The summer season goes quickly

Summer is always too short. In swimming its a month shorter. Our championship meet starts next weekend. This weekend is the “Last Chance” meet for swimmers to make cut times for other meets. I feel like I’m in moderately good shape and I’ve had some good practices, but we’ll see this weekend.

My performance fluctuates significantly in practice and from day to day. One day I will be feeling good and going fast, but not the next. One set I will be feeling good and going fast, but not the next. This is common amongst swimmers through a season, but as the season progresses and conditioning develops the good days begin to outnumber the bad ones. I’m finally at the point where I have more good sets and good days than bad.

In a 50m sprint set this week I found myself going 27s and 26s at only about 90% effort. This was a surprise considering I could only do 29s at 100% two weeks ago in the same set. When the set changed to 100m sprints I went 59 seconds twice, but completely fell apart going 1:04 in the third sprint.

Today, in practice I swam a 100 backstroke pacing for the second hundred of a 200 backstroke. I went as fast as I had gone in prelims at the last meet.

I am hoping to go 1:02 or 1:01 at the meet this weekend. I have no idea what my 200 backstroke time will be this weekend. I wouldn’t even dare to venture a guess, but I know I’m not well conditioned enough for it. As for our championship meet at Brown University next weekend, I can only hope for a time that I can reproduce in season this coming year. With no tech suit (and I don’t plan on shaving) I doubt it will even feel like a championship meet. With a small taper I hope that I can at least break a minute which would be a great [converted] time to aim for in dual meets this winter.

The best part of being in New Hampshire is the rest of the summer is not wasted. In Bangor, August is used as a break before winter season begins. Seacoast, however, swims through August which will be essential to maintaining my conditioning and translate my summer training to college swimming in September.

Most of my teammates will be horrendously out of shape come the first day of school. Their time off is well deserved, but it won’t save them from the pain of the beginning of a season. For me, the first few weeks will likely feel like a taper.

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Matthew England

About Matthew England

Matt is a former Bangor High School swimmer and currently swims for coach Susan Lizzotte at the University of Maine. He holds team records for the Bangor Hurricanes, Bangor High, and the University of Maine. He is an exercise science major for the class of 2016.