Swimming this year has been a bit of a disappointment. Between two illnesses, and a break for moving, my attendance hasn't been as consistent as I would have liked. Now, these are all valid reasons, and proper prioritization is needed in the real world, but, in the pool, there has been a sense of disappointment.
Ok, so I PB'd in the 100m in the fall. Since then, though, I've struggled to be consistent in attendance, and my strength and form in the water has reflected that.
Still, things have been largely better in the new year, and I'm finally starting to feel a bit of power and efficiency return to my stroke. I'm not yet ready to challenge the 1:20 100m, but things are slowly coming around.
I'm sure the cross training is helping. I'm on the bike two or three times a week, and trying to do some extra cardio, strength and flexibility work (read: Wii Fit) when I can. Still, no running, and I only have 107 days to sort THAT out.
Today was the annual 30 minute timed swim. This is always a good benchmark of technique and fitness, especially when you have a triathlon to look forward to.
Speaking of which - I had it in my head that the swim was ~2.5 km (1.6 miles). I double-checked today, and the swim will only be ~1.9 km (1.2 miles). Much better.
My goal for the 30 minute swim was to try to hold the form and technique I've had recently. I'm really focused on the catch, and on my arm/hand position on the pull. Specifically, I have a bad habit of not properly pointing my hand downwards, and thus losing surface area/pull. Focusing on a strong catch/efficient pull is somewhat tiring, but I wanted to see how long I could hold it all together.
There were three in our lane, a faster woman, and a woman with excellent technique. I started between the two, but finished at the back. For the first ten minutes, I was able to hold a strong pull at a moderate tempo. Then my arms started to tire, so I focused on a more conservative/catch pull. In the last 5 minutes, I tried to regain the power in my pull, but I think my tempo stayed slow.
Still, I finished up at 1825. Not too bad at all. This bodes well for a ~1920m open water swim, though of course there's no comparison between pool and open water. Still, I'll need every minute I can get out of the water, as Bill will be faster than me on land, I'm certain.
Looking over my previous years distances, I was surprised to see that I managed to exceed last year's distance. This is strange, as I don't feel nearly as fast, fit or consistent as I felt last year.
2005: 1500m (free and breast)
Obviously, no more quantum leaps for me. Still, I was awfully fit in 2007, so obviously these little tweaks to my form are still paying some dividends.