First Class Swim, Record on a Whim

Today’s swim was actually 1500 metres rather than the 1250 I recorded. Sadly I somehow managed to record only five sets of ten laps where I actually swam six.

Data

I think I missed the third set somehow. The clue is in the interval breakdown:

You can see that set two is very long. I really don’t know what happened but I do know that I wish my Vivoactive watch would beep when I press start like my old Garmin Swim.

Feeling Good

What was good about this is that swimming longer sets feels more rhythmic. It is very easy to overdo short sets as they have the natural feel of sprints. This way I get into a more prolonged and regular cadence. I also benefited from eating properly after yesterday’s absurdity.

Next up: 1800 metres.

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Short Laps, Long Laps, I’m Swimming all the Laps.

Today’s bizarre swim:

Bizarre because of this breakdown:

Set three is ten laps instead of eight, set four is shortened to six in order to cover that and set six is divided into two due to a goggles malfunction. In addition to that I had two zombie swimmers swin straight across and in front of me and I was checked out in the showers by an old biddy who looked at me and then straight down at my junk.

Don’t try to deny it girls. You know what you do.

On a positive note my shorts keep falling down which means I’m losing weight and this swim is my target of 1200 metres in the bag. Yesterday was a rest day as I was insanely tired.

This trajectory should see me hit 1800 metres by the end of next week.

Lapping Away…

Today’s swim:

Set four is long due to a goggles malfunction and sadly I encountered the scourge of lap swimmers up and down the country: dreaded fat girl who won’t get out of the fast lane. I really don’t get it. I’m in the one lane set aside for lap swimming and always some epic ham beast gets in and bobs up and down the length of the pool like a lump of whale blubber, doing an approximate ratio of one lap to my ten. They have the entire pool to go at and they always get in my way.

That aside today was progress. As I push into longer intervals the last two laps are always the weariest and hardest, however the last two laps of each set today were nowhere near as difficult as the ones I previously experienced at the end of shorter sets so that means I’m getting stronger and my cardiovascular capacity is increasing.

Cardiovascular Statistics

A nurse friend of mine recently calculated my resting pulse at a strong, rhythmic and regular 54 bpm. The lowest I’ve ever clocked is 44. I think I can hit that again. I’m hoping to finally shed the stone I’ve carried since being hit by cars four times in one year whilst cycling. That had a massive effect on my body. Now that the kids are older and I have more free time I can get into a proper regimen rather than the guerrilla approach young children necessitate.

Keep buggering on…

Week in Review

Summary

Last week I moved from 600 to 1000 metres in the pool, from 2 to 3 miles running and I completed a rigorous 8.4 miles family hike over Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales. This was a good week with which to start a long summer of outdoor activities.

Coming Next

This year I want to break out of the Dales and conquer more of the Lake District. The big targets are Skiddaw and Blencathra, each of which are approximately 900 metre climbs so they are ones to work up to. I take the kids hiking so it wouldn’t be a problem for adults to climb those two but the sprogs need to work up to climbs like that. Luckily there is the gorgeous Cat Bells fell, around a 500 metre elevation.

I can’t wait to ascend this fell over the weekend and get some photographs of the stunning Lake District views. In addition to that I want to push up to 4 miles running and 1500 metres swimming. That leaves me with one hike to plan for the weekend. Time to research…

Progress Delayed

Yesterday’s swim happened today. My local pool and it’s useless staff admitted me to swim yesterday and then kindly closed the pool five minutes later. Thanks a lot goons.

Today I pushed up to 600 metres via six sets of 100 metres (4 laps per set).

I was only swimming for 10 minutes or so but I definitely pushed myself into the shaky muscles zone. That isn’t a technical term obviously. I think the correct term is lactic acidosis. I could be wrong on that, I’m no expert but it’s where I get the endorphins and I know to stop before I strain something.

At my best I’ve pushed up to 5000 metres so I have a long way to go yet.

Pushing On

I am in the habit of starting small and building quickly. That’s what I have done in the past and I am doing it again now. Yesterday I swam and today I pushed myself further on the road.

Swimming

I started yesterday with what I thought was ten sets of 50 metre intervals. I either miscounted or I forgot to record one of my sets with my swim watch so I’m posting a 450 metre swim rather than 500. Whatever, it’s a start. I’ll soon be pushing up to swimming an hour nonstop as I did previously.

Running

Today I added half a mile to my previous 2 mile run on Monday. My time is abysmal here, over 10 minute miles, but hey, distance is distance and I’ve never been a particular fast runner.

My struggle is often what to do once I get to high distances when it comes to running and swimming. When cycling I would always commute so it was easy to be consistent. I guess we’ll see how I motivate myself with leisure exercise. Stats below.

Weather permitting this weekend will be two mountain hikes in the Yorkshire Dales.

Good Friday Push and Interval Swimming

Tomorrow is Good Friday and I have teamed up with a friend to push through the half marathon barrier for a run. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I won’t get sick. Anything else I can work through. I’ve been swimming and cycling regularly, although unlike my previous blogging I won’t be posting maps all the time unless I take on a new course. Anyone genuinely interested in maps of previous runs can view them via the Garmin Connect links posted with my data. The last couple of days are thus:

Data

Cycling

Distance 11.03 mi | Time 47:03 | Speed 14.1 mph | Elev Gain 896 ft

Source: Garmin Connect

Swimming

Distance 1,000 m | Time 40:06 | Pace 1:40 min/100m

Source: Garmin Connect

I have had a week off from swimming so I carried on yesterday from where I left off previously, namely interval swimming. Two sets of 8, 6, 4 and 2 laps, going as quickly as I can with three minutes rests between each interval in order to get my heart rate down to resting as quickly as possible. I could carry on doing 3000 metres three times weekly but this new routine not only breaks up the monotony, but also interval training is recommended for fat burning (calorie burn continues for hours after workouts), building endurance and it allegedly is very good for the heart as it ‘increases the flexibility and elasticity of arteries and veins better than continuous aerobic exercise‘.

I haven’t really done very much interval training in the past so I am keen to explore it, however I worry about it becoming a means to and end in itself. I actually enjoy long runs and bike rides so if I do go further on intervals I will restrict it to the swimming pool for now. I also need to learn a lot more about it before I continue to develop as I know very little other than my own invented interval swim workout.

Cycling and the Challenge of Interval Swimming

Today I varied things a little. I went for a 14 mile bike ride this morning and then switched up my endurance swimming for some lung busting intervals in the pool. As the weather gets warmer and the evenings get lighter it is getting harder for me to resist the pull of cycling over all other forms of exercise so I am trying to add variation to spice things up.

The ride was 14 miles, and I intended to push to 20 and include a 30 degree climb, however I decided to leave enough in the tank to swim tonight.

Cycling Map and Data

Swim Data

Interval swimming is very challenging. Tonight I did intervals of 8, 6, 4 and 2 laps, although I accidentally did 10 for the first set. I absolutely hammered away as hard as possible, averaging at 1 minute 41 seconds per 100 metres. I thought my heart would explode out of my chest. I worked as hard as I could physically stand. Now that I have hit Iron Man distances for endurance swimming I returned to intervals for the serious business of fat burning and speed.

Distance 1,050 m | Time 40:41 | Pace 1:41 min/100m

Source: Interval Swimming

Achievement Unlocked: Personal Best

Today’s trip to the pool was a big deal. Having achieved a swim of Iron Man distance I am now turning my attention to improving my times rather than logging ever longer workouts in the pool, and today I achieved two significant milestones. First of all I logged a personal best of 3000 metres in 59:33, and second of all this is my first 3000 metre swim to come in under an hour. I feel very pleased with myself indeed. I returned to swimming on February 3rd this year, meaning that I have gone from a swim of 600 metres divided into six drills of four laps to this in just over a month. I am also pleased to have pushed my average time per 100 metres to under two minutes at 1:59.

Data

3,000 m • 59:33 • 1:59 min/100 m • 30.2 100m/hour •

Source: Lap Swimming: Personal Best Achieved

This is a good day and a good feeling. I hope I can keep improving and driving those overall times and lap times down. Small victories are where it’s at. When pushing oneself to be better the margins are fine and the triumphs relatively small so it is important to acknowledge them when they are achieved.

Achievement Unlocked: GUTTED

Today I did it! I cracked the Iron Man distance of 2.4 miles in the pool!

Except I’m gutted. I had to get out at 2900 metres for a quick poo. I resisted for as long as possible but after two dangerous farts in there water I couldn’t risk leaving a butterscotch slipstream in the water so I got out and availed myself of the facilities. This means that I did not complete the distance without stopping. As a result this swim is divided into two strange drills of 2900 and 1100 metres. GUTTED.

Data

4,000 m • 1:29:44 • 2:04 min/100 m • 28.9 100m/hour •

Source: Iron Man distance broken

At least I did it, albeit not in a way I didn’t quite want. Still, I’ll take it as progress. I have now proven that I can do the cycling and swimming legs of an Iron Man triathlon. All that remains is the marathon.