Thursday 10 January 2013

A Synchro Dad Session

I went three for three this evening making my third consecutive training session. As I strode onto the pool side the guys: Proudie, Fairy Snow Baby, Matt the Cash and Synchro Dad (identities can be ascertained here) were pratting about, chatting and trying to formulate a plan.

We have Synchro Dad to thank for this straightforward little number. After the set of 6 x 150's Synchro Dad announced the next set of 8 x 150's and I did point out that we'd just swum a set of 6 lengths but to no avail. I was reassured by the boy's lane that there was a "theme" going on.

I was joined by Mrs Fairy Snow Baby and gracefully conceded the front spot to her and "New Guy" who of course isn't new any more.

A fairly steady 2.6k which my body desperately needed after last night's exertions it did give me a chance to catch up with Marie Helene one of the ante natal swimmers and discuss the sensation of trying to tumble turn when you have an anything but streamlined bump counteracting the natural buoyancy in your bum.

400 warm up alternating 100 free, 100 back
6 x 150 @ 3.15 50 pull, 50 kick 50 swim
8 x 150 @ 3.00 50 swim, 50 IM order, 50 swim
4 x 25 @ 35s
2,600 metres

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Thrash Bash & Crash...out

EMSC 1.0 really gave us a pasting this evening as you can see from this print out and I was recording some serious "red time" and now feel like it's dead time.

My 100's were around the 1.35 - 1.38 mark with the fastest being 1.33 and falling away to 1.40 on the last set.

Queenie Reed had the temerity to ask me if I'd been on holiday cos "I look a bit red!" hmmm.

400 100 free, 66 brst 33 back
400 66 swim, 66 pull
200 66 steady, 33 hard
200 steady 80% @ 3.30
4 x 100 hard 90% @ 2.00
1 x 100 easy @ 70% 2.00
200 steady 80% @ 3.30
4 x 100 hard 90% @ 2.00
1 x 100 easy @ 70% 2.00
200 steady 80% @ 3.30*
4 x 100 hard 90% @ 2.00
1 x 100 easy @ 70% 2.00
200 steady 80% @ 3.30*
4 x 100 hard 90% @ 2.00
1 x 100 easy @ 70% 2.0

*didn't quite complete either of these as I was really hanging off the back so I turned in the middle of the pool on the penultimate length of the 200 to make sure I at least managed 10 seconds rest.

Yesterday's session so mercifully short post?

I was late making training this evening and arrived to some serious comments about being a "newbie" and nice to meet you.

It was a pretty busy session with 23 of us across the three lanes and Proudie came up with this little tester.

2 x 200 free 50 swim, 50 pull
5 x 100 @ 2.10
5 x 100 @ 2.00
5 x 100 @ 1.50
3 x 100 @ 1.40
100 swim down
16 x 25 reverse IM @ 35s
250 swim down
3000 metres

Sunday 6 January 2013

Evil Mutant Swim Coach 1.0 and it's Sunday so it must be 100's session.

My New Year's Resolution continued on track when I turned out at my first Consett Session of the year.

My swim wasn't without its logistical difficulties as notsosmart Binge swimmer forgot to put on Toosmartwatch and moreover I couldn't find a training cossie. I've spent the week swimming in a really old Speedo which has steadily become  baggier and more see through around the boobs and bum. (I'm conjuring up a very attractive picture here aren't I?)

My solution to this was to dig out an old Speedo Fastskin for this afternoon's swim. Turning up at the pool there was a serious sense of deja-vu as Evil Mutant Swim Coach 1.0 revealed the session on the white board. Yep it's Sunday and the main set was surprise surprise 100's (mmh didn't see that one coming).

I was however pleasantly surprised by the effect of wearing the Fastskin in the session, having struggled to cover 100's in 2:10 earlier in the week and after yesterdays near death experience, I wasn't expecting to survive the first 6 repeats, but managed to make it to 10 before I missed the turn around time. I know for a fact that this was entirely down to wearing the suit and maybe it's something to bear in mind as an anti-fatigue measure over the coming weeks.

So that's the first week over and my 2013 Slog (explanation here) is suggesting (albeit a little prematurely) that I have selected a sensible target for the year!

Warm up
4 x 133 @ 20s RI 1 & 3 fullstroke, 2 & 4 66 swim, 66 kick, & pull
12 x 100
1-3 @ 2mins
4-6 @ 1.50
7-9 @ 1.40
10-12 @ 1.30 *
4 x 66 @ 90s hard
60s RI
3 x 66 @ 90s hard
60s RI
2 x 66 @ 90s haard
60s RI
1 x 66
200 swim down
2,500 metres

*missed out 66 metres here.

Saturday 5 January 2013

The Trouble with Tribbles (Ok Triathletes)

Now I have in the past been known to pass the odd barbed comment laced with derision about the swimming ability of Triathletes. But today it was a case of eating a huge slice of Humble Pie.

Having slept in this morning I missed the Gateshead Masters' session but determined to keep my mile a day challenge more or less on track I headed down to Blaydon for the Ryton Tri session. (I suppose sleeping with their coach does have its bonuses.)

I usually swim in the top lane and with some misplaced confidence (thinking they're only triathletes for god's sake) I set off leading the lane out. Humongous mistake as one by one they all went past me. Oh how low have I sunk?

It was actually an even more sobering experience, because in the main set Mrs Fairy Snow Baby lapped me at 550 metres, 450 metres, 350 metres, 250 metres and nearly got me on the 200 swim down. I crawled out of the pool after a round 4K absolutely cream crackered and full of respect for my fellow tribbles.

4 x 200 warm up @ 4.30, 50 swim, 50 drill, 50 swim, 50 kick
600 pull with paddles 30s RI
4 x 75 @ 10s RI
500 pull with paddles 30s RI
4 x 75 @ 10s RI
400 pull with paddles
4 x 75 @ 10s RI
300 pull with paddles
4 x 75 @ 10s RI
4000 metres

Wednesday 2 January 2013

New Year, Same Old Challenge, Renewed Enthusiasm? (not to mention introducing Son of Toosmartwatch)

Inspired by Jean Luc Picard no less (courtesy of Mel Lutton's Facebook news feed) and determined to get back in the groove I left Teenage Triathlete up to her neck in GCSE Biology revision and escaped to Dunston.

I'd almost forgotten the way there as the last time I swam at the Dunston International Leisure Centre (or Dunston Baths) was early June last year.

I arrived early (shock horror completely out of character) and thought I was going to be swimming on my own; where were you all guys? (obviously making training sessions wasn't high on Gateshead Masters list of New Year Resolutions) anyway "quiet Claire" turned up for company and we worked our way through this little sesh. I'm sure she was secretly enjoying seriously kicking my butt during the workout (even on breaststroke)

I was resolving not to moan and whinge about how excruciatingly horrible it all felt, but as you can no doubt imagine after a 6 month swimming hiatus it was truly excruciatingly horrible. It was such a relief to slip the paddles on for the 8 x 100's I went almost miraculously from wallowing to gliding through the water.

The session was a good opportunity to properly test swim my new toy, a replacement heart rate monitor who has been christened "Son of Toosmartwatch" see here for further explanation. It is pretty swanky and the toosmart bit comes in because after I'd downloaded the session it told me  "This training increased your anaerobic tolerance, and improved your maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and efficiency. It also raised the speed you can maintain without building up lactic acid. The training duration was long enough to increase fatigue resistance at the used speed. Carbohydrates are the main energy source that your body uses at this training intensity."

Whereas perhaps "notsosmart" Binge Swimmers might just say "it bloody well hurt!"

800 warm up change stroke each 25
5 x 200 odd ones free @ 4 mins, even back and breast on 4.30
8 x 100 pull with paddles @ 2.10
12 x 50's medley changeover @ 70 secs  *
16 x 25's drill @ 35s swim down
50 swim down
3650 metres

* only managed half a length fly (5strokes to be precise) and also wimped out of back-breast turns (I'm such a wuss)

Tuesday 1 January 2013

2013 (The Return of Toosmartwatch or more accurately Son of Toosmartwatch!)

for those of you who are scratching your heads about toosmartwatch see glossary page

Last swim of 2012 (or rejected and unloved goggles finally croak)

Time line 3.30pm 31st December 2012.

Feeling horribly guilty about my slothfullness I decided to make an effort to see 2012 out with a Tesco session.

With an unusal display of forethought I checked the opening times of our local pool and reckoned the best chance of a relatively quiet session was in the hour before it closed.

As I pulled on my goggles the rubber strap completely disintegrated, obviously it had become completely dessicated by their none use. I was left in a bit of a dilemma here as the thought of swimming sans eyewear, was likely to be too painful and I didn't relish seeing in the new year with red streaming eyes.

The alternative was to retrace my steps through the changing rooms, get myself dressed and retrieve the spare pair in the glove box, concious that I had limited time before the pool shut up shop for the year I compromised on the getting dressed bit and donning my Uug boots and hoodie I legged it through the reception area and across the car park. A delightful sight as you can imagine hopefully no one I knew was passing.

There were only three others in the pool by the time I eventually started my swim and I plodded through a rather lethargic 1300 metres to bring my 2012 total to 258151 metres

3 x 2 x 100 @ 2mins + 30s RI
6 x 66 @ 90s
6 x 33
100 swim down
1300 metres

Catch Up on 2012

Big style fail on bingeing both on the swimming and blogging front. The Binge challenge for this year was to swim on average a mile a day, but in typical Binge style this aspiration crashed and burned and I’ve failed to maintain any semblance of consistency in my swimming. 

Despite a promising start (I was well on track until Riccione) having completed 244,000 metres by the middle of June but since then I’ve only added a further feeble 15,000 metres.

As if this failing challenge wasn’t sad enough, the year came to a close with one of my favourite swimming pools under a very serious threat of closure. The City Pool in Newcastle is a fabulous building, (although badly in need of some tender love and care.) Set in the heart of the city it provides a great facility for students, office workers, the occasional Binge session and of course it is the spiritual home of the City of Newcastle swimming club.  It’s an inspirational venue and I never tire of reading the names on the flags hanging in the spectator balcony showing how far a field club members have competed on the international swimming stage.

I paid what might be my last visit there in November when I received one of those dreaded telephone calls, begging me to come and officiate at the club’s annual Shrimp meet. Now some time in the dim and distant past; and for a reason that completely escapes me, I qualified as a swimming referee. I will confess now that I absolutely hate loath and despise officiating and I would rather stick pins in my eyes, but the caller sounded so desperate I felt I couldn’t turn them down.

The following Sunday I found myself patrolling the poolside watching some of the most elaborate variations of what might arguably be recognised as a swimming stroke being performed with the enthusiasm and confidence only 9 year olds can produce. The only thought which kept me going through an interminable session was that during the lunch break I might just sneak a swim with the Masters group.

Sadly, with impeccable timing the session ended 10 minutes after the Masters left the small pool, but catching a coach putting a session on the white board I discovered that the University swim club were due in at 1pm. I lurked around the pool and was rewarded at 1.05pm with my first sighting of a swimming student, (this was a Sunday after all). I approached him, explained my predicament and asked if I could join in.

I have to say there was a mix of confusion and incredulity on his face as he somewhat sceptically weighed up this ancient and rather large specimen requesting to join them. The clincher was my suggestion that it might warrant a mention in “Swimming Times”; Aahh the persuasive power of the press, as the promise of fame elicited a rather non committal “I suppose so”. 

Taking this as a green light, I changed and wandered down to the end of the pool. I was keen to try and slot in to the slowest lane and try and hang off the back. I politely stood at the end of the lane whilst the three swimmers in it chatted and discussed who was going where.

Realising there was a reluctance to actually start the session (with a 1000 yard warm up I wasn’t surprised) and also that the lane next to them was empty and concerned that I only had an hour before I needed to be back for the final round of tortuous officiating, I slipped into the empty lane and set off on my own. I had to work fairly hard; as not only was this the first session I’d swum for weeks but I felt I needed to demonstrate to the students that I was a swimmer (if only a lapsed one). 

After about 800 yards I had company; and displaying my slightly earnest and bossy characteristics I stopped him after he’d done 200 warm up and suggested we just get on with the main set. He readily agreed and I led off, with my companion (who I christened Mr Tumnus because of his wispy student beard and faun like frame) drafting off the back.

There was some judicious pruning of the repeat times to make the set manageable, and sensing  that Mr Tumnus was a much more accomplished medley swimmer than me I made him lead that section of the session. After about an hour I had to leave, and as I thanked Michael for his company, he commented that it had been a baptism of fire as he hadn’t swum since August!  

I left the pool enthused and encouraged by the camaraderie of shared endeavour but saddened that this might have been my very last swim in such an iconic venue. You can sign the Petition to keep the City Pool open on the “Save Newcastle City Pool” facebook page.  

Warm up 1000 yds
5 x 100  free @ 1.40
200 swim down
5 x 100 free @ 1.40 
200 swim down
5 x 100 free @ 1.40
200 swim down
4 x 100 IM @ 1.50
200 swim down
3700 yds
3400 metres