlon, then a half Ironman, then a full Ironman. Milestones for sure in swim, but milestones overall. I love the challenge.

So yesterday, at our Tuesday coached swim, we had to do a 1,000 yard, “physical recommitment” to see where we’re at. I was already so excited to do this because I’m actually DOING the sets this time around! We started off with a 200 yard warmup, or keep going until we hit the 7:45pm mark to start the timers. Coach Jason was keeping track of our lane, the Intermediate lane. They kept track of the laps, which was such a HUGE help because I didn’t have to worry about anything else but SWIM. During the swim, I had a lot of the drills in my head, to pay attention to my technique, and also I could hear all the coaches voices on correcting my form. Jason would yell out how many yards left, and once I heard him say “300 left!” a huge rush came over me and was feeling strong and ready to finish the swim! Final 1k time: 23:58!!!!!!!! What?!?! I was expecting over 30 minutes! Whew! Oh but wait! The set wasn’t over. We had to do timed 100s. At first it was supposed to be 2:15 but he changed it to 2:30. If I came in before that, then that’s the rest interval. Not sure how many I did, but I always ended up doing 2:15 so I still had time to rest. This session was awesome! Felt great the whole time, muscles didn’t feel very fatigued, but mainly just out of breath. This was a game-changer for me, as I’m actually VERY excited to step it up in the swim this year!

The Infamous Shark Fin

We all know swim drills are tough. I’d rather much be doing long sets, but I know it’s very important to help with our swimming technique. As we enter our 4th week with the team, I went to the 8:30 late session at the Culver City Plunge last night, and we’re still doing drills.. and oh man, I’m struggling so much, especially the Shark Fin (see the video above). I end up sinking so much! Tri Coach Jake pointed out my kicks are at the knees where they should be at the hips, plus I should be just rotating to breathe instead of lifting it up so much. I guess my body is in survival mode because that drill feels so awkward, and I tend to lose breath so easily. We did a lot of skate and one-arm drills as well with some quick 50 swims in between. I do feel some slight improvement in my skating drills though, so that’s a plus. One step at a time, one step at a time, I always tell myself.

Swim & Sight

Since the Toyota Desert Triathlon is this weekend, our swim set tonight was geared towards preparing us for open water swimming. It’s such a time crunched schedule as tonight we learned some sighting skills, Saturday will be our first open water swim in Long Beach, then Sunday is the International Distance triathlon. Coaches told us we shouldn’t put any weight on the event, as it should be a learning experience, and should we thought of “just another practice.” True though, what is there to lose? We’ve all surpassed all the distances in each of the disciplines, but we just haven’t practiced real transitioning. I’ve heard from numerous people that Desert Tri is a great starter event, so I’ll take their word for it.

So back to tonight. Initially I was having a hard time even just “warming” up. What was going on? I eventually got used to it, and it was on to our main sets. We had a little game called “Walk of Shame”, where we counted our strokes up 25 yards, then on the way back, we have to do one LESS stroke, and see where we end up. Three to a lane, the furthest one back will have to walk back. Yes, I was always the one to walk back (I wasn’t that far off from the next person though!). I think I was at the 24 stroke range, and everyone else on my lane was 18-20. Hmm.. maybe I should take advantage of the streamline glide a little more in my turnover. After several sets of those, we did a few 100s, 200s, 400s. At one point, I was just following my teammate Donovan, and I think we did a lot more than we were supposed to. Lesson learned, I should keep track of my OWN lap count! It wasn’t too bad though, because since I was following him, I realized I was drafting him, so I didn’t have to cut through the water as much as he did.

For most of the sets, we had to practice sighting, looking forward every 2, every 4, once a lap, and so on to practice where we’re going. In the open water, there’s no such thing as lane lines, we’re on our own! It was really tough because I could feel my legs drop, thus creating more drag, so I’m a little nervous for Sunday. We’ll just have to wait and see!