The Fast & the Furious 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7… I’ve never seen any of the movies, but one thing is sure after this week’s swimming workouts – I’m not going to star in the next sequel!
I’m back in Lanzarote for yet another training camp. This time, I’ve got my dream team with me – Susanne and Martin. Challenge, support and inspiration are the key words and it’s been more than perfect so far. The sun is shining with not a cloud in sight, the open water is around 20 °C and gently lively thanks to the wind. On my programme I have technique sessions in the two brand new fish bowls at CLS and various open water swims without my wetsuit in the local lagoon and in one of the bays on the South coast.
After a couple of warm up swims in the open water the serious stuff has started with Susanne. It didn’t take long to come to the main and obvious conclusion: my winter training has definitely refined my technique and given me an edge when it comes to endurance, but there is very little acceleration left in me. Martin is swimming with me in the pool and anytime Susanne gets us to do some speed work, there’s no way I can get my fat bottom* to accelerate through the water. It only takes Martin 30 m to overtake me. Here he goes, whizzing along, and “Bye bye, so long!” for me! I’m way behind, out of breath with no explosive power left on short distances. My Hollywood dreams are smashed into bits. I will never be the next Vin Diesel! (But who would want to be Vin Diesel anyway?!?)
But, hey, it’s perfectly alright! That’s what we call training specificity. You are good at what you train – and conversely you must train what you want to be good at. You can’t have endurance and speed at the same time if you don’t train both in equal measures. So far my focus has been on refining my technique and building up my endurance, and it’s fantastic to see my efforts have paid off. I can keep on swimming for “hours” at a constant pace. Now all I need to do is to put some speed work again into my workouts, so I can pick up my heart rate and learn to keep going when it’s elevated.
As to my technique I have refined many details through this winter thanks to Paul and Susanne. My main focus right now is on my elbows. As always I do various drills and try different approaches, so I can find a way for me to crack the code once for all. It’s vital I keep my elbow high and my catch deep enough so I can keep going over long distances without putting too much strain on my left biceps. I don’t want my old injury to flare up again.
Last but not least I met my old friend the tuna fish again when I went for my morning swim in the local lagoon yesterday. The tuna kept on jumping over the water surface nearby. It kept me company for a while, hunting other fish… fast and furiously!
*Believe it or not, my bottom is getting heavier. I’ve put on 4 kg this last month and luckily for me I have my solo swims in cold water to blame it on!
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