Just the 60 x 100m today!

Swim Smooth Suffolk, in conjunction with Felixstowe Leisure Centre, are hosting an opportunity for local swimmers to tackle the classic 100 x 100m pool swim on Sat 30 December 7-11.30am. Already nearly all of the 36 slots are booked, mostly with individuals, and some pairs. This is a marathon swim and needs to be treated with respect and trained for appropriately i.e. endurance work, not just threshold and speed training. So following regular 4-5k efforts over the last 3 months, today I ventured into rarely-visited territory, with 60 x 100 on a turnaround time of 1:54 - using tempo trainer set at 56 and then 57 sec per 50m, so getting <10sec rest at the end of each 100m.

What did I learn?

  • over prolonged time and effort it can be quite difficult just to keep count of the 4 lengths on each 100m! The beeper helps as it gives you a reference at about 50m, but once, around the 4k mark, I miscounted and stopped after 50m and had to do a 150m to make it up. 
  • keeping accurate count of the number of 100's is not possible, unless you have a counter (person or device) - today I used an old-fashioned clicker (used to count people in queues or lines of knitting I believe!). It worked well and tallied fully with my Suunto.
  • Cramp starts to be an issue after about 4k. Some pre-emptive stretching seems to help.
  • Unlike last time I went long distance (during a 20k pool swim, supposed to be a full Channel distance of 42k), my left shoulder didn't hurt. Good news, but not conclusive.
  • One pee-stop at 3k was good - reckon I can do the 10k with 2 x approx 3min stops
  • For 10k I'd say a swim and rest time of - in Swim Smooth speak - Red Mist cycle 10, seems about right.
  • Swims of over 5k (or even over 3k) are as much a mental as physical challenge - getting into a steady pace and rhythm and keeping focussed to progress / stroke etc helps pass the time positively.
  • Doing 6k is just the foothills of the 100 x 100 really - it's going to be a proper challenge with a great sense of achievement at the end! 
Seamus Bennett