Monday 29 October 2018

Some swim gains but at what cost?

Today's swim was basically the same as last Monday's although I went a little faster throughout. I could have had a better pace as I was blocked on the warm up and during the pullbuoy main set. There was probably little to be gained in the main set as I lapped a swimmer three times and made quite an effort to pull past so gained a few seconds there.

However even before starting the swim my elbow was stiff - Thursday's snorkel rekindled the elbow pain and it only settled a little over the weekend. I'll keep an eye on how it develops.

More positively I felt that bilateral rotation was better controlled today and I was keeping a leading arm forwards more consistently. Strangely the SPL was slightly greater for bilateral breathing with the ToyBuoy than for right side only breathing with a kick; not what I'd have expected.

Monday 22 October 2018

Some swim gains

This evening's swim went better than usual, perhaps because I'd not run yesterday and wasn't physically fatigued. The warm-up 200m felt a little easier and faster and indeed was, at 4:42 minutes. Not fast, but clearly below 5 minutes.

I then set out to swim 1000m with the ToyBuoy to help me maintain bilateral breathing but with less support than with the BigBuoy. The pool had lots of fast youngsters and so I was under pressure to keep going so as not to be in the way. Naturally I lost count and had to stop to look at my watch, and even then it miscounted.

Overall I swam for over 30 minutes which is a distinct point that I've not gone beyond in months - hopefully my arm won't be too sore tomorrow. Second, my time for the 1000m was good at 22:23 minutes. Of course I can't include this in my 1000m achievements as it was assisted by the pull buoy, but good to see that I am now starting to manage my breathing.

During the swim I was aware that some strokes were tidier than others, with a good leading arm and not collapsing on breathing. Breathing to my left tends to be weaker, my lead arm is more likely to drop and I feel as though my head is lifting and twisting rather than being part of a controlled roll.

Sunday 14 October 2018

Simply wet

The weather forecast was spot on, 95% chance of rain and it was. Anyway I was out of the house so committed to my usual 13km cruise to Oxstones. When I first bought the Garmin HRM-Tri I was interested in the R/L contact balance especially as I was always lop-sided. Then I forgot about it and noted that I was drifting closer to 50:50. Today's run is interesting in that I averaged 50:50 but started off to one side and moved across to the other.

If I'd been on a cambered road and gone 'there and back' it would be easy to explain. On a trail run where I was running around puddles it's hard to explain other than by linking to fatigue (or that the device simply drifts as it changes temperature and is thus useless?).

Saturday 13 October 2018

Hot 'n' humid

It's amazing that the average temperature on today's run was 21.5ÂșC, and I'd guess upper 90%s humidity. Initially it was raining so I was 'boil in the bag' with a jacket on but feared I'd have too much wind chill without it. Luckily on Houndkirk Road the wind was behind me and that meant I achieved a Strava achievement for the first time in ages.

It's become increasingly harder to receive one of these as I'm being more cautious in training and getting older every day. Also today should have been run at an easy pace although the heart rate data suggests I isn't take it quite easy enough.

I took a few photographs of autumnal leaves but they are all rubbish as there was so little light they are grainy and blurred.

Monday 8 October 2018

1km point re-achieved

I'll admit that today's 1100m swim was in 2 sets and I was assisted by the pullbuoy but the point is that I still swam just over the 1km mark and was moving for just over 25 minutes. That feels like progress, so long as I can move my arm tomorrow morning!

Just as a reminder, the pullbuoy set was all bilateral breathing and I put effort in towards the end and brought the pace to 2:05min/100m. Mostly I took it pretty easy, focussing on form, especially keeping my right leading arm high whilst breathing.

Thursday 4 October 2018

Snorkel time

Another week of swimming and my arm is doing OK. I'm aware of pain and stiffness in my left elbow still but if anything it's becoming less each day now even tough the arm is in use. Circuits last night wasn't very arm based but lifting and throwing a 7kg medicine ball repeatedly is a fair load.

In line with my policy of trying to improve bilateral breathing, today I swam most of the distance with the snorkel. That's not bilateral at all but it is still symmetrical! That's the main thing. My body seemed narrow and I worked to get a good weight transfer on both sides although I was aware that I wasn't rotating very much. Breathing through the snorkel was hard work even though I breathed on every stroke. I suppose there is a large dead space and resistance which conspire to reduce respiratory efficiency, that is a training load. There are many videos online about the technique gains offered so I should ignore pacing - 'process' not 'outcome'. Lots to practice.