I can’t complain that the pool we were giving our Portland OR workshop in was a bit cool for the level 1.0 drills we were working on today. 27 C is perfect for swimming laps, but for our short drills today it was giving us all the chills. A few laps however would rev our engines and get us through a few more minutes.

I have not posted any practice sets for a few weeks for a reason… for 3 weeks prior to traveling here to Oregon the university pool in Antalya where I train in the winter was an obnoxious 32, then 33, then 34 C!!!! (That’s over 91 F). It was ridiculously, dangerously hot for any sort of strenuous swimming. I was still faithful to get in and at least do some slow,  neuro-muscular training, but I would get out after 1000 or 1500.  That kind of temperature does not leave anyone feeling good afterward at all.

However, the folks in that part of the world seem to have a great fear of being wet and cold so the hotter the better- the children and elderly who use the pool certainly appreciate it.  But for a Oregonian like me, who has grown up running  in the rain and going numb for fun in the Pacific Ocean, cool water is a morbid pleasure, and certainly not illness-inducing as they fear.

I picked up a neoprene cap- actually two different models- to try out. I am going to attempt to jump back in the sea when I get back to Antalya. It’s only 16 C (61 F) and I have not been acclimated to such cool water, but I intend to pick a sunny day and don my sleeveless wetsuit and give it a try. I am sick of hot pool swimming- though I have tried to keep an adaptable attitude about it. I am just not getting any decent conditioning done this winter. I am desperate to stretch back out and get some long swimming in.

I am staying at my mom’s house. There’s a nice COOL community pool about a mile away and it opens EARLY- 5:30 am! Since my jelagged body wants to wake up at 4 am that time works just fine.  So I’ve gotten in a couple swims this last week.

Here’s my 3650 yd practice from Friday:

10x 50m warm-up

With Tempo Trainer starting at 1.20, then speeding up .01 second per cycle. Try to hold or reduce SPL as tempo increases. 9x this set:

  • 50 fist
  • 3x 100

Now, my goal was to condition my neuro-muscular system to adjust to faster tempos, with as little increase in exertion as possible. Since I am so behind in my conditioning this winter I still need to stick to one variable in my sets until I get them each prepared for combined intensity work .

So I made my rest interval dependent on nasal breathing- at the wall I would turn, close my eyes, calm myself , and nasal breathe- waiting until my lungs naturally shifted from exhale emphasis, to inhale emphasis, then launch into the next repeat. Maybe these rest intervals were like 10 to 15 seconds- it didn’t matter- my body was telling me when to go, not the clock. Over the course of 27x 100 this allowed my system to push neurological limits instead of be shut down early by metabolic limits. I identified which system I was working on before I began and protected that objective.

And it felt so nice in a cool pool. I didn’t want to stop even then but the lifeguard was kicking everyone out to prepare for the coming classes.

Cool laps to you!

-Mat

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