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-   -   The Magic of Easy Days! (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=7720)

Tom Pamperin 02-25-2015 08:43 PM

The Magic of Easy Days!
 
Very tired today and unmotivated. My heart rate was elevated about 12%, and arms/shoulders a bit tired (I swam 6000m in the past 2 days), so I was considering skipping my swim practice.

Jumped in anyway and resolved to just do easy swimming. Warmed up for 300m not counting strokes, just feeling and perceiving.

Then did 10 x 50 on 1:00. I intended to swim at a 1:50/100m pace, but halfway through the set discovered I had been doing a 1:40/100m pace (I guess math isn't my strong suit!)

Finished at 1:50/100m pace.

Then swam 5 x 100 at 1:55/100m pace with :10 rest.

I didn't try for a particular SPL--just really watched hand entry (no bubbles) and patient catch, and concentrated on feeling extreme ease.

I finished with a few 110m and 50m repeats, keeping the same focus on ease. And wow!

This was just what I needed. Without realizing it, I have been doing most of my training at much harder (for me) paces--almost all well over my hoped-for "race" pace for my 10 mile swim in July.

This nice easy day--2,000m of pure mindfulness and relaxation--was just what I needed. I also slowly became aware that my left hand enters a bit wider than my right, so worked on that asymmetry by bringing the right hand out wider. And really came back to the bubble-less hand entry focal point (very few bubbles at these slow speeds), which always helps me stay relaxed.

So, EASY days (aerobically/pace-wise) are magic. I had forgotten all about that. Got out of the pool feeling stronger and more relaxed than when I got in. Great practice.

terry 04-28-2015 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin (Post 51475)
EASY days (aerobically/pace-wise) are magic. I had forgotten all about that. Got out of the pool feeling stronger and more relaxed than when I got in. Great practice.

Tom
I'm not sure why no one has replied to this post in three months, but you've shared an invaluable insight.

Easy days are beneficial in so many ways. Opportunities to just experience flow. Best pace for perfecting form. And if you're training in a goal-oriented way, the restoration you gain from easy days make the pace-oriented days much stronger.

I'll share this. When I do an easy day, I strive to make it physically easy, but cognitively challenging.

Tom Pamperin 04-28-2015 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terry (Post 52816)
Tom
I'm not sure why no one has replied to this post in three months, but you've shared an invaluable insight.

Easy days are beneficial in so many ways. Opportunities to just experience flow. Best pace for perfecting form. And if you're training in a goal-oriented way, the restoration you gain from easy days make the pace-oriented days much stronger.

Thanks for the comment--I've really come to appreciate these kinds of practices--it's a great opportunity to ignore the clock completely and just FEEL, which sets up lots of opportunities to notice what is happening in a very curious, non-judgmental way.

I had been missing out the "noticing" aspect of practice a little, since all of my sessions came with pre-conceived goals to some extent (focus on recovery, work toward increased tempos, etc.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by terry (Post 52816)
I'll share this. When I do an easy day, I strive to make it physically easy, but cognitively challenging.

I'd be interested to hear more about how--I don't think of my easy days (I've continued with one per week) as "cognitively" challenging so much as "mindfullness-ly" challenging, if that makes sense. I really try to get beyond language and the need to describe things to myself in words, and just FEEL and be as smooth and easy as I can. Really, it's a completely absorbing, ego-less and detached curiosity that takes over (another way to describe flow, perhaps). I love it, that's for sure.

terry 05-01-2015 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin (Post 52818)
I've really come to appreciate these kinds of practices--it's a great opportunity to ignore the clock completely and just FEEL, which sets up lots of opportunities to notice what is happening in a very curious, non-judgmental way.

I had been missing out the "noticing" aspect of practice a little, since all of my sessions came with pre-conceived goals to some extent (focus on recovery, work toward increased tempos, etc.)

Too few people recognize the value of this. My new book on Ti training methodology will have a chapter on mindfulness in which I will devote some space to exactly this as a practice goal.

I think it's just a semantic difference to say mindfulness-ly challenging vs. cognitively challenging. The latter can include noticing or blending several focal points. Or it can include math. But in a restorative practice, you'd simply be doing those at an RPE below 3.

AWP 05-01-2015 11:00 PM

This sounds like many of my morning practices where I'm limited to 30/40 minutes of swim time and has produced wonderful results in my extended and more arduous sessions.


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