Wednesday was training again at Victoria Park pool.

We warmed up and did a couple of drills to get started and then went into the main set. The main set was on the back of last week’s time trials. When we did the time trials last week our first 100m was timed separately and compared to our average 100m time for the full 500m. The idea was to swim consistently and have the first 100m slower than our average.

Out of 18 swimmers who completed the time trial only one swimmer managed to do that. She’s the fastest and best swimmer in our group, so it was pretty hard to argue that it’s a bad strategy.

So the focus for the main set was on pacing.

We were asked to check our average 100m time. then we were to do 3 x 100m swims trying to swim at exactly that pace, with 10 second breaks between them.

Next we were to do a 300m swim with no breaks, but to try to swim the same pace again, and then to repeat the two exercises.

This was actually suprisingly hard to do. when you swim out from the wall with a push and have breaks and feel fresh, 100m at average pace feels pretty slow. I had a stopwatch on my watch which made it pretty easy for me to keep track, too, with a fair degree of certainty.

Also helping was the fact that one of my swim friends Leanne had swum almost exactly the same pace as me, so we swam an dtimed together the whole set to keep each other on track, and eventually we got into the rhythm of it.

It felt pretty weird, making myself swim slower than what I can, but I had a bit of a think about what we were doing and asked the coach.

The idea is to start out at your average pace, which doesn’t wear you out too early. Worst case scenario: you maintain that pace and get the same time as before. Better case, you swim that pace until near then end, and then have enough left in the tank for a strong finish and can reduce your time.

The reason this felt weird is that it’s a race tactic, and not usually a training method. Particularly at this time of year, we tend to train harder and try to make the sessions quite cardio to build strength, fitness and endurance…effectively starting to take time off that average pace.

Pacing like this is a good skill to have and something I will definitely be using in races this season.

then, once the main set was done, we finished with single laps…25m fast, then 25m very fast. After all that pacing it was fun to hav e a big finish and stretch out and swim hard! Plenty of cardio work in the final hundreds after all!

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