Signed up for Swimtag at Virgin Active

•October 2, 2013 • 4 Comments

Jen and Simon invited me to swim with them in morning training, so I decided to give it a try.

Signed up with Swimtag and October’s going to be “Swim the Channel” challenge month.

Interestingly now swimming with the tag on my right wrist and the Garmin on my left. All good fun.


Two new open water venues to try.

•July 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

1. Thorpe park lakes

Nowca at Thope Park

2. Shepperton at Ferris Meadow – this looks particularly exciting because the lake is open until 11am. Will be trying this next weekend hopefully.

Hampton Court Swim 2013

•July 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

A smaller field than last year, but still over 1000 entries.

Went in the second wave again, but managed to improve on last year’s 101st place finish and finished a pleasing 68th.

No current to speak of this year, so we had to swim the full 3.65km.

End of February – where now?

•February 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

There is a girl who also swims in the fast lanes and is definitely the Alpha in our pool.

Fairly tall. Such a lovely stroke. Barely a kick at all, reasonably slow stroke rate and she cruises at around 1.25/100. Very economical. In the same lane there’s hardly any turbulence at all when she passes in the other direction. Like Terry says – moving through the water, but not moving any water around.

If she gives even a bit of a kick she’ll be right down around 1.15. I don’t know how fast she can go if she tries, but she’s the only swimmer in the pool who was probably county level at some point.

So today I was working on lengthening my stroke a bit and trying to balance my rotation to push further forward and get better extension with my right arm. Felt pretty good.

Tomorrow is the beginning of March. Absent any other brilliant ideas I’m simply going with increasing my distance – up to 3000m per day I think.

Going from 1600 to 2000 for February has made a difference so I think I’ll just keep trying to keep my pace and form for a bit longer.

May 27th is the 10k at Eton Dorney.

Log from today’s session…


Friday checkpoint – TT day.

•February 18, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Had the day off, so some time to play with the TT.

First a stroke rate ramp test ala Swimsmooth.

10 x 50m, followed by 5 x 100m.

  1. 50spm -> 15 strokes -> 1.38/100m
  2. 53spm -> 15 strokes ->1.36
  3. 56spm -> 15 strokes ->1.32
  4. 59spm -> 17 strokes ->1.28
  5. 62spm -> 17 strokes ->1.31
  6. 65spm -> 17 strokes ->1.27
  7. 68spm -> 18 strokes ->1.23
  8. 71spm -> 18 strokes ->1.22
  9. 74spm -> 19 strokes ->1.22
  10. 77spm -> 21 strokes ->1.22
  1. 50spm -> 15 strokes ->1.35
  2. 53spm -> 16 strokes ->1.36
  3. 56spm -> 17 strokes ->1.32
  4. 59spm -> 18 strokes ->1.30
  5. 62spm -> 18 strokes ->1.32

Followed with 1000m @ 1.43 then 550m @ 1.44.

Keeping in mind that the numbers come from the Garmin Swim watch, so stroke count is not 100% reliable, and times are from when you push the button to when you push the button, so accuracy is not guaranteed to be the same on every lap. However, I did try to keep things the same between intervals.

Taking the data at face value then; I guess this seems to show a “sweet spot” at around 59spm on both 50 and 100 repeats. Also anything over 70spm seems to see my stroke fall apart or enough slippage that the extra strokes don’t help, at least not without some extra propulsion from the kick.

I do seem to be going slower at the moment than I was a couple of months ago. What’s changed in the interim? Well for a start I’m kicking less, even when swimming at a higher stroke rate so that may be limiting my top speed.

The other thing that is different is that I have spent a LOT of time breathing on my left (wrong) side, and I suspect that it’s actually damaged my stroke on the right side.

At any rate, for the moment, with my current build and stroke it seems that ~60spm is the right tempo for me to get the best balance between speed and efficiency. If I can get my racing stroke up to 60spm, or 1.0 on mode 1 that looks to be where I should be for now.

Next step will be to work on stroke efficiency, see if I can drop a stroke or two per length at 60spm and gain a bit of speed.

Mind you, I’ll be pretty happy if I can start to increase my distances at 60spm and get my long-distance pace from 1.40-1.45 down to 1.30-1.35.

Friday checkpoint again.

•January 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Pool was 3-4C cooler than usual this morning. So my swim was a bit quicker.

1000m warmup.

After which I had one of those moments where the chap in the lane next to me wanted to talk about swimming. Did the TI enthusiast thing, had a look at his stroke and gave some advice. Nice chap – very strong, reasonably good swimmer, can’t run for a couple of months due to injury.

Interestingly I was trying to do a bit of “loping” as Charles puts it, and especially on the LHS breathing it seemed to help.

So then was a bit short of time, so did 2 x 200m for the checkpoint.

200m breathing left : 1.31/100.

200m breathing right : 1.28/100.

This was “fast” for me, not a sprint, but I can’t go much faster than that over 200m in a 20m pool – just can’t get enough air because of the turns. So definitely not perpetual motion pace.

Anyway, the neurological gap between LHS & RHS breathing certainly seems to be closing. With still a few days left in January.

February will have a different focus – I’ll be back in the 25m pool.

Another Friday checkpoint.

•January 18, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Another Friday checkpoint. 1000m warmup.

Aim to have equal perceived physical effort at “perpetual motion” pace for all 3x200m repeats.

200m breathing left : 1.47/100.

200m breathing right : 1.43/100.

200m bilateral : 1.39/100.

A bit slower than last week, but still running a bit short of breath on the bilateral though. The perceived neuro effort between the two sides seems to be narrowing a bit. And the times reflect that.

I feel like I’m a year behind on my left breathing though. Hard to quantify of course. Over the last 3 years I have probably done 90% of my laps breathing right, so this isn’t terrible progress.