triathlon and family can mix

Time Trial Pool Style

It is like a mini race.

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This was my first time trial with the club and it didn’t disappoint. Our coach surprised us with the news, probably thinking that half of us wouldn’t show up if he told us in advance.

There was 3 waves for each distance (3 lanes, 2 swimmers per lane) giving us a decent rest between the 100m and the 400m time trials. Here is how the workout was scheduled:

1000m warm up
400m swim, 200m kick, 400m drill
100m time trial
Rest (~5 minutes)
400m time trial
Cheer on the rest of the club

For the 100m, I was in the first wave with a fellow lane 3 swimmer. He has always been one of the guys I have tried to keep with over the past 3 months; key word, tried. Less than 0.1 of a second separated us. My time, tied for the fastest, was 1:13:60. Goal one; check.

We hung in the training pool while the others finished their 100m, laughing and chatting about everything swimming and triathlon. This is where I decided that I was going to register for Ironman 70.3 Calgary. Thanks peer pressure.

It was now time for our 400m. We all hopped into the same lane as before and readied ourselves for just under 6 minutes of pain. I pushed off and tried to pace myself. I commented earlier to the coach that what I lack in pacing ability I make up for in the ability to suffer. Well, after a 1:21:65 split on the first 100m, I was in it to suffer for the remainder of the distance.

I looked over to the other 2 lanes on my right as I came into the wall at 200m; we were all separated by 1 second, 2 at the most. This is where everything started to click for me. I started dropping my lane partner at 250m, and by 300m I was ahead of everyone. I glanced at the coach coming into the wall at 300m, and was encouraging me by telling me to kick harder. I was just happy to see that I had 100m to go.

I finished 6 seconds ahead of everyone, 5:41:15 (1:25/100m).

The only problem now is that we are expected to hit our 400m time trial pace for the remainder of the session. I guess there is no more slacking off.

Question: Have you done a time trial? How do you use the data in upcoming workouts?

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4 responses

  1. Hi Steven,

    I put timetrials into my training every 1 or two weeks to see what pace I can sustain, I am nowhere near your pace (I am averaging just under 7 mins for 400m) but if you capture the data per 100m or 50m and get feedback from your coach I feel it makes a massive difference in the way you approach your next timetrial or next training session even if its just little things.

    January 20, 2014 at 2:14 am

    • Agreed. The easiest way to improve is to know where you are at the moment, then plan for the following workouts.

      I find testing every 4 weeks almost to close together. I test at the end of my training cycle which is typically 8 weeks long.

      January 21, 2014 at 8:41 am

      • Cool I will bear that in mind as I probably need to plan ahead more with what I am going to focus on rather than just trying to improve everything on every length.

        I have got to 7mins for 400m without any coaching and I dont think I could get any quicker without getting some feedback on my stroke from a coach or swimming lessons so I think that is the next step for me.

        what is your next triathlon race?

        January 21, 2014 at 8:46 am

      • Swimming with a club has benefitted me greatly over the past year. Highly recommended.

        May long weekend is the start of race season here in Alberta. Pool swim of course but racing nonetheless.

        Cheers to your improved swimming.

        January 21, 2014 at 11:29 am

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