Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Swim Master

Doesn't that title just sound powerful?

S W I M M A S T E R.....(dum dum dahhhhhhh). Of course, this has nothing to do with my powerful command of the water or my mermaid-like ability to streak, stealth-like, under the deep blue sea.

No, it simply refers to the new swim group I swam with last night. The group is actually the Minnesota Tri Masters group, which is part of the Minnesota Triathlon Club.

I joined the club about a week ago and last night's swim was my first "official" event with the group.

My swim coach, Dave, oversees (or shall I say "overseas") the MnTriMasters group. They meet several times per week to do this Masters Swim thing. Basically, he runs us through a series of warm ups and drills, which focus on techniques or speed or both.

Last night, there were about 15 of us or so in the pool. I was the only newbie and I was also the slowest fish in the pond -- a very familiar place for me to be. I shared a lane with two other people, a man and a woman a bit older then me who are both training for the Florida IronMan.

The session was quite the experience. I did interval drills; something called "3:00 o'clock"; some goofy thing that related to my pace per mile and more.

I did my best to keep up, but, much like it was for me in the beginning of my running career, I basically have two swim speeds: slow and very slow.

Still, it was fun and challenging. I swam about 1800 yards, or a touch over a mile. That was a lot for me.

Couple of things for me to note and capture from a training perspective:

The good news is that I did the mileage. The swim portion for my "big" tri this summer is 0.9 miles. I went over a mile last night, so I know I can do the distance AND I still have about 7 weeks of training to go.

The not-so-good news is the longer I was out there, the more ragged my technique was. I'm sure it will improve over time as I do more of these distances, but it was interesting for me to "feel" my stroke deteriorate.

My coach gave me a few points, but it was not a private lesson night for me. I'm sure I'll hear more from him next week when I see him one on one.

I rode my bike to and from the session, so I got a bit of a brick workout in, which was good.

I'm also planning on meeting a couple of my friends on Memorial Day for our first official open-water swim of the season.

That should further distinguish the master from the thrasher!

1 comment:

Dori said...

I've always wondered what "Master's Swimming" meant. I was pretty sure it didn't mean swimmers over age 40. Now I wonder what a "brick" workout is. You triathletes have a language all your own. :-)

Congratulations on swimming a mile! I can't imagine swimming that far. Be careful in your open water swim--it's all over the news that the lakes are still very cold.