swimming…still slow but feeling ‘pretty’

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So with just over 3 weeks to go to Ironman Florida, I’m working on dialing in my race plan for the swim.

…essentially, it’s to only move my arms as fast as I can while staying with an efficient stroke

…and that’s still pretty darn slow…but feeling ‘oh so pretty’ 🙂

In terms of swimming efficiency, by the numbers I’ve improved a lot…according to the data in my SwimSense watch, and just looking at the number of strokes that it takes me to go 25 yards…the SwimSense counts the left arm stroke, so double it for the actual 2 arm count

In my manual stroke count yesterday, I had a lot of laps at 17-18 strokes, so depending on how my left arm came to the wall, many of those showed up as 16 I suspect, and yesterday was a shorter form-focused swim set, so would have a lower stroke count than longer sets…but that’s the minutia…the SwimSense is great for comparative purposes, so by that measure, it’s fair to say:

    • …2 months ago most 25 yard lengths took 11 (22) strokes
    • …by the same SwimSense watch count method, on a good day like yesterday, it now takes me 8-9 (16-18) strokes
    • …that’s 4-6 fewer strokes per 25 yards
    • so if I can maintain that over 2.4 miles that’s up to 1,008 fewer strokes 🙂

Here’s the improvement over the past 2 months…if you want to see more detail, you can click on the pictures, and they’ll open in a new window:

August 10, 2011                       September 12                     October 13




So, the good news is that I take a lot fewer strokes today to travel 25 yards down the pool, than I ever did…I’m still slow though…that is to say, my balance is still too ‘tender’ so that when I try to increase my stroke rate, the stroke count shoots up pretty dramatically…so really doesn’t give me much more speed for all the extra effort.

I did swim in my wetsuit this week for the first time since the Vancouver Half Iron on July 3, and I can see that I need to do that quite a bit before Ironman Florida…the extra buoyancy is very nice, but with a rubber-covered body, and not the same amount of feel for the water, I’ll need to be more technically correct with arm position and shape to get the most out of it…and adapt my new efficiency to the wetsuit body position…

…all in all, I’m glad that I’m getting more efficient…makes me a better swimmer today, and in the future

….there’s nothing however, that I see now that points to a ‘faster’ Ironman swim…at least this year…’hopefully’ at least in that 1:30-1:40’ish range…a little better than it’s been…I’d ‘like’ to be faster than that, but nothing pointing to a faster time right now

…although there are still 3 more weeks to get the wetsuit stroke dialed in

…and in either event, 2.4 miles this year will most likely take me 500-1,000 fewer strokes that it ever has…wish that there were points for form 🙂


This entry was posted in Achieving Goals, Dad's Blog Posts, Ironman Florida, Planning, Racing, Swimming and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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