Thursday, January 9, 2014

Swimming With The Masters

Masters Swim 'Training Center" - Gladstone Community Center

Three years ago when I started participating in Corporate Challenge events, specifically the triathlon event, I first met Doug Hayden who is a masters swimming coach that worked at my company.  He was doing the swim leg of our corporate team.  As you may expect, he was also the coordinator for our company's swim team.  After the triathlon, Doug asked me to swim on the company team but I wasn't confident in doing it.

The next year I saw Doug at the corporate challenge track events and told him I had planned to take his class in the off season.  It was because I was eyeing my first ironman for that following year and I was also heading off any questions about participating on our team that year.

Sadly, I didn't join the class (and missed out an ironman podium by 5 minutes).

Now that I've done a 140.6, I'm done finding the next longer distance race to do (I'm not doing a double ironman event).  I need to start focusing on getting faster at the distance I enjoy... which, coincidentally, is suddenly the ironman distance.

If I plan to get faster, then time to work on my weaknesses.  So I showed up for my first class on Saturday!  My timing was rather poor considering it was the fourth of January.  Read: apparent New Years Resolutionist.

I showed up at 6:45am and chatted with Kristen (who has appeared on various blog posts here) waiting for the center to open.  Doug soon showed up and told us something I was pretty excited about, we were doing threshold testing.  This gives a good baseline of ability so we can see how we improve over time.  We did 3 x 300 yards and averaged the time to get our 100 yard time and then add 10 seconds.  My average was 1:35, so the threshold is 1:45.  Kinda cool, especially since I couldn't believe I could do a 1:35 pace, let alone 3 x 300 yards at that average.  Having other people in the lane helps!

First day and 3,400 yards done!  I talked with Coach Doug afterwards and he gave me some hints.

I have attended Monday and Thursday's (tonight) sessions as well.  Unfortunately, those classes are at 7:30pm and will be hard to attend because every other Thursday night I have a conference call for work and Monday I do my strength training with Sam at 4:30pm.  So it may be hard to drop 4,000 yards after shredding my arms "pumping the iron".  Naturally, Saturday's I prefer to swim/bike in the morning so swimming will be hard to throw in the mix without killing my entire Saturday.

So my goal is to do 2 sessions a week but naturally I'll want to attend all the sessions, if to just knock the demeanor of being a New Years Resolutionists.

The sessions are 90 minutes long, so we are hitting some pretty high distance.  In fact, on Monday we did 3,600 yards.  I had never hit that distance in a single training session during my ironman training.

Well, hopefully I can keep this up and see some great results!

Thanks for reading!!

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