I swam 92 minutes this morning at Konyaalti Varyant at 7:00. It was sunny, warm (not hot- it’s definitely transitioning to Fall time now). The water was 30 C except for cool pockets of fresh water from underground streams coming out along the cliffs. Slight swells, no wind, or waves, so the surface was smooth. No current either. The underwater visibility was 10m + in the early morning light.

I am aiming for 90 minute swims as I estimate that to be around my normal-conditions enjoyable 5km time. I will occasionally do the 120 minute swims just to keep my time and distance endurance well beyond what a 5km race might demand of me, but for concentrated stroke and SR training I will use this 90 minute mark.

I swam 42′ east to the ancient harbor, along the cliffs, then back, then extended west along the beach for another 7 minutes to fill in my 90 minute goal.

11 minute careful warm-up to look for what I wanted to work on today. Then, as usual, I broke down the rest of the swim into 250-stroke cycles, with a focus point for each. But this time I used more ‘whole stroke’ thoughts with maybe one particular emphasis. For instance, I would make one cycle about long SL, with a good cutting glide, which I use when swimming into a current or against wind-driven chop. Then I would do a faster SR with a focus on high elbow catch that would be what I would use for a mid-race sprint or catching a new pack of swimmers I want to hang onto.

I interchanged these with variations throughout the whole swim. It was quite nice and I was still feeling energetic at the end.

Just the practice of changing pace up and down is important. I particularly want to condition myself to handle a taxing section of sprinting in the middle of a long race, whether I have to do it to gain a better position or to fight against some extraordinary water or weather conditions, but then have complete confidence that I will still be able to change pace and recover myself mid-race without fear of bonking.

I’ve taken note of Terry’s strategy of going out hard enough in the beginning of a race to hang on to the faster swimmers so he could draft off them and keep an overall higher race position than he could on his own. Although just cutting my own path on the side of the pack sounds more peaceful, if I really want to race and enjoy the uncertainty of it all, I should practice these skills that will let me jump in the middle of it all with confidence.

Don’t you think?

PS- If Google Maps was not blocked by the govt here (don’t ask, it’s stupid) I could get on and actually estimate how far this swim is- but I am just going on time and pace estimates for now.

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