I thought Monday’s workout was really interesting, though likely because I’m easily amused and I tend to enjoy anything that even looks like a contest. Again, consistent with what we’ve been seeing for a couple of weeks, the practice was centered on intervals. What was novel to me was how the interval set was designed. First things first, the warm up and a short supplementary set were given out:
Warm up: 400 choice + 400 split 100 bk, 200 IM, 50 fly, 50 fr
Sup. set: 12 x 25 IM order in sets of three (1st counting strokes; 2nd aiming for 8 strokes/lap for fly, 12 for bk, 8 for br, and 12 for fr;3rd same # strokes but 4-5 sec faster than 2nd rep).
The main set was a varying amount of 50s @ 1:01. The set’s twist is the swimmer has to finish the fifty before his or her original start time (i.e. if the swimmer leaves on the top to start the set, and twenty 50s into the set is now leaving on the 20 the swimmer is still aiming to finish before the top). Once the swimmer fails to finish within the limit he or she is out. It’s a contest for the swimmers, with the winners and losers all too apparent. The first fifties are just putting in mileage, but it starts getting tougher the longer you go. Brad set aside half an hour for this set meaning he was expecting some of us to at least get close to swimming sub-30 fifties after 1,500 meters (I have told you sometimes he coaches us as if we were real swimmers haven’t I?) but because we started late and were running out of time he shortened it by having us start on the eighth fifty (+ 0:08). You’re trying to swim the first fifties only a few seconds faster than elimination time and so conserve energy for the later runs. Pacing is critical because if you make the round you’re looking at doing the next a second faster and continuing so ad infinitum. You certainly don’t want to go too fast but you must make the cut off. In the set itself I figured I had two more fifties in me but cut it too close and touched just outside my start time and so had to drop out. I felt a curious mixture of dismay I failed to continue on and relief I didn’t need to go again. In retrospect I should have gone one more time just to show myself I could have made the next one. This set is well known (notorious?) in the Hyack Swim Club and is traditionally seen at the close of the short course season. Next year I’ll be better prepared. I give this workout my first 10 of the year.