Friday, December 14, 2012

Active Recovery

Christine is introducing some new things into our swimming routine. Nothing too crazy - she's not tying us up or making us wear clothes. She's just not letting us stop swimming very much.

When I first started swimming with her, she would have us doing sprints or distance swims (25m, 50m, 100m, 200m etc) and, after each one, we would get a bit of a rest. Not much but usually 20-30 seconds to catch our breath and grab a quick drink.

Now, she wants us to get used to sprinting with less time in between. Like I'm talking 5 seconds.

AND, she's having us do active recovery which means that, after a hard sprint, we swim an easy 25 or 50m to recover rather than stand panting at the side of the pool to recover.

To illustrate: here's what we did on Wednesday morning.

Warm-up (swim, kick, pull yada yada yada for 800m)

Then we did:
25m active recovery
25m active recovery
repeat four times with less than ten seconds between each one

Then we did:
50m active recovery
repeat 5 times
these 250m swims were on 4.5 minutes which means that, for someone like me who takes about 3:45 to swim 200m and then another 45 seconds to swim 50m, there was very very little rest in between.

The idea is to get us used to pushing ourselves for longer and longer periods of time. Since she probably would have a mutiny on her hands if she told us to swim 1000m fast, she breaks it up into 200m chunks with 50m active recovery chunks tucked in between each one.

This swimming thing, as with most sports, is half physical and half psychological.

Kinda like how she told us to swim 300m during which we had to scull for 25m and then sprint for 25m (repeat six times for 300m). She said swim 300m scull/sprint and do that twice.

As I pushed off the wall I thought "why not just tell us to swim 600m scull/sprint?". Probably just it just sounds way too far..

...and probably because we lose track so quickly of how many lengths we've done that it's easier for us to count up to 300m twice.

(it's true - we ARE pretty dopey at 5:30am)

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