I decided to dedicate my next few blog posts to some of my favs for each discipline: swim bike and run including my favorite workouts, stretch/and or exercise tip, gear, training venue or whatever to make it more fun, faster or better in some way. I am certainly not an expert by any means at any of the 3 or…. all 3 put together. But I have raced for (hmmm ++ years!) and I manage to fit it in training around a whole gob of life, work professionally to treat the injured in our sport, and I'm married to someone who is always up with the latest and greatest and …sometimes I listen!
So we start with the swim. My weakest of the 3. Do I have anything favorite about the swim? Not much other than a cute suit addiction, or maybe the cool down.
Lately I do 90% of my swims at 5:00 a.m. at Delnor, our local health club. The water quality is bad, and I smell like Delnor the rest of the day, but they have good locker rooms, and M-F Kelly Perry is always there with a great swim set. This has been good enough to pull me out of my swim rut, just a smidge. The outdoor pools are opening soon which means outdoor swimming and maybe an extra hour of sleep!
|post swim sunrise!|
Training suit: Betty Designs of course. Absolutely a must because crawling out of bed at 4:30 in the morning to go swim needs a little extra motivation. Not only are they super cute, but they actually do last much longer than most. (or maybe that is because I don't swim enough) I do have several suits and switch them up for variety, type of workout etc. Plus rotating suits makes them last longer!
Wetsuit/speedsuit: I of course prefer wetsuit swims, and thankfully I have BlueSeventy helping me make the swim portion go smoother. If its too warm the Blue Seventy PZ3XT is the way to go. I wore this in Vegas 70.3 World Champs last year and it fit like a glove and helped me glide through that water murky warm water, and surely saved me seconds with the lack of swimming I did going into such a big race. But the new Helix recently arrived and not only does it look fast ...it is! I took it for its first swim today (mostly to make sure it fit!) and also to get the feel for it before my next race. It was amazing! I was gliding through the water and felt almost as fast as the fasties I was trying to keep up with! PLEASE be a wetsuit swim at Leon's so I can wear my HELIX!
Workout: (is there such thing as a fav swim workout?) I like swim workouts that keep me moving; keep me focused, and make me work, otherwise I will think of million others things to do like get out of the water and go have coffee. I can keep my focus on the bike and run no matter what the workout, but swimming solo, bad news for me. My favorite main set for a swim looks a little like this: (400 pull, 2 x 200 build by 50, 4 x 100 t pace) x 2 ( each 400 having an increased effort), maybe even some IM in there the 2nd time through. Yes I can swim the other strokes (sort of), and mixing it up keeps it interesting and increases swim strength.
Place to Swim:
Local: Otters Cove St Charles outdoor pool. Lap lanes always open,water slides if kids are in tow and its outside. Yesterday was opening day, but they were closed because it is still winter here.
Cool places: Univ of Arizona outdoor pools!
Open water: not a huge fan, but Kona Pier would have to do
Swim venue for a race: Hayes Lake, Queenstown NZ Worlds, dock start where everyone had 1 hand on the dock ITU style, in a beautiful lake with turquoise water and amazing mountains all around with a long killer steep uphill run to transition to tire out the non-runners.
Swim Stretch: Posterior shoulder stretch; all those hours hanging out in aero bars tighten the posterior shoulder, which can eventually lead to shoulder pain and impingement while swimming.
How: put elbows, forearms and hands together just above shoulder height on a wall; then squat down a little until you feel a stretch in your lats or back of shoulder. NO cheating by letting your elbows come apart! This is great to help increase shoulder mobility help reach and pull.
Best swim performance: I guess for me it would be AG Worlds in SUI. Swim was in Lake Geneva, the real one, not the Wisconsin one. I came out of the water with the main pack (not the lead pack with those first few uber swimmers). Back then to get ready for this race I swam twice a day some, and put in some weeks of a whole lot of yards, it gained me a whopping 40 sec. I don't have that kind of time now for an entire :40 sec so, I like 70.3s better these days.
And when the swim is done, its time to bike!
And when the swim is done, its time to bike!