Monday 26 February 2018


This week's swimming hasn't generated a PB or anything exceptional. My fast session with the paddles included a few speedy lengths and I managed sets of 100m without difficulty. The long swim had a very mediocre average pace but at least I keep going. And today I did a 1000m swim at a fairly consistent pace I'd have been happy with a few months ago but which now seems tardy (actually I think I 'wasted' a few seconds through weak push-offs as my watch didn't keep track of turns as well as it has over the last few weeks). Overall I suppose I can say I'm consolidating the gains of the past month and not taken a step back. After all, it isn't reasonable to expect to make a pace gain every week.

Saturday 17 February 2018


The plan for today was to clear an area of garden, removing bushes, digging out roots and taking down  a short fence. The work went well but it was a tough workout. After yesterday's swim my shoulders felt tired and using secateurs above my head needed  me to summon all of my strength as my arms felt so tired. The work went well and has improved the look of the garden. My mental well being should be great after all that exercise in the great outdoors amongst the plants (unless there's a lot of bad karma invoked by cutting out overgrown shrubs).

Friday 16 February 2018

A little bit further

My training plan is requiring progressively longer swims and there's quite a way ahead of me to be ready for 10km.With the advice on high elbow I've very much taken a step back on distance especially as I'm working without the full buoy currently. Nonetheless today I needed to exceed 1500m. Reaching 1667m was quite struggle, especially trying to keep good form. After the first fast lengths my pace settled down and was maintained pretty much through the set; the final two lengths averaged the same as the overall average pace.

From the data I think this is a PB time for the first 1500m as a pool set, I don't think I have an equivalent 2017 swim. Although each week seems to show little progress, data across a few years is quite remarkable.

16/02/18  2:32min/100m
06/02/17  2:38 min/100m
04/01/16  3:02min/100m
05/03/15  3:35min/100m
26/07/14  3:52min/100m (estimated)

In Hatfield, wearing my Alpkit wetsuit, I've certainly not had a pace close to this although in Costa Brava (i.e. salt water advantage too) with the HUUB wetsuit I managed this pace, that is all reasonable as a good wetsuit should make an average swimmer faster.

Tuesday 13 February 2018

A short threshold swim

Yesterday I had a sore throat which made me feel I didn't want to swim. Today it was a little better and having sat at my desk for most of the day I needed some exercise. How about a sharp 20 minutes? So I did a leisurely 200m then 400m and 200m with a bit of effort.

The first half of the 400m was done at around my PB at 4:37 minutes the second 200m in 4:41 minutes, still respectable for me. After a pause I struggled for the final 200m with 4:39 minutes so not great data for a CSS calculation, although a drop off of 0.4% shows a good aerobic system, but little ability to sprint. What's new then?

A month ago in a 25 yard pool I estimated 2:23min/100m so today's result may show a little progress. It's worth noting though that in the interim I've had little success at using the Tempo Trainer for pacing.

Saturday 10 February 2018

Reached a limit this week

Today's swim started off being hard work and didn't get any easier. Basically I felt drained and de-energised from the outset. I'd imagined that I'd swum for longer or done a greater distance than in the preceding weeks but the cumulative data say otherwise. Friday's swim was the longest time and distance I've done so far in 2018 so maybe that took a little extra out of me.

Nonetheless tomorrow must be a rest from swimming, which is fine as I'd like to go for a morning run.

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Paddling along

I'm gradually increasing my use of the paddles and today managed 5 sets of 67 metres each. As mentioned previously, I'd been advised a maximum of 100m per set but in the first week I don't dare try that for fear of a shoulder injury. Now I expect that I'l get there in a few weeks. Currently I still felt clear shoulder fatigue immediately after each set (good) whereas last week they felt tired a day later too (maybe not so good).

For the last few swims the data recorded by my watch has been much more accurate than in previous weeks as I've done clear push-offs and ensured that I paused my first stroke briefly.

Sunday 4 February 2018

Pullbuoy timetrail barrier smashed

Whilst working with Julian in London I'd tried a few time to break 8:00minutes for a 400m set with the pullbuoy and whilst I'd come close a year ago I hadn't made clear gains on this over the previous year.

For the last month I've barely used the pullbuoy and have been focusing on the catch phase and have increased my pace remarkably for both single lengths and up to 1000m. Last night I thought I should be able to break the 8:00minute barrier now and today's swim seemed the perfect opportunity.

After a 200m warm-up I set to the trial trying to focus on the catch and hoping the pace would follow.  It was great to rest my legs. Anyway, at the end I could see from my watch that I'd done a great time:

There was some loss of pace towards the end of the set including one length below target pace with some excellent times in the middle the outcome was secure.

After this set really I'd done enough, my arms were tired and working without the pullbuoy felt laborious, but after such a great success the final few lengths weren't psychologically important.

Friday 2 February 2018

Yet another PB

Around 3 weeks ago I achieved a PB for 1000m by focussing on CoachMorg's high elbow advice. Today I knocked another 40 seconds off to record 24:39 minutes for the first 1000m of my set without really trying. That's a pace of 2:28min/100m, nice to get below 2:30!

02/02/18 2:28min/100m
18/01/18 2:32 min/100m
05/03/17 2:42 min/100m
04/01/16 3:02 min/100m
26/02/15 3:40 min/100m

I've a plan to increase the distance of my 'long swim' so I suspect this won't keep happening as this session really should be about total time rather than pace.  However it's no bad thing to develop pace too as I don't want to be in the water longer than necessary for the 10km I'm training for.

Thursday 1 February 2018

Technique focus

I had under 20 minutes for today's technique swim so had to make every minute count. My warm up set was extended to 8 lengths as I caught up with another swimmer (the set pace was 2:22min/100m). I excluded the blocked lengths to give 200m in 4:37minutes which I believe to be a personal best.

I then had time for 3 sets of 67m with paddles and 67m without. This is the first time I've done a pair of lengths with the paddles so 3 repetitions seemed sufficient overload! The pace of the ordinary lengths was acceptable at under 2:20min/100m, the flow of the pool clearly affecting pace.