In the middle of February I thought I was getting back into swimming and completed a 1500m swim which was slow, uncomfortable and generally horrid. After a few miles hiking I knew I was ill. I managed a few easy days in work and then was off for the rest of the week. That's very unusual for me!
Now in March I'm very nearly recovered although the cold air still makes me cough. On Friday I managed 600m in the pool including 4 sprint lengths, one of which I managed to bat 2:09min/100m. Today I took a step forwards and did 1000m, mostly in sets of 200m.
The first 3 sets felt different although all were at a very similar pace around 2:23min/100m. The first warm-up set had good form and fewest SPL. The second I worked harder and merely succeeded in taking more SPL! For the third I determined to 'take it easy' and indeed it was slightly slower (discounting being behind someone for a half a length) but not notably considering how much less effort I put in.
For the fourth set I did some sprint 67m sets and as above the effort only partially translated into progress. Then it was time to call it a day and the fifth set was very steady, thinking about elbows and form and being generally smooth and was 'slow' at 2:30min/100m. SPL was higher nonetheless showing a distinct loss of technique whatever my intentions were. On the plus side, that set felt as though it could have been a lot longer.
So I'm getting back into the spirit of swimming, just need to return to the habit of not stopping between sets whilst keeping this pace.