Day 6 – To Swim or Not

Swimming in the Out Season

When I trained with Endurance Nation I learned that it is best NOT to spend time swimming in the out season. Not the off season, the out season.  The thought behind that recommendation goes something like this (as best that I can remember):

  • The swim is the shortest sport in a triathlon.
  • Athletes swimming about 1:50/100y or faster already have a good base for swimming fitness.
  • You are more likely to reduce your race time by concentrating on and hour of bike or run training compared to an hour of swim training.
  • There are other things I can’t remember.

Thus the conclusion is to develop your speed in the out season by concentrating on run and bike fitness. You can think about swimming in the 16 weeks leading up to your A race. Do I agree with this? Sometimes.

Breaking the Rule

In years past I followed serious out season training plans full of hard, intense intervals (bike and run only) with at least two days of rest in the week. This year however, I’m looking for a different coaching method and until I find that method and plan, I’m just sort of drifting around. The celebrated author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig, used the term “lateral drift” to describe a similar situation. It had nothing to do with triathlon, but the term seems appropriate for me right now.

I swam today.

I don’t mind spending that extra hour on swimming instead of running, because I don’t have a plan and I need to keep doing something. That something came along in a Facebook post several days ago from the local triathlon club. I haven’t done much with The Cape Fear Triathlon Club, because their training sessions are usually held at times when my schedule won’t allow participation, but their Facebook post announced three months of weekly coached swim sessions at the local university. Today was the first day.

I hope that whatever plan I settle on I can incorporate the weekly swim sessions, because coached swimming with a great group of people is too much fun to pass up. Even the other LG joined me for this clinic and she loved it.