Friday, August 17, 2012
New swim gear, that is…
First I biked – nothing extreme, but 17 easy miles around my neighborhood. I was targeting an hour since, at the core of every ironman reference I find, there lies an admonishment to train by time rather than distance. That will be easier said than done for me. I hit the hour just about right, but then, of course, I had to finish out to the next mile. On the bright side, even though it was relatively easy as far as effort, I traveled across the rolling hills terrain at 15mph on the average.
Once home and off the bike, I hit the pool and tried out all of the new swim gear for ear protection I’ve ordered in honor of my ironman journey. New silicon, molded ear plugs, properly inserted. Check. New swim cap with extra room around the ears for pressure equalization and better sealing to help prevent water in the ears. Check. New neoprene ear band to help further prevent water in the ears and to help hold the ear plugs in place (does that, then, negate the extra pressure equalizing space in the swim cap?). Check. Same goggles. Check. First lap. Gear.FAIL. Okay, goggles go on before the ear band! Better.
I completed, with breathing breaks, 8 laps of the pool for about 200 yards total. I tried to apply two technique guidelines from the ironman book I’ve been reading – press the shoulders down and lift the hips and legs, rotate with each stroke and insert the hand early and glide a bit before pulling back. There were a lot more tips, but my head threatened to explode if I didn’t stop reading and instead just thought about a couple of things to try at once. My resulting stroke felt more awkward and there was a bit more water intake as I tried to breathe during rotation instead of by lifting my head to the side as normal. On the other hand, I felt like I was moving more quickly.
Hmmm. At least it seems like I have a couple of things to try applying to my technique now and see how well it works once we’ve closed the pool and I have to take my swimming to a real 25 yard indoor pool somewhere. And, hopefully, by then I will also have picked a locale for said indoor swimming – and perhaps even arranged a class.