Yesterday, I went to a "Tri Swim Fitness" down at the University Sports Centre. I'd seen it advertised on the tri club facebook page, and decided to book a place for an afternoon of doing something a bit different (also, the University swimming pool is lovely - I would join as am eligible for a good rate as a member of staff, but it's just in the wrong direction from my house, and I'd lose swimming time to time spent getting there).
The afternoon was run by Cathy Cavender who is a swimming instructor and Janette Cardy who is a fitness instructor and personal trainer. I have met Janette before; we do many of the same swim races and she goes about 1-2minutes faster per km than me, which translates to a 5 minute better time over 3.8k, so she obviously knows her stuff! (And she did recognise me/my name from the summer!).
It was split into 3 parts - Fitness Pilates, followed by some flexibility work, followed by an hour in the pool.
Unusually for me, I enjoyed the dryside work far better than the swimming work. I LOVED the Fitness Pilates. It seems that I have very little core strength, and I am sure that improving it would be beneficial for all of my sporting activities. And it's something that you can work at in little bits by yourself too. The flexibility stuff was fascinating. Janette said that my hamstring flexibility was "really bad", but surprisingly, I was able to do "the swimmer" pilates move well, and I had really good flexibility in my shoulders (just that they were very tense) (that was a big surprise, not). But I felt so relaxed afterwards (apart from my tummy muscles which today are Quite Sore) and actually managed to sleep for 5 hours in a row (normally I sleep for 1.5-2 hours, wake up for a bit, repeat etc etc) which was amazing!
I definitely want to incorporate this into my schedule. Janette does a Weds evening class which I am going to try to attend this week (I struggle with doing things on evenings so this could be quite a challenge for me), and she's also going to do 2 private one off lessons for me and Mr Tuna at the start of February. Hopefully this will give me a better idea of the things that will be good for me to do and I can practice them whilst I'm in Tenerife. Although I will try and practice the things that I can remember from yesterday though too.
I didn't enjoy the swimming so much, probably because I was quite tired after all of the rest of the session, and also because the pool is quite cool (which is great for a hard training set, but less good for hanging around), but we did some drills, and talked about the difference between threshold and endurance training and did a timed set (which warmed me up).
Anyway, it was a fantastic afternoon and made quite a nice difference to my training!