Swimming, 20th March 2019

I don’t usually swim on Wednesdays, but having missed Monday I decided I’d go the pool, especially as I must have slept awkwardly and had woken up with a pounding headache thanks to the muscles in my back and neck being very stiff.

I didn’t really know what to expect, but as it happens the swimming came very comfortably and though I was tiring at the end I managed to complete my entire set without a failure.

Perhaps it’s now time to explain in more detail what I’ve actually been doing for the last three months…

Last year I spent most of my time swimming USRPT sets and had managed to get to the point of swimming a complete set of 50m reps with a target time of 50s and a turnaround time of 75s. But that was doing an open turn between lengths, and it was becoming fairly obvious to me that I was going to struggle to get much faster unless I could tumble turn instead. Trying to swim sets with tumble turns was just killing me however. I could manage perhaps half a dozen reps and then I was completely exhausted. I might manage the odd one or two more, but putting more together in a run just wasn’t happening.

I had a fair while off in late November and early December last year thanks to quite a bad cold, so when I started again on 10th December I decided I’d give myself a short while just to get back into the swing of things and then I’d adopt a USRPT-style approach to getting my tumble turns in, starting from quite a long way out, time-wise.

So, my first set was twenty-four 50s, tumble turn every time, target time 100 secs, turnaround on 120 secs. Even that wasn’t easy initially and I had some fails that first time. I persisted however, and every time I could do the full set of twenty-four reps I dropped the target time and turnaround time by five seconds, but I had to keep the tumble turns going. Slowly the time has dropped, though it has been quite tough recently. Today I completed twenty-four 50s with a target time of 55s and a turnaround time of 75s for the first time. Not quite as fast as I was four months ago with open turns, but hardly far off either.

To progress now I think I need to change the game plan. I’m going to return to “proper” USRPT, use my stopwatch and start trying to drop the target time one second each time I can complete the set, reducing the turnaround time to twenty seconds once it reaches twenty-five. I’m looking forward to seeing how it works out.

USRPT distance this year: 72,600m
Total distance this year: 74,450m

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