Jumping In (Literally) to My First Swim Meet

>> Saturday, February 02, 2013

So I'm thinking more and more about doing my first swim meet in a few weeks.


Here's some info on the meet if your interested. It's at the University of St. Thomas in their athletic facilities that are only a few years old. (I watched that building be built while doing intervals on their track.) It's $20 to race any number of events. I've been thinking about the 200 and the 100 free, but the 200 is FIRST and the 100 is 15th (out of 19 events). I don't know that I want to spend 4 hours there. So maybe I'll just come and do the 100. We'll see.

The swim coach at the Y is going to meet with me for a few minutes in 2 weeks to help my practice diving off the blocks. I've NEVER dove off the blocks, and I'm a VERY SHITTY "regular" diver. Very. I may not do a diving start if I do the meet - I might do an "in pool" start. But as swimming buddy Julia told me recently, I could save 2-3 seconds off my 100 if I do a diving start, so I'd LIKE to try it if it's something I think I can do. (Oh, and I can't do flip turns, so I won't be attempting those at all.)

I found this quick video (one of many) on YouTube showing how to start on the blocks:

The "top rated" comment when I saw that video yesterday was "looks so f*ckin easy but when you actually do it... arghghghbubub..." That'll be me.

So this past week when I had a half hour between a faculty meeting and doing a tech demo for a class, I hit the pool for a quick 10 x 50 workout (with 15 seconds rest between 50s). Well, that's less of a "workout" and more of a "let's see what I can do some 50s in." I think I've only swam 50 repeats once with "the gang" about 3 years ago. (Usually if I'm doing repeats, it's 100s or 500s. I'm not saying that's RIGHT, I'm just saying that's what I usually do.)

I did the first 50 feeling GREAT in 37.67! "Whoa," I thought, "could I hold that pace for a 100 and do a 1:15?" In my mind, a 1:15 was the best possible 100 I could hope for. (I've dipped under 1:20 a few times in a few spaced-out "all out" 100 efforts.)

My ten 50s looked like this: 37.67, 39.05, 39.88, 40.65, 40.50, 40.18, 40.66, 42.16, 40.38, 40.31. That's an average of 40.14 / 50 average.

(That 8th one is so slow because I kinda zoned out and was trying to figure out if I had 1 or 2 left - it's amazing how much time is lost with just a little loss of focus!)

So check out the swim meet on the 23rd, and MAYBE I'll see you there!! And anyone have any diving tips?


Kelly 1:35 PM, February 02, 2013  

Make sure you do a few trial dives with your goggles on to make sure you're not going to send them flying. Nothing worse than slogging through a race with your goggles half on, filled with water or hanging around your neck. Tighten up the straps & make sure you keep your head down & tucked between your arms to help them stay put.

Unless you don't wear goggles... in that case just have fun & try not to belly flop!

Jennifer Harrison 4:05 PM, February 02, 2013  

OH FUN - good luck Steve! THEY ARE SO FUN and hard!

Cort the Sport 7:13 AM, February 03, 2013  

I've done a few seasons of summer swim meets and still have a fear of diving off the block with goggles! The diving part is not so bad, but diving and having goggles stay put IS. My advice: goggles super tight, goggles under swim cap with top of swim cap just over the top edge of the goggles, and keep your chin tucked. I have no flip turn and lost considerable time there. I'd be leading in the 50, then lose in the back 25. Good I'm a triathlete!

Rural Girl 11:21 AM, February 04, 2013  

i kinda wish there were some swim meets in our area.....then again.....kinda not! Good luck!

Steve Stenzel 1:04 PM, February 04, 2013  

Thanks Kelly and Cort for the tips!

And Rural Girl, you're welcome to spend the weekend at our house sometime if you want to do a swim meet!! :)

EmDub @ Faster In Water 1:52 PM, February 07, 2013  

Aim for the water! :) Yes I would suggest doing a few practice dives w/goggles because they can fall off at a certain angle. I prefer a "track start" w/feet staggered rather than feet at the front of the block like the guy in the video. Good luck!

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