Sunday, April 14, 2013

Masters Swim Meet

A couple of weekends ago I competed in the Ontario Masters Swimming Championships. It isn't often triathletes get the chance to swim in a controlled environment, and this was the best opportunity to see what I could do at the end of my swim focus. Last year, because of exams and Queen's Spring Fling, I was only able to compete in the 100m free, 100 IM, 100 back, and 400 free, but this year I took full advantage of the weekend swimming every freestyle event from 50-1500 and 3 relays (Men's 4x50 medley, Men's 4x50 free, and mixed 4x50 free).

Even though training was going really well leading into the meet I was not expecting any really fast swims when I was doing that many races, but since the 1500m was first I really wanted to see what I could do there. I had never swam a pool 1500m prior to this meet so I wasn't entirely sure how to pace it, and being the slowest seed in the fast heat I didn't think I would have anyone to go off of. When the race started I went out at a pace I like to call comfortably uncomfortable and focused on a long strong stroke and saving my kick for later in the race. Mid way through the race I wasn't far behind the guy beside me, and he said he was aiming for 18:30 so I knew I had a chance to go under 19. I ended up finishing in 18:52. I was happy with this, and the fact that my splits were pretty even throughout the swim.

The next day consisted of the 100m, 3 50s (2 in relays), an the 400m. The 400m is the event I have swam the most and the only one I had a real goal in. I wanted to go 4:4x. The problem for me in the 400m is that my brain is thinking swim swim swim and I loose count of how many lengths. If any one else has this problem it is always one more than you think because very rarely do you under count. With 100 to go I thought I only had 50 to go, but I popped my head up and when I saw they weren't standing on the edge to stop the clock I realized I had another 50. At this point my arms and legs were telling me how much they hated me and I was doing everything I could to keep the stroke "long". I ended with a 4:48.

The final day was the 200 and the 800. By this point my body was getting exhausted, but I kept telling myself it was good training for Triple T where we will have 4 races in 3 days. My plan in the 200 was to just go all out and see what happened. I progressively faded throughout the race and went 2:14. The 800m was the last event, and I was in the last heat. Lets just say it didn't go that well. Red Bull can only get you up so many times before your body rebels (5 in 3 days probably wash't the greatest decision), but it was able to get me up for my first 4 events I was focusing on.

All in all the meet was a wonderful success and I would recommend masters swimming to all triathletes. It is a great way to measure fitness and set bench marks. I ended the meet with 6 pbs in 6 events (29.x, 1:02, 2:14, 4:48, 10:08, and 18:52).

I want to thank Ken Fitzpatrick for all the hard work he has put into my swimming as well as the meet, and the London Silver Dolphins for hosting an excellent meet.

Full results can be found a t