The Long Swim

60 minutes. (semi)Constant swimming. Incredibly sore arms.

My coach has been planning out my swim workouts for me because she comes from a swimming background. She’s always said that swimming is the one thing that you have to be prepared for when entering any Ironman race and I’m only assuming this, but I’m pretty sure it’s because you can die during the swim. We’ve talked the past two weeks of a benchmark swim where I’d swim for 1 hour and just see how far I can get. That way, she could see where I was in regards to my swimming. Last night, I got an email at 9:55pm (CST):
“We talked about this. Tomorrow might be a good day to get your tempo/TT swim in, so I can see where to go with your swim programming.
Warm up with 100 kick with fins and then 100 pull
60 minutes of how far you can get.
Cool down with 100 any other stroke but free and butterfly.
Let me know distance.”

I mentally prepared, looked at the pool schedule and set my alarm and was in bed asleep before 11.

The alarm went off at 5:40am. Sidenote: If you have an iPhone or an iPad, use the iHome app as your alarm. It is the taste. I go to bed listening to Bon Iver and wake up to M83 currently. Before that, Florence + the Machine and before that, Big Sean (I’m all over the map). I was at the YMCA and in the pool by 6:20. I started my 60 minute swim right at 6:30. I need to figure out a counting system because I seriously got bored/confused just trying to keep track of my 50s. By the time I had reached 2,000 meters, 34 minutes had already passed. I took a quick breather and got back to it.

This next 1,000m was ridiculous. I knew I shouldn’t have stopped. Like any endurance sport, especially running, if you stop in the middle of a long training session, it’s tough to get back going again. This was like everything else and my arms/shoulders were killing me when I got started again. I pushed through this 1,000m and stopped to take another breather. My breathing was actually fine and didn’t really strain for breath at any point through this, but my arms were tiiiiirrreedd.

Looked at my watch and decided to hit it hard for the next 8 or 9 minutes that I had left and somehow was able to swim another 375 meters.

3,375 meters done. I WAS BEAT.

I emailed my coach right afterwards and I am looking forward to what she has to say. I’ll keep you posted. So now I have that benchmark and now know where I need to go in order to swim the 2.4 miles in open water without having to take these breaks.

UPDATE: I got that Email back from my coach:
“That’s awesome. Be sure you eat today a lot. You have to add dairy back in your diet or you will risk health problems with the volume you are moving now. After this weekend ride, you should start losing weight if you haven’t already. You do not want to lose more than three pounds a week till you get to your racing weight. Racing weight is pretty low, but as long as you are eating and staying strong, it is okay.
My caloric intake is 3700 calories a day to try to maintain my weight. Yours has to be higher than mine to give you an idea of how much you need to be eating.
I will keep you at the 10% increase on the swim and give you more time to work on skill work and pull.”

All this is good to know because I’m heading to the grocery store right after I post this. I looked in my fridge last night as I was making an omelet for dinner that I was really really low on vegetables and for the first time EVER, I was sad because of this. What’s wrong with me?! I can’t wait for that nap soon!

Have a great day!

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