Race Report: Y’s Guys Masters Swim Meet

On Saturday I had the opportunity to compete in my second Master’s Swim Meet, the Y’s Guys Master’s Meet, at the new aquatic facility on the University of St. Thomas campus.  This meet served as the final exam for the off-season swim focused training block that I’m just finishing up.  It was a huge success, in my opinion, and helped to validate all of the hard work I’ve put in over the winter improving my swimming.

Like the previous Master’s Meet, I swam the 200 Free, 500 Free, & 1000 Free so I could make a direct comparison to the improvements I’ve made.  As I entered the meet I really didn’t have any specific goals in mind and I tried to not take the meet too seriously.  I was, however, pretty excited to be in this meet because I knew a couple other triathletes were going to be there (including blogger Steve Stenzel, who did a great job in his first swim meet ever).

200 Free

I started out the meet with the 200 Free with a seed time of 2:06.17 and swam in heat 5 of 6 in lane 4.  I love swimming in lane 4 as it is always the top seeded lane in each heat and it always gives me a great boost of confidence that I can win the heat.  As I stepped on the block I could feel the nervous energy that I usually get as I enter every competition.  It however was quickly erased as the starters horn sounded and we were off.  The 200 can be a difficult race in that it’s more of a sprint than an endurance event so I tried to go out strong but relaxed in hopes of swimming fairly even splits.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.  I ended up with a 2:02.86 (59.96, 1:02.90) which as you can see from a split standpoint is not very even.  Part of that can be attributed to the start, however there is still quite a difference and I would have liked to have finished a bit stronger.  On the other hand I dropped 3.31 seconds which is a huge improvement over my previous swim.

500 Free

Next up was the 500 Free with a seed time of 5:46.41 which earned me a spot in heat 4 of 4 in lane 7.  While I would always love to be the top seed in any event I was happy to have some competition to chase as I really wanted to improve my time.  The 500 has always been my favorite race in swimming.  It’s definitely an endurance event but you still need to keep your foot on the gas and have steady consistent splits to do well in it.  Throughout the race I could see that I was at least in second place but I stayed calm and swam my race.  I finished with a 5:30.76 (1:02.44, 1:06.69, 1:07.29, 1:07.97, 1:06.37)  overall I believe I executed this race to the best of my ability given my current fitness.  The splits throughout were relatively consistent as I wanted and I was definitely spent at the finish.  On top of that I couldn’t be prouder of the 15.65 second improvement, that is impressive.

1000 Free

My final event of the day was the 1000 Free where I was seeded with an 11:47.09 but I was the only male swimmer that chose to do this event so this one was going to be all up to me.  I have only swam this event twice in my life compared to the hundreds of times for the 200 & 500 but my approach each time has been to stay relaxed the first 500 and try to build the intensity in the final 500.  Last time it didn’t work too well as my splits were roughly 5:47 & 6:00 however this time I felt more comfortable in my pacing ability so I wanted to give it another try.  This time I nailed it with a 5:40.66 & 5:43.10 which for a distance event like this is pretty much spot on when you take into account the start in the first 500.  While the overall percentage of improvement for the 500 is better I consider the 23.33 second improvement and consistency of the swim to be a much bigger achievement.  The 1000 is a difficult race to stay focused in and not let your guard down through the middle of the event.

Again, overall I couldn’t be happier with the improvements I’ve made this winter in my swimming, which I’ll go into more detail on in a post at the end of the swim training program.  Beyond that though I’m glad to have found my love of competing in swim meets again.  I will definitely be competing in more Master’s Swim Meets next winter.  If you are interested in the complete results from the Y’s Guys Master Swim Meet feel free to visit the following link. Results


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