Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Lesson on Flailing

Amongst my many books, I read somewhere that you use half of your energy to combat wind resistance at 14-15 mph on the bike. When you get up to and above twenty, you are using seventy to eighty percent of your energy to combat wind resistance.

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.

Wes

9 comments:

Mike Russell said...

Simple and elegant indeed. Swimming is all about form. I wish I had more time to spend focusing on form and the wisdom to actually listen to the people who try and help me with my stroke!

My Life and Running said...

Cheers for swimming smarter! And love the word trio... especially the "doable" part!

Michelle said...

'Simple. Elegant. Doable.' Love it!

Jess said...

The "doable" seems most wise.

Jess said...

Man I love that last line! I definitely think being more efficient in the water is helping to make you faster! Nice job!

challenges2010 said...

Interesting facts about wind resistance. I must have known this intuitively as I never seem to bike more than 14-15mph into the wind.

Lisa said...

Swimming seems to be A LOT about form. I'm still learning...

LBTEPA said...

Lovely :)

Leana said...

Sounds like a great game plan! A well executed swim and bike can set you up for a great run.

Just before IMC my coach had forwarded this to me:
http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/4-Keys-to-Ironman-Execution.htm
Have your read it before? If you can find the podcasts they are well worth listening to. If not, shoot me an e-mail and I can forward what I have.