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Alex's swim journal

5K Postal results

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by , July 26th, 2012 at 05:24 PM (1115 Views)
Short version: 1:37:40 (sigh). Wilson outdoor pool, Milwaukee.

I wasn't as close to my SCY time as I wanted to be, but I'm not going to complain too much... I'm still learning a lot about pacing in LCM and OW. This is only my third LCM swim of the year.

Long version:
My oldest son and I arrived about 8AM, to find half the lanes taken by a youth swim team. Uh-oh. I was a little concerned, so I asked the guard and she said the rest of the lanes would more than likely not fill up. And sure enough the morning lap swim was much sparser than the last two evening swims I've made at this pool. There were never more than 2-3 other swimmers at a time for the remaining 4 lanes; so I never had to worry about exceeding the lane-limit.

I gave my soon-to-be-college-bound son some basic instructions for filling out the split sheet, gave him my cellphone with the stopwatch function set so he could just push the button when I hit the wall and read the time at his leisure, so I would have a pretty consistent idea of how my splits looked when it was all over. The only thing I didn't do that I wish I had, was tell him how to communicate with me... I can't hear underwater, so he was trying to feed me split times and I wasn't getting anything but "your at...gurgle, gurgle." I finally noticed a digital pace clock set up at an angle for the swim team, but I could only really read it when I was 10-20 meters from the edge of the pool... so sometimes I would see it at 10, sometimes at 15, sometimes at 20; from what I could tell, though, it looked I was swimming under 2:00/100. My son is a really smart kid, and a great conversationalist, I imagine it is hard for him not to speak in complete sentences... bless his heart, what I needed was quick, one word pieces of information: 2000; 38:46. What I was getting instead was "Hi, you're pretty consistent, looks like a ..." [splash].

Around 3000 I was finally able to communicate that I just needed time and distance, or distance and time... he got the idea toward the end.

As it turns out my pace probably averaged 1:57-1:58 (I'll find out the exact pace when I enter my splits and total time on-line). So I was pretty consistent... consistently slow. I really wanted to be at 1:55, but it just wasn't happening and I had no way of knowing for sure to make the appropriate adjustments. In 25-yard pools I've done 3-mile swims in under 1:30:00, so I thought I could get it under 1:35 at the very least, but not today. At the 1600 (1-mile split) I was at 30:51; close, but slow. The 2nd and 3rd Ks were my slowest: 3200 (2-mile split) was 1:02:27. I know I can break one hour for two miles, and expected to do so; I'm a little disappointed at not doing it.

Here are my splits by 1000:
1K = 19:00
2K = 38:46
3K = 58:30
4K = 1:18:08
5K = 1:37:40

I was actually shooting for a 19:00/K pace, but slowed too much in kilometers 2-4 (19:46, 19:44, 19:38)... my last K in 19:32 wasn't much of an improvement. The 100s sure click by a lot faster in SCY.

Silver lining: my pacing is fairly even, if slow, I made 1:57 and 1:58 a lot. And I can feel it when I slow by even a couple of seconds; I'll lose concentration and the rhythm will suddenly be gone. So when I look at the split sheet I think I can really tell when my good stretches were and when the slow ones set in... need to remember the feel of those faster, more rhythmic laps. I can't be sure because I didn't get the splits on the spot, but I suspect that my slower 100s were also the ones that felt harder too. So I still have a lot of technique work to do.

More silver lining: it's my first LCM 5K. And 13-14 months ago I was having a hard time holding a 2:00/100 pace in SCY for anything over 2-3000 yards.

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  1. jaadams1's Avatar
    Nice job on the 5K Postal. At least you descended 1000s after the initial one. I haven't yet done one of these postals in any distance (at least as a masters swimmer), and don't really have any plans to do so either. For some reason I like doing short rest interval work better than long continuous swimming.
  2. knelson's Avatar
    The only thing I didn't do that I wish I had, was tell him how to communicate with me
    My advice on these postal swims is to just start swimming and don't worry about it. You'll swim how you'll swim!

    Nice job. Maybe you were a tad slower than you wanted to be, but at least you held it together nicely!