Thursday, July 19, 2007

Breaking Through

I've heard about these breakthrough sessions. I have. But I don't think that I've had one of them until yesterday.

But, oh boy, did I have one!

Backtrack two days -- I'm in the pool, first swim of the week and had 1000's on the plan. I start with a warmup and about 800 yards into the main set, WHAM. Headache.

Not a normal headache, mind you. A head in a vice, kill me now kind of headache. I literally hit the end of the lane, lifted myself out of the pool and headed straight for the locker room. Clothes over my wet suit and keys in hand, I squinted my way home and prayed I wouldn't throw up.

It was bad.

After a little research and ruling out things like nutrition, hydration and bad head form, I found what was likely my issue. Um, a thing called oxygen.

Seems my fancy 5 stroke bilateral stroke of choice doesn't give my grey matter what it needs. And when your grey matter gets mad...well, it's hard not to notice.

Fast forward to last night. Same set on the roster: 300 warm up, 3 x 1000 mod (ri: 90), 300 cd.

So I warm up and go straight into the first 1000. Four stroke breathing and careful pace. Feeling good. Hit the 1000 mark and think -- hey, let's get race specific and switch my break out with 100 of breaststroke. I don't hold onto buoys in races for rest. I breaststroke. So that should be my break.

I finish that and convert right back to free, this time topping out 1500 meters. The plan was another breaststroke set as a break, but I was joined by another swimmer and didn't want to kick him in the kidneys. Feeling strong, I kept on going and going.

By the end of the set, I had finished the 300 warm up and 3600 straight meters. The main set took me 1:14. And I felt like I could go forever.

And then, headache free, I came home and logged onto the online conversion page to see what that was. And, assuming my pool is meters, I completed 2.4 miles.

Just a random Iron distance swim on a random Wednesday night.

I needed that to build my confidence a bit.

Boo-yah. Wisconsin, here I come!


Brent Buckner said...

Five stroke (bilateral) breathing? Zoicks! I can believe most of us would go hypoxic....

So nice for things to fall into place with one simple change!

Wes said...

Nicely done! I'm still working on bilateral breathing. I'm up to 500 meters or so every; third stroke. Isn't it great once you know you can "go the distance"? Now its all about building strength and working on good technique to maximize the swim.

TriShannon said...

I'm with Brent... 5 stroke, bilateral breathing? Zoicks! I have to breath every 3rd stroke. Even 4 is too much for me.

Nice swim with an awesome time! Glad things are clicking!

LBTEPA said...

How about every third stroke? Easy efficient and you can see where everyone is.
What a perfect time to have a 'breakthrough' session so close to IMWI :)

Donald said...

Sweeeeet workout. I'm also in the three stroke camp - five just seems like torture.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

I wish I could just do bi-lateral. Dude! I need your breakthrough workout!