Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Goin' Old Skool!

So I have motviational issues when it comes to swimming. Tim De Boom wrote a great article for Triathlete magazine detailing motivational issues specific to swimming: people sit there with their feet dangling in the water, trying to convince themselves to get in or swing their arms as if their stretching until heaving a large sigh and heading back into the locker room.

I've done all of those and Tim admitted the same. Today I re-discovered a way to trick myself into "getting it done".

When I swam for Mt San Antonio College, there was never any hesitation about getting in the pool (ok so 6AM workouts when it was so cold outside the 78 degree water STEAMED were hard): I just showed up and got in. So after consulting with Coach Jim, I tried to determine the difference between when I swam at college and now; more importantly, why is it so easy for me to bag swim workouts?

Then the memories came flooding back:
It was the team that made it so easy. We had a great bunch of kids that year that turned into an amazingly cohesive group. We spent more time hanging out at the pool than we did working out. It's just where we went between classes and it was so familiar I never associated it with hard work: we just had fun...and won conference championships that year. Coincidence? No way.

Having fun makes hard work seem easy; that's why I love my MTB'ing so much: even hard rides are a blast because railing sweet single track makes me grin every time. Add in the amazing scenery in the mountains and I'm a happy puppy.

Back to swimming...

I miss the team aspect and I think that's why I have a hard time getting in the water. It's become something I have to do instead of something I enjoy doing. It's become work.

One other thing we did for team workouts was dry-land training before we got to the actual swimming. We'd run to the gym, lift for an hour (including 15 mins of abs from hell) and then cracnk out 4000-5000 yards before calling it quits. Yeah; I ripped off a 6:30 500 that season at an April sprint. I have the capacity to swim much faster than I am right now or have been since 2004.

So I'm goin' old skool and went back to lifting before swimming. I know you should swim "fresh", but I tried it today and getting in the water after was easy! I went right from lifting to swimming with zero hesitation. It was the best swim session I've had all year: holding a pace much faster than I should have been able to after the smack-down in the gym.

I might be on to something here; being tired might be forcing me to slow down and allowing me to "feel" what I'm doing in the water instead of just grinding the yards out. I'm sticking to it for the next meso-cycle. We'll see how it goes.

The team aspect? I'm going to segue into Master's in the Spring Semester. In '06 I swam UCSD Master's 3x a week (1.5 hrs each time) and PR'd the swim at my first collegiate race in SLO with a 25:53; still my fastest swim leg EVER.

I wanna swim under 25 minutes by May.

Swim test Friday and a cycling test Sunday. Woot!


Pedal Circles said...

Nice, dude. Looking forward to checking on the progress!

I sorta wish I would've stuck with swimming. I loved it as a kid. Never competed. However, I am the physical "female Michael Phelps". (Short legs, long torso, long wingspan.)

Lifting is fun, also. :)

Luke said...

swimming sure does start to suck after a while! i figured out last week that you can take 9 months off from swimming and still maintain a decent amount of fitness. i say pour your focus into the bike/run and swim only in the races ;^)