[057] Going the distance, for real

Swim: 2,000 m/48,000 m

Bike: 0/149.1 miles

Run: 0/75.8 miles

Yesterday I covered 1,500 meters non-stop for the first time using freestyle and, in the process, completed my longest non-stop swim to date – 1,300 meters longer than my previous best. As you may know, 1,500 meters is significant because it’s the distance of my Olympic race swim in September. (In this post from mid-January I reported that I covered the race distance, but using breast stroke. My longest unbroken freestyle session before yesterday was 600 meters, and that was less than two weeks ago.)

I started out yesterday’s session as I usually do – with 100 meters of drills. From there I usually get in about 400 meters of freestyle warmup before starting my speed sets. But this time the warmup was going well and I didn’t stop for any rests. I have been feeling under the weather recently and I was hesitant to introduce speed sets into the workout, so I decided to see what happened if I just kept swimming at an easy pace without stopping. (Even though I don’t do flip turns, I keep my face in the water at each turnaround so I don’t get to cheat with an above-water breath). Pretty early in the session I decided to go ahead and shoot for the entire 1,500 meters, just so I could cross off a huge mental hurdle as I progress with my swimming.

The swim felt great – I felt the same at the end as I did at the beginning. My form was smooth and my breathing relaxed. I had a slightly unnerving moment of realization at the beginning that I would not be standing and breathing out of the water for the next 30-plus minutes – all of my oxygen intake would be inhalations between strokes. It turned out not to be a big deal at all, and I covered the distance very comfortably in 32 minutes.

In fact, I only stopped long enough to check my watch at the end of 1,500 meters, and then set off again to complete the remainder of my 2,000-meter workout. So excluding the drills at the beginning of the workout and the brief watch-check at 1,500 meters, I swam 1,900 meters (about 1.2 miles) non-stop. The total workout time was 43 minutes.

While this is a significant milestone – I have now covered the Olympic race distance or more in each of the three disciplines – it wasn’t a huge surprise. It makes me feel very good to have done it, but I didn’t really have doubts that I would be able to complete the distance. Ever since my swimming switch flipped about two weeks ago, I have a huge new confidence about covering longer distances in the water. With this workout, it just became official.

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One Response to [057] Going the distance, for real

  1. Dad says:

    Great. Now that you feel better about your stroke and form, practice lengthening each stroke. As you reach forward, feel your lats and side stretching out a little further. You may reduce your stroke count 2 or 3 per lap.

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