Seriously. It is. It never was before. If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’ve previously complained about swimming, but slowly over the past year, it has become my thing. I’ve gone from 2 years ago where I dreaded each and every swim workout, to a place where I actually look forward to each and every swim workout – despite the fact that they typically involve me getting up between 4:30 and 5 am to be able to drive to the gym and fit them in before work!
Anyhow, slowly, throughout last season, swimming went from my weakness to my strength. With the work of my coach, and with the added help of lap tracking from my garmin, my swimming developed last season and my paces just got faster and faster. Last January I started around a 1:50/100 yd pace and within a month that dropped to 1:40-1:45/100 yds, and finally by the time I was peaking for my racing season my pace dropped around to a 1:35/100 yd pace.
The results showed during the 70.3 last June when I swam the 1.2 mile distance in 35:10, a gigantic improvement over 2013 when I swam that distance during the Syracuse 70.3 in 42:51. I was so pumped and excited when I was exiting the water last summer. And I was even more excited when my swimming continued to give me an edge during my shorter distance races as well last year.
With the off season and injury this Fall, I did not do much swimming… I was expecting that my paces would have dropped off and I was going to have a lot of work to do this year. However, a stroke (no pun intended) of good fortune found me this Fall. One of the times that I actually did go to the pool, I swam later in the evening – which is a rare thing for me – and ended up getting a swimming pointer for my stroke that is paying off big time as I start up swimming again this season! I had only been swimming a few minutes last Fall when the swimmer in the lane next to me stopped me and asked if I would be offended if he gave me a tip. I welcomed the input and he pointed out that I was leaving my swim stroke a bit short and not obtaining the full benefit of the work I was putting into the water. He claimed I would easily shave off 5 seconds from my splits if I could successfully change me stroke. So, for the few sessions that I did put in at the pool this Fall, I focused on changing my stroke and building up my muscle strength in my shoulders as this change in my swim stroke did utilize a slightly different bit of strength to pull me through the water.
So, what are the results of this? By the time I started hitting the pool in mid-December, I found that the change in my stroke now feels natural, and I am also noticing that my swim times are generally faster without additional effort or exertion. It’s amazing. And now, I can’t believe what happened today – I set a 3 minute PR on my 2000 yd swim distance by finishing in 32:08!! AND that PR included a warm up and cool down pace within the 2000 yds! My swim workout was just to swim straight for 30 minutes today… I have to admit when I saw that in my schedule, I was a little disappointed. I’ve come to love the workouts that my coach KRoe lays out for swimming. They typically include a warm up, some drills, and then various segments that focus either on building endurance or speed. A 30 minute swim without any direction seemed like it would be boring, however it was great! I was able to just relax and settle into a pace. It also gave me some time to really focus on my swim stroke and also just think a bit about things while knocking out my laps.
What a great way to end a great couple of weeks. I’m very excited to see where things are going to go this year. I know I have a lot of endurance and distance to build up before the end of July, but I’m really encouraged by the results that I’m seeing on the bike and in the water so far! (The running is a different story, but I’m being patient with that…)
So with that, onto the recaps:
Week 1: (11 Hours)
- Monday – 2000 yd Swim
- Tuesday AM – 75 minute Trainer Ride
- Tuesday PM – hiking in Lake George
- Wednesday – 45 minutes of weights, 35 minute Run
- Thursday – 75 minute Trainer Ride
- Friday – 35 minute Run
- Saturday – 120 minute Trainer Ride, 45 minutes of weights, 50 pushups
- Sunday AM – 2200 yd Swim
- Sunday PM – 50 minute Base Run
Week 2: (7 Hours)
- Monday – 75 minute Trainer Ride
- Tuesday – 30 minute Run
- Wednesday – 60 minute Trainer Ride with Tabata Sprints!
- Thursday – 2000 yd Swim/LEAD NY Class
- Friday – Rest Day/LEAD NY Class
- Saturday – 125 minute Trainer Ride/LEAD NY Class
- Sunday Workout 1 – 2000 yd Swim – Straight 30 minute swim – a new PR!
- Sunday Workout 2 – 60 minute Base Run
Phone Photo Dump//
Vacation week = the perfect Monday morning… post swim, blogging, smoothie and coffee – win, win, win!
My little (itty bitty) nephew! Had a chance to go hang with him for a while in the NICU!
Post workout stretching. 2 hours on the bike, 1 hour of weights. It’s just the beginning for IMLP!
Someone snuck onto the couch… and is doing his best to “hide”.
Hiking Prospect Mountain in Lake George!
An update on the big box from my last post… I finally got my very own treadmill!!! And it’s found a home in the Pain Cave. (i.e. where I’ll be spending a lot of time this winter and early spring!)
This past week, I had my LEAD NY Class in Syracuse Thursday-Saturday. On Friday afternoon we visited a few farms, including this one with a 100 cow rotary parlor! It was fun to watch how excited the cows were to jump onto the “carousel” and how relaxed they were as they took their ride around!
Thinking warm thoughts – A smidgen of spring during these long cold days!
I choose to chase them. Every. Day.
Cheers! I hope you all had a fabulous new year and a good start to January!!