Saturday, May 14, 2011

One More Swim

When the alarm went off this morning, it was safe to day that I was less than enthused about going swimming outdoors. This last week has seen some pretty cold weather including a few inches of snow at my place. The gray overcast also did not inspire getting out of my warm comfortable bed.

Nevertheless, I paid money to get to swim today so after hitting snooze a couple of times, I got myself going and was back out at Bowles Reservoir Number 1 around 7:30.

Unlike last week, no one seemed to be putting on their wetsuit outside. That's no surprise since according the the reading in my car the outside temp was a balmy 40 degrees. I got my suit on fairly easily (this is now the third time I've donned it) and walked from the locker room down to the same spot I entered the water last week.

When I began this blog, my hope was (and still is) that someone like me doing a triathlon for the first time can glean a little insight from what I've learned. Now is one of those times where I really think my experience can help.

If you are not familiar with open water swimming, as I was not until just a week ago, it's important to understand the shock factor, even in a full body wetsuit. While much better than bare skin, it's still going to be cold. You should spend a couple of minutes adapting to that cold before you start your swim. I learned that last week when I could not catch my breath.

Today, I started by sticking my face in the water and blowing bubbles, just like you do as little kid in your first swim lessons. Like the rest of your body, your face is going to be shocked by the cold water. It will produce the same breathless feeling. Getting it used to the much colder temp is essential. Once that was done I bobbed under water once just to fully immerse myself.

Once that was done, I was ready to go. Unlike last week, I was immediately in my normal routine of bilateral breathing on every third stroke. The cold still sapped my strength pretty good and I did take a few breaks, but at least I wasn't flapping like last week.

My rough estimate of my distance was about 1400 and at 32:16 that puts me at a little over 43 yards per minute which sounds right given my numerous stops. I am hoping a restful upcoming week and perhaps just a little bit more warmth will have me up to 45 ypm by next Sunday's race.

I'm going to do an easy 15 on the trainer tomorrow, a 3 mile run during the week and then an even shorter trainer ride on Thursday. That's it. Otherwise I'm going to rest my body. Past experience has taught me that rest is one of the key things I need to be ready for a race.

Steely skies over Bowles Reservoir Number One

No comments:

Post a Comment