An old friend informs me (and he would know – he swam the 10K at the 2008 Olympics) that the dehydration I experienced in Miami may have been more perceived than actual. Saltwater in the mouth and throat can induce craving for fresh water even when your body is adequately hydrated. More important, he suggests, is energy. While I did stash a gel pack in my suit (and consumed it at the 5K mark), he says he’d actually take 3 or 4 during a 10K.
In any case, don’t drink the saltwater!
One important issue I didn’t mention in my race report is chafing. I didn’t mention it because, I suppose, it’s one of the few things I did right that day.
Saltwater is highly abrasive, and without preventive measures you can develop some nasty irritation – even on a short, half-hour swim.…
Results posted here.
Two weeks ago a trip to Miami was not even on my radar. Then out of the blue an old college friend (both roommate and swim team-mate) emailed me about doing a relay for the Swim Around Key West. Sadly I had another commitment that weekend, but out of curiosity I went Googling for other races in South Florida (he lives in Miami) and — lo and behold — there’s a race in Miami April 17th!
Catch up with old roomie and his family? Escape from Ohio in April? Start my O.W. season 6 weeks earlier than planned? It was a no-brainer.…
I want to expand for a moment on the concept (discussed in the previous post) of increasing effortlessness rather than effort – within a set and over the course of a taper.
In a typical swim taper, in which athletes are preparing for events of 100 or 200m (or at most 1500m), it’s common to gauge the taper’s progress by monitoring pace times in practice. Over the course of a taper, a swimmer’s times on “pace swims” of 50 or 100m will tend to get faster.
In races of more than 30 minutes (~1.5 miles), however, it becomes less important to hit specific pace times than it is to modulate effort. This is especially true of swims 10K and longer (2+ hours).
That’s why, in preparing for tomorrow’s 10K, I’ve focused less on swimming a faster pace, but on how much effort I’m expending to swim a given pace.…
T-50 hours or so until the aperitif for Open Water Season 2010. I’ll train right through most of my summer schedule, but I wouldn’t dare attempt a 10K unrested. So, I’m taking the week off from weightlifting and doing 3 days of below-average swim yardage. In these last few swims I’ll focus primarily on “feel,” not the clock. If I can swim “effortlessly,” the pace will take care of itself.
To help me build into a 10K feel, I’ve been doing (after a brief warm-up) a set of 12×100 LCM on descending intervals. I start with 2 on 1:45 and lower the interval by 5 seconds every 2 — so the last 2 are on 1:20.
My aim is to swim the last 2 at approximately 10K effort and speed, and to swim the first 2 no more than 5 seconds slower than the last 2.…
A teammate asks, regarding my strength training routine:
Would you recommend something similar for me (only been swimming 1.5ish years very haphazardly), or do you think the benefits are only for those who have slowed their pool gains down significantly?
My answer: “Yes, but….”
Yes – because:
- Weightlifting and calisthenics are good for you, both in promoting strength and general musculoskeletal health, and in preventing injury.
- If you learn to deadlift properly, for example, you’ll never throw out your back lifting a heavy box.
- Getting stronger will, in general, help you swim faster. At least, a little bit faster (see next point).
But – because:
- Strength training is a “low leverage” activity for improving swimming speed. The highest leverage, by far, is in swim technique.
Notwithstanding this post’s title, my strength training routine – which I started about 6 weeks ago – is only partly tailored for open water swimming. It’s a balanced, total-body routine designed for strength, simplicity, and sustainability.
Strength means not designed for maximum muscle mass (the former helps swimming, the latter does not).
Simplicity means using only a few basic gym equipment, and that I can remember the routine easily without writing it down.
Sustainability means giving myself the best chance of consistently doing the routine over the long term. It’s integrated seamlessly into my everyday life, and it’s brief (no more than 30 minutes per session).…