What is the hardest swim practice you do?Josh:
I alluded to a 4.8km main set above, that’s pretty difficult. It’s basically 48x100m, varying from mid-rest to short-rest. Long sets like these are as mentally demanding as they are physically demanding. Not because it’s just plain difficult to get your head around doing 48x100m and enjoying it that, but because you’re actually engaging mentally the whole time trying to keep count of laps and time cycles. Apart from arrogant displays of pool etiquette in public lanes, there’s not many greater annoyances in the pool than being totally lost mid-session, with nil confidence as to how far you’ve swum or have left to go! Anyway, the session is done long course meters and as such;
1x100 on 1:40
2x100 on 1:25
5x100 on 1:20
6 times through
Sometimes if I’m feeling good I can take this down to 1:15 cycle, but it’s not the aim of the session to massage your ‘time cycle’ ego. It’s just about making the times feeling comfortable and smooth, and not teaching yourself to swim with lactic acid by over-swimming to keep up with someone else’s cycle. No one wants to do an Ironman and start the race trying to manage lactic acid buildup, so you should avoid training to do so. There’s a time and a place for anaerobic work, and this session isn’t it. The session is mostly about working being comfortable for the back end of an iron-distance swim leg, and training overall swim efficiency.ST:
Anything else we should know?Josh:
Here’s a data dump of stuff I like!
Best races: St Croix (rip), Wiesbaden (rip), Escape from Alcatraz, Jönköping, Penticton.
TV shows: Twin Peaks, The Mighty Boosh, The Thick of It.
Movies: Legends of the Fall, The Thin Red Line, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.
Bands: Summoning, Paysage d’Hiver, Caladan Brood, Midnight Odyssey.
Leisure: beer, Land Rovers, camping, fishing, foraging, coffee roasting.
Stuff I’d like to do after triathlon: ultra trail, brew beer, ride more bikes off-road, see more live music, snow sports.
Best advice: just be genuine.
You can follow Josh Amberger on Twitter via @joshamberger
Thanks for the interview!