View Full Version : My pool is shutting down...

August 17th, 2012, 11:45 AM
...when I need it the most!

I'm doing Big Shoulders on 9/8, first time, longest OWS I've ever done (previous longest was an Oly tri I did in '10).

Every year, the last 2 weeks of August, my Y closes the pool 'til the day after Labor Day for cleaning and maintenance. I totally get it, not upset about it, but it's right at the shank of my training!

What makes it worse is the fact that:
-The "alternative" pools available to us, at no extra charge (which is nice), open at 6am (my Y opens at 5:30am), and they won't open at 5:30am for those of us who are used to the Y's 5:30 opening--I've asked. I need to be on the road for work by 7am, which leaves me 45 min. to work out. If I was tapering, no problem. But it will be the peak of my training.

-I am on an "away" plan with two other Y's in other towns, and they have much better hours, but I have to travel about an hour to/from each of them.

-(If this sounds terrible--sorry!) I finally found a place for OW workouts--a small, murky lake by a friend's house. It's a private development, so one must have a homeowner's permission to swim there, which I had. My friend died last Friday, 8/10, and she was a widow, so there was no one else living there and her family is selling the house ASAP. I am, of course, deeply saddened that I lost my friend--I was very fond of her--but now I've also lost my OWS training venue.

So...I punt!

I'm open, of course, to creative suggestions, but for now my plan is to go ahead and use the "alternate" pools for a few 45 min. workouts, and make those workouts hard/fast/intense.

I'll also do 3-4 longer workouts at the "away" Y pools.

I'll also step up my cross-training, with strength workouts, cycling and running.

And I'll hope for the best!

(Thanks for reading my rant/whine, and as I said, I'm open to ideas!)

August 20th, 2012, 05:52 PM
I think my best advice is: don't sweat it. You'll be fine! Yeah, 45 minutes isn't a lot, but if you've been training it's going to be plenty to keep you going for the next few weeks especially when you add in a few longer workouts.

August 20th, 2012, 06:50 PM
I think my best advice is: don't sweat it. You'll be fine! Yeah, 45 minutes isn't a lot, but if you've been training it's going to be plenty to keep you going for the next few weeks especially when you add in a few longer workouts.I agree. What I'd recommend working on during the 45 minute swims is something like this:

5 to 10 minute quick & dirty warmup (e.g., simulate the fact that you won't likely get much of a warmup on race day at BS)
30 minute timed, straight swim -- ideally mixing in

Sighting work every 25 -- e.g., lift your head and practice OW sighting once or twice per lap
Speed / gear changes -- simulate the fast pace of a race start into a smoother pace, then randomly throw in some sprints in the midst of your straight swim

5 to 10 minute cool down

On your away days, when you might have the luxury of time in the water, try to do some 4K to 5K long workouts with a lot of the main workout being at your target BS race pace over repeat distances from 200s up to 800s (e.g., 25 x 200 up to 6 x 800).

Then, on race day, make sure you catch a good draft for as much of the race as possible :)

August 20th, 2012, 11:15 PM
What's special about late August? I know at least two pools that also did maintenance closing in the weeks before Labor Day.

August 21st, 2012, 11:21 AM
knelson and pwb: Thanks so much! I like the training suggestion you posted, pwb. I'll do the straight swim tomorrow morning, when I have a "45".

I did a 3200 yard workout this morning at my "away" Y pool. Wide variety of drills, intervals and speeds.

Thanks again!

August 21st, 2012, 06:40 PM
My local Y has also shut down the pool for cleaning and maintenace from August 20 to Sept 3. They do it every year just before Labor Day.

I think they time it to coincide with the end of their session of swim lessons as the kids return to school. Then after Labor Day the next sesion of lessons start.

I am glad they clean and maintain the pool, but the timing just before Big Shoulders ....

I was able to swim yesterday at another Y that is near my job. It will be closed starting the 26th, so looking for another pool next week.

August 22nd, 2012, 09:43 AM
pwb: I followed your coaching, and did the straight swim this morning. About 7 min. of warmup, 35 min. of straight swim with speed-up and slow-down intervals here-and-there. Ended with 5 min. of c/d.

Totaled 1800 yards--in that pool, 5400 feet. It's 100 ft. long, built around WWII. Maybe it's one of those pools built to be under a basketball court.

Tonight I'm doing strength training, and tomorrow, I'll either take the day off or I'll take a short hard bike ride. Can't swim due to schedule.

August 22nd, 2012, 10:53 AM
Our pool also shuts down the last two weeks of August. Been doing that since I was a kid.

During this time, I agree that the longer, continuous swims with some speed play will aid in your continued preparation for Big Shoulders. Planned rest days are a good thing, too.

Have a great race! :cheerleader:

August 27th, 2012, 08:37 AM
Every year I have the same problem, often worse, and this year is particularly bad. I normally swim at a JCC that follows the Jewish calendar, so it is already closed friday night and saturday, as well as most of September because of the holidays. This makes training for the NYC Little Red Lighthouse (late September race) almost impossible so I don't even enter. I just found a masters group to swim with near work, but their pool shut down for maintenance in late July and will not reopen until Sept. The JCC shut down last week until October for repairs. Until Labor day, I have an outdoor town pool that has 2 lanes for laps, but it is often crowded with "recreational" swimmers who are very slow, and once there are more than 2 people in the lane, I cannot go at pace without running over people and getting into fights because they won't get out of the way. I will just be doing a one mile OW swim on Sept 8 instead, and don't feel I am nearly in the shape that I should be in even for that. I am just resigned to the fact that I won't do as well as I could have, and no way could I have done a longer distance this year.

August 27th, 2012, 09:51 AM
Well, I worked out this morning in another "substitute pool". It's 25 yards (instead of the 100-ft. pool we were in last week, which is now also shut down for cleaning), and outdoors. And FREAKIN' COLD!! A worker there told us it was heated. Yea, right!

Anyway, Wed. and Fri. mornings in that pool, Tuesday morning in an "away" Y pool, then back to my "home" Y for taper week. It's comin' fast, swimmers!!