Friday, July 9, 2010

the infamous test set

Today in the morning it was time for one of my least favourite swim sets. It just says TS in the programme, and it stands for TEST SET. They are a good way to know where you are, and in today's case it was also a good wake up call. The mechanic is very simple, swim 100m all out, rest for 10 secs, swim 100m all out, rest for 10 secs, swim 100m all out.... you get the picture. (not dissimilar to the wingate test I did on the bike some time ago)
I've been at the pool pool for 15 months now, and I've done 5 of these sets.  the first time I was preparing for a sprint tri, so I was only required to do 6. From then onwards I've had had to do them in full. It's hard to get the mind around going all out at all times, It took me to my third one to get it right. On the first time, I blew up, but as it was only 6 it was ok. The second time I thought I was going to approach it in a smarter way, but I was told of for holding my efforts in the first reps.
Our lane is three or four guys and we all swim very similar times. I used to be a notch faster but I think that may not be the case any more. So the lead is altenated between the three of depending our weaknesses and strenghts. I am good at short sets, Martin is goo at longer sets, and Carl is a freak when we're using any aids like buoys, fins or the mother of all paddles.
So I knew about todays' set for the last week or so, and although I did not tapper for it, it was there in the back of my head all day yesterday.
In the past I did 1.06 and 1.08 for the first hundred, and then stayed in the 1.20-1.28 area for the rest of the set, with the last one being just over 1.15.
Today I was 1.09 for the first hundie and from the second 100 it all went downhill (1.25's to 1.35's). I just didn't have it anywhere in my body. I kept swimming in good form and everything, but there was lactate everywhere. (the photo illustrates my eyesight after finishing the set)
I'm still happy that I did everything by the book, but a bit concerned by the fact that I lost time to the other two guys. I don't say it as if it is a race, but there is a benchmark and I felt I did not reach it today. I'm also satisfied to know the HR drop was OK as well in the minutes after the set.
There'll be another one of this sets somewhere in August, we shall see what comes out of it.

Date: 9 July
Sport: swimming/running
Time: 60min / 40min
Dist: 2.9km / 6km
Comment: friday run sprints are back!, more news to come


  1. Nice swimming!

    yep our OWS we swim .6mi across the bay and .6mi back. good practice for me as I am new to all this! Gonna give it a shot on Saturday


  2. that sounds like torture! the fact that you HR drops back quickly is great. Now that you training is ramping up you should see good changes over the next month. Look forward to seeing the next result

  3. Whenever you are a little down on your swimming feel free to remember that I would still be crying like a baby about how cold water was while you finished your first 200M.