I swam 101 minutes this morning starting around 8:00 at Konyaaltı Beach. It was sunny, warm (fall is here) but not hot, clear sky, with an dry offshore wind. The sea was around 30 C and clear to about 8m. The offshore wind countered the tiny swells so the surface was flat and brushed. There was a gentle easterly current that I did not notice until I was almost finished with the swim.

10 minutes careful warm-up to scan for what I wanted to keep an eye on during the swim.

Then a Tempo Trainer descending ladder set, on 250-stroke cycles. So each 250-strokes I clicked the TT down .03 second, starting on 1.20.

• 1.20, 1.17, 1.14
• 1.17, 1.14, 1.11
• 1.14, 1.11, 1.08
• 1.11, 1.08, 1.05
• 1.08, 1.05, 1.03

Sometimes between cycles I treaded water for 10 or 15 seconds to click the TT and look around (it is an breath-taking view from the water to the mountains around!), but I didn’t feel I needed any rest. At this point I am confident that I can maintain these descending tempos during a race without resting. The goal now is to develop even deeper SR range, as well as train my brain’s sensitivity so that I can control my acceleration during the race by feel, choosing my SR according to need, since I won’t have the TT tucked in my cap then.

I like the 250-stroke cycles (obviously- since I use them all the time!). It makes it easy for me to check my pace (SR) in the middle of a swim without a TT. Anywhere in the middle of a swim or race I can just click the split button on my watch and count off 250 strokes then click it again, or just glance, to check the time and determine my SR.

• 5:00 min = 1.20 SR
• 4:47 min = 1.15 SR
• 4:35 min = 1.10 SR
• 4:22 min = 1.05 SR
• 4:10 min = 1.00 SR
• 3:57 min = 0.95 SR

I have my little 250- stroke  SR chart memorized.  A swimmer could make her own chart to any set number of strokes desired- but it has big enough to dilute a small mis-count, and small enough to avoid a large one. (Sometimes, I am so caught up in the rhythm of the stroke that when I get to 150 I can’t remember if this is the first 0+50, second 100+50 or last 200+50! So I just glance at the watch and can tell if I have more to go- it’s all mathematical).

I feel that SR training and measuring is important because I see now, after using the TT so much, how much my brain has a very subjective sense of pace- the same SR can feel fast one moment and slow the next, then feel fast again! Swim with a TT long enough and you’ll see what I mean.

COMMENTARY

I felt great the whole time today, and felt even better towards the end. I didn’t want to stop.

I didn’t eat breakfast, as usual, but my tummy was grumbly on the scooter drive down to the sea so I stopped and bought a fresh ‘simit’ (bagel-like bread with sesame seeds on top) from a roadside stand and ate half. That put a stop to it and gave my stomach something to work on besides sipping sea-water.

At around the 40′ mark I started to notice an irritation in my left shoulder joint during the recovery motion. It was not serious, but it felt like something that could get more irritating- although my experience this year has shown that the higher my tempo the less irritated my shoulders tended to feel. So I started to fiddle with how I was swinging that arm on recovery and found a wider, lazier swing did the trick and the irritation went away. (I am careful to not sleep on that shoulder anymore).

Another great swim today. I will start developing some more mixed up 5km tempo sets that will give me a chance to learn how to deal with early race fatigue and mid-race sprints.

© 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.

Translate »