Swimming: 50 in 1:00 ?
So, today at the pool was a 30 minute swim session. I didn't make it a full 1.5km, probably not even close. It turns out that speeding up by 10% on average is really quite hard.
But I made progress.
I figured out how to use the swimming timer which is on the wall in Sundhöllin. It's basically a big 60 second clock with four arms. Each arm is a different color, so it's very easy even for a nearsighted Bjarni to just glance at it while turning around and get a feel for where the red arm (or green, black or white) is relative to the last lap, without having to slow down or stop.
Since my goal works out to wanting to do 50 meters in 1 minute, for 30 minutes... that's actually pretty easy to measure with this clock: If I am swimming fast enough, the arms just stay in the same place.
Today I am doing 50 meters in about 1:06 to 1:10 at my lapping speed, where I swim 25 meters using the crawl and then 25 meters breast-stroke. When I sprint I can reduce that to under 0:50 (the world record for 50m crawl is 0:20.3, OMGWTF). So the good news is that I don't have to be super-human, and my current top speed is already well above my target. But no way I can keep that up for 30 minutes...
So how can I go faster?
Drugs? It might help if I took my asthma meds before swimming... ;-)
Strength? I don't really want to turn into some sort of swim-hulk.
Stamina? The more breaks I take, the faster I have to swim. So building up my stamina, which is the actual purpose of all this splashing around, makes perfect sense.
Technique? Think has to be the ticket. My crawl is already quite fast enough for my goal, but my breast-stroke is too slow. Even with no breaks at all, I wouldn't make it. So today I tried adjusting the length of my kicks and made some progress: by the end of my 30 minutes, I was actually doing the full 50 in just under a minute, without completely exhausting myself. Cool!
Somehow, swimming just got even less boring.
Oh, and, just for kicks, I looked up the world record for swimming 1500 meters: just over 14 minutes. The Icelandic record is 15:27. Wow. I want to swim half as fast as those guys. I can do it! :-)