01.28.10 — Distance Swim and Coaching Session

Type: Steady Pace Swim
Distance: 3,000 yards
Time: 2,000 yard set in 32:00, 1,000 yards of drills does it really matter?

Workout: 2,000 Yard Set at Race Pace, 1,000 Yards of Drills

I didn’t know if Coach Danielle was coming to the pool last night or not, so I headed over with the intention of going 4,000 yards. I was going to break it up into two sets of 2,000 yards with a couple of minutes of recovery between the sets. I started off pretty strong and watched the clock carefully to make sure I was maintaining a 1:40/100 yards pace throughout the set. I felt really smooth, almost to the point that I felt like a razor blade cutting through the water. I felt like I was on fire.


At the end of the first set, someone tapped me on the head from the side of the pool and startled me beyond belief. I looked up and YEAH! it was COach Danielle. She is a swimming superstar and I was excited that she was able to make it to the pool. She cheated and stood on the side of the pool watching my stroke for about 250 yards. I mean, if I didn’t know she was there, how was I supposed to compensate and make my stroke look good? Here is how the conversation went:

Coach Danielle: “Looks like we have a lot of work to do.”
Me: “Does my stroke look that bad?”
CD: “Well, it is better than most triathletes I have seen.”

Great. She didn’t even put me in the same category as a swimmer. That is fan-freakin-tastic. We proceeded to start working on my glide. I thought my glide was great — I hold the glide position at the beginning of each stroke longer than anyone else I know. Coach Danielle had me doing tap drills where you cannot start your catch until you have “tapped” your stroke hand with the other hand. I thought I was going to drown. We then went through a series of drills that should make me more efficient in the water. I won’t detail the rest mainly because I am embarrassed by the results.

Now is the time I am going to need to trust my Coach. She is headed out on a cruise for the next week and I committed to completing a minimum distance of the drills each night. She will come back and evaluate my stroke to see how much improvement I have made. She told me she would yell at me if I was stuck in my old stroke still.

Oh the joys of a coach — breaking you down just to build you back up. Swim sets for the next week are going to be slower and oh so interesting.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...