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A Swimming Pyramid and Learn to Count

November 2, 2011

As soon as I hit the water at the pool, I lose all ability to count. How far do I swim? No idea. How many laps do I usually do? Not a clue. I’ve have certainly tried to count. Usually, around 4 lengths I lose count. This obviously is not helpful.

I think this has to do with the fact that swimming has become a meditation for me. There is something about the feel of the water, the methodical stroke, the controlled breathing, the buoyancy, and the repeated swimming path. And it also might have to do with the dim lights and the jazz music that they play evenings at Evans Pool in Seattle. The combination of all these definitely allow me to zone out or think about all that is going on in my life (except counting.)

Sometimes by best thinking comes during swimming and therefore I like to refer to the pool as the THINK TANK.

Dan has asked me several times how far I swam in my workout and usually all I can come up with is “at least 4 lengths.” Tonight, prior to my swim he suggested writing down a workout to take with me that I would follow. This way, I would only have to keep track of segments, not the entire workout. Here is what he suggested:

400 yrds Warm-up (16 laps*)
2 x 200
2 x 150
2 x 100
2 x 50
4 x 25
…then repeat back up the list.
* based on a 25 yard pool

This workout is considered a pyramid because you are working all the way down and then back up the list. I wrote the above workout on a piece of paper and put it in a zip lock bag. I was then able to keep this on the pool side as reference. Wow, this definitely helped. I think only at one point I lost track and may have done an extra 2 laps on one of the segments.

The above workout equals 2500 yards is about 1.42 miles. I was only able to complete 2300 yards with the last 200 segment as my cooldown. I just ran out of time! This was the first swimming workout that I actually followed and it definitely helped keep me focused. Plus, I really liked that about half way I was able to add some speed with the 25 yard lengths. I think I will continue to organize some workouts prior to going. And then I can report how far I have been swimming.

1 mile = 1760 yards (approx 70 laps)

Triathlon Swim Distances
Sprint: 750 meters (820 yards)
Olympic: 1.5 km (1640 yards)
Half Ironman: 1.93 km (2110 yards)
Ironman: 3.86 km (4221 yards)

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 2, 2011 12:24 pm

    I am glad writing down a workout helped. It also keeps your mind off the monotany of swimming laps. Next you can try and swim each segment in a particular time which will help you track if you are getting faster. I am average and swim (25's – 17-18 secs, 50's – 37-38 secs, 100's – 1:25, 250's – 3:40) If you swim three days a week, I try and put an endurance swim in where you get in and swim your laps and during the workout try and swim every 5th lap as hard as you can, do a short speed workout maybe 1500-1700M but have short bursts (25s, 50s, 100s) in the workout with shorts rests between and then have another workout like you had last night (not always pyramid swimming). Great job!

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