Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Staying Present

Swim Day
1 x 150- Warm-up
4 x 200
5 x 100- 5, 7, 9
1 x 500
1 x 100- 50- fingertip drag/50- sideline kick*
1 x 100- Cool down
total- 2150yards

*this was supposed to be another 5 x 100 set, but tonight was Open House at school and I got the swim in between setting up my classroom all day and being there for the parents to meet. Time was growing short near the end of the swim and something had to be cut.

I think the biggest struggle for me as a swimmer right now is staying present in my body during workouts. Right now I'm not fit enough to dive into sets and blast them out, staying on top of my body, pushing and driving and focusing. I'm early in the base building process which means lots of laps, back and forth, getting those yards back into my arms, shoulders, legs, and core so that in a month or so I can start really exploding through workouts. Now is the time when my mind drifts. Its dangerous.
Not dangerous like if it was happening on the bike. I'm still a new enough cyclist that I need to be fairly focused to not drift into the street and, you know, get crushed by a small Asian woman in an Urban Assault Vehicle. The threat of SQUISH does wonders for keeping your mind on the task at hand. But dangerous as in, "Wait...what lap am I on? Why is my hand doing that when it goes past my hip? Am I about to flip turn into an old person?" I hate drifting away like that. Swimming is still my favorite discipline of the three triathlon events, but you have to be there to enjoy it. And sometimes that black line just seems to monotonous.
The major problem with letting my attention slip during this rebuilding section of my training is small stroke issues spring up easily. I don't finish past my hip. My head drops. My hands enter the water in a less than streamlined manner. My flip turns and streamline glides get lazy. My kick rhythm becomes spastic. And then I tune back in and need to run a full stroke diagnostic. As a swimmer, that isn't ok. I hate this cliche, but perfect practice makes perfect. And the longer I can maintain a strong, pretty stroke during a workout, then longer I can maintain it in a race situation, especially the end when I'm fatiguing. Gotta stay present in my head and in the set. That way I can get some and go again.

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