Swimming... it's better than I thought
by tiggaApr 11th 2010
I'm still a duathlete... I hated swimming, I was useless at swimming (in relative terms I still am) but at least I have seen some improvements! Until I do a triathlon, I'm still a duathlete, but I'm enjoying the swimming a bit more.
Its now only 14 weeks to IM Swissland but in my head it's more than 3 months away and thats way longer than 14 weeks? When I started swimming 3 weeks ago I really thought it was going to be a struggle to fit it all in and see the improvements in the water I saw when I did my one and only IM in 2005 (and also the last time I swam a stroke in a pool!). Work is a bit of pressure cooker at the moment too with deadline looming and I'm supposed to be working right now, but instead I'm sat writing this...ooops.
Training wise I had a major breakthrough in the pool this week, as I'm suddenly swimming 100's in 90secs, not 100secs! If I'm honest, I have not quite figured out why... stroke count per 25m is down by 4 per length to 17 and that has a lot to do with it I guess cos I simply feel longer in the pool. Quite exciting times to be improving so quickly, it took me 8 weeks in 2005 to see any major improvements and this time in just 7 swims I'm swimming as fast as I was when I did IM NZ, and swam 58min. I would say it's all good, but the biking and running training has been a bit hit and miss. I have got out and trained but if I want to see improvements I need ot get into a routine, and fitting in the swimming thang has made life a bit tricky. I've now concocted a weekly routine, and it's full steam ahead for Bala.
The last couple of weeks have been a struggle, mostly personal issues that I have had to deal with, but thankfully all is good now and I can now 'crack' on.
Eight weeks to Bala, and I'm not in bad shape actually. I have not been doing the run intensity I'd like to have been doing, but my biking still amazes me. I racked a 140km ride yesterday with some mates at a good old pace keeping the HR in check at 135-140, when I hit the front of little 4 man paceline I'd crank it up to 145-150 and felt surprisingly strong on my TT bike which I've not touched since Clumber Classic Du... well, thats a lie, I did have a bike fit wih Velomotion just to give the confidence I'm setup right. As it happens I was not far off 'ideal' for IM.
I have two indicators of fitness on the bike, one is three laps of Richmond Park TTing which I'm yet to do in anger this year. The other is Boxhill. I had 100km of hard riding in the legs when we hit boxhill yesterday and climbed it in 6:12, although I struggled to crank the HR up I took a lot of confidence from that. I was doing a lot of the donkey work in our 4 man group, and still had the legs to ride strong... Actually at that stage I was a tad hungers and the thing that got me to the top was carrot cake I knew was at the cafe at the top!! finished the day off with a 6 mile run in Wimbledon Common at more or less IM pace and felt pretty good!
Not a mega week of training, but productive from a swimming point of view, and now I've figured out how I'm going to fit it all in... let battle commence:-)
From now until Bala I'll be doing a weekly track session, get my long run in and up the bike mileage. Along the way I'm doing a 4 man relay LEJOG which will be a solid two days of riding 120-130 mile/day.
I set myself a rather lofty goal this year of winning Bala, for someone who is really a swimmer I thought it was a tall order, but actually now it doesn't seem so hard. I have to be able to swim ~30min and weather permitting I reckon I'm going to get close that course record... the thing that will probably get in my way is my team mate Mr Gilfillan!! Damn he can swim bike and run... playing catch up to him won't be easy!
Now the weather has cheered us all up a bit I hope you're all training machines and fighting fit for the summer races.