ah…that swimming thing

Well today Coach Dinah Mistilis and I face off with a stopwatch, a Tempo Trainer and 25 yards of swimming lane line to try and figure out a rational swim pace goal, and training plan to get there, for my Ironman swim in Florida now just over 16 weeks away.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time on ‘form’ the past few months, more comfortable in the water than I’ve ever been, and now looking to translate that into ‘fast’.

The stopwatch…self explanatory…the Tempo Trainer ‘beeps’ at a set interval…like a metronome in music.

From Finis, the Manufacturer:

Develop consistency and avoid lulls with a personal pace coach, the Tempo Trainer.  The small, waterproof device easily attached to a swimmer̻s cap or goggles and transmits an audible tempo beep.  Kick workouts into high gear or discover the perfect pace for longer distances; the Tempo Trainer also includes a clip for dry land exercise.

A couple of my orignal posts back in December 2010 set out my swim goals:

And from my email exchange with Coach Dinah, when she asked for my ‘updated’ race goals…considering my 53 minute Half Iron swim, double that for Iron and you get 1:46…I _still_ think that I’m _actually_ faster than that…so the same goal as I posted in December 🙂

1:15:00 for 2.4 miles feels like a good high end
goal…sooo, add in a few minutes for conditions and current:

  •  Exceeds:            1:14:40 total time = 1:56/100M or 1:46/100Y
  • Meets:                 1:23:40 total time = 2:10/100M or 1:58/100Y
  • Should be minimum:      1:30:01 total time = 2:20/100M or 2:08/100Y
  • Where it’s been:
    2010:     2:03:16: wetsuit split open on lap 1
    2009:     1:44:12
    2008:     1:37:33
    2007:     1:39:52

…a 1.3 stroke rate (so Tempo Trainer set to 1.3, and beeps every 1.3 seconds) and 20 strokes per 25Y would give me a speed of 1.3×20=26 seconds
for 25Y = 1:44/100Y…with no walls

…so a 1.25 stroke @ 20 strokes/25Y = 25 seconds = 1:40/100Y

My slow open turns, in the short 25Y pool, add a few seconds per lap in actual live timing that aren’t there of course in open water…but then there’s current which costs time…but then again a wetsuit that’s faster…

So based on swimming ‘results’ to date…and the fact even 1x100Yards close to 2:00 is a real challenge for me right now…rather a delusional increase in speed…more kindly noted by Coach Dinah as:

Based on your previous IM swim times ( excluding last year….) a reduction from say 1hr40min to 1hr15 is a huge jump. High end as you say.

but I am a ‘prettier’ swimmer today than I’ve ever been…now to see if we can turn that into ‘speed’

Depending on my swim results in Ironman Florida, 16 weeks from now, Coach Dinah will either want to display me prominently on her website, or deny knowing me…

Last year when the zipper up the back of my wetsuit split open, 200 meters into the Ironman Florida swim, was a defining moment for me in the water…it has to be the worst nightmare thought that a back-of-the-pack swimmer could ever have…though, yes, it did happen…melodrama aside, the fact that I completed that swim…and swim I did against the odds and the clock for 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 16 seconds…gave me a confidence in the water that I never had before.

…I’m ready for a rematch with the course…let’s get it on 🙂


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