After nearly 6 months, our local pool opened again last week.... and a welcome return to the chlorine ensued....hurrah!
Of course there were a few changes ... not least of all to the booking system which I have yet to master successfully (thankfully I know a man who can!) but 'Pool ready' I arrived for my first indoor pool swim post Lockdown.
Queuing outside in the sunshine provided a photo opportunity and a moment of quiet reflection as well as a chance to say hello to some familiar faces not seen in a long time... the early morning swimmers are back and keen to crack on!
Once we have negotiated the one way system and the pool side changing we're in the water but.... one of us seems to have forgotten to put her goggles on (Check out my post from 19 June to see why this is truly amusing!)....
Goggles on, with only 2 other swimmers in an extra wide lane it's time.... A big push and glide and a longer than usual underwater kick and I pop up about half way down the pool and set off at a cracking pace (significantly slower than it might have been 6m ago but faster than you might expect for a warm up!). With 4 lanes reduced to 2, the historic speed and directional indications are scuppered and inevitably I am sharing a lane with slower swimmers. Thankfully the extra width and some sighting practice allows for some easy overtaking, mindful to breathe away from the swimmer I am passing. Lane etiquette has changed, people are stopping at the lane ends and everyone seems to be aware of the different speed swimmers in the now 'medium fast' lane. I am super careful in picking my moment to pass or reverting to a slow FC to reach the lane end and avoid a collision.
My plan (more or less) is to just swim.... aiming for 100 lengths.... Of course the goggle issue and the chatting to some old familiar faces has cost me some precious minutes from the already reduced 45 mins session in the 'new normal'... so I only manage 92 but I'm happy with that, tomorrow is another day!
For my second swim of the week, I know that I have lost some speed over Lockdown and my open water swims have been focussed on rebuilding distance and ensuring technique so I tentatively swim a 'warm up', followed by a 400m timed set, a recovery set and a 200m timed set.... A new post Lockdown CSS (Critical Swim Speed) is on it's way.
Some people love lots of numbers and stats .... I'm not a big fan but I always keep an eye on 'strokes per length' (or per 100m) and swim speed, I like to do an updated CSS every 6-8 weeks and a T20 every 6-8 weeks and those are my main benchmarks unless there's a big swim looming .... Thankfully my SPL hasn't changed, CSS is now a work in progress and T20 will be checked when I'm next in the pool...
Personally I think my slower swim time has nothing to do with 6 months out of the water... it's just drag from my super long hair.....which hasn't seen a pair of hairdressers scissors in nearly 7 months now!