Saturday, October 03, 2015

Training Jar


I do so love my Saturday morning swims.  I can take longer, I don't have to share a lane as often and I can zone out and let my mind float where it wants to in a way that I can't seem to get into as much when I am rushing to get the workout in before work and still leave myself enough time to dry my hair and put my face on before going out to meet the world.

Yes, a sensible person might say I could cut my hair.

I will point out that the very fact I have the sport I do means I am not entirely a sensible person.  And no.  Not the hair.  Just not.

Part of my pondering this morning was trying to decide what my swims next year are going to be.   What's reasonable?  What's possible?

To be honest, I've thrown out reasonable for at least one of my swims.  It's going to be a serious stretch to train for it in a way that my training last winter to swim two miles was not.

I'm okay with that, as I have a year of training under my belt.  Last year, I had gone pretty much from a couple years of being a couch potato to a two mile open water swim.  The leap is steeper in some ways for next years swims, but the base is considerably stronger.

Next year I'm going to do:


  • Kingdom Swim - 6 mile course.  Unfortunately, six miles is just under 10K, so it won't quite be my first marathon.
  • Alcatraz Sharkfest - 1.5 mile course.  Prepping for the Kingdom Swim will do for that just fine.
  • Boston Sharkfest - 1500 meter course.  Good end to the summer open water season


This is going to mean more rigorous training, as well as more dryland.  For now, I'm not swimming on days I am lifting, but starting in January, that's really going to have to change.  The recommendation is that I'm up to swimming 10,000 yards a week by March and 15,000 by May, and really should be doing a bit more than that.

It's doable, certainly.  Though it is possible the smell of chlorine is going to sink permanently into my skin by then.  I'm hoping the early summer training in lakes will help wash that out.

As part of training for the six mile swim, I may swim the length of Lake Mascoma, just for funsies.  It will be a good opportunity to work out feeds and things, and it's about four miles.  That'd be a good distance to practice a longer swim, check on times, coordinating sighting with my kayaker (me darlin' hoosband), and get in some chilly water training.  Besides, it's a really pretty swim!

I'm less stressed about how I will handle chilly water than I was last year.  That was actually really scaring me until I actually got in the water and realized that once you're over the shock, it's not so bad.  I'm no Lynne Cox and I am hardly a lover of cold water, but summertime New England chilly isn't a horrible stretch.  I'm considering not using my electric blanket this winter, though I wonder if it's even necessary.  I did okay in Lake Memphremagog last year.

On the other hand, there's a tiny part of  my brain yelling, "Fine, do your swim, but don't get cocky!"

This is a wise part of my brain, as I do have a tendency to overconfidence!

I have also decided just as a cute tracking device, I'm putting a gummy bear in a jar each time I do a swimming workout.  There's an expression to keep people too tied up with how good a single workout happened to be versus whether or not a workout happened at all.

Each workout in preparation for an event is another jelly bean for the jar.  If your jar is full, you're prepared.

Being of a somewhat literal turn of mind, and also pondering what I wanted for feeds during the marathon swim, I thought it would be cute to get a jar and put gummy bears in it with the idea that if the jar is full, chances are good I swam enough to be prepared for the event.  I have no real idea if I'm really going to want solid feeds or not, and I figure that even if I don't, a metaphor with a strong visual is always a good way to keep me motivated.



I've got a long way to go.
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