Swim: 1,200 m/33,900 m
Bike: 13/96 miles
Run: 0/48.7 miles
I finally read enough of Total Immersion to glean some drills to try out in the pool (the drills don’t start until Chapter 8 – the first seven chapters are mostly background on the author’s method). The drills I used were very basic – learning balance in the water by swimming on your back. That way, you’re not focused on breathing under water, but only on the position of your body.
After a brief warmup I completed 400 meters of these drills. It took a long time because the drills call for only kicking, with arms straight by your side. It seemed to feel fine, although sometimes I just felt like I was going nowhere no matter how hard I kicked. When I was finished with the drills I turned over to knock out some regular freestyle laps, and it was a very disconcerting feeling to swim this way after having spent so much time on my back. It was akin to biking and then running immediately afterward – the activity to which you’re accustomed suddenly feels foreign and awkward.
I don’t know what to take from this first drill session. It felt fine but there were no “Aha!” moments. I’m going to reserve judgment until I can do it a few more times and try out some more advanced drills.
Also included in the mileage tally at the top of this post is a 13-mile bike ride from yesterday. It was a similar ride to the 14-miler in the neighborhood from a couple weeks ago. The main difference is that I was using a much nicer bike this time, and my speed was almost 2 mph faster, at 16.3 mph. I felt like I was going pretty fast at times, and I realized why my overall speed is kind of average on these neighborhood rides – not only is the course very hilly, but it’s in a neighborhood. There are no long stretches, but instead I’m stopping for traffic or turning onto other roads every quarter-mile or so. There are lots of interruptions to inhibit a regular cadence. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I need to be mindful of what I expect from these rides, as opposed to those I complete on a more open course.
As a side note – the new bike felt great. I’m already getting used to its feel, and it seems like we’re working together now. I still haven’t used the aero bars again – I’ll wait until I get to an open course before experimenting in that position.