I don’t get this swimming lark

Posted: October 4, 2011 in 2011, General

I forced myself out of the door last night. It was dark, but still warm, but it was dark and made me think of the impending winter (at the end of the week if I recall correctly!). My legs were tired after a committed weekend on the bike plus a long Sunday walk, my arms were tired after a hard session in the pool on Saturday afternoon and I just wanted to collapse in front of the telly to watch a recorded episode of Spooks. Still, I got to the car and headed off, confessing to Sam that I really did not want to swim, I might only swim for as long as he did and we’d probably head home early. So tired did i feel that I even took the pull buoy into the pool so I could pretend to do some drills while I was really skiving.

As the pool emptied of kids (West Suffolk Swimming Club) I sauntered over to my favourite lane and prepared to suffer. A nod from the lifeguard that we could start and I set off. I wanted to do 10 easy lengths, alternate sprints and recovery lengths (30 in total) and 10 to warm down. Well, it didn’t happen. Within 15 metres I noticed something strange, I felt good, a little while later I felt fantastic. Until now, my stroke has been a little feeble, with little ‘push’ developing from the catch to the end of the motion. Last night it all clicked. The second my hand entered the water I felt the resistance and was able to develop significantly more power as I found the energy to push throughout the whole stroke and not just push feebly, there was real power in there. It was fantastic, just like nailing that tricky bit of singletrack on your bike, or managing the drop off you have always bottled. I couldn’t get enough so I kept myself working hard for the full 50 lengths, not sprinting but not taking it easy either, operating at maybe 75% of maximum. When I finished, I was breathing hard and despite the water being a little on the cool side, I was boiling hot. A brief rest, a shower and back to the car. My lethargy had disappeared, I was on top of the world (yes the endorphin rush had started) and got home to swallow a cup of tea before bed.

This morning, the feeling of strength and fitness has not gone away (it wil probably disappear after a few miles tonight). Full of grrrr this morning… must do more of this swimming thing.

As for the title of this post… how come, when I was on the verge of collapse last night, a good swimming session has left me feeling so good? A hard bike session just makes me want to sleep. That is what I don’t get!


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