Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sprint Triathlon Distance Swim? Check.

This morning Laura and I met for a swim at Asphalt Green. It's a 50-meter pool that is supposed to be the nicest pool in the city. The facilities seemed really nice and they had decent shampoo and conditioner in the showers, so that was a plus in my book. As for the pool itself, I will say that walking in and seeing an Olympic-sized pool was a little intimidating. It's so long! After reviewing the rules and determining that only circle swimming was allowed and that we should stick the slow/medium/fast lanes, we headed toward the pool. I will say that it wasn't 100% clear which lane was which, but I think that we both got into lanes that worked out for us.

On the first 50, I noticed that you could clearly see where the middle of the pool was and at that point I was just about ready to take a big breath and turn around, but I just kept going. Funny how your body gets acclimated to that. Anyhow, I had printed myself out a workout, which was:

4 x 50m Any Stroke (even pace), rest 0:15/50m

Build Up (repeat 4 times):
1 x 50m Freestyle Breath Left, rest 0:10/50m
1 x 50m Freestyle Breath Right, rest 0:10/50 m

12 x 100m Freestyle Swim, rest 0:20/100m

1 x 100m Freestyle Push & Glide, rest 0:20/100m
1 x 100m Freestyle Easy, rest 0:20/100m

Total: 2000 meters

OK, so I was really excited about this workout. Mostly because I knew that the core part would let me get in a good long swim and I could time myself for the sprint triathlon distance fairly accurately. I very rarely take the rest intervals given on the work-outs. I only really ever stop to take a look at my little cheat sheet to see what is next. I also didn't realize until right now when I was typing this out that I was supposed to repeat the Build Up portion 4 times, so I accidentally only did that once. Oops. Also, because of the timing, I didn't have time to complete the whole core portion. I only did 10 x 100m instead of 12. So, my total for the day was actually 1500 meters (0.93 miles) in 35 minutes.

I did the warm-up and build-up (or what I thought was the build-up) and then started into the main set. I decided that I would just swim nice and easy without pushing myself to see how I did with the sprint triathlon distance (0.25 miles). My time was 8:35. I have no idea how that compares to open water, of course, but I think that as long as I can just keep the same easy pace I did today, I'll be great at the triathlon. I guess the good news is that I did finish the Olympic distance today in 35 minutes, which also seems like a good time to me. Now if only I could get this swimming to translate over to the running and biking I'd be all set.

I spent most of the time swimming today thinking about how hungry I was and how glad I would be when I got back to Drew's apartment to finish getting ready for work because there would be a smoothie waiting for me. Unfortunately, when I got back to his apartment, he was in the shower and there was NO smoothie waiting! Of course, I'm starving by this point. Feeling a little faint, even. Why does swimming make me so hungry? I waited for him to get out of the shower, shave, etc. and an agonizing 13 minutes later I was finally delivered the smoothie I was waiting for. I didn't even care that it had sapota in it!

So, now that I've completed my reverse sprint triathlon, all I have to do is put it all together. However, with all the rain we keep having it's hard to get outside! This weekend is supposed to be nice, so I'm hoping to get in a good brick on Saturday. Now all I have to do is get the weather to cooperate!


  1. Nice swim! I wish I could swim at a long course pool to train. They're so much nicer for endurance stuff!

  2. Hey. I just happened upon your blog. I did my first triathlon on Sunday (Dextro ITU sprint, in DC), and I wanted to just say good luck!

    I had done similar to you in terms of swim workouts, doing a few 1900-2000m workouts in 25 or 50m pools before my actualy tri, but I never did any open water swimming.

    A few things to remember and be prepared for. Open water swimming - there may be a little chop, and the water will be mucky brown and disorienting beneath you. All that discipline and form you've been practicing may go straight out the window as you repeatedly bring your head up out of the water to see where you're going. Keeping your head down, your breathing normal, and only coming up to see where you are every 10-15 breaths is harder than it seems, and once you start looking up, you go slow. Some of the really powerful swimmers in the elite categories just pedaled their arms like windwills with their heads up, but that's probably not the best way to go. And expect to be elbowed in the head, grabbed at your feet, etc, by other swimmers, which will make it hard to concentrate and maintain the poise you have in the pool.

    So, expect the swim to be harder than you think, but once you get out of the water and onto your bike, you'll be past the worst of it!

    Good luck!