I had mentioned in my last post that I really needed to get in the pool and set about the business of learning how to not swim like a complete tool. Well, I'm happy to say that I went swimming on Friday during my lunch and again last night. That's two swim workouts in 4 days, a quite acceptable frequency!
I did have smoe doubts about the lunch swim as I would be going to the Central Branch Y (read: downtown) and I remembered it being less than stellar back when I was still in school. Apparently my fears were baseless as the facility is really quite nice…the locker rooms are a little dated, but the pool and any of the other facilities I saw were in great shape. I timed my walk from the office and it was a little under 10 minutes in the freezing cold and howling wind…very manageable. The pool itself wasn't too busy either…there were maybe 5 or 6 people there at that time off day and the entire pool was set up with lanes. There was a slow lane, moderate, two fast and a "speedy". I decided on moderate as my best option and asked the guy swimming there if he minded if I shared the lane with him, which he said wasn't a problem. I just wanted to reach out to the regulars as pools (and gyms, and tracks, etc) can have their own unwritten rules which are completely unknown to outsiders.
I found an app on iTunes called 'Swim a Mile' and decided it sounded like a basic enough program for me to get going in the water and build swimming stamina, which is my primary concern at this point. The first week called for 4x100m, 4x50m and 4x25m for a total of 700m…not a lot of volume by any means. I ended up subbing the last 4x25 with a second 4x100 set and seemed to handle it fine, completing a total of 1000m. At one point a couple of guys a few lanes over (either in fast or speedy) complemented me on my stroke. "Real smooth stroke, man…great form". I was SHOCKED. I think the guys were genuine too, so either they are terrible swimmers themselves or my stroke has actually improved to the point where I almost look like a swimmer instead of a kid at the splash pool. I told the guys that I really appreciated the encouragement and finished my set.
I haven't figured out how to take pool pictures yet, so I substituted 3-time world champion Craig Alexander instead…I'm sure no one would notice ;)
The second pool session was at our "home" Y, the Stony Creek Branch. It is new in the last few years and really a gorgeous facility. the whole family went and we all had a great time. There were only two lanes open though during the family swim time, and they were very busy. There were a couple of younger kids in the lanes (which I have no problem with at all, my daughter was one of them!) and they were just slow moving. There was plenty of room for a third lane, which would have made things go a lot quicker. I had to wait after almost every length, which made it hard to get a good rhythm going, but I got the set in, same as Friday's. My preference will certainly be to find off hours to get my swim workouts in…way too busy during peak time.
I managed to get in a couple of shorter rides on the bike trainer on Saturday and Monday as well, doing 25K each time while watching some Breaking Bad. It seems like my efforts are pretty consistent as my average speed on Saturday was 33.4km/h and I upped it to 33.5km/h on Monday.
Finally, I completed my longest run since the Disney Marathon in early January, logging 18K (a little over 11 miles) up at the cottage. The weather was awful…we were dumped on once again…but I got out there. It was a frigid -24°C, the wind was nasty and the roads were snow and ice covered. I kept the pace easy and had plenty of gas left in the tank to get a good kick over the last half mile.
I snapped a picture of the lake up by the Point and i swear I could tell you that it was taken on an Arctic expedition and no one would call me out on it!
SWIM - 2000m
BIKE - 51km
RUN - 18km
Are there unwritten rules at your pool/gym/track?
Any apps that you use to improve your fitness?