Day 120 of the Great Big Marathon 10k Swimming Adventure: Training log and some crazy stuff

First up, a summary of the session this morning:

Swam 4.725 (more like 4.9 – see below) kilometer all up. (That equals 190+ laps and 1318kCal)

  • Warm up of 200m casual free in 5:29 (plus about 150 or so, since the watch did not start at first attempt)
  • 100m butterfly in 1:50 (that hurt but got the heart pumping)
  • 100m butterfly/free in 1:41
  • 1k free as fast as I could keep up in 14:54 (=one second over my PB over that distance)
  • A “back/front pyramid” of sorts:
    • 200m backstroke with paddles and pullbuoy
    • 200m backstroke with pullboy
    • 200m backstroke
    • 100m back kick
    • 100m front kick
    • 200m free
    • 200m free with pull buoy
    • 200m free with pull buoy and paddles
  • Several short sets of free style drills (“chicken wings” and the like)
  • 1650m free at cruise pace in 26:53 (that’s 1:38/100m average) and overtaking/dodging a breast stroker and a cowboy intermittently

So what about the crazy stuff?

Sounds batty, but anecdotally this is true: Whenever I have the pool to myself at 6am, as I did this morning, experience has shown that by 7:30am, it is pretty chockers. It’s almost like there is a bunch of lurkers who will suddenly rock up whenever there is less than three people in the water. Call it the

“Law of Pool Occupancy” (LAWPO): Where any brief amount of time during which a pool is empty except for yourself will be followed by instances of sudden crowding and extended poor behaviour by less-than-competent bathers.

Probably the next thing people will start doing in the lap lane (CC Image via Florida Archives)
Probably the next thing people will start doing in the lap lane (CC Image via Florida Archives)

You see, there is always at least one instance of pool etiquette ignorance involved. Usually a “person”, to put it neutrally, that will try to swim in the one roped-off lane, but really shouldn’t. Today, it was an elderly breast stroker who suddenly decided to join another regular lap swimmer and myself. We just switched over to swimming clock-wise and cruising past. Then, of course, just as the breast stroker moved over into the normal swimming area (which had enough room in the first place, d’uh), a familiar pair of bathers suddenly appeared that belong to a middle-aged dude whose knowledge of pool manners is inversely proportionate to how well he thinks he can swim. At which point it decided, given it was 7.30 am and I had clocked almost 5k, this was a good point to leave the water for today.

Really, there is not much crazy stuff that happens between 6am and 8am in this little gym pool I frequent. But it is enough to warrant me writing a German language guide to going swimming and pool etiquette. It is in the works and I will add to it and then publish it as I get some time to do so.

In the meantime, I hope there will be one or two regulars with me in the water at 6am tomorrow, or I better brace myself for more silliness thanks to LAWPO.

Day 51 of the Great Big 10k Marathon Swimming Adventure: A quick dip at Wave Mountain

Went to the nearest proper pool today at opening time. Since I could not do my normal routine (and won’t be for two weeks), I also wanted to see if this would be a good solution for the next fortnight.

It is not. Despite the very nice stainless steel 25m pool, friendly staff, clean environment and spectacular views of the Alps around. (In summer an amazing 50m outdoor pool, amongst other treats, turns this place into my favourite exercise spot short of swimming in the ocean).

You see, the Wellenberg (“Wave Mountain”) like most public pools here, has no lane ropes, no pool etiquette, but usually a good number of people either standing around in the lanes, or carefully breaststroking to keep their hair dry, or just jumping in from the side nilly-willy. Turns out that at opening time, the average age at the pool is about 65, and the average swimmer struggles to do a straight 25m doing breast stroke. Jumping? Not so much. Usually, people are friendly, but their attitude and understanding of how you behave in a pool has more to do with bathing than swimming, let alone doing laps.
Next I will test the waters after 7pm to see if that is any better.

Anyway, I got 1800m in, just a quick dip in other words, and did so pretty much squished to one side. Then it just got too full.

Warmup: 6×25=300m
Main set: 40×25=1000m in 16:02
Drills: 6x 25 kick/25 pullbuoy=300m
Cool down: mixed medley 200m

Tomorrow, I will get up early and stop on my way to a business meeting to swim in a place I have not been to yet. Will let you know how that goes. If possible, I will do 2x2k or 1x4k.

Berlin, junge Frauen im Strandbad Wannsee
CC image via Wikimedia