Thursday 29 March 2018

Carbis Bay Ocean Swim

Before heading to Cornwall I'd made contact with Tom of Sea Swim Cornwall  and had a flexible arrangement for him to lead a swim. Today wasn't ideal for either of us in a way but later in the week I'd find that the weather would be even less favourable. At first the plan was to swim between Newlyn and Penzance but by high tide the sea was far too rough for me. The wind direction made Carbis Bay preferable and so we headed across the peninsula and quickly got changed.

The sea was rougher than I'd find ideal but outdoors you have to take what there is. It was also a little cold, my watch said 13°C but the TV forecast said it was a bit colder and I certainly suspected that it was. We headed west along the bay towards the headland having agreed that a 30 minute swim would probably be enough. After a brief pause we turned back and it was then apparent that there was a headwind. Making headway became hard work against the waves and later analysis of the data showed a much reached distance per stroke.

Overall it was a 1050m swim in 27 minutes which was plenty for me. Tom pointed out a rainbow over the sea which I'd missed due to my focus on forward movement. He was capable of swimming a lot faster than me and just kept a polite distance and checked that I was OK which was enough support; he seemed pleased when I said I was cold enough to warrant stopping.

The next day I ran past Carbis Bay and looked down at where we'd swum and it looked a very little journey.

From the beach to a rocky outcrop, wave movement visible
I hoped to swim along the beach another day but the weather tended to decline and was too poor when I was available and the tide suitable.

Monday 26 March 2018

A rest day

It isn't often that I feel that I really mustn't exert myself, but today has been one of those days. After work on Friday I completed the week's long swim of 2733m. The pacing was poor in that I slowed progressively and the average was tardy. But it was done and that's the main thing. I think it's the longest swim I've done without wetsuit (record of 3486m) or pullbuoy (record here is 3866m); each week that should be the case now.

On Saturday I worked in the garden for most of the day, digging, lifting and sawing until I was really tired. Nonetheless on Sunday morning I walked to the gym for a CSS set and found that I couldn't develop much power and my pace was way off the mark. I was a good 10 seconds per length slower and needed 1 or 2 more strokes per length. Still fatigued then. Just to be sure I shovelled hardcore and worked to get a smooth gradient across 20m2 of dirt with a hand-sized rammer. Maybe it would have been worth hiring a compactor?

Anyway the gardening job seems OK thus far and a day in work wasn't too bad without a swim or run. I wonder if I'll be OK for paddles tomorrow?

Thursday 22 March 2018

Another step with paddles

This evening I felt strong enough to do 6 sets of 100m with the paddles.

It didn't feels quite as tough as previously and very importantly I managed one set at 2:00min/100m pace and a few lengths at 1:58min/100m. Mid session I even achieved 2:05min/100m over 2 lengths without paddles, pullbuoy or other aids. That is a great result. Most of the time these less intense sets were around 2:15min/100m or a little faster which is probably an anaerobic pace but shows that I am getting better at applying power to the water.

Friday 16 March 2018

Long swim with loss of pace

This evening's long swim was just over target at 2300m. Some lengths were at a slower pace than I wished due to others in the lane, but in general my pace declined through the hour. I did start off gently but my form deteriorated noticeably and is quantified by an increase in SPL from 21 to 25.

Last week I was clearly faster than today. But I mustn't be disheartened as last year I swam a very similar distance at a pace of 2:53min/100m compared to today's of 2:36min/100m; so now I'm 10% faster.

As I'm taking the long session beyond 200m it is evident that I'm needing to drop the pace, as I do in running to a 'long slow' approach. An hour of exercise doesn't permit working at a threshold of any part of the metabolic or muscular chains.

Friday 9 March 2018

A good long swim

After work I leant my shoulders into the week's long swim and was happy to complete 2067m. It was tiring and for 50 minutes or so of exercise surprisingly tough as I don't run with anything like this level of effort.

The outcome was good though as although my pace varied a little I managed 2:30 min/100m for both 1500m and 2000m; both personal bests. I believe I saved 8 minutes on the 2000m since last year's equivalent session which is a significant improvement.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of today's swim is the rather dull observation that I managed my pacing well as the first 1000m was at 2:30min/100m too. I have to reveal that the two final, 'bonus' lengths were a little slower!

Saturday 3 March 2018

Snow Week

The Goodwin pool has been closed for some of this week due to bad weather and actually I've simply wanted to get home on those evenings. This morning therefore I went to nearby Heeley pool which was clearly stating that it was open. As it's a mere 25 yard pool I planned to do 2000 yards as this week's long swim. I forgot to start my watch and so lost data for the first 20 lengths. Then, as the lane swimming session was coming to an end I lost count and cut short by 2 lengths.

Overall I swam 1950 yards which is only 1783 metres. The pace was practically 2:30min/100m which is OK, although I'd have hoped for better in a short pool.

The first (recorded) 1000m (43.7) lengths took 24:35 which is a PB but I'm reluctant to highlight a drop of 4 seconds (a fraction of a percent!) when it was achieved in a short pool. The 1500m pace is also a PB, but the same caveat about pool length applies although, the pace was around 1% better.