Monday, January 29, 2007

Swimming and Math

Okay, it's a fairly well known fact that swimming is my limiter. It's also rumored that math, which is one of my strengths, mixes poorly with swimming. I've been known to forget to breathe when I'm trying to figure out laps, lengths, sets, and other such nonsense. What usually happens is the math interferes with counting arm revolutions, and I never get to four (and breathe). I'm fairly certain I've done entire lengths of the pool without a single breath as I attempt to figure out how many lengths I have likely completed, and whether I'm on the second lap of my second 400 or the first lap of the fourth.

Lifeguards generally start following me around with poles about that point. They know what's coming. Somewhere around the second length, math starts getting difficult as oxygen deprivation sets in.

So, this morning, my scheduled swim reads like something needed to put man on the moon. WU 400, 6x50 with each 50 faster, 4x 400 on 20/15/10/5 rest, 200 ez swim, 6x75 with last 25 sprint on odd, last 50 sprint on even, 200 CD. Things were going along, well, swimmingly until my printout vanished during one of the 400 intervals.

Of course, there was a lot of math going on, mostly about which lap of which interval I was on. It's quite possible the previously mentioned lack of oxygen became a factor and I ate the printout somewhere along the line. Or perhaps someone forgot their workout and was masochistic enough to try mine.

So, I started to go off memory. Only, lack of oxygen does odd things to the memory. Now, I'm trying to do math, count laps, AND remember exactly how much of what I'm supposed to be doing. I muddled through the workout, and left VERY concerned. This was a 3000 yard workout, and I have a 3200 yard session scheduled tomorrow.

The outlook for my actually making it to work on time after a 3200 yard swim was bleak until I got the lap information off my watch. First, I added an extra 50 yards at the end of the swim (don't ask, because I don't know). In addition, the 6x75 became 8x75, likely because I did all that math and knew that 6x75 is 450, and I was definitely swimming 3000. I didn't have any other odd 50's in there, so knew 450 was bad. So, my 3000 yard swim came out to a nice round 3275 yards. The silver lining is that tomorrow's 3200 yard swim will be easier than today's.

Note to self: Write down which lap corresponds to which set in the workout. Reading is much easier than math.


Spokane Al said...

I understand and know the feeling of trying to remember laps and times and breathing, and then throw watching my form and technique into the mix and data begins to get dropped.

Iron Pol said...

We're supposed to pay attention to form and technique?


tarheeltri said...

I had such a hard time counting laps and remembering to start and stop my watch, I finally gave up and went by time. For training purposes, I figured 2:00 per 100 when doing freestyle and then swam for the appropriate amount of time per the distance (20 min for 1,000 yds). Freeing yourself from lap counting really enables you to increase focus on your form.

Lisa said...

I always do math while running. I don't understand it either. Swimming, I definitely don't even really have to think, but I'm a water baby. You're a runner. :)

Hope tomorrow's swim goes better. :)

SkiRough said...

Hey Pol, at least the math keeps you thinking. I normally completely zone out in the pool and then forget what set I am on anyways!

Cliff said...


I do think we have a lot in common. I can't swim and count either.

This morning while on the bike, i was suppose to do intervals at 4 min. In the first few sets i did 5 min instead.

At the pool, I almost forget a lap or two :0. Oh well..

George Schweitzer said...

amen on the mystery lengths...happens to me all the time too. keep up the swimming...your body knows how much you swam even when your mind is all confused.

IM Able said...

I just checked out your training log for this week and you are CLEARLY taking your limiter to task! (And, no, I don't mean your little boy!)

Congratulations on a huge swimming week -- I'm sure that you'll be noticably stronger for the effort!