How Many Runners Does it Take to Decode a Swim Workout?

Four.  The answer is four.  With one of them being a high school swimmer, another a college swimmer, the third a 70.3 IronWoman, and the fourth who sometimes fancies herself a sprint distance triathlete but has minimal knowledge of swim lingo (that would be me!).

So I’ve had this nagging/reoccurring/annoying/difficult to diagnose hip soreness issue since I had my third child (he’s three and a half now so I’m ready to be done with the hip thing) and it has been really sore this week so I used this as my motivation to check out a Swim Fit workout at my local YMCA.  I looked online to find out more information beforehand.  It is advertised as a coached workout for any level swimmer looking to improve speed, stroke, and/or endurance.  Sounds good!  I also tried to find someone at the Y to talk to about the workouts, but no one seemed to know anything, so I just showed up on Friday morning at 6:30 am with my suit, cap and goggles.

The Masters swimmers were finishing up their workout and I asked the lifeguard who would be coaching the Swim Fit workout.  She said the coach wasn’t there yet and gave me a nice speech about listening to my body during the workout and told me if I needed help I could always call out for a lifeguard.  Good to know! 6:30 rolls around, still no coach, the Masters swimmers are getting out of the pool and other swimmers are getting in, so I ask a nice lady how the Swim Fit workouts work and she tells me just to follow the instructions on the white board.  Like so:

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Um, okay then.  Another guy gets in the lane with me and tells me he’s just going to swim freestyle the whole time.  I think he has the right idea, but I am going to give the workout a try since that’s why I came.  400 swim: okay, 200 kick: got that, 4×50: makes sense, 4×75 build: say what?! And what are those times there? Is that how long it is supposed to take me? And why only three times? 1:10? That’s about how long it takes me to swim 50 yards, not 75. Wow, I’ve got some work to do.  Okay, nevermind.  I’ll just do 4×75. The bottom half of the board also confused me and by the time I got there I had already swam a mile, so I called it good.  Again, maybe the guy next to me swimming freestyle had the right idea!

I went home, posted the workout photo on the Boise Betties running group page, and my swimmer pals came to my rescue.  Together we (read: they) decoded this workout (for my amateur self).  That, my friends, is teamwork!  The next question is, how many runners does it take to fix my hip so I can get back to the track and the trails where I really want to be?!

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