Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Alcatraz Swim Challenge

So my pool is putting on a challenge, called the Alcatraz Swim Challenge. It's swim 30 miles between January 16th and March 26th and you will be entered into a raffle to win a $200 gift certificate to a nice restaurant here in town. Why they called it the Alcatraz challenge? WHO KNOWS. (isn't it only about 1.5 miles from Alcatraz to shore?)

But swim 30 miles between January 16th and March 26th? Hhhmmmmm, 30 miles of swimming sounds kind of daunting, but! its roughly 10 weeks between January 16 and March 26th. So breaking it down:

30 miles = 158,400 feet
158,400 feet = 52,800 yards
10 weeks = 30 swim workouts for me
52,800/30 = 1760 yards per workout

Um, yeah......considering I usually do between 2500 and 3000 yards a workout, this will be a no brainer. Its not a contest for total yards. Its a contest for reaching 52,800 yards in that period of time and you will be eligible for the raffle. I expect to hit eligibility between and 6 & 7 weeks.

So instead of exiting the pool  and heading straight for the locker room, I will take a 15 second detour, log my yardage in the book, and THEN go to the locker room. Pretty tough, eh?

Let's just hope only about 10 people actually follow through with this. Or just me....

In other swimming news! I learned how to do flip turns!!!

Took me only four years. Why was I so afraid of flipping at the wall? Fortunately I had a VERY good teacher and learned in less than 30 minutes. :)

So far I have been doing my entire swim workouts using flip turns. I am forcing myself to NOT do touch turns, even if my flips are sometimes (ok, almost always) absolute crap. But! Each swim the turns get better and better and more and more consistent. Still a few hitches here and there. I am learning that they are easier to do the faster you come into the wall.

But mostly they are tiring me out quicker, but I was warned this would happen at first. But already I am able to increase my yardage again while being more fluid in the water. Mostly the turns have increased my feel for the water, which is something that I constantly struggle with by only swimming 3 times a week.

Now I just need to learn butterfly. Easy, right? ;)


  1. That is pretty cool!

    I taught myself how to do flip turns two years ago... it all started w/ a horrible swim session haha, I was going to bail but then was like, ehhh I might as well learn something today. And only hit my head 2 times!!! (total win)

    I like them and I don't... you are more fluid and swim more continuous... however, if you don't plant right, you can twist your knee badly (from experience and I think KC did this a few years back too). So be careful and don't get too comfortable w/ them.

    I did a workout the other day and it was hard... you have to swim around the end of the lane, no touching, no stopping haha. I was doggy paddling but EXHAUSTED. Never thought it would be hard to do that.

    Friend taught me butterfly in college... I pretty much look like a freight ship coming through the water when I do that hahaha!

  2. easy enough! go for it :)

    congrats on the flip turns-you'll have to vlog the fly ;)

  3. Congrats on your flip turns!

    Have fun with the challenge!

  4. Oh yeah, the butterfly is so easy. I can do one arm stroke, one leg flop, and then attempt to whip my arms back out to do another stroke and then I drown. Course I'm just not an efficient swimmer anyway. Good luck with Alcatraz.

  5. Hmmmmmmmmm a good flip turn teacher...fascinating...

    Butterfly isn't that hard, make sure you breathe on the final part of the pull rather than the recovery. Doing the reverse is one of the most common errors.

  6. Maybe it is because the new TV show "Alcatraz" started last night? Got it DVR'd so not sure if it is good or not?

  7. Congrats on the flips - just think of the added ab workout you are getting now! Let me know when you want to tackle the fly. it's all in the hips & putting your chin to your chest.

  8. Man, I hope you get the $200 gift! It's sweet when you're already doing the work and can score something while doing it. That's awesome. Way to go on the flip turns. I don't think I'll ever do it. Good for you!

  9. It is all about having a good teacher.

    You'll have to see if the flip turns improve your breathing at all. I started doing them because I felt like I was cheating by getting an extra breath at the wall each time I turned. Now I'm just cheating with a good push off the wall. haha

    My pool started a 100 mile challenge for the year. I did about 250 miles last year so it will be a piece of cake - just about at as hard as your 30 miles in 3 months challenge will be.

    Now butterfly... no thanks.

  10. You should do 2x30 miles and enter the raffle twice. FREE FOOD!!

  11. Butterfly.... can't be done by humans, or butterflies.

  12. Oh I hope you win the raffle! and I sadly still do not know how to do a flip turn

  13. Butterfly really isn't that hard, I promise! This sounds like an awesome challenge, even though you will crush it!

  14. Welcome to the flip turn club! At least you haven't hit your head on the bottom of the pool AHEM...

  15. One day I want to join the flip turn club!

  16. Butterfly is easy. Just lay the chicken breast on the cutting board and slice along the horizontal plane, then flip the piece open. As you pull it open keep making small slices until it is flat.....oh you were talking about swimming.

    What is the nice restaurant in town? Sam's? I love that place and I know you walk there because I used to walk there all the time.

  17. That sounds like a great challenge. And yay for flip turns. I couldn't be higher on the Flip Turns For Triathletes bandwagon if you gave me a drum and a large, feathered hat.

  18. I think you over-complicated your math, there. 30 miles in 30 workouts. Wait, let me break out the calculator....

  19. yeah yeah yeah good teacher VOMIT.

  20. Is your flipturn coach available for hire? :)

    You'll hit those 30 miles easily. What they need to do it drop the water temp and add sharks... now that would be a real challenge! :)

  21. 1. Yessss!!!! Congrat's on the flip turn!!! I'm so jealous!!!

    2. You've got that 200 dollar gift cert in the bag!

    3. Btw, thanks for the link to the 5 step flip turn! I've been doing my noodle flips.


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