So I have been gradually creeping the swim distance up from the first swim last October of 1k, to the longest training swim so far today of 3k. 3k is 120 lengths of a 25 metre pool. That to me, is a long way.
This is the distance i have signed up to do in May this year at Eton Dorney for the swim series. At the moment my shoulders and arms are burning as I type. Not that great for a sports injury therapist who when working is 100% hands on and manual. I need some massage.
I was a little apprehensive about the swim today. 120 lengths. I didn’t know how to prepare for it mentally. Just getting in there and ‘doing it’ wasn’t going to work. Just like getting out of bed and running 26 miles and ‘just doing it’ isn’t going to work. So I decided to cut the lengths up into 6 sets of 20 and knock them off one by one. A first half of 3 sets and a second half of 3 sets.
The first 60 lengths were pretty steady, and a bit slow. I had this fear of what would happen if I got to 80 lengths and my mind and body said, “Nope, that’s enough. You made us sprint train yesterday and we are not having any more of it”. Being hauled out by another lifeguard would have been embarrassing. Okay so I wouldn’t have drowned but I may have had to come home deflated after having to finish the swim short of the distance.
Through the first 60 I swam as smooth as I could, listening to the sound of the water as it passed over me. Listening to the sound of my breathing. Feeling the water on my feet. Really concentrating on not swimming.
Starting the last 60 lengths I peeped at the clock and was a little alarmed to see that I had obviously swum the first section too slow. So I could either go on as I had been, or swim bloody harder.
I kicked harder, pulled my arms through the water harder but tried to keep the breathing relaxed and not forced. Even when the lane became very busy I tried to block out the other swimmers. It was just me and the water. The second half was a negative split and I swam it a full 10 minutes faster than the first 60 lengths!
With this in mind for future, I can definitely reach the 50-54 minute goal. What happens in the water of the lake with hundreds of others thrashing about me remains to be seen. I know I will have to toughen up for that. I’m going to practice rolling onto my back and swimming to replace my goggles that may get knocked off my face.
Tired. Back hurts. Pleased. Time for lunch…and a kip.