Walking down

The 3km Open Water is equivalent to swimming the 1500 freestyle twice in one go. We forgot to look at the result but I assume Madison achieved around 50 minutes for the 3km.

I was proud she finished the course on her first attempt. There is no warm-up, there is no swim down. But I think it is important to keep going.

So Madison went for a 2km swim-down to the Hackney Lido.

Today she wanted to stay in bed but I still think it is important to keep moving so that the aching muscles don’t get stiff.

richmond2
walking through Richmond Park

We went for a walk to Richmond Park.

hamforest

For the first part we walked through some wooded area the Ham Nature reserve was very similar to Epping Forest, just without the traffic noise in the background.

Just when we arrived at the Richmond Park gate, the sun shone doubly hot directly upon us.

richmond

The sun was burning down on us on 30 degrees and it was absolutely parching hot. However the whole peaceful atmosphere with loud grasshopper choirs filling the air achieves an amazing peace of mind.

It is well worth to have a change of scenery and recover out of the pool in good air for a day.

74:30:16 energy distribution

This morning’s 90 minute training session in the 50m pool consisted of 74 length. That makes a total of 3.700 m. Just short of 4km.

A 800 m swim comprises of 16 length, a 1.500 m swim comprises of 30 length of the 50m pool.

Whenever I am confronted with fear, I am trying to rationalise and approach ‘problems’ mathematically. The fear I am most frequently confronted with is the 800 and 1500 m freestyle competition. Well that is equalled by the 200 butterfly and followed by the 400 IM.

Freestyle, I can work out that swimming 3.700 m in 90 minutes equals just over ~41m per minute. Madison’s PB for 800m freestyle is around 11 minutes. Equals ~73m per minute.

For the 1.500 freestyle 15 minutes is an excellent Olympic time, that makes 100m per minute.

For the 800 freestyle 8 minutes is an excellent Olympic time, that makes 100m per minute.

There is going to be also an evening training session today, which is over 2 hours, e.g. 120 minutes with even more length than in the morning session; most likely 5.000 meters.

So do swimmers really prefer to spend an evening swimming between 3.700 m  and 5.000 meters per session, a total of 8.700m per day instead of just swimming 800 or 1.500 m per session?

Perhaps this is just a case of learning energy distribution. Obviously a swimmer will spend all their energy by swimming fast for 8 – 15 minutes instead of swimming medium fast for 120 minutes.

Butterfly, when small Butterfly was Madison’s favourite stroke but at the first time-trial Madison ever attended, most other swimmers told her not to do the butterfly time-trial as it is too hard.

Equal fears are spread about the 400 IM.

Looking at how many length a swimmer swims casually in training without fears, why do they mount up as soon as a competition is announced?

 

 

Ethos + pressure = results

I heard somebody say yesterday that swimmers should not be put under pressure. Wow, what a statement. Looking at the London region age-groups medal table, there is

  1. Barnet Copthall with 21 Gold, 13 Silver, 6 Bronze

    ……………………….28. Hackney Aquatics 2 Bronze

that is the standing after the first half of the competition.

Who put up the rule for swimmers not to compare results or performance?

Looking that the Barnet Copthall head coach Rhys Gormley’s favourite saying is “Death before dishonour”, I think he just about puts pressure to win as his utmost priority.

That is what you would expect as a result, that swimmers actually bring home the medals for the amount of training they are putting in each day, that is exceptional value for investment.

Since I do not live anywhere near Barnet Copthall, again I am finding myself in the position of having to make the best of what we’ve got. But having great leadership and swimmers all being a positive influence onto each other will achieve exceptionally good results. Mark Foster is probably their best known swimmer for the younger generation.

I do not think that not being a swimmer for Barnet Copthall is an excuse not to do well, but it makes it much harder indeed.

The whole different ethos of clubs like Barnet Copthall sees many swimmers taking part in gruelling events like 1500, 800 free, 200 fly, 400 IM. I could not see many of Hackney’s swimmers take part.

I shall aim to participate more in those character building events in the future.