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Alex's swim journal

It's a journey: musings on art, literature, life... and occasional notes on training.

  1. 9000-yard weekend; tropical heat wave at the Y?

    by , January 20th, 2013 at 11:59 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    It was like slipping into a warm bath... only I was hoping to get in a couple of high-yardage workouts, not play with rubber ducky! I've gotten spoiled apparently over the last couple of years here at the Kenosha Y where the lap pool normally has temps around 78 or 80 and the air temperature is a tad cooler. Today the temps had to be close to 90, yesterday at least 86-87. I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm hoping they'll have this temperature thing taken care of soon, we have a high school team practicing in there 6 days a week, I can't imagine they're comfortable.

    Yesterday I planned to do a repeat of the 7200-yard workout I did about a month ago: 5 sets of 12 x 100 fr on 1:45 with a warm-up 200 and and 200 back or breast between sets. Here's how far I got:

    200 swim (fr, bk, br, fr by 50s)
    12 x 100 on 1:45 (1:34-1:35s)
    200 br on 4:00
    12 x 100 on 1:45 (1:34-1:35)
    150 bk/br on 4:00
    12 x 100 on 1:45 (mostly 1:36s)
    150 br on 5:00
    12 x 100 on 1:45 (1:37-1:38s)
    100 br on 3:00
    4 x 100 on 1:45 (1:36-1:40)

    6000 SCY/1:40.00

    Workout started off great, every rep was coming in under 1:35 or right at 1:35, somewhat of an improvement over the last time I did the workout, but things started to come apart after that second set; I had to drop 50 breast off of the recovery swim and take a minute breather before starting the next set... the 100s then started to slow no matter what I tried to focus on to pull the times back down. The 100 times were still well within the range of where they were last month, so I would have continued to slug it out, but I started cramping around yard 4000, and ran out of gatorade/water pretty quickly. 1/3 through my last set I called it quits, I felt pretty bad. The scale said I lost 3 pounds, all water weight I'm sure and I'm attributing it to the high pool temps. I usually don't have any trouble staying hydrated, if anything I have a tendency to over hydrate and end up taking a bathroom break in the middle of these long weekend workouts. I was pretty disappointed and it took me all afternoon to get re-hydrated and start to feel less "droopy." Next week I'm taking a couple of gallons of ice water with me if they don't correct the water temp.

    Today, I ran a mile on the treadmill to warm up for a conditioning session (core work, injury prevention, foundational strength) then headed off to the pool feeling stiff and worn out. With the water temp even hotter today, I decided to swim nice and EZ, focus on slide and glide, lengthening the stroke, just taking it nice and easy for 2000 continuous free. Then I felt pretty loose and decided to work in a descending ladder of IMs for my final 1000; here's what I managed:

    2000 EZ contniuous swim (36:00)
    1:00 rest

    400 IM on 10:00 (7:50)
    300 IM on 7:00 (5:45)
    200 IM on 5:00 (3:50)
    100 IM (1:48)

    3000 SCY/61 minutes

    This was the first time I've done an entire 400 IM all at once, so my fly endurance and form is getting a little better; the back and free were just slow, the breast was extremely disappointing... I know it's supposed to be the slowest stroke, but, dang! I'd like to take at least one or two good cycles before it all falls apart! This workout really taxed my system, especially after doing the drylands conditioning beforehand.

    One realization I had today, though, while swimming in our new tropical swim zone at the Y, is that one of the things that probably brought about my overtraining last summer in August was the fact that I was trying to maintain the same mileage and speed in the lake when the water temps were in the mid- to upper-80s that I had been swimming when the temps were in the low to mid-70s. Since the temperature change happened gradually over the course of a month or so it wasn't as noticeable... but I shouldn't have been shooting for "improvement" at that point (and then overdoing it to compensate for the fact that I wasn't seeing the improvement I thought I should be seeing). Running track in Texas in July and August as a kid, we always stopped trying to improve our times after June... there was no getting better with temps always in the 90s-100s; it was all about heat management and trying not to lose fitness. Our times were always slower in late July than they were in late May, but so were everybody else's. Guess it's the same in the water!

    At least I wasn't as dehydrated today after the swim, just beat.
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