Last night’s training was the big day of reckoning – us against the clock!

5 weeks had elapsed since the last time trial and the squad had been doing the extra 4Ts Tuesdays and working on pacing for weeks now to improve times.

I, only the other hand, started strong, but had that horrid cold and did my dive course and have been kind of all over the place with my training.

I was a little nervous.

I worked from home yesterday, so I drove down to the pool. It’s closer to my house than my office, so I was there plenty early. It was a particularly gorgeous day yesterday and the sun was shining and it was balmy warm, so I had a bit of a wander in the park as the sun was setting and that helped with the nerves.

We did a warm up and a 3-5-7 breathing drill to get our arms warmed up and turning over. Despite my reservations I was feeling pretty good in the pool. I’d had a very early (alcohol free) night the night before, eaten thoughtfully through the day and I think that helped.

We did a 200m as timed 50m sets on our pace with 15 seconds rest in between. It wasn’t taxing at all, but it was good for me to get that feel for how fast I should be going out at the start.

Then we started the time trial. 500 metres, same as last time.

I continued on, keeping to my pace. To my surprise I was feeling good. Very good.

At about half way through I surprised myself by catching up to Leanne, who was swimming in front of me and had started 10 seconds earlier. I used her to pace myself for about 100m as I know we swam a pretty similar time trial last time and that she’s been a touch quicker than me in the pool lately. I was feeling like I could overtake, but didn’t want to go out too hard too soon and leave myself with nothing for the finish. I wanted to trust in all the pacing work we’d done!

Then , just as we were heading in for the 2nd last turn, I knew I could ramp it up the rest of the way. The leader in our lane came from behind and passed the both of us, so I took the opportunity and jumped on her feet for a tiny boost and overtook!

The next 100m I ramped up to 90% effort and I had a good feeling, then on the home stretch with about 20m to go I really went into overdrive!!!! I was focussing on keeping technique and getting enough oxygen and turning the arms over as fast as I could!

I hit the wall and Coach Kingy noted my time. There was a bit of confusion since we needed to adjust for staggered start times and I get very bad at basic maths when I’m tired.

But I had dropped a full 30 seconds from my last time!!!!!

I was both floored and ecstatic with that result!

Near as I can tell there are a couple of reasons why the improvement was so massive.

  1. I think I must have had a bad swim last time trial. Compared to other time trials I’ve done it was slow.
  2. The change in strategy definitely helped. Keeping a consistent pace and then finishing strong is, intellectually, a better idea than killing yourself on the first hundred and dying for the rest. I’m so trying this out this race season.
  3. The coaching and training sessions definitely helped. I may not have made all of them, but I’ve been pretty active (apart from when I was sick) and it all helps with general fitness.
  4. Knowing the time trial was coming meant I could prepare physically by not coming stressed and rushed from the office, make sure I didn’t do anything silly the night before and could make certain I was eating well and hydrating on the day.

Afterwards we did a bit of a swim down and then the coaches gave us an early mark so we hopped out and showered and changed and all went out for dinner and wines!

It’s called rehydration people 😉