IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Swimming workouts

Just a week from tomorrow, I will be trying to complete 100x100x100. In "normal people terms", this means 100 times 100 yards every 100 seconds (1:40). A few years ago, when I first got started in masters swimming, I did this workout with a few of my former masters swim teammates. These people are no longer on my team, yet I continue to do this workout every year. The first time I did this, I was so nervous about how my body was going to respond to swimming 10,000 without a break. And 100 yards every 100 seconds isn't exactly an "easy" pace for me.

The thing about this workout is that it sounds so crazy. It will take over 3 hours to get this done. And why do we do it? Because we can, I guess. I mean, what better way to spend the day after Thanksgiving? I could go shopping...or I could go swim over 5 miles.

I do actually have a strategy when I do this. The first 60-70 100s need to be easy. Just smooth, steady pace. If you're feeling good arounfd 70-75 and want to try and kick up your pace a bit, go ahead. It's something like when you're running a marathon. The first 20 miles are just a warm-up to what they call the "real" race, the last 6.2 miles.

Every year, I do the first 5-10 and wonder why the heck I'm doing it. I try to find someone just a little quicker than me and draft off them for as long as I can. Hey, it's not cheating! Then when I get to about 30-35 it feels like I'm in a groove. You don't really have enough time to have full conversations in between these 100s. It's more like half-sentences or just a couple words before the buzzer goes off and you're off to complete another 4 lengths of the pool. Sometimes, if your lane mate tells you something funny just as the buzzer goes off, you push off the wall and get a mouth full of water as you're laughing and end up choking for the first 25 yards.

At 50, we take a bathroom break, try to get in a little nutrition and psych ourselves up to get back in that pool and finish up the last half of this obnoxious workout. Long before this point, our fingers became pruny, but we don't have time to think about this. If the break in the middle ends up being too long, your muscles start to tighten up, so the break ends up being maybe 10 minutes or less.

I always think I'll be able to kick it up a little at 70-75, but then I second guess myself and wonder just how many more 100s I can do on the interval. As we continue to pound out the yardage, people tend to get a little silly as we realize we're on the brink of finishing THE longest workout we'll do all year in the pool. As we finish up the last 100, there are lots of smiles and everyone feels a strong sense of accomplishment. There are high 5s across all lanes and we share our thoughts of the confidence each of us lacked at some point during the workout. Many people will quickly shower, get dressed and head out to lunch to share stories from the day.

And now we get one full year to recover until we get to do this fabulous workout again!


Anonymous said...

as one who participates in crazy events i would like to be the first to say
"that nuts"

bernie said...

Have fun. I look forward to being able to swim with the big kids again next year.