Thursday, July 06, 2006

Getting Ready

Our swim this morning was all about getting ready for Fairlee this weekend. I'd say close to half the team is racing so it should be a lot of fun. Coach hasn't posted today's practice yet so I'll give you the run down - after all, I'm here to help. This practice was notable for a lot of reasons but mostly for the 200s we did as the main set. Here's what we did:

6x25 Obstacle Course!!!

This was hilarious - the lake, Lake Morey, that I live near and the tri is in has a lot of Eurasian Water Milfoil which is a non-native evil plant that chokes out a lot of healthy lake life... It grows in about 8-15 feet of water and it's tentacles reach right to the surface. It's nasty to swim thru and can cause panic to even the most seasoned open water swimmer - and once you're thru, it's fine... so Coach took all the pull buoys and all the floating fins and pretty much anything that floated and threw them all over our lanes and we had to swim thru them as if they were milfoil!!! The idea was to stay calm and keep going even though there were these weird obstacles. Very fun... but I gotta say, the milfoil is still more creepy...

Then we did a stroke count set - this is always fun and challenging for I love 25s...

2x25 at a brisk pace to get your average stroke count per length (N). Mine is 18 strokes.
6x25 at N-2 strokes/length (so 16 for me)
1x25 at N-1 (17)
1x25 at N (18 again)

Then repeat that set. When we first started working on stroke counts back at the beginning of masters (3 years ago!) I could never calibrate my stroke well enough to hit my target counts... but now I am a calibrated fishy and I got em all. It's so cool to see that improvement.

The main set is where I think ya'll might benefit - I KNOW I got a LOT out of this. It's actually more an exercise in what NOT to do but it got the point across loud and clear. It's designed to simulate the start of a tri when you go out too fast...and then forcing yourself to settle into a more even pace. It went like this:

4 x 200
On the first length of each 200, do 3 or 4 porpoise dives as if you're entering the water from the beach and then swim the first 3 lengths (75 yards) at N+2 stroke count (yeah, this is where it's handy to have done the set above...but if you didn't, just go at a pace that feels really fast for 3 lengths) and then settle into a comfortable pace for the remainder of the 200. 30-45 seconds rest, rinse and repeat. What you find VERY quickly is that it's HARD to get your breathing under control and the lactic acid out of your muscles, even over that distance, even with that much rest. Much better to start off slowly and not cross that aerobic/anaerobic threshold at all... chances are you'll be more able to overcome the folks that started off too fast.

This was a timely practice for me because it reminded me that I started the swim WAY too fast in the sprint that I did a few weeks ago. I will not make the same mistake again this weekend!!

I've got one more easy ride tonight and then REST until Sunday. I'm planning on getting my pre-race warmup fine tuned and spending some time doing a bit of mental prep. There's a lot going on right now - family in town and more coming for the weekend, lots of distractions... but I will get in the zone...

New Song of the Week in my sidebar to get you all fired up for races this weekend. Can't WAIT!!!

Train hard!!


Blogger Joe said...

Ugh! I hate milfoil! It's really bad in the lakes around here. That's one of the reasons why I don't like open water swimming.

10:48 AM GMT-5

Blogger JC said...

Wow man, your morning makes me tired. I think I need to nap for you.

Awesome swimming. You are going to kick ass this weekend. I'll be sending you good tri vibes. Go Spence and Amelia!!

11:44 AM GMT-5

Blogger Barb said...

Milfoil sucks! It freaks me out to swim throught it. Hate it!

I hope your training really helps your swim this weekend. It's so nice when the pieces finally fall into place!

Sounds like you are going to have quite the cheering section! Good for you! Go Spence!!

12:04 PM GMT-5

Blogger TriSaraTops said...

Cool workout--I'm gonna have to try that! I have been known to start a little too fast in the swim...

How did I miss your b-day on the 25th? My bloglines has been acting up lately--happy belated! :) Great pics in the last post, too...Mugsy would love to hang with the woofie--one of his best doggie friends is a 165 pound St. Bernard! :)

1:46 PM GMT-5

Blogger Isis said...

I love that obstacle-course set. I'll have to see if I can get our coach to try it. One of the dangers in the lakes around here is the biting fish. How to simulate them?

Good luck this weekend--kick serious (or humorous) butt!

6:39 AM GMT-5

Blogger christine said...

Good Luck this weekend Spence. I'll have to try those trainig tactics, I seldom start out too fast but I'm usually all kinds of out of breath!

9:18 AM GMT-5


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