Tag Archives: swim set

Looking forward to the first cross country race of the season

13 Sep

Last night I managed to get myself back to swimming. It seems that there are a lot of people who really love swimming when they are pregnant, but I’m finding it incredibly frustrating. I can no longer go as quickly as I can and I find that my breathing is off… and my additional ballast is making me roll around in a way that makes it feel so difficult. In comparison, I’m much more accepting of being slower when running. I’m wondering whether it’s because even when I do parkrun, it’s very much on my own terms, whereas lane swimming with others means that I feel under pressure to go faster.

swimming pool

Anyway, it was an interesting session with a variety of sets. I can’t remember them all, but the main set was 200m steady front crawl; 15s rest; 125m hard front crawl; 25m recovery; 30s rest – 3 times. I didn’t do all of them and am not convinced that my fast was significantly different from my steady pace, but at least I completed the whole session.

I’m also incredibly grateful every morning when I get my bike out. The process takes a little longer than it used to, with multiple locks on the garage door and then further locks inside, but at least it means that my work bike is still there.

Every day I wonder whether today will be the day when I have to dismount and push my bike up the hill, but so far I seem to be doing OK. I’m a little out of breath at the top of the hill, but that used to happen when I first moved to the area, and I’ve still a few gears left. I’ve got 9 more days left at work, so hopefully I can keep going for that long.

This weekend, I’ve got two events lined up: parkrun on Saturday and then the first CC6 (cross country league race) of the season. The CC6 is at the same venue as Eastleigh parkrun, so it shouldn’t be too muddy this early in the season. It’s also one of the shorter races (assuming it follows the same route as previous years): 3.9 miles. I’ve not run that far for a few weeks, but I’m confident that I can do it. I now just need to source a vest or t-shirt from someone who is not built like an elite athlete as the rules stipulate that I need to wear a club vest. It’ll be the first CC6 that I’ll be doing wearing Southampton Tri Club colours instead of Lordshill, which will be a bit strange, but I figure the tri club needs me more than LRR… and there’s a hope that I might make one of the first 4 teams for the tri club, rather than being in at least the 10th team for LRR!

“Have some electrolytes and eat a piece of kale…”

13 Jun

I just love the latest video from IFHT:

I’ve had a busy week. Wednesday started with a pool session. I wasn’t given session specifics, so I decided to do a pyramid. As my shoulder still isn’t quite right, I didn’t want to push it too much, so I just did 2000m (I LOVE that I can now say ‘just’ when it wasn’t long ago that this would have been a major achievement!!!) I did 100m; 200m; 300m; 400m; 400m; 300m; 200m; 100m. My intention was to have a minute’s rest after each one, but a slight oversight meant that didn’t happen. After I arrived at the pool, I realised that my prescription goggles and my favourite swimming hat were in my swim kit bag with my pull buoy, fins and hand paddles… and that bag was at home. I’m partial to my shark hat as it is comfortable and stops water from going in my ears, and without contact lenses, glasses or prescription goggles, my eyesight is very limited, which makes doing basic activities somewhat hazardous. I almost gave up on swimming, but I realised that I had a tri club swimming hat tucked in my rucksack. I rarely wear it as it’s not as comfortable as my other hat and it feels a bit pretentious to wear it when swimming in a public pool – I’d rather not draw attention to the fact that I’m desperately trying to be a triathlete, as I feel that other people have preconceived ideas about how good a swimmer I should be. (That’s probably in my head, but I don’t like attracting attention). I also realised that I have the cheap pair of goggles that I bought in Cyprus in my rucksack, so I put them on and went into the pool. I was able to read my watch, but even with squinting, I couldn’t make out any of the numbers on the giant wall clock.

My husband was just finishing his swim set as I arrived. I had seen him when I walked into the building (there’s a glass wall in the reception that shows off the pool), but with restricted vision, I had to wait until he was just a metre or so away to be sure that it was him. He had another 100m to do and agreed that when he had done that, I could borrow his goggles. They aren’t prescription ones, but they are quite expensive and more comfortable than what I had. I was really appreciative of them, although I’m not convinced that orange lenses are helpful. A plus side of not being able to see was that I think it helped my stroke. I know that I pick my head up far too high out of the water when I breathe and have narrowed this down to three problems:

1. I have a fear of inhaling water and don’t believe that I create a bow wave

2. I like to know what’s going on around me, so I try to have a look when my head is out of the water (when I couldn’t see anything, there was no point in trying this)

3. When I breathe, I relax and don’t kick, so my legs sink. I can’t believe that I’ve only just noticed this!

Tri club swim hat montage

In the evening, a lot of my friends did a cross-country race, but I went to see the sports masseur who had a look at my injured right leg. I don’t know what she did to it, but it hurt then and it’s still painful now 😦 Hopefully, tomorrow it will feel amazing!

Arriving at the Sports Centre

Arriving at the Sports Centre

Yesterday’s training started at the track at 6:30am.It was a session about cadence and pace, so we had to do multiple laps of the track at different paces (easy, 5k, 3k, 1k, all out, 1k, 3k, 5k, easy), which doesn’t sound too bad, but we had to count the number of steps each lap took. That requires tremendous concentration for before 7am!!! For me it was between 300 and 400 each lap. I’m intrigued by what my coach is going to do with the info.

Athletics track

Athletics track

We then moved on to a variety of exercises and the famous hurdles came out again. They were put in a square and we had to hop over them. Hopping forwards and sideways isn’t too bad, but hopping backwards over an obstacle that you can’t really see is challenging!

Ant demonstrating his new form of torture 2

Ant demonstrating his new form of torture

Ant hopping 1

Ant hopping

Yesterday evening, I had to do an hour on my bike, including 4 reps of a steep hill. It was meant to be a 2 minute hill climbing effort, but once again, I judged it incorrectly, so I found a hill that took about 1:45. I’m hoping that’s close enough!

Today was an optional 30 minute swim, but as I had quite a busy day at work and am feeling exhausted, I decided to take it as a rest day, so that I’m ready for tomorrow’s 70 minute run.

Does your coach get you to do any unusual drills? Who do you think wins the rap battle?

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