Well, we braved what was left of the "cyclone" then hey?! More drizzle than bang I say! I was worried about my roof though it has to be said! ;-)
I thought I'd share with you our 12km pool swim at Challenge Stadium yesterday for those of you interested...maybe one to file away for when you do your own Rottnest solo swim next year or down the line...
But first, Emma, Marie-Therese, Georgie and Chris will be swimming across to Rottnest as a Team on the 26th February, or at least they will be if we can secure them a boat as theirs has pulled out right at the last minute! If anyone at all has any contacts and can help out these fellow squad members, please contact Emma on firstname.lastname@example.org - Emma's team will be raising money for Beyond Blue after her close friend lost her battle with depression. They have a fund raising page up at http://www.everydayhero.com.au/proudys_beyond_blue_ and are also organising a $20 movie ticket entry (inc. snack voucher) to see the awesome film "The King's Speech" with Colin Firth at the Windsor Cinema on Stirling Highway this Thursday if you fancy it.
OK, so here's the set - not a bad way to spend 3.5hrs in a pool!
- Aim to bring down your race nutrition as you would have done for the Rehearsal Swim. This will stay on the pool deck and what we'll do is aim to feed / drink only once every 1-1.2k during the set (you wouldn't do more than this in the actual race). When you do feed / drink we'll have a blanket rule that you must NOT hold onto the walls or ropes (even when accessing your bits and pieces) and that you should tread water as per the race and also get down what needs to be consumed quickly. Might be an idea to bring a small esky or cool bag for this so we're not cluttering up the pool deck too much!
- Wear what you plan to wear for the Rotto swim - see how you get on with chaffing etc on a longer set in the pool. Try the Bepanthan creme as suggested yesterday for thsoe with Blue Seventy suits.
- Aim to draft as minimally as possible (if at all). It might be that the pool turns out to be quite busy and if this makes drafting unavoidable to some extent, let's mix the leaders around a bit tomorrow...
- Get your race "head" on and prepare for tomorrow's session like you would have done for the race, i.e. good breakfast, organised etc.
- No pull bouys / fins etc unless expressly used as part of the program...none!
- Short 10 mins stretch and loosen-up on pool deck as soon as they let us in and once we are suited and booted. Similar to a Wednesday morning. Don't use this as an excuse to show up late please! Please bring an old, fairly loose-fitting t-shirt with you as well.
- "The Steady Start" - very easy to go off too quick on the Big Day. This can wreck your race (trust me!). 1000m at "Rotto Pace" - suggestion being 1'26" to 1'28" for the fast crew, 1'32" to 1'36" for Lane 2 and 1'40" to 1'48" for lane 3. In the final 200m, let's do some head-up sighting every 6-8 strokes or so as though you were looking for your paddler. Drink Stop # 1 - 250ml gatorade or similar. Total = 1,000m.
- "The Focus on Form" - normally we don't do any fins / pull bouy work on a Saturday long session, but today, we'll do this short set where we have a bit of focus on some specific drills to make sure our strokes hold together well for the session. 5 x 200m + 15s rest: 1-3 = fins (up drill, down f/s as 1) 6/1/6, 2) Broken Arrow, 3) Shoulder Tap); 4 & 5 = pull bouy and paddles (preferably the pointy Finis ones to focus on good hand entry and alignment with no cross over!). Fuel Stop # 1 - small gel and a swig of water to wash it down. Total = 2,000m.
- "Find Your Rhythm" - after that first 2.0km let's get down to a good bit of rhythm in the stroke...we'll now do a continuous 3.0km swim at the same pace as the warm-up but stopping momentarily at the 1500m mark for Drink Stop # 2 - 250ml gatorade or similar. Total = 5,000m.
- "The Gage Roads Push" - after halfway into the Channel Swim you'll hit Gage Roads which is notoriously a bit choppier, colder and deeper than the rest of the swim. Often this is when your team will ask you to knuckle down a bit and push through. To this end we'll do: 5 x 400m at Rotto Pace less 2" per 100m (i.e. 1'24" / 1'32" / 1'44") with one beep recovery between each set (i.e. 21", 23" or 26"). In number 3 & 5 we'll aim to swim eyes-closed, only opening them to sight forward as though in the race - try to keep straight!! Fuel Stop # 2 - small gel and a swig of water to wash it down (no feeding / drinking during the 5 x 400m please!). We'll then do 4 x 50m bands only with 15s rest between each one, really focus on lifting your stroke rate as though swimming in quite rough waters. Finally, another 5 x 400m (this is the toughie of the whole session) at Rotto Pace less 4-6" per 100m (i.e. 1'20" / 1'28" / 1'40") - it'd be worth swapping the lead around here a little bit. 1 beep recovery unless you're really struggling and drop down to 2 beeps if necessary. Toughen Up Princess! Drink Stop # 3 - 250ml gatorade or similar. Total = 9,200m.
- "I Can See Land!" - lift your head at about 14km into the real swim and you'll feel like you're nearly there! A wave of euphoria often hits at this point but soon passes when you realise that there's still a good 1.5-2hrs of swimming left to go! Let's go with the euphoria here and take a steady 800m swim with the pull buoy at Rotto Pace from the warm-up. Ahh, bliss! Total = 10,000m.
- "Concrete Arms" - I thought we were nearly there! Oh no, not quite! Pop your t-shirt on now...forget any semblance or focus on speed and let's knock out a 1000m swim with your t-shirt flapping around creating drag. Be careful here if you've had some shoulder issues and maybe do pull buoy & bands instead. Think rhythm the whole time - one stroke at a time: to coin a phrase from Finding Nemo - "Just Keep Swimming! Just Keep Swimming!" Fuel Stop # 3 - small gel and a swig of water to wash it down. Total = 11,000m.
- "The Focus on Form Part 2" - for those of you who haven't swum to Rotto before, you often find yourself subtly adjusting your stroke to accommodate your tiring shoulders etc. Let's do this penultimate set as a copy of set # 2 but just as 5 x 100 instead and make sure we still have that focus on technique. Drink Stop # 4 - 250ml gatorade or similar. Total = 11,500m.
- "The Finishing Chute" - OK, we are literally there now...500m down the finishing chute to the finish. Swim this however you feel after such a long set, but with one goal - visualise yourself actually swimming down the chute on the 26th February. Nice job!
This all breaks down into short hand for your printing ease as:
- 1000m warm-up at Rotto Pace, e.g. 1'26" - 1'28" for the fast crew, 1'32" to 1'36" for Lane 2 and 1'40" to 1'48" for lane 3. Last 200m some head-up sighting. Drink Stop # 1 - 250ml gatorade or similar. Total = 1,000m.
- 5 x 200m + 15s rest: 1-3 = fins (up drill, down f/s as 1) 6/1/6, 2) Broken Arrow, 3) Shoulder Tap); 4 & 5 = pull bouy and paddles. Fuel Stop # 1 - small gel and a swig of water to wash it down. Total = 2,000m.
- 3.0km swim at the same pace as the warm-up but stopping momentarily at the 1500m mark for Drink Stop # 2 - 250ml gatorade or similar. Total = 5,000m.
- 5 x 400m with 1 beep recovery at Rotto Pace -2" per 100m with # 3 & 5 eyes closed & head-up sighting. 4 x 50m bands only increased stroke rate + 15s rest. 5 x 400m at Rotto Pace -4-6s per 100m with 1 or 2 beeps recovery. Fuel Stop # 2 (after 5 x 400m) - small gel and a swig of water to wash it down & Drink Stop # 3 (after the last 400m of the second set) - 250ml gatorade or similar. Total = 9,200m.
- 800m steady swim at Rotto Pace with pull buoy. Total = 10,000m.
- 1000m wet t-shirt competition (!). Struggle through. Fuel Stop # 3 - small gel and a swig of water to wash it down. Total = 11,000m.
- 5 x 100m as a repeat of Set # 2. Drink Stop # 4 - 250ml gatorade or similar. Total = 11,500m.
- 500m whatever you have left focusing on swimming down the finish chute at Thomson's Bay. Total = 12,000m.