Monday, 16 April 2018

Short swims

My shoulder felt much better during today's activity and I had time to do a short swim so that worked out well. I didn't plan to do anything from my programme, just do a few sets to loosen my arms nd keep some technique.

Anyway, today's personal best for a 200m of 4:21 minutes knocked off over 10 seconds. This shows that I might be usually fatigued for training and that keeping a good form with focus can give a good pace without a rushed feeling. I suspect that this time will take a while to beat!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

DOMS, impingement, spasms or just tired?

Last weeks long swim within a long week seems to have taken its toll. I have a dull ache around my scapula and occasional twinges from an area I imagine the brachial to be. I don't believe either of these symptoms indicate even referred pain from  an impingement, which is a good thing.

This week I have a stack of tasks after work making it unlikely I'd find time for a swim, so that is a useful opportunity to try to rest it and hop for recovery. I've a massage booked for Thursday which will be helpful if the pain merely indicates tightness in the back and shoulders.

Here's a useful introductory article on swimmers' shoulders.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

New longest swim

This morning's long swim was my longest unaided (no pullbuoy etc) pool swim at 3000m. I started a little too fast in the first 1km and trying to maintain that for the second 1km was too hard and I felt as though I 'hit the wall' as is described for running. I committed to a more sedate third 1km and also that I would break it into 10 length sets. I appreciate that I won't be able to stop on my 10km swim but each of these long swims is a stretch currently.

Toward the end of the session I aimed by reach deeper into the water and I think that was helpful; I wonder if I've let it creep too close to the surface recently?  I also dropped the pace, settling into  restful rhythm which felt considerably easier and more sustainable.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Pace progress and aspirations

Over the last week I've noted a few improvements in freestyle pace. These aren't PBs nor has any useful barrier been smashed but there are indicators of progress.

The first is that I achieve 2:00min/100m with paddles over a 100m interval reasonably regularly now. Second, during interval sessions I can exceed 2:10min/100m without paddles or pullbuoy and on occasion have reached 2:05min/100m for the occasional 25m length.

These timings suggest to me that 2:00min/100m is an achievable goal over the next few months, if only for a 100m set. OK, so I need a 10% gain, but the data show that I am applying  more force to the water and developing the strength and technique to do it. A year ago I wouldn't have thought it possible as I was struggling to do that with the pullbuoy.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Carbis Bay Ocean Swim

Before heading to Cornwall I'd made contact with Tom of Sea Swim Cornwall  and had a flexible arrangement for him to lead a swim. Today wasn't ideal for either of us in a way but later in the week I'd find that the weather would be even less favourable. At first the plan was to swim between Newlyn and Penzance but by high tide the sea was far too rough for me. The wind direction made Carbis Bay preferable and so we headed across the peninsula and quickly got changed.

The sea was rougher than I'd find ideal but outdoors you have to take what there is. It was also a little cold, my watch said 13°C but the TV forecast said it was a bit colder and I certainly suspected that it was. We headed west along the bay towards the headland having agreed that a 30 minute swim would probably be enough. After a brief pause we turned back and it was then apparent that there was a headwind. Making headway became hard work against the waves and later analysis of the data showed a much reached distance per stroke.


Overall it was a 1050m swim in 27 minutes which was plenty for me. Tom pointed out a rainbow over the sea which I'd missed due to my focus on forward movement. He was capable of swimming a lot faster than me and just kept a polite distance and checked that I was OK which was enough support; he seemed pleased when I said I was cold enough to warrant stopping.

The next day I ran past Carbis Bay and looked down at where we'd swum and it looked a very little journey.

From the beach to a rocky outcrop, wave movement visible
I hoped to swim along the beach another day but the weather tended to decline and was too poor when I was available and the tide suitable.

Monday, 26 March 2018

A rest day

It isn't often that I feel that I really mustn't exert myself, but today has been one of those days. After work on Friday I completed the week's long swim of 2733m. The pacing was poor in that I slowed progressively and the average was tardy. But it was done and that's the main thing. I think it's the longest swim I've done without wetsuit (record of 3486m) or pullbuoy (record here is 3866m); each week that should be the case now.

On Saturday I worked in the garden for most of the day, digging, lifting and sawing until I was really tired. Nonetheless on Sunday morning I walked to the gym for a CSS set and found that I couldn't develop much power and my pace was way off the mark. I was a good 10 seconds per length slower and needed 1 or 2 more strokes per length. Still fatigued then. Just to be sure I shovelled hardcore and worked to get a smooth gradient across 20m2 of dirt with a hand-sized rammer. Maybe it would have been worth hiring a compactor?

Anyway the gardening job seems OK thus far and a day in work wasn't too bad without a swim or run. I wonder if I'll be OK for paddles tomorrow?

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Another step with paddles

This evening I felt strong enough to do 6 sets of 100m with the paddles.

It didn't feels quite as tough as previously and very importantly I managed one set at 2:00min/100m pace and a few lengths at 1:58min/100m. Mid session I even achieved 2:05min/100m over 2 lengths without paddles, pullbuoy or other aids. That is a great result. Most of the time these less intense sets were around 2:15min/100m or a little faster which is probably an anaerobic pace but shows that I am getting better at applying power to the water.