Thursday, May 22, 2008

Shorter Good-Paced Swim: 4,600 meters

The water lilies greet the new day at the Golden Lion Lake

I looked at Gordo Byrn's website yesterday, and when reading about his coaching services, I noted that he emphasized three requirements for improved performance at triathlon: mental attitude, recovery and consistency, with mental attitude being the most important. In my swimming training I have been trying to concentrate on these. I am trying to do what is within my capability so that I feel positive about it. Then I am trying to get good rest, making up for lost sleep at night (due to getting up early) with a nap after lunch, and I am trying to be consistent. The swims are a little boring and repetitive, but I am getting on with them while at the pool and getting the distances covered.

This morning due to finally waking up a few minutes later than normal, it was 6:15 am when I started swimming. Although I started by sharing a lane with three other swimmers, I was at about 1,550m after the first 30 minutes (having one or two hair-raising experiences overtaking with swimmers moving in both directions). As it was kind of the middle day of the week, I did not want to just spend all my time swimming, so at 4,250m I went to the jacuzzi for a few minutes, and just wanted to feel relaxed. I then finished off with a few warm-ups and a 100m race against my friend, which I did in about 1m 33s, finishing about one length behind him.

I just had a great feeling all day. The swimming makes me feel great, even though I feel that I am not as dedicated time-wise to my work as before (the extra time needed to recuperate and the added distractions of blogging, etc. have left me with less time to work, but overall I think it is a good trade-off if it does not get out of hand). Maybe swimming practices should be like torture - I don't know - but I sense that I have a lot more freedom to swim here in Kaohsiung than I did in Kona. While pool conditions can be cramped and trying here at times, as compared with the huge ocean in Kona and reasonably empty pool there in the mornings, here at least I can take my time getting started on my work. In Kona, I sometimes got feedback from people where I volunteered about how I was still swimming out (towards the King's or Ironman buoy) when I should have been on my way to the office. Well, we have to be at peace with ourselves.

The upstairs of the green building is actually an air-conditioned reading room provided by the government as a free study area for students or anyone needing a quiet place to work. Since I pass it every time I go to and from the pool, it is another convenient place I can make use of to get my work done. It has fairly generous opening hours.
In addition, in Kaohsiung I am currently not trying to include a biking and running workout into my daily schedule. This is just a matter of economics. I need to work and avoid stressing myself out - I have already had too much of that in the past. There is a trade-off for everything. The rest will come later.
This afternoon it rained really hard for at least a couple of hours. It was my first opportunity in over three months of living in our new home to see how well the roofing and gutters, etc. were functioning. This evening I heard a frog croaking for the first time as I sat at my computer. There is a small fishpond in a garden opposite our house next to a big apartment block. I think the frog would have enjoyed the rain and we all badly needed it. I don't know if it will rain early tomorrow morning - probably not - but if it does I can just bike in my swimming gear so it won't matter too much.
I tried weighing myself today, and while it may be hard to get a really accurate measure (as the scale has a few problems), I think I was about 2 kg more than I expected. Any weight gain (given the training I do) is good for me. I am around 85 kg now. So the training and eating is helping me look a little more like a triathlete, too.

1 comment:

BreeWee said...

SHORTER swim, that is massive! You are such a swim fish these days!
Bruce, I totally appreciate your friendship and support, the comments you have been leaving mean a lot!
Thank you buddy! Hugs to your family!