Friday 31 March 2017

February 2017 Week 6 Session 3

I put a bit of effort in this evening and was rewarded with 12/12 'fast' sets being at 2:00min/100m or better. A few of these were around 1:52min/100 which I'm happy with. Unfortunately my closing 100m set didn't achieve the threshold pace of 2:00min/100m but I was quite fatigued by then; indeed each of the 3 lengths was distinctly slower.

Sunday 26 March 2017

February 2017 Week 6 Session 1

I was tired from the minute I first got into the water, the slowest warm-up set in months! Anyway, that slowness might have worked out as I managed 20/21 'fast' lengths at better than 2:00min/100m. Really I should have done 20 so actually that could count as 20/20. None were close to a PB, mostly 36s or more per length.

SPL looking good too at 21 as a maximum even for the faster lengths near the end of the session. I am getting that I can put more force into the water and not just splash as I try harder. I think that I slightly shortening my reach but for SPL is constant or dropping there can't be much of a shortening. It does feel to me as though this slightly shorter stroke is giving me more feel and a bit more speed.

Friday 24 March 2017

February 2017 Week 5 CSS time trial

Today's swim was off the programme as I didn't have time for a long swim and shouldn't be doing fast intervals. So it seemed perfect to do a CSS time trial. That needs good effort for 400m and 200m. So it would be interesting go see if I could beat 8:00 minutes.

After the warm up I set off straight into the 400m with an excellent, possibly too fast pace. For the first 300m I was clearly faster than 2:00min/100m but then slowed. It didn't help that I lost track of lengths and so did 2 extra, which also meant that mentally I saved energy more than needed. The last 3 lengths were slow and so I completed in 8:00.5 minutes which is a personal best but still not better than 8:00 minutes!

After a brief a breather I did 200m in 3:58 minutes. Using the swimsmooth CSS calculator  I should aim to train at 2:01min/100m.

So for my long session the theory is that I should aim to include 1200m, across a few sets, at this pace to work close to lactate threshold.

Thursday 23 March 2017

February 20147 Week 5 Session 3

Not too bad today, a sub 5:00 minute warm-up and then 66m intervals. Of these 9/11 'fast' intervals were better than 2:00min/100m and the other two were very close. It was great to see that I achieved 1:50min/100m for one set. My 'steady' sets faded as well as the faster ones but even at the end I was at 2:14min/100m.

Looking at SPL is positive too as I managed between 20 and 22 SPL for my fast sets, naturally more towards the end of the session. Over the last year I've certainly knocked a stroke or two off each length whilst maintaining g, or possibly improving, pace.

Monday 20 March 2017

February 2017 Week 5 Extra Session

I had a little gap in my diary in which I could fit a 20 minute swim (plus changing) and thought it would be an opportunity to do some medium intensity lengths. I'd not got the pull buoy so it would be hard work.

I swam a total of 800m as 400m, 200m and 200m sets and it went very well. The 400m was done in just over 10 minutes and excitingly even after that, I managed 200m in 4:51 minutes which is a PB for that sort of set. The final 200m was only just over 5 minutes too.

Sunday 19 March 2017

Irritated my right ankle...again

So for many months, maybe a year, I've been letting my right ankle settle down. I've not worn hiking boots, avoided shoes with work heels, done limited strengthening exercises and gradually become accustomed to zero-drop shoes. The pain around the lateral malleolus seemed to have disappeared.

Earlier I went for a walk in the woods and wore new Vivobarefoot hiking boots. Within an hour my ankle was sore and by the time I was home at two hours I was contemplating walking in really barefeet. This is disappointing and concerning. Disappointing as I'd hoped the problem had resolved and concerning as I've entered a long distance walk in a few months time and I don't want to be recovering from injuries.

February 2017 Week 5 Session 1

A good swim this morning. Sub-5:00min warm-up and then 20/20 'fast' lengths at 2:00min/100m or better. I tried a final 100m set but I was tired and could only manage 2:08min/100m.

In terms of style, I thought about extending my left arm, but apart from that I accepted being rougher. For some early sets I experienced with a different feel; rather less reach and a bit more of a 'scoop'. I think it was a bit faster. I wonder if this style helps keep my elbow high?

Thursday 16 March 2017

February 2017 Week 4 Session 3

I had a rucsac full of stuff today so didn't carry the pull buoy into work. I also had a limited time between work and a work-related evening meal so those factors set the scene for a modified session using paddles for my 'fast' lengths and a substantially reduced session.

The warm-up took 5:01 minutes, so faster than I've managed for the last few swims. Using the paddles was hard work and after 6 sets of 66m I felt my arms had taken enough load so my seventh set was done merely 'fast'. With the paddles I was working at 2:20min/100m pace and without around 2:30min/100m. Clearly the paddles didn't compensate for my sinking, anchor-like legs. I was pleased that the final fast set (well 2x 33m lengths with pause) without paddles averaged 2:16min/100m so I was clearly still putting in some effort. I felt that I was keeping my legs fairly high as even at the end I heard them breaking the water every so often. I tried a legs-only length which was very slow. I've not really been working on leg based propulsion even though I know their position is improving.

Currently I can't see myself using paddles for more than a few training lengths as my shoulders just aren't strong enough.

Sunday 12 March 2017

February 2017 Week 4 Session 1

Perhaps I started today's swim not quite as tired as usual as I only managed half a run yesterday afternoon. Whether that was really the cause, I managed to get a good pace throughout the session. All 16 'fast' lengths were under 2:00min/100m and 12 were better than 1:50min/100m. I've tried a final 100m set 'just to see' in previous weeks and repeated it today. Even though I'd already swum over 1km I achieved 1:57min for a 100m set. I'm pleased with that.

I did think about my stroke slightly differently today. I still aimed to reach with the left arm and aim for 1 o'clock with my right arm but perhaps not quite as far. I also thought about a high elbow, but not sure whether I achieved that! For the fast lengths I was around 68 SPM so I might have gained more by being bit more cautious there.

I think I might have a new PB with a length at 33.1seconds.

Friday 10 March 2017

February 2017 Week 4 Session 2

So I've not done session 1 yet for this week but that I overlooked that and went straight for an hours swim without the pull buoy. It was slow but this was partly because I was in a lane with even slower people! Many times I caught up and had to slow down dramatically and then wait at the end for a few seconds for them to move off. Also, on two occasions I stopped mid-length and turned back to break my position in the slow convoy.

I set off well at a 2:40min/100m pace but slowed to around 3:00min/100m through the 2km. Of course SPL crept up too. On the positive side, I felt less fatigued than previously, even though my final pace was a bit better. Progress again?

Tuesday 7 March 2017

February 2017 Week 3 Session 3

Today's fast workout comprised alternate sets of 66m at 70% and 90% effort. Due to time limitations I only completed 11 of 12 supersets but those went well. Until the last set I exceeded my critical pace of 2:00min/100m, my best pair of lengths being completed at 1:48min/100m.

Looking at stroke rate I may have gone faster than ideal as on the fast sets I was at a SPM of 64, in slow sets I was around 52. At my training session 58 seemed a better goal. Looks like the TempoTrainer must come out again.

Sunday 5 March 2017

February 2017 Week 3 Session 2

I didn't take my pull buoy into the pool today so was committed to my long swim being hard work. I set to do 2000m but ended up a bit over that, which is fine .Perhaps my longest swim without a helper (2166m)? The first 1000m felt comfortable and was done in 26:09 minutes but I started to fade after that. Incidentally that initial pace was slightly slower than I managed in February:

05/03/17 2:42 min/100m
06/02/17 2:38 min/100m
04/01/16 3:02 min/100m

My performance wasn't exactly strong though.

Each length needed more and more strokes in the latter half until the last few lengths were really feeble, and slow.

Saturday 4 March 2017

To Norfolk Arms

As it was going to stay light for this evening's 12km run I went via the woods and Limb Valley. I put a fair bit of effort in and this this rewarded by a reasonable time. Some of my PRs from 2013 and 2014 look as though they'll be unachievable again. I can't train as fast as I'm growing older I suspect. It was quite wet and boggy underfoot, which as an excuse to be a little slow.