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Travails of a Non-Swimmer

Feel Good Tuesday

Backstroke swimmer

Tonight I had a great workout. Not that I did anything out of the ordinary, but I was actually looking forward to going to the gym and pool. That’s something already ;-)

Another 4km

After doing the rounds with the machines I hopped on to the treadmill. The other day I wrote about doing a 4km under 30min, without a walk break in between. This time I hoped to do the same.

And I did.

But it wasn’t easy. Somehow I can run fine for 20min at 8km/h. But the last 10min is sort of a struggle. I really had to push myself. There was a guy next to me who started running at about the same time, and he kind of kept me going. But 5min before the half-hour cutoff, he slowed down considerably to a walking pace. I still had five minutes to go, and I had to say things to myself like “Imagine there’s a fire-breathing dragon behind you, wanting to turn you into his next BBQ meal. You have no choice but to keep on running…Five more minutes and you’ll reach the Safe Zone…”

I’m trying to do the Pose Method of running, hoping that somehow 4km under 30min would become easy-peasy. My goal this year would be 5km under 30min. I’m sure it’s achievable: I swear I could run that when I was in college. Now I’m trying to get rid of the fat I put on so that I could run like that again.

So next session at the gym, another 4km, but try to up the pace to 9km/h, for a longer period of time.

Taking Turns and Open Turns

I did my drills at the 18m pool (SG, Switches) and swam a couple of laps before going to the 25m for my set. The pools were crowded tonight! What’s going on? Never seen this many people, but I guess it really has something to do with the weather becoming warmer and people more inclined to go to the gym instead of clinging to the warmth of the home.

We shared the lane with up to six people. One of them, a bearded young man, was making a huge racket each time he swam, slamming against the water during his strokes and kicking up froth like crazy. I guess he can afford to swim like that thanks to youthful energy, but I’m pretty sure that 50 years from now, he won’t be able to keep up this “fighting the water” kind of style. It’s just too taxing, too demanding.

Sets were the usual, though I did extra for backstroke: 4 x 25m crawl, 4 x 50m backstroke. There’s still the dropping lead arm problem, which I am somewhat ignoring for the time being. Tsk tsk.

I am becoming complacent. Dropping lead arm or not, I’m still able to complete a lap anyway, so I’m just trying to fool myself in thinking that the problem will somehow go away by itself. Tsk tsk tsk. Tsk.

The pool emptied by 22:00, so I had the practice lane all to myself. I did 15min of open turn practice for the backstroke. Still a bit tricky. Sometimes my turn is perfectly timed, sometimes I am too near or too far from the wall. I hope to practice some more this week. I feel that I can do 400m, 800m, even 1000m with the backstroke, though there are still issues with swimming straight and turning properly.

Time with the Machines and Pool

  • Lat Pulldown 11.5kg, 20x
  • Chest Press 4.5kg, 20x
  • Sit-up 20x
  • Leg Press 22.5 + 4.5kg, 20x
  • Torso Rotation 5 + 4.4kg, 60x
  • Triceps Press 4.5kg, 20x
  • Hip Flexer 5x
  • Abdominal 15kg, 20x
  • Back Extension 10x
  • Running 30min = 4km at 8.0-9.0km/h, slope 0.0%
  • Mechanical Horse medium strength @ 10min
  • Pool 60min of drills, whole stroke (4 x 25m crawl, 4 x 50m backstroke) and open turn practice for backstroke
  • Low Row None tonight.
  • Recumbent Exercise Bike Skipped. No time.
  • Diet Trainer Deliberately skipped. I don’t like this machine…

Some stuff to keep in mind:

Notes to Self: Do

  • Make a list of drills you can do to work on your dropping lead arm.

Notes to Self: Don’t

  • Ignore your problems. They won’t go away by themselves. Right now you are actually practicing error!


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  • slf

    Good for you!
    I looked up some basic tai chi vids on Youtube. It looks much too slow for me. But maybe I’ll be able to wake up early on Sunday to try out one session live. I’ve a feeling I’ll just be frustrated at not being able to follow well just like when I took wushu class.

    • beverlyclaire

      I remember the Wushu classes at UP Dil! :) I wasn’t able to follow well either.

      But I do hope you can try out a few live tai chi sessions. I think slow is a good thing. That means it’s something you can do even when you’re literally a hundred years old.