PDA

View Full Version : Two unrelated swim questions--need some input



FindingMyInnerFish
January 28th, 2007, 07:13 AM
Hi all,

I'm all over the streamline thing, hence one thread for two questions (or maybe that actually undercuts streamlined thread, but whatevah!). ;)

1. Suffering from "slowswimmeritis," I still have the goal of increasing swim distance every other weekend (alternating weekends are for increasing running distance, as I'm training for a half marathon in March, but that's for the running forum). Yesterday, I had a goal of 4200 yards, and so I arrived at the pool early b/4 masters' practice to get in some of my yards, with a plan to stay afterward to complete the remainder (it's a one hour practice, and the day I manage 4200 yards in an hour, I'll be dancing in the streets if I'm not too tired!). I was well on my way to achieving this goal. With the swim practice and the pre-swim, I had amassed 3300 yards, and I knew it would be no problem to add the rest, still feeling pretty good. But :mad: guess which time/day the local h.s. swim team had to use the pool for their workout--RIGHT after our masters' practice!! So goodbye goal!

However, my seething self needed some kind of victory. First thought was to go to my local h.s. pool (not the same h.s. as the swim team's) and start the whole thing from scratch, so I could get the whole bunch of yards in a single swim. But the coach wisely advised against that. He suggested instead, if I must double up, to just complete the difference btw what I did and what I wanted to do. Did that--900--and added 300 more for good measure. (Kept this easy, threw in some drills.)

But I'm curious: what would you have done in my situation? And have I (at least indirectly) achieved my goal? I figure getting the yards into a single day had to be close enough for the time being, and today I have a two hour workout where I may have another chance...but given that at the end of the day I found myself w/ a cold and my knee twinging, I'll have to go lighter than I'd hoped. So hard to balance all this as a newcomer to swimming!

2. This is something I need to get used to, since my butterfly isn't strong enough to scare away other swimmers. ;) I notice that if others are in my lane, I tend to lose my focus on technique and instead get preoccupied with staying out of the way of the other swimmer(s). Also (related), I tense up when there are others in the lane. Of course, I'm mindful that the reality of pools is lane sharing, so rather than shooting other swimmers who enter the lane, I want to get to a place where I can keep my focus/concentration/form (such as it is... needs work for sure). Do others run into this problem and how do you deal w/ it?

Should mention that it sometimes depends on the swimmer: there's a guy who does a quiet little breaststroke in one of the open swim periods, and I never find it a problem to swim in his lane even doing my freestyle because we seem to have a rhythm for staying out of each other's way and respecting each other's pace. Yet someone else doing the same thing would make me nutz! And generally, I'm very accommodating if someone wants to join my lane, although there's the guy who dives into the pool making a huge splash and taking up a good part of the lane... or the guy who half walks/half swims... or ... well you know... and when I see these folks coming, I have to admit, I speed up a lot until they choose other lanes. ;) But even with reasonable ppl, I just have a hard time getting focused. Advice appreciated!

CreamPuff
January 28th, 2007, 10:02 AM
Hi Findingmyinnerfish,

First, best of luck on reaching your half marathon goal. It's OW right?
You and I have been in the same "here comes the high school situation."

Here's what I've done in the past that's really worked:

1st question:
1. Build relationships w/ the high school coaches on deck - get to know them and make sure they know your goals (you may have done this); get on the HS team web site (if they have one) so you know their schedule in the future - ours post practice changes, etc. Or ask coach about their upcoming schedule so you can avoid conflicts going forward.
2. Ask coach for the lane to finish your 900 - you would love to have it for x minutes b/c of your upcoming marathon swim - I'm often amazed at how accommodating people can be
3. Ask coach if you can finish your 900 and do it by swimming with the team during their warm up (I've found that the skill varies greatly from lane to lane w/ HS) - the kids are fun to get to know and often very, very accommodating; some are super fast and some are there for the social aspect - ability varies; ask coach which lane is right for you

I started out swimming one set with the HS on occasion after getting to know the coaches and kids.

2nd Question:
If your half marathon is OW, the more difficult the pool conditions, the better prepared you will be for the swim. (Even if it's in a pool, I think that tough conditions will only prepare you further). I've found that a packed pool in the gutter lane with large men and paddles is much, much easier than swimming in any OW situation. I tell myself that those conditions will only make me stronger, so I start to seek them out now. Yes, it's very distracting but I found my ocean and lake swims to be much more distracting due to currents, water temp, marine life, winds, boats, jet skis, tides, visibility issues, fog, debris, poorly marked courses, ebbs and flows, dark waters, sighting issues, rip currents, you get the picture.

I usually try and have at least one swim a week where I swim by myself (find out what the down pool times are - they usually do exist) and focus totally on technique. It is heaven when that happens. But, you'll find that you eventually get used to all the noise and distration in the pool. :2cents:

Best of luck to you! Let us know how your training goes!
If you are doing a half marathon, you are amazingswimmeritis! :bow:

FindingMyInnerFish
January 28th, 2007, 12:21 PM
(S)he-man,

Thanks for the suggestions!

One clarification: my half marathon (in March) is of the running, not the swimming variety. Since I've run some marathons, half marathons and ten-milers before, I don't anticipate any serious issues w/ that. One advantage running has: I can run anywhere and no h.s. team can disrupt the workout. (Even a track taken over by a meet doesn't prevent me from switching gears--doing a hill workout or some such. But so much harder w/ pool availability... still I persist!)

However, I am planning and training for what is for me a pretty ambitious swim: a 5.25 mile open water swim in August. It's a bay swim so some of the problems that come w/ swimming in the ocean won't be such a huge factor--waves aren't very large unless there's a storm, in which case, they'd likely cancel. The water is generally on the shallow side, and in fact many parts of the course (based on a depth chart I looked at) are standing depth, although I doubt I'll try to run the standing depth parts! ;) Depending on what happens in that swim, I'll either say to myself, "stick to running, girl!" or "wow! this was incredibly cool and I want to do more!" or a combination of both lol!

Turns out my 2-hour practice today was cancelled due to... you guessed it! high school swim meet! It's a university pool but they're hosting area Catholic h.s.'s--knew I should have checked the website b/4 leaving. Oddly, however, I was more relaxed about it today, even a little relieved b/c I was feeling mildly under the weather due to a cold/sore throat trying to move in. I wondered even whether trying a workout would be such a great idea and whether a rest day might be in order. The decision was taken out of my hands for today.

CreamPuff
January 28th, 2007, 08:06 PM
Ah ha! Doh! Half marathon - running. Got it.

But, yes, a 5.25 mile swim is a challenging swim too. My first 5K (not miles) was in a lake and it was actually my most challenging OW swim to date due to poor visability, a poorly marked course, and a terrible chop. It felt like I was swimming in molasses, and I just about sprinted the whole way after running into a catfish half the size of me! :laugh2:

Seriously though, why not try a set or even a 500 warm up with the highschool team? It was the last thing I wanted to do when I first started back (had a lot of doubts like what if they lap me, etc.). HOWEVER, if you do it, it's a great way to feel like Rocky post your success. I've had great fun in the past getting into shape with them (sort of as a get ready for swimming with Masters). You sound focused and organized (with how much yardage you want to accomplish each day). But yes, if you're under the weather (like I am now too!!), rest!!

FindingMyInnerFish
January 29th, 2007, 12:15 AM
Ah ha! Doh! Half marathon - running. Got it.

But, yes, a 5.25 mile swim is a challenging swim too. My first 5K (not miles) was in a lake and it was actually my most challenging OW swim to date due to poor visability, a poorly marked course, and a terrible chop. It felt like I was swimming in molasses, and I just about sprinted the whole way after running into a catfish half the size of me! :laugh2:

Seriously though, why not try a set or even a 500 warm up with the highschool team? It was the last thing I wanted to do when I first started back (had a lot of doubts like what if they lap me, etc.). HOWEVER, if you do it, it's a great way to feel like Rocky post your success. I've had great fun in the past getting into shape with them (sort of as a get ready for swimming with Masters). You sound focused and organized (with how much yardage you want to accomplish each day). But yes, if you're under the weather (like I am now too!!), rest!!

I'll check into that idea about the h.s. team, although I think that yesterday was an exception and they normally don't train at the Y. But maybe just in case, it's good to have the option to slip in there with them to finish off my yards if needed.

A catfish half your size?? :eek: I didn't know they got that big! Most of my o.w. experience (which isn't a whole lot) is in salt water, including one ocean mile swim. My biggest fears were (1) sharks (there'd been some attacks off the Jersey shore so my fears weren't entirely groundless) and (2) waves. I'd grown up swimming in salt water, including the ocean, but had some scary experiences when younger and wouldn't have even thought of doing the ocean swim if it hadn't been for a very persuasive masters' coach. After fighting through a bunch of breakers and vowing "never again" (and thinking of what I was going to do to this coach if I survived), I found my way past the breakers and into relatively managable water, then once I got going, I felt a lot better. No sign of sharks either. I figured being a lone swimmer would be riskier than being in an organized group with kayakers and people on surfboards shepherding us along, so I figured, "relax, and just swim and have fun" and by the time I finished and saw the coach cheering me in, I had already cancelled my plans to make him pay. :) (He's such a great guy, in fact, and I only wish he had been able to keep on w/ masters' coaching b/c I got so much from his practices... but now studying in a very intense PT program. When he graduates, his clients will be very lucky!)

I had one lake experience--a short swim, only a quarter mile, followed by a 5k run. The bottom of the lake was full of some kind of rusty metal objects. Theoretically one could wade the swim part on the shallow side, but to wade was to risk stepping on something sharp and risking tetanus, so I stayed to the deep side until almost time to go to the shore. Saw no fish but maybe b/c the water was so murky (just as well I couldn't see much, I figured...maybe I wouldn't like what I saw) --also it was a pretty small lake.