Manhattan Skylights

26 April 2022


I followed up last Saturday's wonderful swim under the skylights in Toronto with a quick hit aerobic workout in midtown New York City on Tuesday afternoon under a different set of skylights at the Manhattan Plaza Health Club:

This wasn't a new pool for me, as I had swum here in the summer of 2019 (making this Pool #426) when the skylights were open:

What I liked about the pool a couple of years ago, I still liked about the facility today:

  • They have a transparent guest pass policy for out of town visitors. Back in 2019, I could get my first visit free, but now there's a "discounted" daily pass of $25 - which is now starting to sound "cheap" for swimming in Manhattan!

  • The patrons do an excellent job of sorting themselves into the appropriate speeds.

  • The water temperature is set for training, not lounging ... while the hot tubs are quite hot for relaxing.

The only strange part of this experience is this: those skylights or open skylights beg a swimmer to do backstroke ... but there are no backstroke flags, so it can get dangerous if you lose track staring up at the sky and skyscrapers nearby. But, that one minor flaw aside, this is a great place to visit.


As for my workout, after a 1,000 yard warmup, I attempted my ZipFizz 200 set as it's been a long time since I tracked my performance on this:


Main set - ZipFizz 200s (2,400 set)

  • 5 x 200: on 2:20, make them

  • My best ever performance was on a 2:20 interval where I ranged from 2:05 to 2:09 in 2015

  • January 2018 on 2:20 interval where I went 2:10, 2:10, 2:11, 2:09, 2:08

  • November 2019 - I used a snorkel and was 2:20, 2:21, 2:21, 2:24, 2:23

  • 08-14-20 - w/snorkel and was 2:22+, 2:21, 2:22, 2:23+, 2:24

  • 04-26-22 - 2:12, 2:13, 2:13, 2:14, 2:16

  • 4 x 50: active recovery on 0:45, 0:50, 0:55, 1:30

  • 3 x 200: on 2:35, descend swim

  • January 2018, I went on 2:35 and was 2:15, 2:11, 2:06

  • Novmber 2019 on 2:45 , was 2:30, 2:22, 2:18

  • 08-14-20 - 2:20, 2:24, 2:16

  • 04-26-22 - 2:23, 2:14, 2:12

  • 4 x 50: active recovery on 0:45, 0:50, 0:55, 1:45

  • 1 x 200: on 3:00, fast

  • My best ever was a 1:58 done back in October of 2015

  • January 2018, I was 2:04

  • November 2019, was 2:18

  • 08-14-20, was 2:17

  • 04-26-22 - I bonked at the 100 and called it quits

  • 4 x 50: active recovery on 0:45, 0:50, 0:55, 1:45

Well, other than the fail at the end, it was a great swim, expertly squeezed into a workday that started with a 5am wake up call to catch a morning flight to La Guardia and ended after 11pm following one of those epicly long business dinners that makes business travel a grind. I was really happy I managed to carve this swim out for my health and sanity!

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