A thank you and a few questions
First, the thanks. ... I've found this forum an incredibly good resource for working my way up in distance. Last September, I reached 8 miles, so far my longest distance. My goal is double digits, although I've taken things a little slower b/c of some shoulder PT in the spring. However, I'm pleased to report that so far (touch wood!), I'm progressing fine with training and just completed my 5th Great South Bay Swim (5.3ish miles, so not full marathon distance, but a favorite of mine b/c I love the organizers). Further, although my time was much slower than in past years, I give myself credit b/c conditions were a lot harder. It was raining, windy, choppy (luckily still w a current assis and comfortable water temp (mid 70s). There was talk of cancelation but b/c there was no thunder/lightning, they went ahead w the swim. My kayaker and I were of the same mind: if the swim was on, so were we. I tapped into the mindfulness that I'd practiced in my yoga classes. Since I couldn't change the weather, I resolved to enjoy it, even enjoy the ride provided by the waves, enjoy the rain, etc. (although as we neared the finish, I got into ARE WE THERE YET thinking). :)
My next swim will be a 5k+1 mile swim on 8/5 (2 events same day), then the same 8 miler I did last year (again, RD is a great guy...and my coach).
- Currents. ISO strategy for handling /preparing for swimming against currents. I participate in a series if half mile river races, out and back course. During one of them, it took me so long to reach the halfway point due to an unusually fast current, that I was told to turn around early. Obviously, I was disppointed in myself, b/c having done much longer swims, I thought surely I should be able to make a half mile! This past Wednesday, there was also a strong current, but I was able to finish despite having done the GSB swim the Friday before the shorter swim. (Who kniws, maybe the longer swim helped me!) Still, it was my slowest ever finish. And typically, facing currents pretty much quash my speed. Granted, one will go slower against a curgent than with, but if it's running faster in the 8 miler, I want to still improve on last year's swim.
So I'm thinking more upper body work, but any suggestions for in water training /technique would also help.
- Fluid consumption. After the bay swim, where I was eating /drinking every 20-30 minutes, alternating water, sports drink, and protein shakes from Trader Joe's (they've become a favorite go to), I noticed that the water bottle was still almost full. I always thought I was taking plenty of whatever my chosen drink was, so I was surprised there was so much water left. I felt pretty good most of the way, although as it became considerably choppier in the last half mile or so, the going felt harder. But I was still feeling pretty determined to finish.
My coach keeps telling me I need to drink more during long swims, but when I do, I feel too full, and bloated. I think I need to get more precise abut the amount of fluid I take in. Typically, I'll drink several sips and give the bottle back to the kayaker. At one point, a few years ago, my coach accompanied me on a practice swim. When I gavI'm back the bottle, he would return it to me and tell me to drink more. But if the kayaker doesn't insist, I'm just as glad. Is there an optimal amout of water a person should drink during a long swim? Am I perhaps just part camel? :) I come from a running background, so I'm used to grabbing a few sips at water stations and moving on, so that mind set is likely still at work w swimming, although w swimming, the water stops are not as frequent, and I would think the energy expended much greater.
Okay, I've rambled on enough. Grateful for any feedback and thanks for reading this far!