Monday 3rd February 2014

Workout Soundtrack: Mastertraxx Underground Techno Podcast – ‘Ben Long’

42x25m untimed (Combat Swimmer Stroke/Sidestroke)

Sauna: 50 minutes

There looked to be no hope of getting anything productive done in the pool when I arrived. It was absolutely jammed full of people of all ages, sizes and abilities and the first 3 lanes were set aside for swimming lessions which left 1 lane for fast swimming and 2 lanes for ‘general’ swimming [for general, read; messing around]. Regardless of all of this I jumped in and headed to the deep-end using the combat swimmer stroke, dodging flailing limbs and dive bombing children all the way!

I decided to try out some underwater breathing techniques in the deep end which aim to increase lung capacity, reduce fear of drowning and help the mind adjust to existence underwater for prolonged periods. Basically this involves hyperventilating for three or four breaths and then slowly exhaling as you descend to the bottom of the pool in a sitting position – I worked on this technique and on my dolphin kick for about twenty minutes and watched the pool gradually calm down and get in to some kind rhythm over in the ‘fast’ lane. As soon as I resigned myself to not swimming a 40 or 66 lap freestyle session I vowed to have a try at a 40 lap combat swimmer stroke (CSS) session. The stroke isn’t designed for speed but is aimed at reducing drag and disturbance in the water as well as being very efficient which allows the swimmer to continue for longer periods than if they were using freestyle or breastroke. The conditions in the ‘fast’ lane were perfect for this as most people were doing breaststroke with the occasional backstroke thrown in for good measure – I had to stop once or twice so I could fall back into a rhythm with the others because the last thing I needed was to resurface either next to or, Gods forbid, underneath somebody! Anyway, I’ve come to the conclusion that I should never really have to abandon another pool session again when it’s busy or particularly slow! No, I can just revert to using CSS as it’s a great workout for the shoulders/upper body, core and lungs 🙂 This makes me happy as I was getting a little irate at the amount of times I’ve had a freestyle session disrupted, aborted or plain ruined by the lack of lane and stroke discipline displayed by some swimmers!

Onwards and upwards, quite literally, as I ascended the stairs after my swim session and hit the sauna. Again, much like yesterday, it was absolutely silent in there. Amazing! I think it must be a record for this particular sauna – 4 people managed to sit in there for between 20 and 50 minutes without opening their mouths or even attempting to communicate. It was absolute bliss and a great way to end Monday. Let’s hope the week continues much the same way – it was a calm day at work, an interesting evening in the pool and a quiet evening in the sauna and these are three things I enjoy immensely.

I hope Monday has treated you all similarly well!

Peace & Blessings

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