Chalkwell Redcaps

Chalkwell Redcaps

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Starting distance pool training or how to count to 5 - By Ben Jaques

This is from when I started distance pool training back in November.
Long distance open water swims are easy to do (well getting the distance right is), pick a starting point and measure the required distance and, bang, you've got your end point. Brain only has to remember where to get in and where to get out and can spend the rest of its time wandering off doing its own thing (imagining all the creatures that live in the waters below is a good one to keep your pace up).
But sometimes you cannot get to the sea (or the sea is a little too chilly) for a long swim and you have to make do with a swimming pool.
My local pool isn't kilometres long so the start and end point plan falls down. But I do know how long it is leading me to plan B; take the total swim distance and divide by the length of the pool then swim that many lengths. What could be easier?
A small hurdle is that at my local pool the first hour of the morning swim is in the diving pit (20m) whilst club swimmers are in the main 25m pool. No problem there, 5 x 20 = 100 and 4 x 25 = 100 so all I have to do is count the 100m’s and I will know how far I have gone. Now I know I am not very good at counting whilst swimming so being able to keep track of the number of 100m’s would never work without my helpful little lap counter thing (fits on your finger).
So off I set, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, press, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, press and repeat. All going well until 1, 2, 3, oo this diving pool is quite warm, 2, 3, 4, 5, press, hang on a minute this 100 is supposed to end down the other end, never mind, 5, press, bugger was not meant to press again. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, hooray remembered not to press, 1, pool swimming is OK, your mind can turn off, just enjoying the repetition, erm so what length is this I’ll go with 2 as I seem to be going in that direction and would not want to swim less than I counted. So I continued doing this for the diving pool hour counting what may or may not be the 100m’s I swam.
Once in the 25m main pool I adapted my counting a bit, seeing that I cannot count to 5 I had little hope that 4 would prove any easier. So I imagine Digi Duck sitting on the far pool edge, I swim down turn and Digi jumps onto my back. I swim back down to the starting end turn and back up where Digi jump off onto the edge again before I turn and swim the length to complete a 100m. Therefore I only press the lap counter if Digi is not riding on my back. Strangely enough this actually worked and the 25m pool counting was pretty accurate.
Why is counting so hard?

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