I realize that we’re already a few weeks into a New Year, but I’m still assessing 2015, including my swim log. Honestly, I forgot to do it sooner, probably because it’s the first year that I have month-to-month data, and thus annual totals, for two consecutive years. (Prior to 2013 I logged sets, times, how I felt, etc., but didn’t track total yards/meters.)
My 2014 total? 572,775, which I crushed in 2015 with 763,250. (Right now you’re probably asking, “What’s with the random, big-blob-total?” In 2014 I didn’t denote SCY/SCM/LCM. So the math is a bit inexact this go-round, perhaps even more so as I switched from regular SCY to SCM in 2015, something that I assume would slightly, but further, bump up the difference between the two years. Looking ahead, however, I’ve started logging pool course type per workout.)
But wait—don’t be amazed by that uptick between years! A 2014-2015 comparison is a peculiar starting place for me due to an atypical 2014—I spent two post-op months out of the water that summer; then I had to build back from near-scratch. While doing so, I had a potential melanoma kerfuffle, requiring another two weeks out while the big gash in my back healed. Then there was a string of colds and viruses…I was very run-down during the latter half of 2014.
Here’s the month-to-month view (kudos to Eric for creating the chart!):
What do I hope you’ll be as excited about from my comparison, and what you can’t see easily from above? I did more challenging sets, saw several interval drops, improved training consistency and did tougher races (e.g. 6K instead of 3K postal) in 2015.
Perhaps the most interesting tidbit to pop from my first year-to-year comparison is that I don’t think in miles. In fact, several days passed after an initial look at the 2014/2015 data before I wondered what 2015’s total looked like in miles (433.67—with another shout out to numbers-guy Eric for doing the math). I expect I’ll always have yards/meters tunnel vision; even when training for a 10K open water race, I approached every practice in terms of meters, not miles.
Another key take-away from my 2014-2015 comparison? I don’t want to get caught up in an “always more meters” game from year to year because I feel it’s a slippery towards garbage yardage. Instead, I plan to tease out other signs of progress, such as total fly per workout, consistency in holding a new interval, adding a new challenge before repeating a main set, and so forth.
For now, I leave you looking forward to new swim adventures in 2016!
Next week: Why I Love Being a Swim Spectator