speed + distance = holy grail, part II

Today’s distance swim was an experiment – long sets versus short sets.

I knocked off 7000 yards (OK, 6900–I miscounted one 2000 set), and for comparison’s sake I did the first 4000 in 2 sets of 2000 (or, if one cares to quibble, a 2000 and a 1900), then I did a single set of 1000 and then 4 sets of 500.

As is always the case on these longer swims, by the end my arms felt as though they’d been carved (and none too expertly) from hunks of wood, and around yard 4000 I started developing a deep, irrational, blood-sugar-deficit inspired hatred of the guy in the lane next to me for generating too much turbulence,


it is also true that I was able to maintain my goal pace to the end by breaking the final 3000 into smaller sets, and this despite the fact that my shoulders and arms were still feeling the effects of major shovel work in the wake of this week’s freak March snowstorm (these days, any snowstorm in Richmond is freakish) and yesterday’s speed work.

In the continued spirit of scientific investigation, for my next distance swim, I’ll see if I can maintain a slightly faster pace over the distance if I break the whole thing up into 500s.  Because the ultimate goal is to train at faster than goal race pace so that when you get to the race, your goal pace feels doable without those breaks in between.  Right?


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