Day 50 of the Great Big 10k Marathon Swimming Adventure: Building speed, experimenting with plant-based protein powder (and driving through blizzards)

Argh. I have been looking everywhere for the Garmin USB stick. Without it, I cannot transfer the data of my swims onto the computer. Anyway, till it shows up, let me just give you a breakdown of today and yesterday:

  • 2 February 2015: Swam 3.400m all up – 136 lanes in the 25m pool. The highlight was swimming the 1k in 15:49, which was a personal best I reckon. I averaged 1:35/100m. Mind you, I did put in the hard yards to get that, including a sprint for the last laps.
  • 3 February 2015 (today): Did 2.900m  – 116 lanes. And promptly broke the PB when doing a 1k swim by several seconds. I ended up going the distance in 15:41, averaging 1:34/100m. That one second on average for every four laps as compared to the day before netted me eight seconds.

Really pleased with how the speed is improving. I worked hard, but I can work harder on this distance, and improving on the 1k will help me with the 5k and ultimately the 10k, I am sure. That said, I am still very far from cracking the mini-goal of swimming the 1k in 15 minutes straight (or less). Need to do more speed drills – at least once a week. Other than that, I have been doing a fair bit of back stroke to alleviate the neck pain I had. That worked well (it is practically gone), and complemented with kick drills and a bit of paddles and pull buoy in the mix, this constitutes the bulk of the sessions at the moment.

All-natural protein for the liquid breakfast party

Organic hemp protein from Bioticana – tastes great, and hopefully will help with training.
Organic hemp protein from Bioticana – tastes great, and hopefully will help with training.

To improve my protein intake and add more variety to the breakfast smoothie, I have started to try out some plant-based organic protein isolates. You can get these here at Bioticana made from hemp (50% protein), peas (80% protein) and sweet lupine (41%). They come in clean, crisp brown packs, made from recycled paper, not those big flashy plastic tubs. Also, unlike the regular gym and fitness fare, there is nothing but the pure ingredient in the bag: No flavours, sweeteners, sugar, colouring. Just the “flour”. The isolate is in powder form, much like the regular whey-based stuff in terms of texture.

But what about the taste? Well, so far the hemp and lupine powders go well with apple, pear and/or banana smoothies with oats. The pea powder, though it has 80% protein, just tastes very, well, pea-y. It goes really well with a glass of tomato or vegetable juice, but not sure what else.

Anyway, will keep posting on this when I have experimented some more. So far, I am not convinced it is worth the effort.

Speaking of effort…

Just as I have truly settled into the new routine and adjusted to the habit, I am about to take two weeks off work. This means I need to train in the local pool, without lane ropes, heaps of chlorineand with bad air I fear. Since they also only open late in the morning, I will probably aim for an evening swim. Hope that works out. Given the recent crazy driving in blizzard conditions and very slippery and/or snow-covered roads at the moment, I am glad to have a bit of time off the commute at the moment, too.