Friday, July 9, 2010

Expanding Lung Capacity

It has been almost a year since I started to swim. Yes, I've known how to since I was 8, but when I was in school hated it when the PE unit was the pool.
Last year, as I settled into training for marathon #2, I kept reading more about pool running and how good the pool was for runners. It also helped that I was surrounded by 2 good swimmers (Jenny and my dad), who had been hovering around the issue of me getting in the pool. Bought the bathing suit, and started pool running/aqua jogging. If you've never done it, you wear a flotation belt and "run" in the deep-end for an extended length of time. After a couple tries, I realized how much my muscles relaxed when I got in.
Then, I decided I should actually try to do laps - something I hadn't done in years. I covered 400 yards-gasping and panting the whole time. I had to stop every 100 and grab some water. It totally blew me away - this was hard work! Lots of gasping and sputtering. I kept upping it and worked my way up to 1000 yards, but was still resting every 100. Then 200, then every 250. When I got to that point, the pool changed. No longer was it an obligation, but a desire. I liked stretching my body out in a way different than when I run. Then in the winter, I nixed the break at 250, and just took breaks at 500 and 750. It made me push through the first half, and the second half flew by. It started to feel like I had a swimming routine going, and while my stroke was not perfect, it worked and it got me through the laps with (relative) ease. The swim turned into something I looked forward to on Mondays - it released all of the tension and soreness accumulated during the weekend runs. Plus, I generally got to go with one of my favorite swimmers - Dad, Jenny, or the triathlete buds. They all do have so much knowledge and collective experience, that it's helpful to have them watch and give suggestions.
Today, Jenny and I went swimming in the morning before work. I got through the first 500 yards with relative ease, then pushed on. There have been a number of times in recent swims when I've contemplated not taking the 750 yard break, but kept chickening out. But today, with 300 to go for the whole swim, I went back and forth, and decided to go for it. Pushed through the 750, and then kicked for the last 200. Now, kick is a relative term considering my pace, but it was definitely a faster pace.
Today was a small victory in the pool. My stroke still needs improvement, but now I know I can do 2 x 500 yards with little problem. I think once I get to through the 1000 yards straight that I'll up my distance...
And speaking of:
Monday, July 5: OFF

Tuesday, July 6: 2.5 mile warm-up; 5 lap cut-down run; start at 7:15 pace and cut down about 2-3 seconds per lap; jog 2 laps; 8x800 meters, 1 lap jog between each rep, start at 3:37, aim to cut down 3-5 seconds per rep. 3 mile cool-down: Total mileage—13.25 miles

Wednesday, July 7: 6 miles easy

Thursday, July 8: 9 miles easy

Friday, July 9: OFF

Saturday, July 10: 20 miles; First 8 miles easy, 12 mile tempo, start at 8:25 pace and work down to 8:10.

Sunday, July 11: 7 miles easy

Total Mileage: 55.25 miles

First 20 miler of the season tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Way to go! I'm looking forward to the day when we can swim straight miles together.