Subterranean swimsuit blahs

27 April 2022


You would need a weather man to know which way the wind blows while mixing up a workout in the Athletic & Swim Club basement (pool #516), two stories (at least) below street level in midtown Manhattan ...

... but all you need to gain entry is thirty bucks and a call ahead (no more than two weeks) to reserve a lane or, more accurately, half a lane since they book two swimmers per lane. Technically, they reserve in 30 minute slots, but they are willing to book two slots back to back so I had an uninterrupted hour from 6:15 to 7:15am.


My body was a bit wrecked from the last few weeks of accumulating volume and intensity, along with a short night's sleep due to an unneccesarily long business dinner on Tuesday. But, while I swam slower and with more labor than I would have preferred, this facility was wonderful and the pool was setup for swimmers - wide lanes, cool, clean water, backstroke flags, an analog pace clock, plenty of kickboards and pull buoys, and a crowd of actual swimmers (no waterwalkers or noodlers splashing around).


I did manage a 3,200 yard workout, focusing more on backstroke and breaststroke, with the main set as two rounds of:

  • 4 x 100: IM kick descend on 1:45, round 1 with a board, round 2 on my back

  • 1 x 50: scull with snorkel

  • 4 x 75: on 1:20, descend back-breast-free

  • 1 x 50: scull with snorkel

  • 4 x 50: on 1:00, stroke descend, round 1 back, round 2 breast

  • 1 x 50: scull

  • 4 x 25: on 0:40, stroke descend, round 1 breast, round 2 back

  • 1 x 50: scull

While it was a workmanlike affair, it woke me so I could put my twenty years of schooling to work on the day shift.

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