Today I doubled my distance in the pool and made unplanned 3000 m (3K) - 132 short lengths of 25 yards in over 1,5 hours. It is relatively slow, but very enjoyable. For the comparison, Olympic 2012 men made the half of it in around 15 minutes in freestyle, so I am about 3 times slower than those guys. One pro-club-swimmer girl from Oregon in my age, 39, made 3000m in under 50 minutes in a lake, and I needed additional 40 minutes! For some reason these long distance times for females were difficult to find on the net.
Breaststroke, my predominant style of choice, is the slowest of the main four anyway, I can use it well because my legs are much stronger then my arms: "70-80% of the propulsion in breaststroke comes from the legs", or less, according to other sources.
The main goals for me are just:
- coordinating my movements beautifully,
- overcoming water resistance smartly (still needs improvement, probably always will),
- maintaining stable speed, and symmetry (moving straight),
- breathing through the nose only (it is my credo to reserve inhaling and exhaling through the mouth for emergencies only),
- never going out of breath,
- enjoying gliding and stretching the body in a line,
- not stopping,
- having plenty of power after finish (enough to repeat the distance).
The last one comes from the days in my 20-s when I used to swim deep into the sea without thinking about time and distance, and turned back to enjoy amazing views only after I felt I am able to swim back and some more, usually after an hour.
Yesterday I was not sure, what professional swimmers count as a lap, and it appears to me after a small research, that there is no consent on it, for the simplicity I call one length of a pool a lap. I was making 66 such laps daily, after 60 this September, following a suggestion of a pro-swimmer, but was doubting for a bit, whether he meant 132 laps, so I decided to make 2 miles next month or so. But today somewhere on the 30st lap I felt like going for 100 (1.5 miles), but after I finished those, I felt very energized, and went for 2 miles or 3 km, as I usually do in the ocean. I finished 132 laps in 1:31 and feel very happy, not tired at all.
My speed was rather constant on all parts of the swim, but some laps were unusual, ranging 37-43 seconds, most often they were 39-40. My turns are horrible for a normal swimmer, I don't use the walls to my advantage, but I started to stabilize myself with one leg on the wall on turns to push the lap button on my watch and to see clearly the time or the lap count. I have a good goggles with no-fog glass, but after several laps it is difficult to see the small numbers: the glass gets spotty.
Also, I don't put my head under the water deep enough to be faster (the stroke becomes very inefficient without submerging the head), because in waves it ensures me a smooth grasping of air every time, and I don't want to change my style just for the pool now, and I go easy on my hands, and fingers particularly, to use them for something else that requires precise movements - drawing, for example. I am also careful with my knee joints, because after overtraining for a half-marathon run I felt my knees since then, for a few years.
Before exercise I don't eat, and drink only small amount of filtered water infusion, but I wonder whether eating some fruit or drinking a juice - just getting some energy - would make my experience better. Living on fruit and seeds has many attractive sides, and one of them is the easiness to conserve energy for endurance. I don't know how it happens, but I don't feel as hungry now as after cold ocean water swim, and can eat my normal ration of fruit (I have been having oranges, apples, peaches and pears mostly these weeks) or nuts (walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds and pistachios) in the afternoon or evening, all about 1500 food calories (Kcal).
According to this calculator for various swim strokes by distance and time, I burned today over 400 calories in 91 minutes, and if you swim this style faster, you can burn etwa 771 Kcal.
Thank you for reading, have fun with movement!