Daily Log 23 March 2011 – Swim


Breath. Breath. Breath…

Swimming has taken top priority for me. It is now the weakest out of the 3 disciplines of swimming, cycling and running. And the fact that it’s the first discipline in triathlons makes it all the more stressful for me.

Still, I am always one who is ready for a challenge. I will focus a lot on swimming technique over the next few weeks. I wrote about my swimming issues earlier so today I wanted to focus on making sure I lead with the elbow instead of my palms. I think it’s better now but I need feedback from my swimming coach before I can be sure. My next lesson is on saturday so I’m going to focus on swimming everyday till then.

The Power of the mind

I am a great believer in using the power of the brain. When I started in my journey to get fit for a triathlon, one of the first things I did was to run/walk 5km and cycle 20km. It didn’t matter to me how long it took as the intention was to educate my mind so that it knows what 5km running and 20km cycling was all about. Call it a baseline if you like. The first time I ever did a 5km was way back in December. It took me a painful 68 mins and 29 secs at 77% MHR. The first time I did 20km on the bike was in February. That first ride took me 77 mins 40 secs at 69% MHR (that was a small wheel Dahon folding bike). Looking back, that was really slow. I can just about manage a 5km run time of 45 mins these days and I’m sure my 20km cycling would also be faster.

So today was the day I establish my baseline for swimming. The sprint triathlon I’m planning to take part in has a swim distance of 750m in open water. I managed to swim the 15 laps I needed to make 750m. Although it was in the ideal condition of the pool and not the less ideal condition of the open water ocean swim, it was important for me that my mind understands the distance. Now that it does (hopefully) I can work on improving the time.

It took me 50 mins to swim the 750m though I took long breaks between every laps. I don’t think at the moment I can swim the 15m without rest. That’s something to look forward to.

The Polar RS 800. There is a way to use it to
monitor your heart rate during swimming

One great thing today was that I was able to use my Polar RS 800 to record my heart rate during the swim. I used to swim with the FT 60 which is waterproof and is able to record heart rates even when my whole body (and watch) is submerged. The RS 800 however uses different technology for the watch to communicate with the heart rate sensor strapped to my chest and this technology does not allow communication underwater. I managed to solve the problem and I’ll write about it tomorrow.

Back to my swimming. I recorded an average heart rate of 68% MH which is not bad. I want to be able to swim the whole 750m within a reasonable time and maintaining a heart rate of about 70% so that I can have the endurance to cycle 20km and run 5km within a reasonable time after that.

Tomorrow I’m going to bike for an hour in the morning and swim more at night. Right now, it’s time to sleep…


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