Long And Sweet

I swam 124 minutes this morning, at Konyaalti Varyant at 6:50 am. The weather was hot, dry. The sea was 30 C, smooth as glass, visibility with early morning sunlight was 10m + into the depths. I first swam 40′ east to the ancient harbor, then back and then west along the beach  another 20′ and back to fill 2 hours.

11 minutes careful warmup, testing out my mind and joints to see what I wanted to work on today.

Then I broke the rest of the swim down into 250-stroke cycles (about 4.25 to 5.5 minutes long depending on SR) with a new focus point on each- depending on what was going well or not I would pick the next focus point based on what I notice in the previous cycle.

Some of these were: Wider swing, mail slot entry, lazer lead head, high elbow catch, experiment with my front arm target position at different SR, test my catch position, drive-spearhand-from-hip, slide-past-hand-holding-the-water, etc.

Everything was smooth, energetic, until about 80′. Then I did a faster SR cycle and felt the gas tank suddenly run low. I usually don’t eat breakfast before morning swims, and this one I even had a banana and a small piece of bread, but it wasn’t enough to cover 2 hours. This hit just as I reached the my starting point on the beach.

However, I felt it was a convenient test of how I might feel in under tougher OW race conditions so I decided to keep going and see how I could adapt to the fatigue. I swam down the shore another 20 minutes and then back. All the while I did not lose form. Because of well-ingrained balance, fatigue just meant I could not tap into my shoulder muscles for big/long speed bursts, but it did not prevent me from continuing to empower each stroke from the hip thrust- so this is what I focused on, to give the shoulders rest, as I would in a race, and save them for the last 300m.

The only two discomforts on this long swim were my lower back feeling sore from prolonged curve and getting extremely thirsty. The salt water was really singing my mouth and tongue after a 2 hour soak. That last 15 minutes I was longing for my half-frozen water bottle waiting for me on the beach. And for my back I found that I could do this little ‘ripple’ in the middle of a stroke, almost like a mini-dolphin, just enough to let the muscles around the spine back there relax for a moment. When I got to shore I just curled up in a little ball and floated for a while until everything relaxed. No problems.

The soreness I was feeling in my left shoulder a month ago is completely gone- I figured out it was caused by translating pain from a muscle knot on the back of the shoulder joint- I’ve done some stretching, massage, and I’ve quit sleeping on that shoulder and now there is no more soreness. I wish all the pains of life were that simple to solve.


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