Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Let The Swim Challenge Begin!

OK so tomorrow starts our 8 day swim challenge! I've come up with an outline of the schedule... logistically how we are going to fit it all in... several double day workouts and hitting up 3 different pools (working around pool hours- ugh!) as well as the ocean on 2 of the days... and we should be able to get in 45-50K over the course of 8 days. The two key days are the 2+ hour ocean swim on Friday (with kayak assist) and 100x100's (long course meters!) on Sunday.

We are going to start with 5 x 1000's tomorrow... moderately strong effort... timed just to get a baseline. Mostly I am super interested in how much this swim challenge week is going to hurt/fatigue us, so as a fun experiment we are going to finish out the challenge next Wednesday with a repeat of the 5 x 1000's to see how our times compare (doesn't that sound like fun?). I'm expecting to see a bit of a drop off in times from start to finish but then I would think that after a couple further weeks of reduced workload maybe will see a bump... say if we were to repeat the set 3 weeks later... but honestly I have no idea how we will feel?!? I have never really done anything like this before... well not in my adult life anyway. I think I did when I was in high school but I don't remember keeping track of total yardage or really paying attention much at all. I just did what my coach said and consequently I just have vague memories of swimming ~6K in the mornings and ~4K in the afternoons... wincing if I were to massage my triceps and and feeling like a zombie much of the time. It's just a week this time though so I'm not all that concerned about it (maybe I should be more concerned?)

Anyway, when I consider my reasons for attempting this week here's what I come up with:

1. I'm fairly certain I *can* do it. And the fact that it is a different challenge outside my normal training challenges makes me *want* to do it. Just sort of a break up the 'normal' week type of thing. (I'm pretty sure this is Nalani's sole reason.)

2. I'm genuinely interested in my physical response to such a week? My guess is that in the short term I will feel some real fatigue and will likely be slower at the end of the week than I was to start it. But then I would expect to see a fitness gain after a bit of recovery time but I am curious as to how much that will be? Significant benefit or no? And how much recovery will be necessary prior to seeing a gain? Unanswered questions. I do think it's cool though that Nalani will be doing the whole week (ok really its 8 days) with me though b/c then rather than an "Experiment of One" it will be an "Experiment of Two". Will we respond the same way or not? Again, unanswered questions. But maybe some interesting answers?

3. I look forward to going through this experience myself b/c several of my athletes have inquired about wanting to do something similar so I'm sure I will learn some valuable lessons (make my mistakes on myself and my gracious guinea pig Nalani) rather than making them on you. :)

Anyone out there have experience with a big swim block like this? Any predictions on how the 1000's will go on the last day vs the first? (Nalani's big question revolves around how hungry we will be after all that pool time!!?)

12 comments:

Beth said...

First of all let me just say...I AM SO JEALOUS!!! What a great experiment and I cannot wait to see the answers to your questions! I would assume too that the 2nd set of 1000s is going to be slower but a week...two weeks...three weeks from now? I hope you will share your findings with us!!

Also, I predict MASSIVE amounts of hunger. Chlorine has an appetite stimulant in it - of this I'm sure. :)

Have fun!!!!!!!!

idropboys said...

really? how could anyone want to do 50k in a week....I will cheer you on from afar and probably only get wet to shower. If I swim 3k this week if will be impressive :)

Go get em....

Ange said...

you will be hungry! to answer that last question first. I used to love swimming that much. We did doubles all the time.... 5 x 1000 sound kind of dreadful. I am curious to hear how it goes. I am guessing fatigue at the end but then if you back off and do a week or so with normal swim volume you'll see a boost.

Aimee said...

Oh my goodness...just thinking about that swim challenge makes me freak out a little! I sooo wish I was as good of a swimmer as you!
Good luck! :)

mtanner said...

Dear M:
Please dont ever make me do 5 x 1000. Thank you.

Kim said...

umm beth, really youre jealous of michelle's swim challenge?! hahaha! gosh i hate swimming and yesterday was my first swim workout of the new season and i skipped it. whoops!!!

Angela and David said...

As much as this sounds miserable to me, it also sounds pretty cool to try and accomplish. And I'd be gnawing my arm off. All that swimming would require me to walk around with a feed bag.

Lectie said...

Michelle (and Nalani)..super excited to here how all of this goes. I have no doubt in my mind that you'll be able to complete it and I think you just might be faster on 1 or 2 of the 5x1000 the second time around. Knowing yuou guys, you'l push yourselves hard enough to at least make one of them faster no matter what!

Next challenge....10,000 straight...try that sometime, it's not fun at all! :-)

Matt said...

sounds like tons of fun, like Beth I am jealous. I am thinking of doing similar over winter break :)

Enjoy it!

Michelle said...

Stock your cabinets and fridge. I predict mass hunger and crankiness if food is not available at all times!! Good luck!! And glad I'm only showering this week - HA!

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

I don't like swimming, but love a good challenge. So excited for you two! Good luck!

martamulhall said...

This is super exciting and you are even inspiring me to do a big swimming block myself. I have one question. Are you only going to be swimming during this block or will there be some running/riding squeezed in there. Good luck oxo