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Monday swim -- The Four Towers TT's

Posted By: KP
Date: Monday, 7 January 2008, at 4:55 p.m.

Coming off a solid week of about 20k ending yesterday, I was eager to back it up today and this week. My LCM pool's pumps gave out and will be closed for the next two weeks so I went for the longer stuff at a SCY pool. Specifically, four 1000y TTs // all B/L3.

#1 -- easy building to steady -- no gear: 14:30

2min RI

#2 -- steady building to mod-hard & then whatever effort allowed me to maintain B/L3 and clean technique -- paddles, band and buoy: 13:59
I wear two suits; a speedo under a drag suit. Got some extra drag as the top suit ended up somewhere between my butt and the buoy!

2min RI

#3 -- steady building to mod-hard & then whatever effort allowed me to maintain B/L3 and clean technique -- no gear: 13:58

2min RI

#4 -- steady building to mod-hard & then whatever effort allowed me to maintain B/L3 and clean technique -- paddles, band and buoy: 13:50

Observations:

(1) as each TT wore on and I experienced some stress (and within each subsequent TT), additional focus is required on efficient exhale/inhale.
If you can move a lot of air, you can hold form and stay relaxed.

(2) using B/L3, when things get tougher, I notice the desire to 'hurry' my catch and pull so that the next opportunity to breath presents itself. However, swimming is all about moving water and presenting as little drag as possible. Getting a "Big Dig" (especially with the paddles) and moving maximal water, early and late, right past the hip, was a priority for me. So, turnover was dictated by what I felt was best for pace, over the relief of the next breath. I was fastest when holding form and remaining long and strong.

(3) relaxing is key -- especially when under pressure (holds true for life in general). I am reminded of a half marathon I ran with my pal Pablo back in January 2001. He is a faster more experienced runner, and as he paced me, he offered some feedback. As we hit the ten mile mark, my shoulders were rising, arms were swinging a bit much and my whole body was tightening. He simply said "relax, relax". I let my face go, my jaw went slack, my shoulders came down, my arm carriage improved and my entire attitude changed. Rather than focusing on 'my discomfort' I focused on avoiding the instinct to fight it. The same should be done in the water. If you tighten up when you get uncomfortable, form begins to deteriorate and you can actually expend greater effort while slowing down. You'll read this over and over in the book "Gold In The Water" as the author discusses 'the jeweler'.

coach KP

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