Monday, February 1, 2010

Meter Mania Month

This is meter mania month for Peninsula Community Center Masters (PCA Masters).  It's kind of an interesting phenomena, in that we have the exact same workouts at exactly the same time of day, with the same coaches, the same swimmers, the same number of minutes per workout, and yet, for the shortest month of the year, we count how many meters we swim, and without scientific data to show it, we swim a lot more during this month than any other month!  So, what's up with that?

It's all about setting tangible goals, and measuring results.  In our case; count your meters.  We know how we are doing along the way (we write our daily results on the wall).  We think about it, notice it, talk about it, and somehow, there is this motivation to push the number up.  How far can we go?  It's funny.  Some folks look forward to meter mania all year, and then swim 10,000 meters a day!  For reference, we normally do about 2400 - 2700 meters a day, which takes about an hour.  10,000 meters would take a good 3, realistically 3.5 hours in the pool.  

Some people have to do more than most.  Some have to have a 'respectable' number of meters, but pretty much everybody has to do more than they would any other month in the year.  Just for fun, I asked a few folks what their goals were, and why they do it.   Hey, I am going to put my numbers up, for everyone to see!  Or, I did so and so last year.  This year I am doing (put in the number) more.  The more was typically a lot, too!! 50%, double, even triple last year!

So what?  For me, the moral of the story is:  Be careful what you measure.  You will most likely do more, do better, or improve, whichever way you want the number to go.

Here's some of my swimming examples where I was measured:  Swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco.  Go.  You get a medal for it.  Or, let's swim 5000 meters on Thanksgiving, 7500 meters on Christmas and 10,000 meters on New Years!  You get a sweatshirt for it!  Here's a cool picture of Aquatic Park looking back at Alcatraz, and seeing some swimmers out there.  One more:  Trans-Tahoe relay - 5 man teams, swim across Lake Tahoe (12 miles).  Go.

Anyways, I am thinking about what else to measure.

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