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Alex's swim journal

2-mile time trial

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by , August 10th, 2013 at 07:24 PM (901 Views)
We (Scotty and I) tried to do this time trial in the lake today, but were shut out by a junior triathlon that had the beach closed to lap swimmers until 1PM. So, we made the 10-minute drive back over to the Y. At least this time trial would have the benefit of walls and flip turns, but we were sad to leave such a beautiful setting (water was perfectly calm; and there wasn't a cloud in the sky this morning) for the indoor confines of our usual workout venue.

After a hard week and yesterday's 4K workout I wasn't planning to have an exceptional time, but I did want to simulate a long continuous swim a week before the MOWS... try to find a rhythm and comfortable/hard pace I could maintain for about an hour. I finished the 3500 SCY in 56:18; it felt good (for some perspective, my postal 1-hour in 2012 was 3530 yards, so that two-mile time has come down almost 4:00 in the last 18 months).

My average pace was between 8:02 and 8:03 per 500... which looks pretty even, but I probably swam my first couple of 500s in the 7:56-7:58 range. The next two 500s were right at 8:00, there was a fall off in pace to around 8:10/500 between yards 2,000 and 3,000; and my final 500 was right at 8:00 again. I knew I could swim a hard, but still comfortable mile in 28:00, but wasn't really sure if I could come back and swim that next mile at the same pace... guess I got my answer: I was at about 27:50 something when I hit the 1-mile mark and felt like I was just hitting my stride (sorry to mix running metaphors into the swimming commentary... old habits die hard). My second mile wouldn't have been slower than 28:30. This pace, 1:36-1:37/100, was my 1650 pace only last fall, so I'm super psyched... good confidence builder going into the 2.4-mile open water swim next week. And maybe with a little tapering this week, I'll have more energy than I was feeling like I had toward the end of this week. Time will tell.

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  1. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Nice job. Even splitting a long swim like that is a great sign that your hard work is paying off. Good pace and good endurance is a great combination.

    For your next big meet you may want to consider a longer taper. I tend to like 3 week tapers. You typically keep your yardage up the first week and a half but gradually ease back on intensity and a week out really drop yardage with little to no intensity. You can't do too many of these a year but for your big meets you can see significant drops. I tend to taper quite well and it's not unusual for me to see 10-15 seconds or more drop on the 500 when fully tapered and shaved. I would be interested to see you do a fall program culminating in a meet where you shave and taper. If you don't like the shave idea try a program that includes a full taper. I think you will shock yourself how quick you can go.
  2. Sojerz's Avatar
    Wow Alex, great drops. Remember 1650 in a pool is not quite a mile (by 110 yards) so OW swims at an actual mile length increments could be a little slower even though you swam as fast or faster.
    I agree with Stewart - your taper should be started 2-3 weeks in advance, longer is apparently needed as one gets older.
  3. mcnair's Avatar
    Yeah, thanks guys, and I know the OW is going to be slower because of the sighting involved and (the lack of walls to push off of!). I did a longer taper before the state meet in March and saw a huge drop in my times (12 seconds off my 4IM, 6 seconds off my 100 back, maybe :45 off of my 1650), so I know it works. I feel like the short taper is fine right now... I'm still in a base build-up, basic conditioning phase right now and the OW swim is a great excuse to back off for a week or two to recharge before starting a real build up in advance of the December to March short course season we have here.