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2022 & 2012 Lookback for 2023 Plan of Attack

8 January 2023

I have been a little slow at looking back at my swim volumes over the year ...

... but was pleased to see that I finally got my swim totals back towards the range I want them to be:

  • I notched 709,380 yards in 2022, which puts me closer to the 788,676 yards I averaged each year from 2010 to 2016.

  • I swam 240 days in the year, which was about 10% below my target average of 270 days, but I have to remember that pools were still closed much of January and February.

This quick little analysis reminded me that, for my body and my performance, I need to swim frequently and swim more to swim fast.

I started this week by replicating a workout I had done at the start of 2012 and finished the week on Saturday with a rare swim in a 25-meter pool in the USA. I was swimming in the second lane of the Midlothian, Virginia ACAC facility (pool #379). Back in the 1970s and 1980s, this was the only 50-meter indoor pool in the state (south of the Northern Virginia / DC area) and my home pool from 1976 until I went off to university in 1985. They have since transformed the former 50-meter pool into two, 25-meter pools, hot tubs, and therapy pools. But I believe that, to the end of my days, this will remain the place, if not the actual tank, where I trained more meters (or yards equivalent) than any other pool, most of them done in the outside lane that faced the wall of windows.

I was down visiting my parents for the weekend, so my Dad and I went over for a workout. I repeated the main set from January 7th, 2012, which I had done in Arizona at the North Scottsdale Lifetime Fitness in a 25-meter course, so I got a great comparison of my performance 11 years later. After a brief 400 IM kick-drill, I launched right into the main, 3,500 meter set, all done on a 1:30/100 interval and trying to average 1:15/100 pace:

  • 1 x 500: on 7:30

  • 2012 - 6:18

  • 2023 - 6:27

  • 2 x 400: on 6:00

  • 2012 - 5:03, 5:03

  • 2023 - 5:06, 5:03

  • 3 x 300: on 4:30

  • 2012 - 3:46, 3:47, 3:49

  • 2023 - 3:45, 3:44+, 3:44

  • 4 x 200: on 3:00

  • 2012 - 2:32, 2:35, 2:37, 2:38

  • 2023 - 2:31, 2:30, 2:30, 2:29

  • 5 x 100: on 1:30

  • 2012 - I completely failed on this and switched to an easy kick

  • 2023 - 1:14, 1:15, 1:14, 1:14, 1:14

The only difference between 2012 and 2023 was that I had more time to warm up back in 2012 when I had done a full 1,500 before the main set. That most likely explains why I was slower on my 500 this year ... but I don't that extra "yardage" caused the drop-off in performance in 2012. Whatever the differences were, this was tough, but felt good to essentially be the same as I was slightly over a decade ago.

This workout closed a great week where I swam six days (two of them drill-oriented) and totaled a smidge more than 21,000 yards, an excellent start to the year.

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