“That doesn’t look like sprinting.” Jennifer, the fastest masters swimmer at the pool, had just hopped in to share a swim lane with me this morning. (As long as we don’t try to circle swim, there’s never a problem with our speed differences.) She was reading over my workout card as I did a 25 yard kicking “sprint” back from the far end of the pool.
“Hey shut up! . . . Yeah, I know. My kick is not so good,” I said as I covered the last couple of yards to the wall. She laughed, and we chitchatted for about 20 seconds until it was time for my next 25 yard kicking sprint.
“Mine isn’t particularly fast either. But kicking is always slow.”
And then a funny thing happened during the rest of the workout: My efforts with the kickboard were actually pretty good. It’s not going to win prizes anytime soon, but they felt strong and were propelling me right along. During one of them I even caught up with my lane mate while she was doing the breaststroke.
About two-thirds of the way through my workout, Pat—who had just finished swimming a mile one lane over—was sitting on the edge of the pool reading my workout. “What are you training for?” she asked.
“Oh nothing much right now. Next year, I guess.” Thursday evening I had started to figure out a plan for 2014, identifying some possible races. I have a lot of training plans from a bunch of different sources to choose from, but without a Big Plan I’ve been reluctant to commit to anything and have felt a bit aimless. Swimming is definitely the most structured part of my unstructured training right now, and I’m mostly just working on my swimming economy and strength without trying to peak for any particular event in the near feature. (I have a couple of ideas, which I will write about soon.)
For posterity, here was today’s main set (after a 300 yard warm up). It wasn’t the biggest workout ever, which is probably good. I’ve been going to the gym on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to get some extra strength and recovery work, and my arms were already tired during the warm-up.
3 sets of ... 4x25 kick (sprint) @ 0:20 rest 3x100 pull with buoy (negative splitting the 100s) @ 0:20 rest 50 swim (easy) @ 0:20 rest 6x50 descending (1 & 4 moderate, 2 & 5 strong, 3 & 6 fast)
When I finished my 100-yard warm-down after the last, fast 50, Jennifer had moved a lane over and was giving some stroke tips to Alex. They were pointing out things that the boys from the high school team were doing right and wrong. I eavesdropped a little before hopping out and getting ready for the rest of my day.
The high school pool has become a lot more crowded than it was a couple of years ago, when there were just four or five us regulars all winter. But it’s also a much more social place, too. It’s nice talking to people, even if it’s only for twenty seconds at a time.