Tag Archives: swimming

Metasprint Triathlon 2016

This was a bit of a mess, coming after 1.5 days of a major event launch at work plus the onset of flu. Thankfully, I woke up on Sunday morning feeling relatively ok. Thing about racing after/during illness is you’re not exactly sure how hard to push, especially with the big race just around the corner – Danang is less than a month away.

Credit to Jaime K for the pic!

 Swim: I decided to take things relatively easy, and not push too hard. Unfortunately the swim was a nasty one. There was some contact in the swim, some gulps of salt water during unfortunately-timed breaths, water in the goggles and I started hyperventilating. Wasn’t sure if the flu had anything to do with it, but severe self-doubt crept in. Was really tempted to call it a day, and had to stop to tread water for a bit before restarting. I also underestimated the strength of the tide, and how important positioning was. Could have just started way to the right of the course for the current to push you back on target. Ended up on the ropes at one point and having to push through bodies to get free of the tangle, then having to swim an arc for being pushed too far out on the last leg. Lesson: Visualise the path you’re going to swim, and where you want to be in the pack. Even if it’s just a easy race. Sight more, don’t count on following the guys ahead. They might be lost too.

T1: Something new I tried was having the shoes already on the bike, which made it really feel like I hardly spent any time in transition at all. No flying mount, but some time saved already. Lesson: Have the velcro on the shoe partially done. Having the shoe completely unstrapped makes it difficult to locate the end of the strap.

Bike: Fairly uneventful, and didn’t have that many people overtake me. Might be psychological, but my legs are feeling less used to the road bike position now. I could however, pretty much stay on the drops the entire way. Maybe time to move on to a more aggressive fit for the road bike?  Unfortunately I had no idea how fast or slow I was going thanks to a Garmin cock-up that I didn’t want to spend time meddling with lest I crash. Ended up with a 31+kmh average, which still sucks. Lesson: Get used to the handling on the TT bike and stick with it. Learn to screw with the garmin while moving(??)

T2: Silly thing is I somehow came off my bike and had the rear tyre rub my shin, taking off some skin with it. Didn’t realise it until I started running that I felt bit of a sting. Re-racking issue with my bike falling off the bar twice. Like WTF? Lesson: Practise the dismount. a lot.

Run: Coach Mike asked my how I felt was I was heading out. Didn’t know what to say, but I wasn’t comfortable so I just shrugged. Relatively slow 1st loop at 5:20 – 6:00min/km pace, but gradually built till I was on 4:10min/km for a 4:53min/km average. Lesson: Apparently my racing shoes suck, says the podiatrist form myFootDr. Hmmm.

So am I happy with the result? Hmm… Can’t really say? Feeling a cough coming on though. That, I’m not happy with.

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DNG #19: Sh!t days

There are days when you jump in the pool, and you feel like Michael Phelps. Ok, maybe the left pinky of Michael Phelps. But you know… You feel like you’re gliding through the water, breathing easily.

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Then there are nights like last night, where I felt like I was hyperventilating half the time. Haven’t huffed and puffed like that in…  awhile. Could barely sprint 50 metres, and didn’t feel the power in the strokes. Body position was rubbish. Kick was non-existent. The air felt like it was thinner, same like it felt when I was running a lung infection many moons ago.

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Not sure what it was (wonky ventilation?), but apparently some others were puffing a bit harder than usual too. Think I managed to shake it off at Wednesday’s swim… Hope it doesn’t come back anytime soon. With that, here’s Taylor.

They say man with small hands…

… buy small hand paddles. The Speedo Tech Paddles in size “S” to be exact.

Finally found a set of hand paddles that didn’t look like baseball gloves at Stadium (Ngee Ann City) for $32.90. You don’t see many stores selling these things to begin with, and when they are in stock, they’re usually in larger sizes. I don’t have very big fore-flippers like Michael Phelps, so finding a pair that fit took some time. Also, the lack of a definitive guide to the fitting didn’t help. I’ve read that the paddles should only be about 10% larger  than your hand. (Read: “Should you swim with hand paddles?”)

Speedo Tech Paddles box
The nice box the Tech Paddles came in

For the uninitiated, these things are meant to help build power and feel through the water, though you might also overwork/injure your shoulders if you try to clock too many laps with them. Rough guide is no more than 10 – 25% of your total workout.

Speedo Tech Paddles box (rear)
Back of the box tells you which muscles you’re supposed to be working

One of the reasons you might not see these on sale in many places is because there aren’t many pools that will allow you to use not stop you from using hand paddles. Most public pools are pretty strict about not allowing them and the smart money is on the lifeguard catching you before your second lap. Why cannot? Apparently you might injure other swimmers by slashing them across the face or poking their eyes out.

Speedo Tech Paddle
Looks like a cross between a hockey mask and a slipper

In my first swim with the paddles today, I had to avoid several oncoming swimmers who were going at it with their heads down – technically correct, just not very practical when you’re not swimming in dedicated lanes. Doing the front crawl with the hand paddles feels great, like I’ve grown webbed hands that generate a lot more power. Stroke speed is slower, but more deliberate. Pull out too early and you’ll feel the paddle try to separate from your hand.

Hand in the Speedo Tech Paddle
They kinda look like slippers, no?

I can see why some people get too reliant on these things and can’t swim without them. Subsequent laps without the paddles felt as if my hands had suddenly turned into puny little paws. 😦 Next purchase might be a pull buoy (tucked between the thighs so you don’t have to kick) to focus completely on the arms, although it might be one toy too many to lug around.

If you have Takashimaya vouchers to burn and/or slightly larger hands. there are the Speedo Training Power Paddles available in M at Takashimaya on the 4th floor. These are a lot flatter in comparison and are supposed to be designed for more power than feel/technique. They are cheaper at about $20+ I think.

Speedo Hand Swimming Training Power Paddles
More fierce looking, these… (image from http://www.onlyswim.com)

If you have huge hands, these Speedo Biofuse Power Paddles should work nicely. I saw a set in L at Stadium (Ngee Ann City, Basement 2). About $22.90 if I remember correctly.

Speedo Biofuse Power Paddle
Don’t make me slap you with these (image from http://www.streamlineswimwear.co.uk)