Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cat and Mouse

The Workout
Since she has become a triathlete again, the Wife has been going along for the ride when I go to the pool. She's not all that interested in swimming as a discipline, its more like a necessary evil. I, on the other hand, really love swimming yet remain apathetic due to its ease and near insignificance to the overall race. But, we both recognize that pool training has its place in triathlon. Most people at the YMCA loathe sharing a lane with me due to the massive wake created by my immense shoulders and powerful stroke technique because mostly they prefer to swim alone. The Wife wants to swim with me. I find it endearing, but I bet it's really to keep gawkers (except for me) out of her space.

While she set out to do her thing, I settled in to one of my favorite swim workouts. It is as follows:
-Warm up
-500 swim just slower than desired race pace
-5x100 with a faster pace but a little bit of rest
-500 swim at the same or faster pace as before
-5x100 at the same or faster intensity as before
-Cool down
I like this set as it has a mix of distance and speed. I can change the distances by making it a 600 and 6x100s, etc. Or, I can add in another round of 500 and 5x100s. Its got flexibility. This 2000 yard set is designed to get me race ready for a half-ironman, such as Syracuse 70.3, which coincidentally features a 2000 yard swim. See how that goes, my set matches my goal race?

The Data
Here's how today's set actually went...

Warm up- Mow the lawn, pick up doggie-do in the yard, and drive to the pool (I've never warmed up efficiently anyway)

500 swim on 7:05, which is a 1:25 per 100 pace (important to remember this for my next set). Relax for about 1:55. This time would have been different had I swam slower. Basically, I waited until the deck clock's hand hit the 60 two times.

5x100 on the 1:30 (5 seconds slower than my 500 pace). But, I needed to swim faster than 1:25. My actual splits were 1:24, 1:22, 1:22, 1:21, 1:20.

Again, I got to rest for two times the 60 second hand. It's just a nice place to start the next set.

Repeat the 500. I conveniently went a 7:05. It's nice to be consistent. 
Meanwhile, the Wife was just finishing up whatever it was that she was doing. She refuses to let me coach her and I refuse to stress the point. She was averaging roughly 53 seconds per 50 yards (I am allowed to notice that much). In an odd change of behavior, she actually asked me what I was doing next. I explained and kept it brief as the deck clock will not wait for idle conversation, even with hot chicks.
5x100 on the 1:30

The Challenge
As the clock struck 60, I pushed off while the Wife watched me go. I flipped at the 25 feeling fresh (115 seconds of rest will do that to you). As I approached the wall for the 50, the Wife took off just before I arrived. I glanced at the clock and my 50 yard split was 40 seconds flat (I can check the clock from the water without breaking my technique). I flipped and made it a point to catch. She was roughly 5 yards ahead at the 75 but I have a significantly better turn than she. But, she upped the amps in her swim. She was definitely swimming faster than her 53 second norm. I, being male, could not allow her to beat me to the wall. In an effort to gain some speed, I did something not recommended to most triathletes- I started kicking (yes, with my legs). I was able to sneak my hand into the wall before hers. Ha, I won!

I looked over at the clock, 1:13. Her 50 split had dropped to 43 seconds and I had just barely made it in. My chest was heaving and I had only 17 seconds to recover.

Thus it went. My cat to her mouse. My 100s to her 50s. It was a great way for me to challenge myself at the end of a workout. It was a great way for her to get in some speed work, which she normally would not do. Banter and Wife pool bonding time. My splits for the set: 1:13, 1:14, 1:14, 1:16, 1:19. She dealt a blow to the ego by winning the wall on number 3 and 5.  I think she cheated and left early on #3. I have officially protested the results of that rep. The refs are checking the video and will get back to me shortly.

I thanked her for a great set and a great workout. Let this be a blessing for all you ladies out there. Should she ever really want to get competitive in triathlon, the Wife could probably rule the age group, if not the race. However, her competitive passion isn't what it used to be, relegating her tri-goals into the 'just have fun' category. It doesn't make sense to me either.

She did try to tease me about falling apart on the last one, in which she beat me easily. I remarked that her mousing made me significantly faster.  I called out my splits for the first set and then the second set. Notice how my slowest 100 in the second still beat me fastest 100 in the first. Boys must show off for their women. I was one tired, happy kitty.

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