Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Aerobic Swimming Workout

Fair warning.  You guys aren't gonna like this one.

We've got a lot of bad crap going on at our house.  I'm not prepared to get into it here, but one of the main reasons I've been swimming so much lately is that when times get tough, I tend to fall back on old habits.  This is how I manage the stresses in my life.  There was a time when I only really felt like my best self when I was in the water.  Thankfully, I think I've grown past that.  Nevertheless, swimming well helps, both mentally and physically, and I need both right about now.

I've done a lot of quality speed work recently.  Last night I set out to do more aerobic work, trying to lock in a solid level of effort and hold it steady over time.

In track terms, you'd say this was half-mile and quarter-mile interval work.  Lots of tempo and fartlek sets.  Last night's workout was a change-up, where I tried to lock in a specific aerobic effort and hold form.  It was like trying to run for half an hour with a heart-rate monitor locked in at 145 bpm.  Unfortunately, it's a little tricky trying to take one's heart rate in the pool during short-interval sets.

Warm Up
3 x 200 easy (no interval)
200 kick

Main Set
 -- 15 x 100 @ 1:25 aerobic pace
 -- Rest 1:30
 -- 5 x 100 @ 1:25 tempo

200 kick

100 easy
300 yards easy butterfly drill with the YMCA swim team
 -- I don't love the way the local team is teaching the kids to swim fly, but I also don't know how to bring it up without sort of arguing with the coaches in front of the kids.  *sigh*

Total: 3400

My first 100 on the main set was 1:15, but I gradually tried to walk that back, doing most of the rest between 1:16 and 1:18 per 100.  However, that was still a little too fast.  I felt myself steadily falling off the pace, so that my last three were all around 1:20, and I was definitely getting tired.  This was not the plan.  More to the point, when I took my heart-rate at the end, I was a little above 150.  That's higher than I meant to go.

The goal here was to work at about 80% of my max heart rate, which is a little tricky because there are lots of formulas for figuring Heart Rate Max (HRM).  Most recent methods put my HRM between 178 and 181, which makes sense because I'm usually comfortable at a working pace around 140 to 145 beats/minute (bpm).  Regardless of math, going above 150 was overworking.

After the rest break, I came back with a 1:15 but quickly fell back to my working pace of 1:20.  I finished, again, with a HR around 155.

What can you do?

I may switch this up a bit this weekend and try a straight-up long swim, trying to hold the same effort level.

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