200m in 20 minutes

Good morning, %FIRSTNAME%.

I’ve taken to swimming over the past few weeks, partly because we live on a creek but I also want to see the medium-term impacts of more cardio on heart rate and blood pressure.

Because I like to make things hard, or at least appear so, I have initiated a policy of swimming against the tide a couple of times per week. 

I call it salmon training (Ellie didn’t think it was funny either).

There’s something almost enjoyable about swimming against a strong current. 

Besides the fact that I don’t move anywhere and have actually gone backwards at times, there’s a nice sensation that comes with the added resistance and buoyancy (possibly hypoxia-induced).

Last Thursday, the current was very strong and as I got going, I realised I was going nowhere. 

There are a set of power lines that run above the creek, and they were visible for what seemed like an eternity.

My legs eventually caught fire and I had to stop for air. I looked down at my stopwatch and saw it was at 20 mins, during which time I had covered a total of 200m.

It took 3 minutes to get back to the start, including a minute rest before turning around.

The metrics on the swim look awful: 400m in 23 minutes - how slow!

But the energy expenditure was massive - it was the hardest 20 minutes I have spent in the water.

A 1km swim with the current would have looked better on the metrics, in terms of pace and estimated energy expenditure. 

But every now and then, it’s good to do something that is simply hard and stick with it. 

Even the lack of data-driven feedback or a personal best is a good reminder that the metrics are useful, but it’s the work that counts.

You can track everything, but if you don’t do the work there won’t be results.

You can also track nothing, but if you do the work and results will come.

Or, you can do both!

Tom Fitzgerald