I want to Swim faster.

Swimming Laps

One of my goals this year is to try to swim faster. I don’t have a swim coach. I don’t go to “Masters” swim classes/groups. I don’t really follow a swim training program. I just go to the pool and swim laps.  Here are some of the excuses I’ve come up with for what feels to me, like pretty lifeless swim workouts….

Excuse #1: The pool. – The pool at my gym only has 4 lanes, and it is only 17.6yards long, that means 100 lengths to a mile. This makes doing any standard workouts designed for 25yd, 25m, 50m pools pretty strange. I mean, I guess I could do 3 laps/6 lengths for 105yrds for all 100yd segments. That would actually be 96 meters, so that’s not too crazy. But I guess I feel like these swim workouts are designed for 4 length, 100yd chunks. I just feel like I’m not getting much out of these workouts.

Excuse #2: The pool rules. – I mentioned the pool only has 4 lanes. This means that there is often a line of people waiting to swim. When I got to the pool tonight at 8pm, it was full, and there was one other person waiting. The rules are that you can only swim for 30 minutes when someone is waiting, and you have to sign up and then start waiting. Also, you have to be “in the pool area, ready to swim” before you can sign up. Basically this means going to the gym, hoping there is a free lane; changing into your suit, showering, and then going to the pool deck to sign in or jump in. This also means that any and all workouts can only take 30mins.

Excuse #3: My training partners. – My training partners suck! They don’t talk, they won’t race me, they don’t tell jokes are talk about anything. I hate their choice in music. Oh wait, those are my running partners…. that’s right, I don’t have any training partners for swimming. Maybe I’m stuck because I swim alone. I am usually a pretty solitary guy. Sure, I may seem outgoing and gregarious on this blog… but actually I’m an introvert (and exuberant introvert, but an introvert nonetheless). And so I feel comfortable with my little swimming routine. But I think it isn’t getting me anywhere.

I know that I probably should buckle down and start to do some routines, some pulls, some kicks, some intervals, etc. I probably should join a masters group. I just haven’t gotten up the inspiration to do it yet.

So, I swim away at my ~40min/mile pace… Well, today I got to swim a whole mile and it took me 34mins. So that means I averaged 100yds every 1:46. And I guess this is what bugs me. I read these workouts that say 100yds on the 1:30s. Hell, I’m not even done with my 100yrds in 1:30… I somehow have to go back in time. Maybe (probably) these workouts are just all wrong for me. And so I just go back to what I am comfortable with… swimming laps.

I do feel pretty comfortable in the water. I took Total Immersion last year, and it really made me conformable in the water. So when I swam my Ironman last year, I got out of the water with and average heart rate of 140bpms; which is certainly mellow enough for me to have had a good ride and run afterwards.

Tonight at the pool there was a guy in the lane next to me. And he was swimming so much faster than me. He looked effortless. He was about 2 feet taller than me, I know that’s a big advantage. And he had about 30lbs of fat more than me… which is also probably an advantage. And he apparently was a competitive swimmer throughout high school and college (that was 25 years ago, and he’s been swimming ever since)… so clearly he has a significant training advantage over me as well. I chatted with him afterwards, and he said “(I) have good form”… so I guess that’s something.

What I really need to do is get more experience, more practice, and I probably need to do the obvious… get some help: a coach or a masters group. What am I waiting for?

One Response to “I want to Swim faster.”

  1. halfawake Says:

    What I really need to do is get more experience, more practice, and I probably need to do the obvious… get some help: a coach or a masters group. What am I waiting for?

    If it’s anything like running, then the group is key :-).

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