Relationships are the most important thing in life. That simple sentence explains exactly why I'm here, writing this blog. The nature of each relationship is quite different, and the ones that brought me here couldn't be more different. Today I'm starting up writing again with a simple goal: to document my own journey back to competitive swimming. Depending on how you count, there are at least four relationships that led me to this point, which I'll explain briefly.
The first is my wife, who has always been the one to gently (or not so gently) push me in the direction I need to go. In the past few years, my swimming has fallen by the wayside, put on the backburner of being a first time dad while trying to cope with being the head coach of a swim club in a (sort of) foreign country. As the two of us emerge from the dramatic shift of being parents, she's started to push me back to two things that make me happy: writing and swimming.
The second is my blogging mate, Shawn Klosterman, who has really inspired me to give it another go. Watching him crush it at Pro-Ams at 40 years old reminds me that my tender 31 years is far too young to give up on doing something awesome in this sport. Shawn and I have still never met in real life, yet his encouragement, guidance and motivation definitely brought me back.
The third is actually a group, the swimmers I coach. Recently I have shifted to training a USRPT (Ultra Short Race Pace Training) training program. Some swimmers are thriving! Others are struggling a bit with the change, but slowly finding their way. In my own comeback, I intend to train pure USRPT, and I want to show them how I handle the various challenges and problems I encounter along the way, hopefully it will help them to figure out things for themselves as well.
The last one is my daughter, who I'd like to set a good example for, and not give up my most important goals because "it's hard".
Without further ado, here's my workout blog:
Monday, May 18th- The First Attempt
30x25, 100 freestyle pace (16 sec, determined from a few weeks prior recording a 1:03 relay split 100m free, SCM).
How it went: I completed 14x25. Initial thing I had to get over was my embarassment at the pace. I was never an amazing swimmer, still my old "personal best" would have me starting with a pace of 14 seconds, so 16 felt terribly slow. I am glad I started with 16s though, because after 8 I felt a wash of lactic acid and had to stop. I was able to complete four more in a row before getting the same feeling, and after that only two more.
Wednesday, May 20th- Breaststroke
8x25m breaststroke turns
30x25, 100 breaststroke pace (19 sec, made up because I haven't swum 100 SCM breaststroke ever and haven't done 100y for over three years)
How it went: This was rough. I was only able to do 8x25. Overwhelmed with lactic acid after 4x25, then only able to squeeze off two in a row after following the additional rest protocol. I spent a lot of time thinking, and came up with two theories that I intend to test out. One is that 19 was too fast, and I will try 20 next time. The other is that I have never really done anything close to breastroke race pace capacity work in my whole swimmer career, so maybe this will be a slow way up. I am determined to work from wherever I am and work my way up. Also, my turns felt very uncomfortable and I need to start stretching again as my flexibility is bad!
Thursday, May 21st- Freestyle
30x25, 100 pace freestyle (16 sec)
How it went: Progress! I was able to do 22x25. Again I was limited not by the pace but by lactic acid, but it came on much later this time. I swam 12x25, needed a break, then 6x25, a break, then 4x25. I felt encouraged by my progress, and could feel that I was in something resembling a rhythm. I am going to wait until I have a couple practices where I swim 30x25 on pace, and then hopefully set my pace up.