Friday, January 22, 2010

Out of my Element

white tiger swimming.jpg

Workout of the Day:

500 meter swim for time

I decided that I needed a middle distance swimming standard by which to measure my progress in the pool, something akin to a 2 km row or a 5 km run. If I'm honest, 1000 meters would probably be more accurate if I were a good swimmer, but 500 meters (20 lengths of the pool) felt appropriate, so I settled on that distance and gave it a go this morning. Pathetic is the best word to describe how I felt about my effort. Even though I kept a slow pace from the start, I was sucking gas and losing form by the 100 meter mark. The reality that we are not a naturally amphibious species was hammered home very quickly. It took me 9:41 to finish this “test.” I had to stop for breathers plenty of times. The good news is that 5 minutes later, I didn’t feel overly exhausted. Hopefully this is just one of those things that my lungs will adapt to through repetition.

In other news, I got a new set of gymnastic rings! My new friend Bjorn was down from Sweden visiting his girlfriend in Paris, and he agreed to bring a set for me. Awesome! I’m really excited to have these because they are portable, versatile, and a lot of fun to incorporate. Looking forward to some muscle-ups tomorrow.


  1. "pathetic" LMAO. I started swimming about a month ago. I try to get in the pool once a week. I know how you feel. The first 50m i feel like a champ then it all goes to hell. Just cant seem to get enough air. A friend of mine told me to try breathing every third stroke.So I would breath to the right , then three strokes,then breath to the left, then three stroke and so on.It seemed to help. Also started woking on the flip turns which arent easy. I did 750 meters the other day in 15:06 which is an improvement. My goal is 1500 meters nonstop.The first couple times I swam it was 50 meters then gasping for air while holding on to the wall at the end, then go again.Technique is crucial as with everything else. There is always a few people swimming in other lanes that make it look so easy, they dont even look like they are fast but good luck trying to keep up with them. They just go and go, nice and steady.
    Its a metcon like no other, i always feel good after swimming.
    Great blog, always interesting.

  2. Blair,

    I had good success with applying the Total Immersion techniques, which is the swimming technique the SEALs use in training. I didn't pay for anything, just gathered as much as I could by googling and then applied it.

    If you're a slow swimmer, it's because of your technique, not your conditioning.