Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Swim Test - Too good to be true?

Good Morning

This week is a down week for me which typically means recovery, catch up on things around the house in my extra time and a general feeling of "having time". Although I totally buy into the idea around recovery weeks the make me a little crazy. Most of my weeks are spent juggling workouts, work, family, home, and travel, recovery weeks typically don't have that problem.

Many recovery week workouts conists of tests to gauge my level of fitness, enurance, power gains (or not) and this week is one of those weeks. Specifically this week has 3 tests. Test 1) 750 yard swim time trial. Swim as fast as I can for 30 links in the pool and measure my time. Test 2) Run 2 miles at a track as hard and fast as I can (this one sucks) Test 3) 30 minute bike time trial. As had and fast as I can. Aside from those workouts, I have typicaly aerobic runs, swims and bikes. Total time this week is well over 50% less than normal at 4:55 minutes.

Yesterday I had my swim test that I did at lunch. I warmed up a bit with drills, stretching and some pickups. I then started my 750 yard TT. The last time I did this I finished in 14:40 seconds which comes out to be 117 sec / 100 yards. I know last year I was even above this and this time, although okay for me being a very new swimmer, is pretty slow. Coach Jennifer, Hap, and I have been working on becoming more efficient and powerful in swimming during the winter months and I guess this TT will show if it did any good.

My swim went fine, I focused on arching my back (recent mental breakthough) which keeps my core aligned and therefore my feel and lower bottom aligned with my upper. I have seen efficiency gains in recent weeks just due primarily to reduced drag. this change, along with body roll was my key focus yesterday. I started my watch and in typical Tracy (you are an idiot) fashion quickly lost count of my laps. When swimming there are so many repetitive things going on it is easy to lose track of what you intended to count (in this case laps) and start counting something else like kicks or strokes.... Yesterday was no different. So about 1/2 way through my swim I had to look at my lap counter on my watch. No problem... I swam on the edge the whole time, the edge being as fast as I can without my form going to hell... I finished in 13:07 however, I had to stop twice to check my laps so taking that time off I finished in 13:01. This is a pace of 104/100 yds which is 13 seconds faster per 100 yards. It may not seem like much but his is a huge improvement. To give you some idea, that is almost a 10 minute difference if I could sustain that in the 2.4 mile IM swim. In 4 months, that is a huge improvement.

I spent most of the rest of the day figuring out if I counted right which I don't see how I couldn't have. I would have had to miss 1 complete lap which just could not have hapened.

So, one of the things I love about Coach Jennifer and TriSmart is that she takes this test data and does analysis on it. This data coupled with all of the other tests she has had me perform gets put into a race predictor. She has put togehter spreadsheets that take this all out info and extrapolates a "Low" "Average" "High" prediction of how I will perform at different races. Obviously there are a lot of race variables like wind, hills, heat etc... however, she swears by the results. To give you some idea, for my 1/2 Ironman last year she had predicted my Low to be 6:02, Avg 5:44, High 5:23. I finished 5:29. This showed my taper was good and I was prepared and I feel like I had a great race. I can't argue with the results. Now, I just hope it is as accurate for the big enchalata.

So today I have a nice and easy 60 minute bike ride and a church meeting tonight. Had a great conversation with Mike Montoya who was packing up for St. George last night, leaving today. I will have both he and Justen in my thought this weekend when they tackle St. George. I wish I was with them but know I have a long way to go before I am ready for IRONMAN AZ.

all for now


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