Monday, April 18, 2005

Finding Another Gear In the Pool

Swimming has always been the bane of my tri-career, such as it is. I could never get past the feeling of being out of breath, hyperventilating or 'going lactate' - whatever you choose to call it. I couldn't swim a 100 without throwing a breast-stroke 25 in there to catch my breath.

My doctor tested my for all kinds of things, including exercise-induced asthma which, the theory went, would be exacerbated by the air's ambient chlorine. Negative. I worked for a year on my stroke mechanics with a Total Immersion-qualified trainer. So far so good. But, especially in races, it would always go to hell. I was SURE that my lungs just could NOT deliver enough air to keep me alive and afloat. And it got to my head. I was ready to throw up my hands and say 'screw it, I'll always suck and that's that.'

That's a rather long preamble for my summary of today's swim, where the strangest thing happened. The workout was 3,100 yards total, with the main set being 1,500 yards done as 275, 250, 225, 200, 175, 150, 125 and 100, with :10 rest intervals between each. My time was 30:17 for the entire 1,500 including the rest intervals. By contrast, my time in last August's Accenture Chicago Triathlon (for the same distance) was 41:00.

Even better, I swam the entire workout with absolutely relaxed, effortless breathing. I can't freakin' believe it. I had sensed a positive change several swims ago, especially when I swam a straight 1,000 with no problems. But I just figured they were aberrations. Shoulda been more positive, I guess.

Looks like my goal of a 2:30 Olympic tri this summer is actually within reach.

So I swam the 3,100 and did a 45 minute strength workout and life is good.


White Salamander said...

Sounds as though you've had a breakthrough in your swimming! Congrats on that. Now it should just get easier and easier. If only a similar thing could happen to me on the bike.

Vertical Man said...

I really can't tell you why it happened when it did (or took so long.) Stick with it is the best advice I can give. It'll happen.

Comm's said...

thats awesome man, I have a similiar situation with my swim. I hope that I have a similiar breakthrough.