I've been working with my current coach for ~8 months now and by now he's got me pretty much figured out. Things are clicking... He's helped me capitalize on my strengths... and he's also revealed my weaknesses.
Then I get drilled on my weaknesses.
Pretty much every swim he writes for me these days involves fast 50's. Lots of them. I hate 50's. I write that in my post workout notes every week and every week I get more fast 50's.
I subject my training partners to my fast 50's a lot. They kick my ass at those every time which only adds to my disdain for fast 50's. A few weeks ago when we had the 60x50's set again I promised them before we got in that no matter how it went I would report back to my coach that it was awesome and that I nailed it and I loved it... That way maybe he'd stop giving it to me every week? But you know what? I couldn't lie. The fact was I hated that set and it didn't matter if I did it every single week- every single week I hated it and I hated swimming and I couldn't see how it was doing me any good to do this damn set of 60x50's where I was actually swimming SLOWER than I would for a similar set of 30x100's. See, 30x100's I have no problem with at all. Love that set. 3x1000's? LOVE IT. Seriously. Shoot, I'd do 5x1000's and not flinch. But 60x50's? SHOOTMENOW.
Anyway, my heart sank when I saw that set show up on my schedule again for today. It's probably the 6th (or 60th? I can't remember) time I've done this set and it's never gone well and I know a lot of that is in my head but damn if coach isn't determined to make me get over myself and figure this one out. So I changed up a couple of things this morning to see if it would help. #1- I asked my training partners to do their own set today b/c I wanted to suffer through my 60x50's in my own private hell. Really I was thinking that maybe if I could just focus on myself instead of the fact that I was getting my ass kicked 60x in a row it would keep me in a more positive mental state? #2- I also added 5" to my send-off each time because I thought maybe if I actually got a little rest on these I'd be capable of swimming them each with higher quality vs just touch-n-go style which just made me swim slow and tired.
So the short of it is, the changes worked! Phew. I could finally honestly report in that I managed to get through this set without wanting to quit swimming. #winning! Because I got some rest between intervals I was able to swim each of them with higher quality, which I think is the point of this set... Managing to hold faster than t-pace for a full 3000M is a good thing and likely the goal of the set, you know? So if for now I need a little more rest to make that happen, fine. And doing it alone did indeed help me just focus on my own stroke and I never got pissy. OK, well I got a little bit pissy part way through but only a little bit then I managed to shut my brain off and stop thinking and just SWIM.
So I can't say I'm in love with this set or anything but at least for once I feel like it didn't beat me. I can see the benefits of it- both the mental and the physiological aspects of it- and when it shows up again maybe I'll be able to handle it even better? We'll see... In any case, I need to make peace with this set because it's not going to go away anytime soon.