4Km swim day: boring pool repetition!

I grabbed the nasty weather opportunity and went for a swim today. Blowing a hooley and snow on and off – indoors is best! I struggle to fit the 4km swim in during the week, so perfect chance to do it today. Hoping not to be as fatigued as the last time, although this is only no 2 so I don’t really know what to expect. 

I didn’t know what the pool would be like on a sunday lunchtime, I still expect English crowds, so was surprised to discover that of the 6 lanes that were open for swimmers, I was the only one, after the other two got out just after I got in.

Swimming 152 lengths is an endless daunting prospect, which I could have easily talked myself out of, and it was going to be a challenge to stay focussed that long. I decided to break it up into thirds.

This time I had the lap counter, so I didn’t have to focus on that, I could focus on my stroke. The first 10 lengths, I knew that Fridays swim was still in my shoulders, but its ok, the arms won’t fall off, keep going Mel.

First 50 lengths, my focus was on high elbows. When I thought about it I discovered that I look more at one arm than the other, so I focussed on the other, making sure I wasn’t being lazy. When certain muscles began to fatigue, just think of other ones, and that helps you focus the load on those instead.

50 lengths in, ok, I’m bored, now what shall I think about? I focussed on a steady effort, ticking off the lengths. I have to admit its hard work with no one else around. You have no one to chase, race, look at, hyper analyse or anything. I think my thought patterns began to wander. I was thinking gosh, this must look really really far in a lake… 3800m..!

Then two swimmers got in, one on each side of me. Cool. The guy on one side was an easy one to reel in, a recreational swimmer with an untidy stroke. The girl on the other side, well, I stretched my stroke out, pulled slightly harder, it actually didn’t take much effort to increase the speed. Ooops. Perhaps I could have gone faster sooner….

Then they both decided they wanted to race me. I was up to around 120 lengths now, I hadn’t stopped since I got in. In wasn’t going to let either of them beat me, even if they had only just got in…. half a length ahead at the turn. So I decided to up the pace for the final 30 lengths or so. When I got to the last two, the guy decided he wanted to race me again. I was fatigued by this time for sure, and he had stood around a lot between his lengths. Still, the racer in me found an extra gear and a wee bit more juice and sprint swam in the last two.

Interesting experience swimming that far, in a 25m pool. I wish they would move the bulk head out of the way!


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