Water is 800 times as dense as air.
As plans change, and yes, all plans change, I have switched gears a bit now. The Monday skills session is out. As soon as I start swimming again on Mondays (LOL!), it will be replaced with a muscular endurance workout. In the mean time, one or two of my sessions per week have moved to race pace.
Originally, when I started my long sessions on Friday, I thought a 1:45 per 100 pace would be fine, but my body was having none of it. It insisted on swimming a 1:37 per 100 yards, and I was fine with that, and so that is what I have been doing. My muscular endurance sets are intervals at T-pace (1:33) mixed with pull sets. I have been inclined more often than not, just to do these at race pace. Today, I was cruising in at 1:35 or so per 100 yards.
Then the thought hit me. My T-pace used to be 1:34, and now, I'm cruising in at 1:35 - 1:37 for my race pace, and I'm having to consciously slow down and take my time, with good form of course. I fully realize that some of this certainly comes with increased fitness and loss of weight, but I can't help but wonder how much of it is due to better form and lack of struggle through the water?
I have caught myself numerous times, especially at the end of my sessions, where I am going through the motions of stroking hard, but I'm not moving much water. By swimming smarter, and not just harder, I'm able to come within spitting distance of my T-pace, at a considerable savings of energy. Swim relaxed, sleek, and smooth.
I'm not planning to PR the swim or the bike at IM Arizona. As a matter of fact, I'm looking to give time back to the triathlon gods. It's on the run where I plan to win "my race". You heard it here first. Simple. Elegant. Doable.