Friday, 23 February 2018

To the limit

A bit of a sufferfest down at the Claremont SwimSmooth squad this morning, I am not sure us coaches were the most popular people at the pool afterwards.

The Friday morning sessions are all about Threshold word, shortish efforts done fast without a heap of rest, that is often a combination for unpleasantness. The session this morning was no exception to that.

The threshold sessions that we do at SwimSmooth tend to lean one way or another, sometimes they are a bit quicker with a bit more rest and sometimes they are a little slower, but you get very little rest. Today's session was the later. In fact the level of rest that people were getting today is what I would classify as extreme, around 5 seconds per 100m, 2 or 3 seconds for a 50. Tight. If you were a little bit off the pace then the rest got very small, very fast.

Of course, when it comes to coaching the session it is a fine balance. The intent of the session is that people don't get much rest, however, you want people to still be able to do the session. There isn't a lot of point to the session if people get no rest and it becomes one long continuous swim. Sometimes this balance means pushing people along a little, sometimes it means re-arranging the lane to keep it on the boil and sometimes it means just giving people a break and slowing down their target times. I think I gave all three of those things a go today. While the session was a struggle both in the pool and on the pool deck we all got through. I am not sure if there were many people saying how much they enjoyed the session afterwards, but I think most of them appreciated the solidness of the workout. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger and all that.

Plus there was a very pretty sunrise.

While the session was a good one this morning, it was a little bit quiet down the pool today. No great mystery as to why though, tomorrow is the annual Rottnest Channel Swim.

While I have no real desire to ever do the Rottnest Swim it is an event that I always follow with great interest. For one it is a great race and an impressive physical challenge, that in itself makes it worth paying attention too. Also I usually have lots of friends taking part (this year is no different) and so I always love tracking the race to see how they all do. The last reason to watch it is because it is always so unpredictable, you never quite know what is going to happen, what conditions are going to show up, who is going to have a good day or a bad day etc. In fact that unpredictability is one of my favourite aspects of the event. Getting to the finish line is always a massive achieve, however, every year there are always a few people who absolutely blitz the event to the surprise of themselves and others. Hearing these stories is always one of my favourite parts of the day.

Whatever happens, tomorrow is going to be a big day for a lot of people.

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