“Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. One. Woosh. Woosh. Woosh. Two. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.”
I love to count when I’m swimming. Allowing myself to get lost in the rhythm of counting while swinging my arms and kicking my legs through the water sends me into a sort of trance. Counting my sets is an exercise in escapism as I glide along.
The challenge of keeping my mind focused on the workout in front of me while blocking out all my other senses is incredibly satisfying. I tend to be a highly distractable person so eliminating all stimuli in the water is a welcome and surprising relief.
For the last 2 years I have occupied myself in the water counting laps and listening to the “whoosh” sound in my ears. Then I started to notice my times. I wasn’t getting any faster. In fact I was slowing down. Honestly that wouldn’t be a BIG deal except that now I am racing longer races and setting bigger goals for myself. Now I want to progress in the pool, not just count my laps and mentally check out.
Joining a Master’s Swim Group isn’t really an option for me yet because I need to be home in the morning to get the kids up and ready for school. Also I am not totally ready to pay the group fees. Focused swim workouts were in my future I just wasn’t completely sure how I was going to plan them out. Waiting until I was about to jump in wasn’t working out that well anymore.
Last week I found the app called, My Tri Swim Coach and it was just what I was looking for to improve my swim technique and time. I really needed to add some structure to my swim workouts and the same old ladder distances I was doing were actually beginning to bore me a little. I feared that swimming with a planned workout would be complicated and therefore rob me of the opportunity to tune out and listening to the “whoosh” in my ears.
To my surprise I am finding the addition of Drills to my workouts to be excessively fun. I get to play with toys in the water! And the Workout section is definitely a challenge without being too complicated. I even discovered that I had been holding my head too slack in the water and I when I pick it up slightly my times have dropped giving me the feeling of gliding.
When I open the My Tri Swim Coach app, I can create a new workout by selecting the level (beginner, intermediate or advanced), then the race distance (spring, oly, half-ironman and ironman), season (off, base, build or peak), pool length (25 yd, 25 m or 50 m) and then my time for per 100 yds. So far I have tried out 4 of the intermediate, half-ironman, base, 25 yd swim workouts and I have enjoyed them all. I usually use the workout 2 times before moving to a new one. The only modification I have made is to switch out the kick sets for pull sets because I swim after a bike or run so I don’t think I’d get much out of just kicking.
Swimming is a funny balance between precision and oblivion. I’m still trying to find the right spot in that continuum for me. I’ll let you know how it works out…