Friday, January 30, 2009

Back in the pool

I hit up the pool this morning, and had a so-so time of it.

The gym I go to actually has two pools open during the winter months, one 25-yarder and another 20-yarder (which I affectionately refer to as the "old man pool," mostly because they keep the temp set at about 75 degrees and it attracts a more sedentary segment of the gym's population). The larger pool is usually inundated with Super Swimmers and/or a masters class in the mornings, and, because I'm not confident enough to throw myself into that mix, I usually elect to hang with the oldies if I need an early morning swim.

Which is generally fine. The warm water is usually much more attractive and easier to jump into first thing in the morning, and, assuming you're not sharing a lane with eight water-joggers, it can be a very relaxing experience. Well, as relaxing as swimming ever gets for me.

The only problem with the smaller pool is that 20 yards is just really, really short. Even for a crappy swimmer like yours truly, it seems like you're stopping to turn every 12 seconds. It's hard to get into any kind of rhythm, and it's difficult to follow any kind of set swim workout (i.e., "Okay, I'm going to do 4 x 200 alternating hard and easy, how many lengths is that? Hmmm...").

So today I just broke a 40-minute swim into five-minute blocks, which, for me is probably about 8 x 300 in a regular-temperature pool, but probably more like 7 x 300 in the old man pool (something about the higher temps makes me go even slower than usual....). I had to share a lane - with an actual swimmer! - for about half of it, which wasn't great (my lane-mate was swimming in a rather "animated" manner, and I was sure that he was bound to crash into me at some point), but the time went by pretty quickly.

Last night was a 45-minute treadmill run at about an 8:40 pace and one degree of incline. Felt fine, but I wasn't able to stretch as much as I wanted, considering that I was running a bit late.

Tomorrow is another trainer ride, and Sunday will be an outside run - the temps are predicted to go up a bit this weekend, so that should be nice. The 5 degree stuff is do-able, but not at all pleasant.

Have a great weekend, kids!

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