Brendan O'Connor: I'm the almost-famous Brendan (not O'Carroll)
I'm a bit zonked coming out of the pool these days due to the HIIT, that's High Intensity Interval Training. Impressed are you? And so you should be. Without the aid of a trainer or any professional I have embarked upon a course of HIIT, which essentially involves me 'sprinting' for every fourth length of the pool.
Now sprinting might be too strong a word for what I am doing. To the naked eye, or the semi-naked swimmer, it might not be that obvious that I am sprinting. Indeed, even if you were to set up finely calibrated sensitive equipment and train it on me, it is doubtful that the needle would go near 'sprint'. The only way you would really notice a difference between the sprint laps and the other laps I do is that the sprinting has necessitated the other three 'resting' lengths becoming much slower. So there is a difference between the sprints and the other laps, but the difference is due to a downgrading of the other laps rather than the speeding up on the sprint laps.
If I were to put some stats on it, I would be inclined to say that I have increased the speed of one lap in four by 10 per cent and as a result have decreased the speed of the other laps by 50 per cent. And that's just an average. The lap that comes immediately after the so-called sprint could be decreased in speed by as much as 100 per cent. Indeed, I worry that there is a danger that the lap immediately after the sprint could see me going backwards, such is the deceleration required for the little rest required after the sprint. I would be smoking a cigar for that lap if the conditions weren't so wet, and I would have my feet up on the desk if that wouldn't lead to potential drowning.