Today I swam 64 minutes at 9:00, at Konyaaltı Varyant. I swam east along the cliffs. It was sunny, hot, no wind. The sea was 29 C, with slight swells, no waves, no wind ripplies. The water was very clear- 8m plus.

10 minute warmup then straight into 250-stroke alternating sprint/cruise tempo BY FEEL, and measure my tempo after each repeat (I have the general seconds per 250-stroke memorized for my tempo range- or I can easily calculate them at home from the splits on my watch). Tempo results as measured below (sprint tempo, cruise tempo respectively)

  1. 1.04, 1.17
  2. 1.02, 1.15
  3. 0.97, 1.19
  4. 0.97, 1.14
  5. 0.94, 1.17
  6. 0.94, 1.17

The idea behind doing these alternating tempos is that during a longer race I want to be comfortable speeding up and then settling back down as needed- whether manouvering with other swimmers or heading into various sea conditions. I want to be ready to turn it way up at the beginning or middle, not just at the end, and then ‘rest’ things while still keeping along whatever pack I have chosen to draft. Not only is it a great physical skill, it is a great mental strength to know I can handle some higher tempos early in the race (by necessity or by mistake) without jeapardizing my ability to still finish well. I can click down or up a gear to meet the conditions.
I felt great. The sprints were steady, strong, aerobic and I accelerated on each- without increasing effort level. I transitioned between them without strain and I was pleased to see that I have overcome the problem I experienced in the race I did in June- no excessive pulling from the small shoulder muscles (as evidenced by disproportionate fatigue in those muscles). It was a core-body effort. I am doing better at keeping my head down, chin tucked (it’s much easier in OW than in the pool with tiles racing by the face, drawing the gaze forward) and I was breathing out steadily, the foot flick initiating each hip thrust.

I still felt some nerve tension running up my arms, in the biceps particularly. It may be from other strains- like the tension of holding the handlebars of my scooter while driving around Antalya, defending my life- this is truly stressful on the nerves! It did not get worse as I accelerated fortunately or I would have quit. But I need to find a way to calm it down and reduce the inflammation in the elbows.

© 2010, Mediterra International, LLC. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mediterra International, LLC and Mediterraswim.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.