Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Triathlon Training Thursday - Masters Swim Class

It is probably time to get that countdown going again but I have to pull out a calendar and figure it out so for the moment that's a next week item. Ironman France is about 5 months away. (insert silent freakout here).

This morning I went to my first 90 minute masters swim group / class / workout. Now let's take a moment so I can tell you about my masters swim group because based on my limited experience it's a bit non-traditional.

Right down the street from me a local private high school built a beautiful aquatic center. It's really nice. But when I first joined the masters program totally stank. It was really just expensive free swim. And as a result the pool was basically empty. Which was nice but it was pointless so I eventually quit and just swam at the gym, by myself which I hated and I knew wasn't doing me any good.

Apparently the school program mirrored the crappy masters program. Meaning the school administration who most likely would like a winning swim team fired the coach and brought in a new one. He in turn brought in a new masters coach. A cute little spitfire named Jamie. She was great. She taught me flip turns and encouraged me a lot. During this time a lot of faster swimmers have joined the masters program and in fact so many that during the lunch sessions lane-sharing is mandatory.

If you get up at 5. You still get your own lane :-)

Jamie always made 2 sets. The fast set and the slow set. The slow set could be called Amy's workout because I'm usually the only slow one who is there. So generally I was always doing a slightly different workout than the rest of the group. Sometimes it was lonely but I made big improvements under Jamie so I didn't mind.

Recently they brought in a new masters coach - Andrew and he does things a little differently. Now, don't worry about Jamie she just moved to the younger kids which she loves. First of all he lenghtened the morning workout. Used to be just 6-7. He asked would anybody come from 5:30-7. This was at 6 am when I was still sort of asleep and I think I might have said mmrfhtph mmsvvsvs... and nodded.  I only have a 2-minute drive to the pool so I really am pretty much asleep when I get there.

Longer Workouts
Later when I was more awake I realized how lucky I was he was doing this. I had been concerned on how I would get enough yardage in building up to the IM distance. 90 minute sessions would help a lot. Getting up earlier ... not so much fun. But for 5 months I can suck it up.

He also runs one workout. So everybody starts the intervals all at the same time. It took me a little while to figure out how this would work since I am not nearly at all in the same ballpark as fast as these other folks. Some of them are just screaming fast. These are long time swimmers who in the morning session have coffee at the end of the lane line. Okay only one guy does that but seriously he must have a stomach of steel.

So I was a little out of sorts with Andrews workouts at first. He gives a lot of instruction which is good but I found myself wondering if he maybe just wanted to coach fast swimmers and the point of all this was to flush out the slowpokes. But following some life instructions that I learned when I was about 20, okay-  fine probably 30 years old - "if you don't understand, ask" - I spoke up and asked,  "what can I do since I can't keep up?" And low and behold he gave me shorter distances on the same interval. Also he wants me to wear my fins a lot. I'm nervous about that but we'll see. I'm nervous because in June I obviously have to do the 2.4 mile swim sans (that's french for without) fins.

So for example today they were doing 200s on 3:00. I did 150 on the same 3:00. Most of the time it works out pretty well. Sometimes I end up on the wrong side of the pool if I'm doing 75s when they do 100s but that's no big deal. It is nice to be doing the same thing as the whole group of fishies. I do sometimes chuckle (silently to myself) when he announces the set 200 on 3:00 or 150 on 3:00 - I only chuckle because I'm the only one doing the 150. I wonder if the other swimmers are thinking to themselves ... who's the slowpoke? :-) That's okay - I'm happy being the slowpoke in these sets because it will help me get faster.

So today I went about 3500 yards. To be honest I'm not totally sure - the full set was 4350 but remember I don't do some of the full distances and when I went back to add it up I wasn't sure about some parts. That's about 1500 yards more than I've ever done in an hour. I had to wear fins for a lot of the workout. In the beginning it was to hit the shorter intervals. Toward the end it was because I was really tired. This is also the first time maybe ever my legs are tired from a swim workout. My legs are really tired. Walking up here to write this was ouchie.

In other news I've found a guy who does bike coaching on a computrainer. So I'm trying that tomorrow. This is to hopefully help me with hill training since we have no hills here. Wish me luck.

And I found this online. Parts of it are pretty funny. #64 made me chuckle in it's trueness.

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