I swam 66 minutes off the sea cliffs of Antalya today. Started at 8:30. Sunny, hot. Water was maybe 28 degrees, clear. I swam 31 minutes to the east into rolling swells (without waves), then back.
First 10 minutes were easy, careful warmup.
Then [10x 250 strokes] with Tempo Trainer. Starting on 1.24 and descending .02 per repeart, which brought me down to 1.06 on the last one. Each 250 strokes is roughly 5 minutes.
This was my first time swimming out along the cliffs. I felt some anxiety that I had to deal with. The sun was coming towards me and so shading the cliffs in darkness through my goggles as I tried to keep bearings on them. In the water the shadows from the cliffs and the angle of the sun created uncertain shadows and topography that would loom in and out at me in my view below. I found it was better to go out past where I could see the bottom so I only had deep ultramarine blue beneath me, swallowing up the light many meters below. This way I could relax more and just tune into my body and rhythm rather than anticipating something that might appear and need to be interpreted by my anxious brain.
Then I had some tourist boats pass by- I heard the underwater squeel, then glanced up to see them coming, so I steered closer to the cliffs. This is one of the detractions of swimming along this section of the cliffs. Boats are perhaps the bigger part of the dangers of swimming in these waters, of which there are only a few- no permanent currents or tides, no sharks or harmful monsters. Swimming west from the starting point is a better option I think, although this means swimming against the late morning swells on the way back.
The stroke-counting, the tempo focus, and constant body awareness helped me divert attention positively away from my anxiety. One cannot simply try NOT to focus on something negative, but must actively put their attention on something more positively engaging and productive. This is one of the features of TI swimming- at all times we swim mindfully, focused on our body and the water around us to maximize our efficiency and enjoyment. It really works, even for open and deep water swimming anxiety.
For whatever reason, although I didn’t stretch before I didn’t have any knots or soreness on that left side today- not in the wrist, elbow, or shoulder. There was a little tightness and muscle soreness in the back of the deltoids at first but this loosened up and felt fine.
I calculated that I started Sunday’s 123 minute swim at about a 1.32 second stroke tempo and then was cruising along around 1.16 to 1.20 for the second half. After warming up for 10 minutes today I started with 1.24 which actually felt a little slow. A good ‘restrained’ starting-pace. Each repeat-transition to the next .02 second faster tempo was easy- I felt no increase in effort until the last one but I settled into that one (1.06) in a minute as well and then it was fine.
I had little fatigue from this swim today, and I even swam another 30+ minutes in the sea with a couple of my students afterwards.