I have two years worth of swim workouts, courtesy of Coach, and she always was a an expert at dreaming up interesting ways to kick one's arse in the pool. However, repeating the same workouts over and over again gets rather droll, and I am always on the look out for some fun time in the pool.
The two books, I just finished reading, reminded me that excellent swimming is seventy percent technique and thirty percent strength, give or take a few percentage points. Thus, my refocus in the pool on technique. I'm pretty sure I can bang out sub 1:30 100s any time now. I need to unlock the secret to 1:20s and 1:15s.
One of the recommended techniques is swimming slower to race faster, kind of like long slow runs, no? The other technique is a single minded focus on stroke count (which translates into distance per stroke). With that thought in mind, I set off to the pool at lunch yesterday to get in my 2100 yard workout.
I warmed up with 300 yards easy, focusing on keeping my head down. I have a habit of looking to far in front when I swim. I then did 8x25 drill, and 1x50 swim golf, to establish my score and stroke count. I managed a score of 74, coming in with 28 strokes for fifty yards. With 14 strokes per length of the pool, I then did 8x100 with the goal of keeping my strokes within a range of 14-16, and my time within 3 seconds of 0:49. My stroke count started off at 14, then 15, then towards the end, I was trying not slip past 16. I noticed that the higher my stroke count went, the slower I was going. I realized that this is a great technique for maintaining a consistent effort across the workout. I wrapped up the session at 8x50 hard (stroke count 18, or +4), 8x25 kick (I hate kick!), and a 300 yard cool down.
Yesterday was also my first double in a long time. I waited until almost 8:15 to run, and it was still 90 degrees out! At least the sun wasn't out, and it really wasn't that bad till the end. Running on legs that also swam is so different from "just running". It was a good reminder, both of my past races AND where I need to be going forward.