Thursday, May 08, 2008

First Masters Swim Class

Last night Zach and I attended our first every Master's swim class in Pleasanton (Tri Valley Masters). It was awesome! The best part was the people were so friendly and welcoming. The coach, Kelley, was really nice and patient with all my questions. There were about 10 people there and I wasn't even the slowest person, I was second-slowest. :) There were at least a few triathletes in the group. Most people are regulars which is nice because we can get used to the same faces and will feel welcome.

It was so fun swimming in outdoor pool with the sun shining, and then setting in plain view. Beautiful!

I cannot believe that I swam for so long. The class started just after 6:30 pm and ended at 8:00. I wore my watch and had it running while I swam (stopped it during rests) and I swam for a total of 59 minutes! :O That's almost twice as long as I've EVER been swimming at one time and three times as long as I normally swim. It went by so fast though because the sets were all short and different so it was broken up into manageable bits.

I found the most challenging thing to be understanding and remembering the sets. It was crazy how she would say "Ok you're going to do 8 50's alternating, odds are free and evens are non-free with drills." Or "Next set is going to be 3 75's of kick, swim, kick, then two 150's descending, and finish with 300 strong but negative split." And that was without her even telling us rest times. Good lord I was confused. She basically had to repeat everything two or three times to me. "Um, so, alternating what?" "Oh ok, and what's a non-free drill?" "Oh ok, gotcha. How many are we doing?" Oh man. She was really patient and helpful though. I thanked her after and told her that I know I"ll start to understand better with some experience. Zach was in the next faster lane over and would just listen once and then pretty much follow what the others were doing- he picked it up really quick.

I never felt too tired or wore out, and I'm not even sore today. I think I was going pretty easy because I was so mentally overwhelmed with all the numbers. Once I get that down, I will have to spend less time concentrating and can put more effort into the actual swimming!

She did give me one good tip about my stroke- to keep my elbows high (which I've heard but never really made sense). I'm sure I"ll get more tips over time- plus it's probably better to hear one thing at a time and practice it.

Well here's the workout, as best remembered in the car right afterwards. I think I ended up with 2500 yards total. :O (the farthest I've ever gone in one session is 1750).

warm up on my own: 400 yards free

warm up set: 3 x 75 kick swim kick (kicking without board, that was weird)

8 x 50 drills, alternating free and non-free

main set: 4 x 75 descending (each 75 is faster than the last)

2 x 150 building (getting faster within each 150)

1 x 300 hard, negative split

pulling with paddles (my first time using them) and pull buoy

4 x 25

2 x 50

1 x 100

kicking (with board) (realized I have a very strong kick!)

6 x 25

cool down on my own: 150 (decided to stop when I got a foot/toe cramp and was almost done anyway)

wow. that is a crazy amount of information to see it written there. It really felt confusing during the workout but I know I will start getting used to the terms and numbers and what not. I know there's a whole system of shorthand for writing it down but I'm cant worry about that yet.

So, this was our "trial" session (free) but we're definitely going to sign up. We're probably going to go on Monday and Wednesday nights but there are lots of practices we could attend. Who knows, maybe I will add a day!

Another really cool thing about the team is there are several open water events they all do. Zach and I are considering doing a couple of them. It would be a great way to get some open water experience, which is one of my biggest hang-ups when it comes to racing in a triathlon. There is even one in July in the Russian River, which is exactly where my Half Ironman race is!

Well that was a really long post but dangit it was a really long workout! :D Actually I just wanted to give all the details in case anyone out there was considering joining a master's swim class. I obviously would recommend it! I was really nervous and intimidated but now I can't wait to go back. If I can do it, anyone can. :)


Marathon Maritza said...

Whoo-hoo glad it went well! I know you are going to pick up the 'lingo' in no time.

Awesome job! 59 minutes of swimming is amazing to me! <-nonswimmer

Gotta Run said...

Way to go JEN!! I took a tri clinic two years ago and we swam 2500 meters. I was blown away when the session was over and the coach told us. Continues to amaze me how we can do so much more when we are pushed.

I think signing up for Masters is a great idea.

Bob Gentile said...

I was considering joining a master's swim class but

umm not now--- LOL

Way to go Jen, ur going to get so strong from that swimming stuff and I think people even got a few inches taller also

hmmm now I may try it :-)

Nitmos said...

Nice job. I want to get into swimming so bad. If only days were 30 hours long, I'd have time.

KK said...

Great Job, Jen! I am so happy you liked it and picked it up so quickly. I agree, the community and camaraderie at those classes makes the monotony of swimming much easier to deal with.

Congrats to Zach on his race and to your mom for her retirement (forgot to mention that in the last one)-what an exciting couple of weeks!

Ewen said...

That's exciting. Kelley sounds like a good coach. That reminds me of one tip from my swimming days... try and glide a long way with the leading arm, then pull back fast. If I were there, I'd be slower than the second-slowest ;)

Have fun improving!

kelsalynn said...

Great job on the workout and for putting yourself out there too- that's always hard to go outside your comfort zone. I have to admit, I have no idea what any of the numbers mean in your post and I'm a numbers person!! =)

Debbie said...

Sounds like a fun class!! I was thinking about signing up for a stroke class in the ATL.

Meredith said...

Congrats on making the front page of! I just downloaded the latest Fdip episode and I look forward to hearing your Boston race report!

ShirleyPerly said...

That is so awesome you found a masters swim group! I so wish I could find one that did not require me to join the Y. I hear ya about all those swim set terms but before ya know it you'll be like, OK, got it, no problem!