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Friday, March 1, 2013

1650 strategy

Sunday I will swim the 1650, again. Today I thought I would share my strategy.  Full disclosure: I am slow. My 1650 personal best is 28:02 (1:42/100). So my advice is what it is. While I am trying to be more positive, truth be told, I’d rather swim six miles outside than one in the pool.

The 1650 is 66 lengths of a 25 yard pool. Olympic swimmers finish under 15 minutes. You swim against yourself, seeded in a heat with comparable swimmers. There is a counter at the end of the pool who drops big plastic numbers into the water as you approach your wall, starting at 01, ending at 63. For 65 you get two red boxes that mean, “haul ass you are almost done”.

My husband or son counts for me (holds the number board). My counter knows what split I need to be on pace. So to swim a 1:42 I needed to hit 51 seconds for each 50. If I am falling off pace they shake the board so I know I need to pick it up. If I see a still set of numbers then I know I am okay. The USMS has a pace chart that is very helpful in figuring this out.

In my opinion the 1650 is very similar to running a 5k. I break the race down into 3x500 and then 3x50.

  • First 500: Smooth, don't go out too fast. Take long strokes. Grab the water. Streamline. I find the pace that’s as hard as I can stand knowing I have a long way to go.

    When I see 21 on the number board, leg one done. Yay.

  • Second 500: Build, focus on staying strong. If I can I try to pick it up a little while keeping my breathing and heart rate under control. Swim strong. Grab the water. Solid push off the walls.

    When I see 41 on the board, two legs done. Double yay!

  • Last 500. Hard. Heading into the home stretch. I allow my HR to pick up a little as I try to get the dang thing over with. Time to empty the tank. I focus on my form since I tend to get sloppy when I am tired. Are my hips sagging? Is my finish weak? Where can I find some speed?

    When I see 59 on the board, it’s almost over. Triple Yay!

  • Go Go Go! (61 on the board).

    HARD! (63 on the board).

    Two red squares! Suffer!

    I’m in HELLLLLLLL and then done. Whew.

  • 1 comment:

    1. Sarah, this is truly very helpful. Thank you!