Life can be so cyclical in its ups and downs, and today’s swim workout proved that theory out. What was an awful swim session on Monday was redeemed by one of the best swim workouts I have ever had this morning. The water was actually CLEAR today, the pool lanes were not crowded, the water temperature was perfect and I was as relaxed as I have ever been. I’m no Michael Phelps but I felt like I won this morning; everything just went so smoothly.
One of the biggest reasons I enjoyed the workout was due to the ease with which I was able to get relaxed and fall into a groove. Finding that smooth cadence and rhythm to your breathing is important in all endurance sports but maybe even more so in swimming because of all the technique employed. Achieving this sort of “I can go all day” calm is not easy, which is why they probably call it being in the zone.
As far as for swimming, there could be many obstacles to being at peace in the water; including, being crunched for time, having to share a lane, the water being murky and so on. There are not a lot of things you can control, but there are some practices and etiquette you can use to help you get the most out of your pool session. Here are my top 5 rules for the pool:
- Plan. This is not the hotel pool, have a workout planned with some clear goals so you are in and out in the shortest amount of time.
- Gear Check. Nothing sucks more than getting to the pool and not having a swim cap, goggles or trunks for that matter, so check your gear before you leave the house.
- Ask to Share. Most people will willing share a lane with you but ask before you just hop in and start swimming.
- Opposites Directions. When sharing a lane, try to swim in opposite direction of the person you are sharing with. This approach will reduce the chances of swimming side by side or in each other’s wake.
- Count. Have a numerical cadence for your breathing (every X number of strokes), count out your laps at the end of each turn, and number how many recovery breaths you can take between sets.
These rules are just guidelines for helping you get up and going faster in your swim training. Most important is that you do what you need to be as comfortable as possible. As for this weekend’s plan, well, I plan to run 10 miles on Saturday, hike to the top of Stone Mountain Saturday night, and bike for about 30 miles (may try to complete last Sunday’s loop faster) on Sunday. Here is a picture from Happy Hour tonight with friends. Enjoying a little beer to wind down the week.