Not Enough Time In The Day

Not Enough Time In The Day

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California. It may be a specific idiosyncrasy, but we think of time in macro terms and micro terms. Macro Time For those deeply passionate about open water swimming, there is never enough time in the day to do all the training, planning, logistical organizing, acclimatizing, traveling, social media announcing, blog reading, and website updating for all the solo swims, relays and competitions that they want to do, especially if they are also balancing family, friends and work between their swimming activities. They often think of large blocks of time to plan their swims: in weeks, months and years. Swimmers consider, “How many more months to my swim?” or “How many hours to train today?” This macro time seems to move slowly and is manageable because so many things (solo swims and races) are often out in the distant future. Micro Time In contrast, training on a daily basis seems to be packaged in smaller units. A swimmer’s world, especially those who train in a pool, is usually dictated by micro time. They ask themselves, “How fast can I swim this set [my pace]?” or “How fast can I do this set [my interval]?” It is amazing how a swimmer’s life can be dictated by this micro time, measured in seconds. The difference of 5 seconds or 3 seconds or even 1 second can seem like an impossibility to many swimmers. Think of a set of 100s on 1 minute 30 seconds versus 1:25 versus 1:20 versus 1:15 versus 1:14 or 1:13. Every little second of micro time seems to count for so much in the water during training. Micro time certainly does not move similarly when comparing macro time at work, in school or at home. Five seconds can easily pass by on the commute to work or while sitting in the office or learning to a teacher in a classroom. But lunch or your next vacation can seem so far away. Five seconds is simply a sliver of time on land or outside of training; most times, swimmers do not even realize that sliver of time has passed. But those same five seconds in a swimming set can be a killer – or an impossibility. Measuring Micro Time How swimmers measure and discuss micro time is also significantly different than consideration of macro time during on land-based lifestyles. Swimmers and coaches look at an analog pace clock and say things like: Let’s go on the top. Start on the bottom. Next set on the side. Swimmers and coaches look at a digital pace clock and say things like: Go on the next 30. Lane one on the next 60. I can’t make that interval. At the same time, even if their training lives are dictated by a pace clock, swimmers often ask questions about time like: What time is it? How much longer [in the workout]? How long will this [set] take? Time will tell how you think of it in micro or macro terms. Copyright © 2008 – 2015 by by World Open Water Swimming Association