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Jeff Commings
February 1st, 2007, 10:33 AM
I'm sure some of you have been reading Dennis Baker's "A Day in the Life" (http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/Default.asp) series. For those who haven't, it's a chance to see what this guy goes through.

I've never met Dennis, but I have heard stories. To read that he does sets of 300s fly is astounding. I know he's been doing that all his life, but to have the drive to do it alone is great.

I must say, though, that his entries almost sound a little like bragging.

That said, to go 8x100 SCM free on 1:10 and call it recovery is remarkable for anyone, much less a 45-year-old man.

Any other thoughts?

scyfreestyler
February 1st, 2007, 10:43 AM
Recovery from what!?

USMSarah
February 1st, 2007, 10:51 AM
I must say, though, that his entries almost sound a little like bragging.

That's what I thought when I was reading it... but great for him that he can do those kind of sets.

ande
February 1st, 2007, 11:28 AM
he's quite remarkable, he's got to be training harder and farther than any other 45 year old on the planet

Day 1
http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/13563.asp

Day 2
http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/13572.asp

Day 3
http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/13578.asp

Ande

scyfreestyler
February 1st, 2007, 11:29 AM
24x100's free
8 on the 1:20
8 on the 1:15
8 on the 1:10

This recovery set is great because it really gives me energy for the next day. I try not to go fast or push it, but just make the send offs with the least amount of effort. To do this, one must find other ways to swim fast. Less head movement and better turns seem to do the trick for me.

I try not to go fast? Who is he kidding! This guy is a swimming superpower.


Not to change the subject, but while I was looking up this article I saw that another swimmer, Kalyn Keller, is jumping ship from USC and heading to Club Wolverine. I am starting to think that Dennis should head up to Club Wolverine and show those youngsters what somebody twice their age is capable of.

resqme
February 1st, 2007, 01:04 PM
How in the world can a 45 year-old human body do such things without injury. If I were to even try to swim that much (of course - I'm not talking speed here) just for one day, I think my body would break into tiny pieces.

I can barely get out of bed at 45 years old!!

knelson
February 1st, 2007, 01:22 PM
I must say, though, that his entries almost sound a little like bragging.

It would be difficult for him to post his workouts and not have it come across as bragging. Heck, as hard as he's working he deserves to brag a little!

Jeff Commings
February 1st, 2007, 03:21 PM
It would be difficult for him to post his workouts and not have it come across as bragging.

No, it wouldn't. Ande's posts don't come off as bragging.

Michael Phelps did an online journal of his prep for 2004 Olympics for two months and I never thought he was boasting about his insane sets. He could do 300s fly like Dennis but he always toned down the extreme nature of the set so no one felt like they could never be as good as him because they could never make sets like that.

I'm not accusing Dennis of bragging. His writing just gives me that impression.

scyfreestyler
February 1st, 2007, 03:36 PM
All I can say is that I don't think anybody can really consider the 24 x 100 posted above a recovery set. I am no cardiologist, any FACC's feel free to chime in here, but I would bet money that the set is going to increase ones heartrate as you go through it. That does not sound like recovery to me.

gull
February 1st, 2007, 06:24 PM
All I can say is that I don't think anybody can really consider the 24 x 100 posted above a recovery set. I am no cardiologist, any FACC's feel free to chime in here, but I would bet money that the set is going to increase ones heartrate as you go through it. That does not sound like recovery to me.

Certainly wouldn't meet Maglischo's definition.

He is an incredible athlete, no question. But is he married with children, like many of us? Apparently not. Does he have a typical nine-to-five job? Nope, he works in an aquatic facility. I don't know how much punishment my body could take in a day, but I just don't have the time to train more than I do (even if I wanted to).

Sam Perry
February 1st, 2007, 08:33 PM
Certainly wouldn't meet Maglischo's definition.

He is an incredible athlete, no question. But is he married with children, like many of us? Apparently not. Does he have a typical nine-to-five job? Nope, he works in an aquatic facility. I don't know how much punishment my body could take in a day, but I just don't have the time to train more than I do (even if I wanted to).


If I would have to train at that level if I had his schedule, I am glad I have mine. I am happy to get in 3 days a week with work and family life.

I don't think it is bragging at all and think Swimming Worlds asked him to post what he does and he is posting. The tone of his messages sound no different than Ande's. I continue to be amazed at what some people can do, if he can do it (Ande or Dennis) he should be able to write it.

Heck I am excited sitting here in Downtown LA for a week at meetings that I was able to walk to the downtown YMCA and swim on my own 3 times. I don't get to write about it, but I am not doing sets of 300 butterflies either!

swimr4life
February 1st, 2007, 08:43 PM
he's quite remarkable, he's got to be training harder and farther than any other 45 year old on the planet

Day 1
http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/13563.asp

Day 2
http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/13572.asp

Day 3
http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/13578.asp

Ande

Oh my! If I did all that he does in one day, I would need 2 days to recover!! Is he married with kids? Just wondering....

The Fortress
February 1st, 2007, 10:20 PM
I don't know how much punishment my body could take in a day,

What a remarkable athlete. But how do his shoulders handle that load? Is he a superhuman physiological specimen? Orthopods and PTs and masseuses on staff? It doesn't look like he has time to work that in... What about dessication? What's his secret? (Besides good technique, I mean.)

Beth:

If he's watching Boston Legal with his girlfriend, I'm hoping he's not married. I see he's kicking ;) even with, gasp, a board. :eek:

chaos
February 1st, 2007, 10:46 PM
if i were doing sets of 300's fly at the advanced age of 45, i would have a flashing neon sign in times square (thats in nyc:D )

The Fortress
February 1st, 2007, 10:52 PM
if i were doing sets of 300's fly at the advanced age of 45, i would have a flashing neon sign in times square (thats in nyc:D )

Me too. :D That's because you're The Flash. And since you're also The Hulk, you could put the sign up yourself. And do a big green *flex.*

chaos
February 1st, 2007, 10:58 PM
Me too. :D That's because you're The Flash. And since you're also The Hulk, you could put the sign up yourself. And do a big green *flex.*

i'd rather be capt omnipotent...but i don't want to be accused of cross-contaminating threads here.

The Fortress
February 1st, 2007, 11:02 PM
i'd rather be capt omnipotent...but i don't want to be accused of cross-contaminating threads here.

How can you be such a purist when you had the same score in three categories? :thhbbb:

Exactly who doesn't know the difference between impotence and omnipotence?

Peter Cruise
February 2nd, 2007, 12:22 AM
A god who on the first day rested...

knelson
February 2nd, 2007, 12:23 AM
I'm not accusing Dennis of bragging. His writing just gives me that impression.

OK, but it could be that he's just so used to doing this kind of training he kind of takes it for granted.

Frank Thompson
February 2nd, 2007, 10:17 AM
I am really enjoying the "Day in a Life" series about Dennis Baker. I have known about Dennis Baker for years. In 1979, he had the second fastest time in the 100 Yard Fly at :49.6 behind Dave Wilison who broke the longest National high school record at that time of Mark Spitz (:49.1) with a :48.50. In 3rd place in the HS rankings was Jesse Vassallo and in 4th place was William Paulaus and both of these swimmers were World record holders. He had the second fastest time in the 200 Yard Fly in the 17-18 age group of 1:47.13 and the only swimmer at that time to ever go faster in that age group was Craig Beardsley who went 1:46.95 and eventually became the World Record holder in the 200 Meter Fly for several years. In fact today some 28 years later it remains the 31st fastest time in the USA Swimming All Time Rankings for the 17-18 age group. He made the finals of Olympic Trials in the 200 Fly in 1980 right out of High School. He made the finals again in 1984 in the 200 Fly.

He went to swim for Arizona under famed coach Dick Jochums and a lot of the workouts that he does are very familar with what Dick Jochums does. There are 2 good books to read about Dick Jochums and the type of workouts that swimmers do in his program and they are "4 Champions and 1 Gold Medal" by Chuck Warner and "Gold in the Water" by P.H. Mullen. This is the type of environment that Dennis trained in and its very unlike what the normal masters swimmers do as 45 year olds. Dennis is trying to make Olympic Trial cuts for the 200 Fly and has gone 2:04.97 and the qualifing times are 2:03. This year he went 2:06.XX and fell short. I think the reason he is doing the type of workouts he does is because he feels this is the best way for him to prepare and qualify for the 200 Fly OT cuts. He can do this because he has trained like this most of his life and his body can absorb this kind of pain that goes with these type of workouts.

Its no surprise that he works out this way. He said last year in an interview with Swimming Wold magazine that he is from the old school when it comes to training like he did in the days of Dick Jochums and he totals 45,000 to 50,000 meters per week. This is not really new here and I recall that Jeff Cummings said the same thing last year when he was training for the World Championships. His current lifestyle can afford him to do this between the coaching he does with 3 different teams.

What is amazing about Dennis is that he said he was overweight and out of shape for many years before he got back and committed himself to swimming. I remember Dennis swimming masters in the 1980's but I believe he took about 10 years off because he was working as a CPA in accounting and had a very high stress lifestyle. In fact he said " I was living life in the fast lane, and I didn't know how to get out of it" and he acknowledges today "Now I am swimming in the fast lane and loving it." He lost about 35 pounds and had a complete change of lifestyle similar to what Rich Abrahams said when he was working as an attorney and smoking and not swimming masters.

I applaud Dennis for trying to qualify for the OT at 45. I hope he gets there and he is working harder than ever to make it. If I remember correctly about 15 years ago, Mark Spitz wanted to be the oldest man to make and compete and medal at the 1992 Olympics. He had races on TV against the best USA swimmers of the day and everyone assumed he would make the OT cuts but would have have a hard time to make the finals in the 100 Fly at the 1992 Olympic Trials. He never made the cuts in fact I do not believe he was even close. I believe he went :58.03 and the cuts at that time were in the :55.59 range. Dennnis being 5 years older and not being as famous can make a run and I believe he has a legitimate shot.

Swimmers have to be impressed with this. He is as fast or faster than Mary T and Shipper and he is a 45 year old man. Another curiosity is that he coaches at the Multnomah Athletic Club where Don Schollander swims. As everyone knows Don won 4 gold medals at the 1964 Olympics and was the young star of that Olympics. In one of the events he swam in those Olympics was the 400 Meter Free in which he went 4:12.2 on a hand time watch to set the World Record. Some 41 years later, Dennis as a 44 year old went 4:12.26 with electronic timing as a master swimmer. I am sure Don must know about this and maybe these two have met and talked about it. To put this in perspective, in the year 2046 will there be a masters swimmer to equal or better a time by an Olympian today?

CreamPuff
February 2nd, 2007, 11:21 AM
I too have enjoyed reading Dennis Baker's "Day in the Life."

It's very inspirational and really makes me think that perhaps
I/ other masters can pusher ourselves further (not necessarily to his level - but further than what our preconceived notions are for *people of our age*.)

I feel he comes off as very matter-of-fact and positive.

If he's doing those 10 or 12 300 flys on the interval he listed, I think his "recovery" set is truly recovery for him.

Good for him for ignoring conventional wisdom and just aiming for his dreams.
Skip, thanks for the great background info. I am personally rooting for him and really hopes he makes the cut!

born2fly
February 2nd, 2007, 11:31 AM
Being a flyer I can appreciate his drive and those crazy sets. I wish him luck on trying to get his OT cuts. I have done the 300 flys myself. However, mine is in 25yd pool and I only do 5 and its 75fly 25 fly. Usually I only do those during the summer when trying to get that extra yardage for the long course season. My currrent favorite set I do at least once a week is 5x200 flys on 3, decending. First one is usually around a 2:25 and the last one at 2:10. Its all about finding the groove and just going with it, its not as painfull as one might think.

At 45 his time is amazing and makes me want to work harder to try and get to his level in the 200 fly.

greg

scyfreestyler
February 2nd, 2007, 11:33 AM
To put this in perspective, in the year 2046 will there be a masters swimmer to equal or better a time by an Olympian today?


I don't know for sure, but I suspect if you asked the same question 30 years ago people would have said no.


BTW, are you a swimming historian by profession or a google master?

knelson
February 2nd, 2007, 12:43 PM
In today's post Dennis mentions doing something called the "Zulu drill." Anyone know what this is?

tjburk
February 2nd, 2007, 01:45 PM
The biggest thing at my age...soon to be 44....about doing long workouts is building up to them......DON'T push too hard, your body WILL tell you when you are!!!!

Here is a workout I did last spring while I was over in the desert - (Luckily there was a 25M pool where I was).

Warm-Up
500 Swim/300 Kick/200 Drill

Warm-Up Set
25/50/75/100/100/75/50/25 based on :30 Free
20x25 IM @ :45
25/50/75/100/100/75/50/25 Kick based on :30

Swim
5x100 Free @2:00
10x50 Free @1:00
5x100 IM @2:15
10x50 Fly/Free @1:15
5x100 Pull @1:40
10x50 Pull @ :50
5x100 IM @2:15
10x50 Breast @1:15
5x100 Kick @2:00
10x50 Pull @ :40
5x100 Free @1:45
10x50 Free/Fast @1:00

500 Free
20x25 Fly/Breast @ :45
12x25 Free @ :30

Cool Down
200

10,000 Meters

I had been building up to this for a couple of months.

I just wish I had the time to do this regularly. Right now I can get in between 3k and 5k yards a day if I'm lucky.

Dennis is truly a stud for doing all that Fly.....I would die!!!! Literally!!! I can do 50's Fly and that's about it in practice.....

Paul Smith
February 2nd, 2007, 02:11 PM
I've gotten to know Dennis a bit over the years.....had some great races against him as well. At Worlds I was giving him some grief for his so called "taper" (3 days)......IMHO he should be swimming quite a bit faster than he is right now based on his training/conditioning (2:16 200m IM, 4:41 500y free for example)......and most likely would with more rest before a major meet.

Stephanie Simmons
February 2nd, 2007, 04:18 PM
As one of Dennis' master swimmers I can vouch that he truly does all that he is posting. He is oneof the best if not the best swimmers I have ever known, also a great coach. He took someone who had not swam in 20 years and got me to the point where I have qualified for nationals in May. Thanks Bake!

Peter Cruise
February 2nd, 2007, 05:43 PM
Paul- I fear that Dennis, if faced with taking more rest before a major meet, would start twitching and wondering 'what do I do with all this spare time?'

scyfreestyler
February 2nd, 2007, 05:50 PM
As one of Dennis' master swimmers I can vouch that he truly does all that he is posting. He is oneof the best if not the best swimmers I have ever known, also a great coach. He took someone who had not swam in 20 years and got me to the point where I have qualified for nationals in May. Thanks Bake!

I don't think any of us doubted him, I know I did not. I think it was just a bit overwhelming for many to read about somebody swimming at these paces.

As for your Nats qualification, congrats to you and your coach! Good luck.

Stephanie Simmons
February 2nd, 2007, 05:52 PM
thanks it has been a hard year. But Bake has been supportive the whole time.

Paul Smith
February 3rd, 2007, 10:06 AM
Paul- I fear that Dennis, if faced with taking more rest before a major meet, would start twitching and wondering 'what do I do with all this spare time?'

Peter.....he and quite a few other folks who swim masters! It really is incredible how many people I meet who don't understand tapering or do understand but refuse to do it....for whatever reason. Fine with me if they are happy with their results.....

Allen Stark
February 3rd, 2007, 02:21 PM
Dennis will be giving a clinic for Masters swimmers on Fly on Feb 11 if any of you can come. The info is on the Oregon Masters Swimming website.