5:45am, the alarm (or more accurately, my phone) buzzes quietly.  I do my best to get out of bed without stirring my wife.  After a couple of minutes getting ready, I make my way over to the pool.  My workout today is a 40 minute swim, with a focus on distance and endurance, rather than speed.

The temperature this morning: 58* F.  That is a little chilly for a morning swim, but I find it refreshing.  I slip on my goggles and head out for a nice pace 300 meter warm up.  Things feel great, I am moving through the water smoothly – slowly, but smoothly.  I intentionally backed down my pace by about 10 seconds per 100 meters as a way to focus on my distance – and it is working.  At the end of the 300m warm up, I am not out of breath, I feel great.

Next up – a 500 meter set at cruising pace.  I settle in nicely at a good pace and keep my breathing and heart rate under control.  I then think to myself – “Wow, this is working”.  I go past 300 meters, still feeling strong.  400 meters, more of the same, things feel great.  Finally as I am nearing the end of this set, I push it for the last 50 meters for a strong finish.  Wow, I just swam 500 meters and hardly feel out of breath.

After about 30 seconds of rest, I set out on another 500 meter set with the same game plan, with one adjustment.  This time I am going to work on recovery from too fast of a pace/too high of a heartbeat.  So, I set out for 100 meters at cruising pace, then I put the hammer down for 100 meters to get my heart rate up and my breathing at its max.  This really works, I am pushing it hard for these 100 meters.  Then, without stopping, I spend the next 100 meters working bringing my heart rate and breathing back down.   To my excitement, this works well, it takes me about 25-50 meters before I am swimming with a controlled heartbeat again.  I then repeat the sprint/recover to round out this 500 yard set.

I am now only 300 meters away from swimming a full 1600 meters (or one mile).  After only 15 seconds of rest, I set out to finish the workout with a nice steady pace (slightly faster than cruise, but slower than sprint) 300 meters.  I keep my breathing and heart rate under control and finish up strong.

I am very pleased with this workout today.  I had been struggling with the transition from a yard pool to a meter pool – but today, something unlocked.  I felt more in control and more confident.  It was great.

Next week’s swimming sessions will include me bringing my 14 y/o daughter with me, so she can get some workouts in as well.  I am looking forward to those.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 40 minutes in the pool

Actual: 44 minutes in the pool – 1600 meters (1 mile!)