Swimming by the numbers…’very interesting’

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Coach Dinah Mistilis and I spent an hour in the pool yesterday getting my swim ‘numbers’ dialed in…’very interesting’ she would say after each test 100 Yard interval 🙂

This was a very different ‘lesson’ from what we’ve been doing weekly over the past 3 months, where Coach Dinah has been in the swim lane with me…for the entire 1:00-1:30…like a yoga instructor…demonstrating a position and associated drill, and then watching and adjusting and fine tuning the minutia of form…the hand placement…head placement…relaxing an arm…relaxing the head…moving the entry target of the hand slightly higher…leading the recovery with the elbow…keeping the shoulder forward…leaning forward into the water…getting tension out of the legs…relax the left hand…all the while walking beside me in the lane…a touch here…an adjustment there…watching every movement…swimming up the lane half way to watch me swim towards her, and past her…and adjusting…’just one more stroke thought’…’let’s do this’…’think about this’…drilling…

So like that…and of course, as I move from one ‘stroke thought’ to another, inevitably the last one falls apart and we need to circle back to put the building block back in place to build the next one.

But not yesterday…Coach Dinah sat on the pool deck with her stopwatch and clipboard, as we took an hour to see what the patient work that we’ve been doing together has produced in terms of actual ‘swimming’.
http://www.irondaughterirondad.com/ah-that-swimming-thing/

very interesting… 🙂

Here’s her chart of the results of the primary 7 x 100Yard laps…not ‘hard’ but ‘focused’ and what I would feel like was a ‘long distance’ pace…rest and discussion after each one.

SC SC SC SC SC SC SC
1st 25 20 20 20 20 19 19 20
2nd 25 21 22 23 22 22 23 22
3rd 25 20 21 22 20 20 23 22
4th 25 22 22 22 22 21 23 22
Time 2:12 2:06 2:01 2:00 1:55 2:04 2:04
notes loping Balanced strokes lean R lead patience + lean Skate to skate TT set 1.25 felt rushed TT set 1.28 felt better

The pool is 25 yards, so each 100 was 4 lengths…the SC is the Stroke Count for each length of 25 yards…the Time of the 100 yards, and the notes what I was to focus on for the 100…except for the first one, where she noted that I was ‘loping’ as I established a baseline 100…the last 2 we used the Tempo Trainer (TT) to start to establish my current stroke rate…1.28 means a stroke every 1.28 seconds.

So from that comes our swimming goals:

  • Long term goal is to maintain 2min/100yard pace over 2.4miles
  • SC of higher than 22 consumes energy, so stay under 22
  • Short term goal is to swim 100 yard repeats at TT 1.28 with SC range 20-22, increasing distance of repeat at same tempo and SC. Also shorter repeats at tempos between 1.28 and 1.23 with specific focal points to maintain SC 20-22

So 2 minutes / 100 yards for 2.4 miles would give me a 1:25 Ironman swim…considering that I’ve been in the 1:40 range, that would be cool!

…could be the difference between a PR (Personal Record) and not getting there…

…and I ‘think’ that I can actually be a bit faster than that, since my 1:40 swims (2:22/100Y) have been with a _very_ soft effort…but not to get ahead of myself…yet…a solid 1:25:00’ish I would take, considering that I’ve never even come close to that, and that a 2:00 for even 1×100 yards is a very focused effort for me at this point.

…and I need to do more open water swimming to get into better habits of sighting more often, and better focus on the effects of current…and being able to take my ‘perfect’ form from the flat water of the pool, to the more turbulent Ironman swim conditions, both thrashing bodies and rough water, without having my rather delicate ‘new’ form fall apart in the turmoil…

…now seeing that I actually ‘can’ swim 100 yards in around 2:00 right now…at least 1 at a time…and talking about my 1:40:00 swim times for the 2.4 mile Ironman swim so far…which is 42 x 100 Yards +/-…at a swim time of 2:22/100Y…or even more properly my swim in the Half Iron 2 weeks ago…53 minutes for 1.2 miles at a pace of 2:30/100 yards, Coach Dinah couldn’t help herself:

 Considering that I just saw you swim 100’s in 2 minutes, your race times are _really_ slow…what are you doing out there?

Good question, I said…other than wandering around the race course, way off course, and battling current to get back, my only real answer is that I’ve been a swimming ‘wimp’ and not willing/confident enough to go after the swim with an effort closer to my potential.

…but not this year…a _definite_ swim PR…just need to stay smooth and strong for 2.4 miles…I can do this…I’ll keep telling myself…between now and the Ironman swim exit 🙂

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