Speed. I am quite good at it when driving. On the bike I have said my fair share of “on your left” as I passed people in races. I have been able to complete my speed intervals in running in the desired times I have planned out. Put me in water and I am not going as fast as I hope. And I am a Pisces for goodness sake. Thus reinforcing my theory that astrology is not accurate.
Today is Tuesday – speed sets in the pool with the all too familiar 3,200 meter swim. After a 1,000 meter warm up the goals are: 4×100 each on a 2:20 send off coming in between 2:05 and 2:10 with the first 100 swimming fast the first 25, second the second 25 and so on; pull 200 to recover; 4×200 on 4:30 send off coming in on 4:15 with the first 200 swimming the last 50 fast, then the last 100 until the last 200 is all out; pull 200 to recover; and 4×100 on 2:20 with the last 25 fast the first time building up to all out the last 100. The goal on the last 4×100 is to come in on 2:10, 2:05, 2:00 and 1:55. I am doing the first 4×100 on 2:05 consistently. My 200 pull recover was fine. Then the dreaded 200’s. I did a 1,500 time trial last week averaging 2:10 per 100. I should be able to push and come in on 4:15. Which I did. The first 200. After that – 4:28 (I could not believe the clock), 4:20, 4:20. Grrrr. Then the last 4×100 were all in 2:05 again. I feel as if the faster I pull my arms through the water, the more drag I am creating thus slowing me down.
I always appreciate it when faster swimmers offer suggestions on improvement. I want to learn as much as I can from as many good swimmers as possible. This afternoon I shared my story with the owner of the Fleet Feet running/triathlon store I frequent. I was picking up my Garmin Forerunner 910XT and told him I was looking forward to the lap counting function and other swimming tools it has. Then I learned he was a competitive swimmer in college and he offered a few suggestions on how to improve my stroke. I will try it.
When I first started running races and then also adding triathlon, I was intimidated by the faster athletes and concerned I wouldn’t be taken seriously because I was slow. It was me who was not taking myself seriously when I look back. Believing in myself has been almost as much of a struggle as getting faster. Once I took the brave step to ask others for coaching tips, I started breaking down the walls that hindered me. Writing about it here certainly is helping me overcome those fears, believe in myself and hopefully encourage others to do the same. My next goal to write about soon is to share that I conquered this speed swim set, just like I learned to flip in the pool. And swimming those speed intervals with flip turns included.