October Rolls around, AND it’s time to begin the rebuild
It is time for a new training phase, after a summer of clocking many miles in the Open Water and gaining much needed experience, I’ve learned valuable lessons, I ponder the thought, ” it’s funny how you can research, read and be advised by those who have struggled before you but nothing sticks quite like the experience itself “, yip, experience is something you get after you need it,the lessons learned by doing pack a greater punch than just being told, now that experience is soundly tucked away waiting for the next adventure. Here are just a few areas of training……
16 Miles Plus Swimming
15 Hours plus Swimming
Swimming around ships and alongside a large support boat
Swimming with the tide and against the tide
Nutrition ~ How to fuel for Training Sessions, Tapering and the swim
Hydration and over Hydration ~ Enough said
Communication ~ Avoid Negativity, surround yourself with Positive
Rest ~ Recovery ~ Repair
Every Swim is different, you cannot predict outcome on past performance, remain vigilent
After all the adventures in 2010 & 2011, I keep coming back to the main thing SWIMMING THE ENGLISH CHANNEL, all the above experiences have been in preparation for the Channel, to be as prepared as I can for anything the Channel tosses at me on the day, after an action packed Summer and Fall the preparation and learning continues with…….
Cold Water Acclimatization Swims
Rebuilding an aerobic base with steady cruise pace swimming
Building Muscle through strength Training
Beginning to slowly add Speed Work in the Pool
Keeping Mentally Fresh, Recharging by getting outdoors for a little Hiking/ Running through the Vermont woods
Eat Well and Sleep
So, there we have it, a plan ready…..
Pool Swims and Open Water Swims 32,500- 35,000 meters per week
Strength Training to increase overall strength and help reduce the risk of shoulder impingement
Flexibility, Yoga 3 days each week
Hike and/or Run 2 days each week
So lets check in and see how it has panned out so far…….
October Week 1 Weekly Distance 41,500 meters
Week 2 Weekly Distance 28,000 meters
Here we are in week 3 of October, oh and I forgot to tell you, this week we have a swim meet, well I have entered a swim meet, lets see if I step up on the block or not!
Monday is a 5000 meter pool swim, I have been adding some speed work back in over the last 2 weeks, what can I tell you, it feels ugly, it is a good while since I have been training at an intensity high enjoy to tickle the lactate threshold and I can feel my body’s tolerance to lactate and it’s byproducts has diminished over the last few months, translation, I struggle holding onto a sprint and am swimming painfully slow. A set of 200’s that earlier in the summer would have concluded with a final 200 in 2 minutes, 35 seconds is now a creaky 2:55.
A return to my trusty 10 repeats of 400 meters set on a 6:15 interval, giving me some time to tread water in between repeats, my final beat the tide pace on number 10 is 5 minutes and 45 seconds, again I compare myself to my sprightly 5:12 just a few months ago. Nothing to do but go find that speed again, so I go about the painful process of slowly building back up. 8000 meters today and a 45 minute run at the end of the day lifts my spirits
Back in the pool for some short sprints and recovery swimming in between, 4,600 meters
Outdoors early, at 7:00am it is dark when I pull up to the canoe launch to meet Paula and Deb, Paula said it was her last Open Water swim a few weeks back, yet she is still coming out with me swimming in her wetsuit, I feel lucky to have her by my side. I am so excited to be outside, it has taken a bit to adjust to the confinement of being back in the pool and the warm 82 degree water, today the water is 55 degrees and the air 50 degrees, the sky is stormy looking, it is teaming with rain and the water has a menacing choppiness to it. Paula gets in first and warms up, while I dawdle on the shore, time to do it, I push off Deb in the kayak and go about wading in, ” Crikey, she’s a cold one today”, I say, not knowing if anyone can hear me or not, “well on the positive side this is great for my recovery, it is like a giant ice pack to take away any aches and pains”, I think.
We stroke on out towards Blueberry Island, the shoreline that was not long ago a festive color of red and orange leaves on the trees is now a dull stick like brown, we make it to the island, it has a wooden cross with Keep Out written on it, I’ve always noticed it but particularly so today with the grim stark trees and the stormy skies, today the keep out sign looks more like a RIP tombstone, as I swim by I get a chill down my spine, we round the corner and head back towards the canoe launch. Soon it is time for my hot feed, I know because I am watching Deb like a hawk as she mixes in the hot water to my Maxim, she gives me my feed signal and I snatch the cup and pour the hot fluid down, it feels hot indeed and gives me a welcome charge to take on the final lap of Blueberry Island, before I know it I have taken the RIP tour around the island one more time and it is the sprint for home, PHEW. Next up Jelly Babies and Hot Chocolate, 56 minutes of swimming in 55 degree water, the rewards are well worth the effort.
Friday it is back in the pool for 6,400 meters and some strength training, now what about that swim meet I mentioned? Back in August Vermont got pummelled by Hurricane Irene, tomorrows swim meet is donating all of its entry fees to go towards Rebuild Vermont Hurricane Relief, it is a short course meters meet and I am racing the 50, 100, 400 and 800 Free, how will I fear and how will my times compare to this time last year? I’ll keep you posted.Closing thought:
The person that gets ahead, is the one who does more than is necessary- and keeps on doing it