Friday, March 06, 2015

Warm Pool, Cool Pool

Moving to a drills then laps format for my swimming has been a good move.

I know why I was resisting. I'd gotten into a groove of Long Slow Distance, and I'm like Kuzco.  I am utterly resistant to something throwing off my groove.

Problem is, I gotta get over that nonsense if I want to get better as a swimmer and especially if I want to get into open water swimming.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but large bodies of water have endless personalities and moods.  By their very nature they're not static. A groove ainta gonna help.

I had a personal best for time today.  And I learned something from it.

I ain't workin' hard enough in the pool.

Oh yeah, I show up, and yeah, that's really bloody important.  It's better than not showing up.  Simply showing up and working has gotten me better and faster than I was five months ago.  I'm not trying to denigrate that at all.

But I was comparing my times to some comments I'd made in a journal about eight years ago when I was saying that I was swimming a LOT faster than I am now.  I had chalked that up to only checking times on an analog clock that I could only squint at to see, and combining it with some wishful thinking.

But in doing the math and comparing it to some physical sensations I'm experiencing now, I realize that probably wasn't so.

It has to do with the differences in the pool in which I was training.

Eight years ago I was training in a pool that was primarily for a college swim team.  Getting in?  There was this shock of a chill and I had to hustle to warm up.   I used to judge how good my workout was by how hot my hair felt when it slapped against my back when I took off my cap.

Now?  I train in another pool that's closer to my house.  This pool is used by a local Master's team, but as a community pool is also used for aqua-aerobics and hydrotherapy.  It's warm.  I don't have to steel myself at all to get in and I'm no particular fan of cold water, just sayin',

I was trying some sprints, which I don't often do, and realizing that I was fantasizing about May coming and getting in that cold water conditioning that I'd been previously dreading. I was getting too damn hot in the pool.

That's what I've got to shoot for when doing at least some of my sets.  

But it also comforts me.  It means that cold water is unlikely to be as miserable as I've been afraid of.  I mean, I know really cold water kinda hurts -- even if you're experienced with it. It still feels better to know that it's going to push me to swim faster because I'll be able to generate more body heat.  I think that's going to wind up being a win-win.
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