Monday, January 29, 2007

Counting Laps

There's something you should know about me: I am really bad at counting laps.

In the past, I've let myself believe that it's because I'm busy, or fried from exams, or whatever the case may be. But I'm running out of excuses.

Yesterday I was supposed to do 2x400 (yeah, short workout, I know - my coach has really backed off on the swim volume) and I think I did a 450 and a 350. Today was a 1000yd time trial. I came up with a brilliant plan. Instead of counting the yards, I would go by letters of the alphabet. So 1000yds = 10x100 = 10x4 lengths = 40 lengths = 40 letters. Which means I had to go through the alphabet once and then around again to H. So I'm swimming along, all proud of myself for my brilliant plan, which was clearly brilliant because it was working so well. I didn't lose count at all. I get done, all proud of myself for counting correctly (what am I, 3?), look at my watch, and realize there's no freaking way I went that fast, even with my recently-found speed. That's okay, I thought, I'm probably only off by a little.

When I got home, I sat down to figure out exactly what happened. Turns out my brilliant plan would have been more brilliant if I had gone through the alphabet correctly (again with the apparently regressing to age 3). So 40 letters is not once around and back to H, it's once around and back to N. Which means my 1000yd time trial was actually only 850. Crap.

Go me.


mishele k said...

I used to keep track of my laps by yardage ("okay, this is a 350") but I kept screwing up. Now for my 1000s I count to 10 4 times. That way if I miss a lap, say #5, I know that I'm really on 6 because I'm coming back down the lane toward where I started. That sounds unnecessarily complicated, but you should definitely try it if you get a chance; 10 laps doesn't take all that long but it's a big enough chunk that you probably won't forget how many sets of 10 laps you've done. An added bonus: when I'm doing 1000s hard or for time, I whoop some booty that last 250. There's magic in the 10s I tell you!

Whew! Hope that's some small help. :-P

paul said...

I love the alphabet system, its brilliant! Although it is too bad you stopped at H instead of N.

I think this system could definitely make me faster, too... I would end up totally forgetting about the lesser-appreciated letters like Q and X and go much faster than expected. :-)