Saturday, May 19, 2007

A swim milestone

The word milestone is quite apt here.
Yesterday, I swam a mile. First time I've managed this distance.

Let's do the math. 36 laps of the 25 yd pool. 72 lengths. 1800 yds. That's the closest whole number of laps to 1760 yds = 1 mile.

However, I didn't swim the mile continously. I swam it in chunks of 100 yds (2 laps, 4 lengths). Not so impressive if you can swim properly.

However, you have to bear in mind that I am a truly terrible swimmer despite being a reasonably fit person in other aerobic activities. So despite stopping every 100 yds, this is an crowning personal achievement.

Normally, I last about 500 yds or barely 1000 yds if pushed (i.e. swim with someone). So when Harold, the lifeguard on duty at the MIT Alumni pool asked me how many laps I'd done, and I said 33, he said if you swim 3 more, you have a mile. And he helped me count down the last three laps.

A few tidbits:
  • Truth be told, I was inspired to complete the mile by the story of Morris Halle swimming 1 mile each day. And he's 83.
  • Curiously, a "swimmer's mile" is typically defined as 33 laps. Now, if you do the math, that comes out at 1650 yds. A wee bit short. So why is that? Turns out, 1650m is 1804 yds. It must have been based on a pool length of 25m/50m.
  • Previous blog entry on swimming freestyle: here

Truth be told, I have a ways to go before declaring myself truly able to swim a mile.
MIT has a beautiful and huge 50m pool (at the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center) as well. Uncrowded:
Depth is 7ft to 14ft. I am not yet capable of doing 100m without stopping in this pool. So I recover after each 50m length.

1 comment:

  1. I believe the 1650 yards distance came about because it is 1508.76m - just over 1500m, which is known as the "metric mile" in track and field.