Thursday, November 16, 2006

Time trial

I read an interesting discussion once about the subject of LSD (Long Slow Distance) in swimming. Why, it was asked, don't we do that in swimming? It's part of our bike and run training, why not do it in the pool?

A good question that I'm not qualified to answer. But they had a point -- pool time is all about intervals and drills, very little about just swimming long distance -- at least in my experience.

Sometimes I like to break out of that and just do a long swim to check out how I'm doing. When I was preparing for my first sprint tri, I did several 800 yard swims to overcome the mental "How can I swim a half mile?" barrier. The mental barrier was there, even though at the time I was doing about 2000 yards in a workout -- I just wasn't doing it all at once.

The swim was a very positive experience. I didn't fear the distance anymore, and had a good feel for the pace I needed to go.

This summer I had a similiar experience when I did a mile swim. I found that I could hold a pretty good pace for a fairly long time with no problems -- better than I expected, actually. Since then, my swimming has been improving steadily.

To prepare for my 1/2 IM in June, I'm going to do one 2100 yard time trial each month as a check and confidence builder. The first one is done: 37:27 for 2100 yards. A respectable 1:47/100 pace. And the best part? I felt like I was getting off easy. Maybe next time I'll throw in a set of 10x100 when I'm done!


Check for yourself -- my training log.

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