Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Workout Journal: On the Value of Goals

It's amazing the difference that having a goal can make.  I said over the weekend that I wanted to try to go a 500 free under 5:40, and it totally changed the way that I approached last night's swimming workout.  I got to the pool a little before seven, talked briefly to the YMCA age-group team's coach, and asked if he had anyone he thought would like to do a 500 freestyle time trial in the next few weeks.  Around October or so.  One of the girls standing said that she was interested, that she thought she could do it, so I guess we're racing.

"Can you go under 5:30?" I asked.

She blanched.  "I, yeah, when I was in college."

I'm not sure what that means, except that she wasn't quite as young as I'd thought she was.  Y'know, I could go under 5:30 for a 500 freestyle in college, too--in practice, during repeats.  But I haven't been in college in more than twenty years, and I have no idea how my body is going to respond to the kind of uptempo work that I'll need to do to actually bring my average race-pace 100 pace down to something under 1:10.

Can I go under 5:30?  It's an interesting question.  I think that I can, but I'm not sure I'll be able to put quite that much time into my swimming.  Right  now, I'm hoping to put in three days per week, with maybe a few weeks of four.  If I was really serious, I would try to put in five, but there's just no way.

Besides, it's not like I'm planning to register for a meet.  I just want to see if I can bring my form around.  I need something to work on until I can start running again.

Last Night's Workout
300 warm up
10 x 100 @ 1:25 tempo
200 kick (fly / breast / fly / breast)
400 pull
2 x 4 x 50 @ :55 IM order
150 warm down

The 10 x 100 free @ 1:25 felt like kind of a breakthrough set.  I've been feeling sluggish in the water for months.  With an actual goal to work on, I hit the water focused.  I blasted out the first hundred just under 1:10 and went the next nine holding about 1:14.  That was awesome.

The 400 pull was similar.  I went 5:03 and felt good doing it.  I was focused on trying to get better for a specific reason, and that made a huge difference.

Unfortunately, working out late like that threw off my sleep cycle.  I had trouble falling asleep, tossed and turned, and frustrated my poor wife to no end.  If you're wondering what kinds of family misadventures can derail this little project, bad sleep and an impatient wife are prime examples.  Sally really struggles when she's not sleeping, and I hate to be the cause of her misery.

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