Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Still here.

Just to give a quick update. I've been swimming everyday. My routine is to go to the pool after work. Splish splash for 40 min to an hour. Then do my other stuff.

Last week, I was working on my paper and so that's all I've done. Splish splash. Now the paper is done, I have more time to play around.

Last week, I thought I swim 10 km. It turned out I swim 9.9 km (nuts!). Oh well. I am swimming the most volume since I trained for Ironman back in 2007.

Two laps and I will get a 10. Not a big deal. 10 is an abritary number :). It can be 20 k or 30 k for those who are born with fins and gills :D

My body is absorbing the volume very well. A regular swim set for me goes like this:

500 m - Warm up
200 m - one arm drill
300 m - freestyle
200 m - another drill (breathing or catch up)
300 m - freestyle
250 m - pull buoy w/ high elbow drill
250 m - pull buoy cool down

This is the set I am gunning this week. Everyday. 1,500 m. 30 laps. There are no high intensity sessions (nor there is any need for one as we know swimming is 80% technique 20% fitness). When in doubt, swim relax and focus on the techniques.

Now this isn't a post for me to toot my own horn. Any swimmer can reach these volume easily. [Added: It took me three years to have my body use to adapt to these trainings.]

Looking at my race results, my swim skills actually declined after 2007. This is no surprise. I stopped seeing a coach two years ago. After Ironman 2007, I stopped swimming for months. This year, I didn't spend as much time doing drills or swim in general.

Reflecting the past few years, one of the things that helped me becoming a better swimmer was hitting the pool everyday. In 2006, I would get to the pool at 6:30 am. Swim for an hour then head to work. I did that 4-5 times a week. Sometimes before and after work. I was seeing a coach as well.

Drills, guidance and frequency were the key for me to swim from 4 laps to 40 laps.

I figure if I apply the same principles, that would help me becoming a stronger swimmer. Takes years to become an overnight success.

On the blogsphere, there were two good posts:

- Simon Whitfield's Wisdom and Advices interview with Impact Magazine (read the end about his advices on training for a tri..timeless)
- Coach Vance on Lessons learn as a coach (if a coach can learn from his mistakes, we can too)

December and Christmas is rolling around. It's pretty quiet on my end. That's good. I do enjoy some family and reflection time. Hit the slopes. Hit the trails. Can't go wrong with that! Just grateful to be healthy, be alive and well. all my American readers...belated Happy Thanksgiving..hope you have a good turkey meal.


Anonymous said...

Cliff, your swim numbers are higher than mine right now!

You are absolutely correct about swimming being a game of technique. The best swimmers are always thinking about what they are doing in the water and how they can do things better.

That said, probably at another point in your training cycle you will be doing some interval training at varying intensities, as it will also help you get faster.

ShirleyPerly said...

Haha, that line "it takes years to become an overnight success" made me smile.

Great to hear you're back to swimming regularly again. I too am focusing mostly on technique and not doing much intensity in the pool.

Steven said...

Great job getting some consistent splish-splash time, Cliff!

Happy Holidays...


Unknown said...

Nice swimming!!

I smiled when I read this "Takes years to become an overnight success." :-)

brendaj said...

I like your thoughtful approach to swimming. I remember your form work a while ago. also, "absorb" is a good word to describe all the training you're taking in!

Michael said...

Reading all your talk of swimming almost has me wanting to jump back into the pool... almost:) Keep it up and Merry Chirstmas.