Another Step Towards Awesome

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Yesterday I posted my weekly goals and my goals for the next four week training cycle. My biggest focus for this phase was to get back to basics and get a good solid month of training.  I knew with the last of the holiday days falling on this week I would have a limited week to start with, but there is no rest as I march towards my first triathlon.

This week actually started with a Monday swim.  I woke at 5 as usual and headed to the gym for an early morning swim session.  When I got to the gym it was dark and empty, as in there was no body there and they were not open. Turns out they declared the day before New Years a holiday and had holiday hours. The day before new years is inconsequential  except in the evening.  I do not understand opening late.  I could easily understand closing early as that is when the celebration starts, but early, give me a break.  This threw off my day as I still needed to squeeze  a lunch time run in as well and now that the club did not open til 8, I did not have time to get my swim session in before starting work.  In the end I only got my swim in and not my run.

The swim session was good and demanding and was as follows:

500 meter freestlyle warm up/4×50/3×100/200/300/200/3×100/4×50

400 Meters backstroke

images (2)Pretty close to 3000 meters of swimming in total.  The odd thing was that my arms felt heavy and sluggish til I got halfway through the pyramid set.  The 500 meter slow warm up used to be enough to get my breathing under control and warm up my arms, but on Monday my arms felt like lead till halfway through the 200-300 meter set.  Not sure what was going on with that.  So I completed my long swim for the week and then went and rung in the New Year  I was lazy on Tuesday so Wednesday was back to work.

My swim for Monday was limited by time so I focused on drills and alternate strokes. I warmed up by doing alternating 100s of breast stroke and backstroke.  Then I worked on balance and other swimming drills.  I finished the workout by doing 4×100 stroke count laps.  Previous workouts had me doing 20-22 strokes per 25 and 41-43 strokes per 50 and completing 100 meters of swimming on average at 2:24 minutes.  This week I was on fire.  I did my first 100 and focused on my stroke count, working to get it down to 19 and stay at 19 for each 25.  When I finished the first 100 I looked at my watch to see my time…. 2:07.   I thought something was not right, my previous stroke count exercises as I pointed out were on average at 2:24.  So I did my second working to stay at 18-19 strokes per 25…2:05, then a third 2:04 and my final set…. 2:02!  Two minutes and two seconds for a 100 meter lap.  That was my best time ever.  Can I replicate it, I don’t know, but that was crazy to see my time go down by so much in such a short period of time.

HistoryOfAwesomeI finished Wednesday with an interval run.  I have decided to focus on some short interval work with the goal being to really push the pace and distance of the intervals.  For this set, I ran for a minute followed by a very slow jog or walk for a minute and a half. The goal was to exhaust the legs and really push for higher speeds.  I have been stagnant in my running and I believe this structured running interval  should help kick it into gear a little bit. This is very similar to the C25k running, but when I did those intervals my running was as slow as possible.  The goal was to finish the time, which meant going slow.  Now I am trying to push that and increase the speed over distance and endurance.  After doing this the first day I will say it was hard pushing the speed for a minute, I was going close to an 10-11 minute per mile pace, my pace usually is closer to 14-14 1/2.  Curious to see how this works out in the end, but I think this paired with a long run every week should show some progress as I am teaching my body to respond to greater speeds and stress.

Today is strength training and spin class.  Glad I got my first two workouts in for the new year and that they were both successful workouts. Its awesome getting a breakthrough workout just when I needed a lift of spirit. I need to work now to always swim close to that speed when I swim. Tomorrow is a long run and  a medium swim session in the pool, should be fun.  Time to get to work. Til next time.




  1. Awesome swim workout and times, especially with multiple 100’s at the same pace…

    1. I was not expecting those results. I am curious to see if it was the lack of a warm up 500 meters or if it was purely stroke counting. There are so man factors, I am unsure where to start. If anything, I know now that I can do it.

  2. Just found your site via a comment you left on the Trail Marathon along the Royal Canal – I am doing something similar in blogging about my return to fitness via running – your blog looks cool and i will be visiting for ideas! 🙂

    1. Hey Dave. Great to know you are enjoying my musings. Do you have a link to your blog? Once again thank you for visiting and saying hello.

  3. Nice swim! You will not only replicate it, you’ll blow past it if you keep at it like you have been. I’ll be posting about golf soon – it will be a perfect drill for you to try.

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