Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Year of the Swim - Update #2

I mentioned about a month ago that I'm trying something new for 2017 and attempting the 100 Mile Swim Challenge.  Since I signed up late for that program, as it was basically already 3+ weeks in when I saw it  was offered at my new gym, I have been pushing pretty hard the last month to play catch up.

So, where do I stand?

Well - let's start with where I SHOULD be.  It's now the beginning of week 11 (for the calendar year), so if I was on track with a 2 mile a week execution up through last Saturday, I would have 20 miles complete.  Or by end of this week, while I'm swimming instead of drinking green beer for St. Patty's day, I should be at 22 miles.

Man I wish this pic didn't have a water mark on it.  LOL!

In reality, so far I have around 15 miles complete.  *sad clown whistle*  Which means I'm still roughly 5 miles behind.  And this is with me swimming at least 3 times a week, 1200-2000 meters at a time. 

It's a little frustrating to know I've pretty much tripled my usual weekly swim workouts and I'm hardly making up for lost time.  But I'm not trying to dwell on that, because the flip side (flip turn?) of that is I'm seeing huge gains in my swim performance.  In my last few swim sets, I've knocked out an "easy" 1500 swim in about 30 minutes, whereas in the past sometimes I wouldn't even hit that distance in a 45 minute, aggressive paced swim class.

Let's hear it for gains!

Aside from my physical improvements in swim, I've had a few fun adds as well.  As I mentioned in my last update, I have a handful of fancy new swimsuits from Funkita.  And as I hinted at in my Tri U Mah recap, I also have a fun new toy.

Well, technically two fun new toys now, as my second one just arrived last week.

In case you can't tell what the above two items are, that's an Apple iWatch 2 and a pair of Finis Duo waterproof headphones with MP3 player.

Now I have to admit - do you NEED any of this junk to swim?  No.  But it sure does make it more enjoyable for me.  Thanks to my fancy new watch, I don't have to fret over if I'm on lap 14 or 15 ... since I always seem to lose count and it pisses me off.  And I get fun pace reports like this:


And thanks to the Finis Duo, I have some fun tunes to listen to in the process.

I'm not to the point yet where I feel like I can do a full product review on either of these.  But so far ...

And in other news, since I'm swim obsessed right now, it's fun to read fitness related articles that justify my efforts.  Like this one that talks about gains you never even realize you're making:

"How you breathe during a swimming workout is another big differentiator, says David Tanner, a research associate at Indiana University and co-editor of an educational handbook on the science of swimming. During a run or bike ride, your breath tends to be shallow and your exhales forceful. “It’s the other way around with swimming,” says Tanner. “You breathe in quickly and deeply, and then let the air trickle out.” Because your head is under water when you swim, these breathing adjustments are vital, and they may improve the strength of your respiratory muscles, Tanner says. “This kind of breathing keeps the lung alveoli”—the millions of little balloon-like structures that inflate and deflate as your breathe—“from collapsing and sticking together.""
So that's about it from a swim update standpoint ... for now.  In the meantime ...


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