Florida Challenge Triathlon Countdown Clock

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sight Seeing

Sight Seeing

It's Monday night, and that's pool night. I like to swim at the start of the week because it's my weakest event of the three. As a result, it gets top priority.

I was a tad tired when I hit the pool. I have a real bad habit of staying up late, especially on Saturday nights. This past Saturday I was up till about 3am watching 1 of my all time fav movies, Car Wash! lol They really shoulda made a Car Wash 2, or at the very least a tv series out of it because I have several unanswered questions:

What happened to Abdullah? Did he get his job back?
Did Lonnie get the promotion from Mr. B?
Whatever happened to Daddy Rich?
Did Mona go out with T.C, and most importantly, did she break him off a piece?? lol

Anyway, that's why I was tired. I was watching Car Wash. lol

But tired or not, I had to have a good, solid pool workout. The race is fast approaching, and it's time I start swimming like I'm in an actual triathlon. That means I have to adjust my swimming style a bit.

Swimming in a pool is pretty simple. All you have to do is follow the line at the bottom of the pool, and if you go slightly off course, you have ropes to keep your absent-minded a** in check. Pretty easy & downright mindless training. This is why my mind can wander. I have nothing to focus on. All I have to do is follow the line.

Swimming in a triathlon is totally different. TOTALLY. In a pool you can look straight down, never looking ahead to see where you're going. But when swimming in a race, all bets are off. There's no blue line at the bottom of the lake or ocean. In most cases, you can't even SEE the bottom or tough it. If you're not careful, you can swim waaaay off course. No ropes to corral you in.

So tonight, I swam as if I was in a race, and I do that by "sighting." In a pool when you breathe, you breathe to the side & look to the side. In the open water you MUST look forward to make sure you're going where in the right direction.

Tonight I made the conscious effert to practice looking forward to see where I was going, and to alter my arm stroke as if I were swimming in waves.

Speaking of waves, in a pool, there are no waves. The water is flat, so your arm turnover can be very precise and barely over the water. In the open water, it can be hard to do that. If there are waves, your arms must go a little higher out of the water in order to make sure you get over them.

Here's a pic of me from a race a couple years ago:

Looking at this pic, you can see 2 guys immediately to my right. I have to keep my eye on them to make sure we don't bump into each other. Then there's a guy right in front of me. I have to watch HIM to make sure I don't get kicked in the face. (Not a good look if you get kicked in the nose &/or lose your goggles!) Then there's a guy right behind me. If he's swimming faster than me, there's a chance he can literally swim right over me. So have to be aware of my surroundings at all times.

Most races are very early in the morning, so the sun is coming over the horizon, and sometimes when you look up, it's right in your eyes. That can make it hard to see also.

The water here wasa tad choppy. That means you have to make sure you get your head out over the waves toget a breath. Swallowing salt water is NOT FUN.

If that isn't enough, I have to look for the orange buoys to make sure I'm going in the right direction. I've been in many a race where people are zig-zagging thru the water, bumping into other swimmers like a pinball game, wasting energy & swimming much further than they should. Hell, I've done that myself! lol

Swiming while trying to do all that wears me out to be honest. My form isn't the best when trying to look around in the fraction of a second you take a breath. When I look forward, my legs sink a bit, & I have to work a bit harder to get my form back in order, putting more more emphasis on my shoulders. Not only that, I swim slower because I'm not as efficient.

So from here on out until the race, I'm going to work on sighting. Tonight was my first time swimming this way for an extended period of time, and it wore me out! My timing is off. There's an art to looking forward to see where you are, getting a breath, and continuing your stroke in a fluid motion. If I want to have an "easy" swim I have to get my form up to par.

I was also swimming a tad slower bcause I wasn't as aerodynamic as I should be, but I will work on that. It felt like I was fighting the water tonight. It just didn't "feel" right. I will cut back on lifting weights and add another swim session to my weekly training as I get closer to the race. That way I won't put too much of a strain on my shoulders.

Now that I think about it, I'll let my shoulders rest tomorrow & either take the day off to recover or ride my indoor trainer. I'll see how I feel after work.

I still have a lot to work on, but I'm really not losing sleep over it because I know I'll make the proper adjustments in time for race day. And even ifI don't, I'm too tired to NOT sleep! lol We'll just have to see what happens!

Thanks for reading! Till next time, Peace!

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