Last year I swam the longest race I’ve ever swam, a 10km out-and-back swim in out out of a few connecting Michigan lakes. (You can read about that, and going to see the total eclipse right afterwards in an old post from last year). Last year I finished with a time of 2:49:21.
This year I had two major goals for the repeat swim. I wanted it to be less painful, and I wanted to finish in under 2:45:00.
To reach the first goal, this probably meant I needed to train more and stretch more leading up to race day. But then around February I started having some serious problems with my shoulders cramping up with greater frequency than ever before. I enrolled in physical therapy with Probility to work on the right stretching and strengthening routines to relieve the muscle imbalance I had developed after many years of distance swimming and probably a lot of poor posture at work. I still have a lot of work to do but they fixed me up well enough to complete the swim. I also switched to an adjustable sit/stand desk at work which has helped a lot with back and hip stiffness. This year’s swim was indeed a lot less painful than last year, even with my new shoulder stress. It was still a lot to put my body through, and I think I can do more to prepare next time around.
Towards the second goal, I increased my training this summer. Compared to last year, I started swimming mornings, where the water is cooler and practices tend to reach higher distances with more freestyle (same stroke I swim for the 10k). I swam about 4 days per week almost all summer. Even when I was out of town for work I found some masters groups to drop in on and put at least 3 days of swimming. Travel can make it hard to keep up with exercise and I was lucky to find some temporary solutions. Unfortunately, because of the travel (almost all of July) I barely got in any open water training (just once)! While not ideal, at least it means I have a way to push my goals even farther next year! And here’s the punchline, I finished my swim this year with a time of 2:38:31!
So here’s a picture of me, barely standing and very happy to be done:
I think with a combination of weight training (with new exercises I have from PT), cross training with a lot of training, and more lake swimming, I can push my finish time closer to 2:30:00. Hope to see you next year with an update!