The Right Temperature (for now)

Updated: Oct 26

1 October 2022

The heater at my local LA Fitness is kind of on the fritz right now, which is causing consternation amongst the floater - noodler - waterwalker set, but delight for those of us real swimmers. From my perspective, the 78/79 F temperature is absolutely perfect, especially as I'm spending the next 6-7 weeks building up to doing a 3,000 yard virtual swim as part of this event.


My plan is to do one long swim for time each week as follows:

  • Today - 1,000

  • Around Oct 8th - 1,500

  • Around Oct 15th - 2,000

  • Around Oct 22nd - 2,500

  • Around Oct 29th - 3,000

If I'm happy enough with my time at that point, I might press forward and attempt the 6K before the November 15th cutoff, but I'll have to think about that. I've done the 3,000 for time three times in my past:

  • 2012 - 33:18.5

  • 2013 - 33:06.9

  • 2015 - 32:21.9

I'm not expecting to approach those times, but will see what I can do with a few weeks of focus.


For today's 1,000, I decided to try to even to negative split this by adjusting my stroke count as follows:

  • 100 at 11 strokes per length

  • 200 at 12 strokes per length

  • 300 at 13 strokes per length

  • 400 at 14 strokes per length

I held those counts well (which also makes counting laps easier) and ended up with an 11:49.7, which makes sense as the 1:11/100 yard average is very close to the 3 x 300 test set I did on Monday. That's nowhere near the 1:04.7 average from my 2015 3K, but it's a start. My watch doesn't do any splits, but I peaked at my iPhone Pace Clock as I approached the 500 yard mark and I saw 5:55 heading into the turn, so I had a slight negative split.


The one other notable point of the workout was that, as part of my 1,500 warmup, I did a 400 kick-for-time and was 6:15, much better than the 6:30 from a few days ago.


On the way out of the pool, I asked the front desk person to pass along my recommendation to the manager that, even once the heater was fixed, to keep the pool at this temperature. She said she'd heard that from a number of people but that the (my editorial: stupid) corporate policy was to set it at 82F or higher.


I'll try to enjoy this perfect water while I can.

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