Well at last night’s practice I dutifully trotted out the backstroke flags to get ready to request my first timed 200 before practice but when Coach Brad showed up a little later than usual I deferred making the request until afterwards. That turned out to be a mistake as when practice ended I was just glad I could walk off the pool deck. Telling us in our start-of-practice briefing we were “going to do something different tonight” he toted up on the board a warm up which would comprise practically the night’s entire workout. Now I’m absolutely convinced Brad’s stealing sets from our ‘Senior 2:30’ group! Still I’m forced to admit not only does it appear to my inexpert eye to be a good warm up for national level swimmers but it also makes for an excellent one shot training session for us lesser beings. The warm up was a two thousand meter IM set broken out as follows:
2 x 100 fr pl @ 2:00
4 x 25 sw @ 0:50/0:50/0:25/0:55
100 fr sw/pl @ 1:15
4 x 25 sw @ 0:50/0:50/0:25/0:55
The 500 meters are repeated four times swimming the 25s in IM order (eg. in the first subset all the 25s are fly, in the second they’re back, and so on). Ian requested we be allowed to swim in reverse IM order which Coach allowed. I didn’t understand Ian’s rationale so asked him why we wouldn’t want to swim the fly 25s while we were still fresh. His response he wasn’t ready to swim fly plus the 100 free right off the bat was met with murmurs of approval all around so that’s what we did despite my deep reservations about leaving that fly to the end. Reservations clearly justified as it turned out. There’s a reason why I dread trying to race 200 meters – with only six months training under my belt I just don’t have any endurance and flaming out is painful. In fact I’ve learned to my chagrin, as opposed to my youth when I could simply accept the pain and soldier on, nowadays my body simply shuts down. Pain with results makes for a rational decision, but pain and no results is a very bitter pill indeed. Anyways we proceeded with the set. Even doing breaststroke the 25s weren’t difficult, there being only the one 0:25 interval which needed to be taken hard but we had plenty of rest from the following 25. The joker in the pack was that damn 100 free on 1:15. It meant swimming under 1:10 to properly prepare for the next group of 25s. Essentially the set was a 4 x 100 free @ 1:15 with a bunch of meters in between to keep one occupied until the next 100 rolled around. The free and breast went OK, but by the time back came up I wasn’t looking forward to the next 100. I managed to finish it on about 1:11, thanking the gods profusely for having backstroke to recover with, but knew I was finished for the last 100. So after the first four flys I told Darci (the third of our Lane 6 triumvirate) I was only swimming a fifty instead of the 100 and recommended she go ahead. Both Coach and Ian though encouraged me not to give up and try the 100 and so chastened I made the attempt. Struggling through the first 25 I even made a tumble turn and made it back on a reasonable pace but I was completely drained by the effort, and at the 60 meter mark fell off the tempo to such an extent Darci overtook me at the wall. After about a ten second breather I finished off the 100 and then did the next two 25 fly as one-armed drills before finishing the set off with a couple of proper swims. We ended the workout with a 4 x 50 kick @ 1:10 warm down. A really good workout – just a little beyond my capabilities at this time.