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I Need a Stop Watch

by Meghann on May 25, 2011

Good News! My half ironman plan is almost complete. πŸ™‚

Right now I’m just filling in some gaps and fine tuning things. I’m using a basic training plan as a base line and, though I love parts of it, the generic ‘swim for 45 minutes’ days aren’t going to cut it for me. As a beginner, I need a clear broken-out plan (especially in the pool!).

This is why I politely asked Courtney if she would be willing to help me create a few swim workouts I could build on during the swim for xx minute days. πŸ™‚

She agreed (YAY!!!) but then came back with these questions:

“How long does it currently take you to swim 100 yards at a steady pace? How long do you need to recover after each 100? What is your goal time for the 1.2 mile swim? Or goal time for the .9 mile swim of an Olympic?”

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

Want to know how little I know about swimming? I didn’t have an answer for any of those questions.

I did know I completed the swim portion of my last olympic tri in 30:23, but that was it. Thankfully, to help set a base, Courtney provided a little assignment for my swim this morning.

“See if you can 4 x 100’s trying to hold 1:50 – 2:00 for each 100. Also see how much time you need to recover, shoot for 20 seconds or less. Let me know how that goes and in the mean time I will base your goal pace off of 1:50’s for the swim which will put you right around 29:30.”

Got it.

So, that’s what I did. This morning I got in the pool with a plan to set a base of what I can do.

I warmed up with a 300 yrd swim then went from there.

I’ve never tried holding a pace in the pool before and to be honest I wasn’t sure I knew how. I watched the second hand on the big clock hit 60 and tried my hardest to keep it comfortable. After 4 lengths I got up and saw the second hand on the 30. Hmmm…. was that 1:30 or 2:30? Maybe I should have paid attention to where the big minute hand was before I started.

Take two. The second hand hit 60 and the minute hand moved to 25 and I took off again. Clear head, smooth strokes… maybe swimming isn’t that bad after all. 4 lengths later I looked up and saw the second hand on the 35 and the minute hand on the 26 or 27? 26 can’t be right – that’s too fast! And 27? too slow. grr… That’s it – I need a stop watch!

Third times a charm. I think that was 1:50, which means I was going too fast on the first two – this lap should be my steady pace.

Last one! Finished in 2:00. Yep, was too fast at first – now I know. Also, I NEED A STOPWATCH! Buying one ASAP!

I cooled down with a 300 yard swim and was done with the pool for the day.

After quick change I hit the weights for Stage 1, Workout B of the New Rules of Lifting for Women Plan (I owe you a post on this too – coming soon!!).



Derek bought Eggos the other week and, even though I’m not a big fan of them as is, they do make great toast substitutes.


I mixed and matched the toppings and had one with Raspberry Jam, Ricotta Cheese, Strawberries, and Chocolate Chips.


The other had Almond Butter, Apple Butter, and Chopped Dates.


Obviously I like variety in life! πŸ™‚


Happy Hump Day Friends!

1 Kaitlin May 25, 2011 at 10:11 am

Definitely get a stopwatch! I’m excited to watch your pool adventures– I’m horrible at swimming and attempting a sprint tri this summer! Happy Wednesday!
Kaitlin recently posted..4 days until Bayshore

2 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

So with 4x100s do you swim 100m and then rest for 20s? Is that how it works?

3 Meghann May 25, 2011 at 10:15 am


4 Kelly @foodiefresh May 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

Vans makes my favorite whole wheat waffle and I love getting crazy with toppings.
Kelly @foodiefresh recently posted..What’s up buttercup

5 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 25, 2011 at 10:15 am

nice job on the swim! i agree, stopwatches are sort of crucial until you can figure out what sort of time is realistic for your distances. (that way you can have a pretty good idea of how many times the minute hand has gone around!) have a great day Meghann!
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat recently posted..Shopaholics Anonymous

6 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food May 25, 2011 at 10:17 am

Splits are so hard to know, when you mainly train for fun!

I can’t wait to see your full plan, you’ve been working so hard on it! πŸ™‚

7 Holly @ The Runny Egg May 25, 2011 at 10:22 am

I don’t know what any of that swimming lingo means — I’d have a lot to learn if I decided to start swimming training.
Holly @ The Runny Egg recently posted..Tomato Face

8 Meghann May 25, 2011 at 10:27 am

I’ve had to have Courtney breakdown a lot of the basic lingo for me. Her post ( ) helps

9 Courtney May 25, 2011 at 10:26 am

Good job Meghann! Sounds like you are at a really good starting place. Hopefully having a “goal pace” doesn’t take the fun out of training. One big reason I like to train with splits is swimming can be “oh so boring” without all the scenery that biking or running provides. πŸ™‚ It’s been fun reading about your swimming adventures so far!

10 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 25, 2011 at 10:28 am

I would be so confused! I am reall bad with numbers- my mind just blanks!

11 Rae May 25, 2011 at 10:39 am

lol, i hear ya. What might be nice is to do a 800 yard swim test-see how fast you can comfortably swim a half mile. I can swim a half mile in about 14 minutes, but my HIM swim time is about 36 minutes. A half mile is a good base to figure out how to swim longer distances.
Rae recently posted..Meep Meep

12 RunEatRepeat May 25, 2011 at 10:41 am

Doesn’t your phone have a stopwatch app?
RunEatRepeat recently posted..Rant- Run and Move On

13 Meghann May 25, 2011 at 10:43 am

Yes, but I’m not sure how much I trust my phone at the pool. πŸ˜‰

14 Lorin May 26, 2011 at 2:03 am

For some reason, my computer can go to every website and blog, but I can’t read yours. It goes straight to internet connection not working, I’m wondering if you’ve had anyone else say this has been a problem for them as well? It’s been a few days at least. Just thought I would let you know πŸ™‚

15 Lorin May 26, 2011 at 2:03 am

Monica, for some reason, my computer can go to every website and blog, but I can’t read yours. It goes straight to internet connection not working, I’m wondering if you’ve had anyone else say this has been a problem for them as well? It’s been a few days at least. Just thought I would let you know πŸ™‚

16 Brie @ Brie Fit May 25, 2011 at 11:23 am

I use my Polar heart rate monitor to keep track at the pool and it works well. I have so much trouble counting my distance, though! I wish my Garmin worked in the water to track that for me.
Brie @ Brie Fit recently posted..Travel Ninja Update

17 miranda @ working mom works out May 25, 2011 at 11:33 am

You lost me πŸ˜‰

Yeah, I seriously know nothing about swimming. But it sounds like you’re learning a lot. Where is the triathlon?

18 Tori (Fresh Fruition) May 25, 2011 at 11:51 am

I love using frozen waffles as toast subs! Especially when the toppings are spreadable. The little nooks and crannies hold all the yumminess so well πŸ™‚
Tori (Fresh Fruition) recently posted..A Weekend of Firsts

19 Jamie@everydaydolce May 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

Whoa…those waffle toppings look super good! I don’t know if I would be brave enough to try ricotta cheese yet, I’d need a lot of raspberry jam on there! Excited to see a future post about weight lifting or how you’ve liked/ disliked it. πŸ™‚
Jamie@everydaydolce recently posted..My Summer Mixtape

20 Elizabeth@The Sweet Life May 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Such a big commitment you’re making to training! Good, good luck with all f it.
Elizabeth@The Sweet Life recently posted..Family Wedding

21 Lauren @ WWoB May 25, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Delurking here…. I get the same questions about my old swimming and triathlon times and I honestly dont know either! After races I would of course look up my time, but I never remembered them! To me, that just wasn’t the point. Even though for a period of my life, I was “in it to win it,” I still didnt memorize my times or splits. If I wanna answer those questions, I have to google the race and look up the times!

22 Katy (The Singing Runner) May 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I really need to start swimming for cross-training. I’m starting to get to the point in my marathon training where spinning isn’t quite cutting it for me in the cross-training department.

23 Emily May 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Target has super cheap but awesome waterproof watches for like 20 bucks. I got one there just for this purpose! And to wear during actual tris since my Garmin doesn’t belong in the water.

Good luck with the swim training! It sounds like you’re off to a stellar start with some awesome coaching!

24 Jessica May 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm

So, I just posted basically the same comment on your sister’s blog, but since you guys seem to be workout twins today I thought I’d share it with you too! H2O Audio Amphibx Fit Waterproof Case & Headphones. It’s a ridiculous name that basically means amazing waterproof case for your ipod so you can listen to music while you swim. Love it! You should check it out. With all the time that you’ll be spending in the pool it’s worth the investment.

25 Morgan @ moments of mmm May 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I hate using face clocks to time yourself! I always second guess myself as well..”Was the second hand on 35 or 36?”

The ricotta waffle looks delicious!

26 Jessica May 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I’m a new blogger – but an experienced swimmer – we should help each other out! ha Honestly though I would be happy to help you out with any swim plans / swim work-outs. I’m training for a triathlon myself πŸ™‚

27 Chloe (South Beach Girl) May 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Pacing in the pool is definitely difficult to get used to and a stopwatch will help a lot! Sound like you’ve gotten a great start though and I’m excited to learn more about your HIM training plan πŸ™‚

28 Charissa May 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I need a stop watch too…actually, what I’m drooling after is a Garmin. Is that what you use?

29 Meghann May 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Yes! But the Garmin I have isn’t waterproof πŸ™

30 Shannon May 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm

The swimming stuff will get easier. You will start to know your times easier and pacing will also become much easier. Nothing is difficult, it just takes some time to figure it out

31 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I love using a stop watch to time my swims. It makes it SO much easier to know all that jazz πŸ˜‰ Sounds like a good plan.

Oh, and I LOVE variety in life, too!

32 Natalie @ Will Jog For Food May 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I’ll be keeping up to learn more about your swimming! My new gym has a great pool and i’m dying to try it out. I wonder if I can use my polar heart rate monitor in the water?
Natalie @ Will Jog For Food recently posted..Squash Me Up

33 Meghann May 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Someone above said they use their polar in the water but you might want to triple check on yours before you give it a try πŸ™‚

34 Derek May 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Leggo my Eggo!

35 LauraJayne May 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I remember NEVER quite understanding what the big clock in the pool at the YMCA was trying to tell me when I swam in high school. I swore it didn’t tell real time… Either way, a stop watch is a great idea, and it’ll help you track your progress to! Can’t wait to see your training plan!
LauraJayne recently posted..Nutrition Confusion Abated!

36 Kaitlyn @ 7 Plates May 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm

What a great idea. I’ve never thought about putting fruit on top of a waffle!
Kaitlyn @ 7 Plates recently posted..Broccoli Cheddar Soup

37 Cara May 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Those waffle toppings look awesome! I love your obsession with chopped dates lately, it has me craving them like crazy too!

38 Mac May 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Ahhh I envy people who can swim… maybe someday I will pass the minnow level of swim lessons.
Mac recently posted..Grocery Planning

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