Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Masters Swim

Yesterday was pretty intense, which is exactly what I need at this stage in the game. My first tri is in August so I have just a few more weeks to kick the training up a notch and make some final performance gains. I did a treadmill run in the morning for an hour for a total distance of 5.3 miles. I wanted to go an hour and a quarter, but backed off from that because I need to leave something on the table for the masters swim in the afternoon.

The masters swim was at the Westwood Rec Center Pool which is not the greatest pool. It has plenty of lanes which is good, but they sure dump plenty of chlorine for an indoor pool. It started to make my skin burn after being in there for 45 minutes. Another thing that I noticed was that the pool is deep and that made following the lines on the bottom of the pool difficult. I keep bumping into the lane divider which was not fun.

This was my first masters swim ever, so I wasn't sure really what to expect. I have to say that something in me does respond rather well to having a coach. I think my natural tendency to try to please others gives me I higher level of motivation when the coach is giving out the routine and giving feedback. I worked really hard and was very tired, even though I did not do all that much meterage. I think I only completed around 1075 meters. At least 325 of that was with a kickboard without swim fins, so I was dying out there after having done the run in the morning. My kick has never been very good. I actually used to go backwards when I kicked with a kickboard. I am happy to report that now I actually do go forward, just very slowly.

Another good thing about the masters swim was that someone finally explained to me what some of the timing mumbo jumbo means. Now I kinda know what they are talking about and can read the clock. This is particularly important for me because I never had a way to time myself before, because I didn't really know how to use the clock.

All this being said, I'm not sure I will be going back. It is great to have someone give you a routine and to have the pacing of the other swimmers, but what I really need is some help with my technique. The coach didn't give any instruction at all on technique. Joining the masters club would be around 65 bucks a month, and I doubt I would be able to go more than twice a week. When you break that down to a per session rate it is expensive, especially when I am already paying for a gym membership (with a perfectly good pool), bike parts, etc. I really want to get a new bike next year, and 65 bucks a month for a year would really help towards a new bike. So I'm still trying to figure out what other options are out there.

I was pretty tired this morning, but still pulled though. I did a Spin/Run brick with 50 minutes on the spin bike with lots of hills and climbing and then followed it with a 30 minute run for 2.4 miles. I was soaking wet and oh so tired, but in a good way.

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