Thursday, June 08, 2006

A swimming tale.

Hey guys, I think I can swim :).

It turned out that Endurosport is starting group swim next Wed. So I headed over to the beach myself. I saw a few guys swimming with their wetsuits. I figure if they can do it, I can do it. I saw one of them with fins too. Oh he must be a newbie. It turned out he is my coach. He called me over and I joined the gruop. Swimming in a group gave me a huge confidence boost. There was an lady who is almost twice as old as me. Boy, can she swim.

I swim 1 km. The coach tied two buoys 250 m apart and we swim back and fourth. Did a mix of drills, 10 strokes easy/10 hard, 30 easy/30 hard, sighting.

I am on the left(the only asian guy). Coach is right beside me. The girl in the middle is his assistant. The guy on the right just did a tri last weekend and the lady on the right is the fast swimmer.

By the end, my legs and shoulders were close to cramping. Need to do more proper warm up next time.

Later, I met up with my coach in the community pool for a consultation. I am flying. I am tired though. Can barely swim the two lengths keeping my form steady. My coach is impressed by how I swim in open water. We spent an hour focusing on my strokes. Here is what I have to work on:

- lead with elbow
- push the water all the way to my leg and leave it there for a sec (I tend to rush this process and don't push all the way)
- when breathing, make sure the extending arm is not crossing my centre line
- keep the hand nice and flat when I am pull
- keep a consistent stroke rate (not too slow, not too fast)

Things I learnt:
- when swimming fast, it is not to muscle your way through the water. Instead, push a bit more, pull a bit more
- don't swim alone. If my coach swims with someone, I will swim with someone or with lifeguard watching. Endurosports have group swims and my coach have open water swim. Will work that into my schedule.

I am more tired than I thought. NEVER EVER do your visualization lying on your bed. Woke up, visualize, and passed out and bailed my long run. Will leave it for tomorrow morning. Tonight, meeting someone from Toronto Triathlon Club at a beach to swim.

I am racing Muskoka Long Course next Sunday (2 km/55 km/15 km). My goal for this race is to rehearse for HIM and IM. It is a training except in a race setting. Until the run, I won't be going all out. In fact, I only would max out in the last few km or so. Here is what I want to work on:

- mental preparation, warm up
- good nutrition
- swim relax
- smoonth transition
- smoonth bike ride (no HR spike)
- end with a strong run

Of course, everyone thinks about time and I am no exception. Also of course, it depends on weather, wind, terrain. Despite the time..the most important goal..FINISH THE RACE. Pretty much drag my body back on shore is good enough already :D

Here is my breakdown:
Swim ~ 45 min
Bike ~ 120 min
Run ~ 80 min
Transition ~ 5 min (for both T1 and T2) [very conservative estimation..make a phone call...make some tea...etc]

Total - 250 min. Four hours and a bit more or less, not a bad way to train on a Sunday :-D

8 comments:

IMmike said...

That sounds like a really fun race cliff. Good luck. I can't wait to read your RR.

Batman said...

Rock on CLiff. Good luck!

Batman said...

Rock on CLiff. Good luck!

Mike said...

Cliff,
Great news that you found the group swims...I didn't even think about swimming alone in open water..duh!! Yes, not a good idea...never know what could happen out there so good to have some people around.
Keep it rolling dude! Asian Power! :-)

Kewl Nitrox said...

Yay! So glad to hear about the tremendous swim progress! Sounds like you were really flying in the water. Guess what, I am flying right now (857km/hr). Ha ha ha ha....

Kewl Nitrox said...

Mike's right. Avoid open water swims alone. A very bad idea even if you are an experienced swimmer.

Papa Louie said...

Have a great race!

Shelley said...

Good luck!! My good training partner "Dennis" will be there doing the LC race. I did it last year..the water is always cold! The hills non-stop..the race is always great though..have fun!!