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Random Nonsense

  1. There's a throw down!

    by , November 17th, 2012 at 03:22 PM (Random Nonsense)
    GSP or Condit? I am a GSP fan, but I don't hate Condit.

    Now that the throw down is out of the way, here is how the meet went.

    My 400 free (1st event) started at 7:59 and I finished cooling down at 9:20 from my last event. All my racing was done in under 80 minutes. Very much something James would think is fun.

    1st event 400 free, the gridge event
    - 4:58.15
    -- 1:10.68 (33.51, 37.17)
    -- 1:18.70 (37.99, 40.71)
    -- 1:17.35 (39.03, 38.32)
    -- 1:13.38 (37.18, 36.20)

    I thought 10,12,12,12 was reasonable, but I also have know experience splitting a 400. There are 6 lanes and I am in lane 1, so there are 4 people faster than me in theory, two I know are fast and realistically much faster than me. At the 75-100 leg I see I am in the lead, by a lot, and all I can feel is prerace jitters, I have no idea how fast I am going from feel, so I dial it back. In reality, I was right on track. If I would have kept up the pace, I would have died at the end but had a much better swim, probably by several seconds.

    -18.71 for the gridge, but worst swim of the meet, all on poor execution. I shouldn't let other swimmers influence my race, I know how much variety there is in my training, so expecting the fast guy to go fast is silly.

    I have done a sub 5:00 swim from a push at Lifetime recently, which is the primary reason I am so disappointed in that swim. The feel the first race of a meet is so incredibly different than anything in practice...

    50 free: 27.81

    Happy with that. I didn't cool down, warm up, or have time to pee after the 400 free. Not the best time for me, but I am not in the condition I was last year, the 400 was maybe 10 minutes before and last year I had Jost to race.

    200 free: 2:16.06
    - 1:05.77 (31.45, 34.37)
    - 1:10.29 (35.74, 34.55)

    This was kinda different. Stephanie Stone was in the lane next to me and we knew each other from WCM intensive training camp that we did back in March. She said she wanted to break 2:13, and I was entered with a 2:13 mid. I told her that I was not in the condition I was in last November and after the 400 definitely wasn't going 2:13, but I was more than happy to go out in a 5 high 6 low, but she needed to know that at the 100 she would have to pull way ahead of me to meet her goal. She's a smart girl, so probably didn't trust me, but at the 100 she was about a stroke and a half infront of me, well withing meeting her goal, she just didn't quite have the back half some 30 minutes after her 400, to break 2:13. She was 2:14 mid. Still a blazing time, but she wasn't thrilled with it.

    Happy with my time, slightly faster than I expected, didn't really swim my usual race and thinking about someone else's 200 for a change was a nice break. This was a really enjoyable swim for me.

    100 Free: 1:00.96 (30.03)

    This was fun. This is probably the first race that I can ever remember winning. Sadly, I remember not too long ago when this meet was bigger I probably would have won the second to last heat. Still fun!

    I was in much better shape at this point in the meet than I expected and this was a solid time given the timeline of the meet. To break a minute at this meet, I would have to forgo everything but the 50 or actually become a much faster swimmer. The 100 free is just too late in this meet to have a good swim and still take part in the other events I enjoy.

    Almost forgot, I got stuck in traffic and missed half of warm up (was on deck at 7:20 for a 7:00 warm up and 7:45 clear the pool) but the meet was so small I was in a lane with only Stephanie and Lynn (also from WCM training camp) during warm up who are both quick swimmers. One of the best warm up experiences I have had at a meet. This might have impacted the 400, but doubt it for the rest of the meet.


    * I did the split breakdowns from the cumalitives in my head, so there are likely math errors.
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  2. How to train for a 400 free gridge

    by , November 16th, 2012 at 12:11 PM (Random Nonsense)
    My three pronged approach:

    1. Spend more time traveling than training and ignore that training can actually occur while traveling.
    2. Supplement wine consumption with beer consumption.
    3. Modify Rushall training to include more rest and less volume at lower efforts. This modified form can actually be done with or without a noodle.


    The key to success with this approach is taking a gridge with an overwhelming advantage, and that's exactly what That Guy did.

    Except he wasn't following my plan.

    While everyone reading That Guy's blerg thought he was doing laps across Puget Sound, fly/back, he was actually secretly crafting the perfect 400 free time drop. If anyone had actually read the bloog, they probably would have noticed this plan, but it was wisely hid in plan site.

    That Guy was so confident in his devious plan that he started randomly signing up anyone who passed by for this gridge.

    Imagine, training hard for a gridge. I tried that once and ended up with broken ribs.

    This time will be different. This time I will show up wholly unprepared, but with a functional rib cage, and have faith that my only 400 free time on record was a fluke in the most negative sort of way, and I can fake (or bribe) my way to an official 16 second time drop needed to beat That Guy.

    As for rxleakem and aztimm, how I am supposed to know how much to bribe the officials? They have not even swam yet. Bugger that.
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  3. Maui Channel Swim 2012

    by , September 9th, 2012 at 02:30 PM (Random Nonsense)


    Let me start by saying I give really good advice, frequently excellent advice, and when I give you advice, you should take it. More importantly, make sure I plan on following my own advice.

    I am getting ahead of my self, untaken self advice is towards the end of the story, but important enough to mention first. Back around the time I was doing the Waikiki Roughwater, Coach Anna said that she wanted to do the Maui Channel Swim, a relay of six people who swim from Lanai to Maui with the aid of a guide boat. Like a good little swimmer, I nodded my head and said sure and continued on with my ignoring-the-coach thing I occasionally do.

    Strangely, Anna kept mentioning the Maui Channel Swim (MCS). She mentioned it so many times over a long enough period that I thought she might be serious, unlike when she says "kick with no flippers". About this time she had also convinced me that I was in charge of organizing the relay, head coach Dave independently seconded this idea and I nodded my head like a good little swimmer and started recruiting.

    In November the relay became official when I mentioned it to Dennis, who went home and mentioned it to Molly, who said something along the lines of "If you have to be eaten by a shark for me to have a Maui vacation, so be it" and promptly booked his tickets.

    By Christmas we had a half dozen people interested, and by June we had almost the same half dozen signed up.

    Dallas Aquatic Masters (DAM) has sent relays for 21 years, so instead of finding a boat, organizing hotel rates and doing a whole lot of work I am too lazy to do, we just signed up through DAM. The DAM rate at the Sheraton was better than any other comparable hotel rate, they provided us with a boat captain we were very happy with and they did all the paperwork and money handling for the MCS side of things. Pretty darn easy.

    As relay organizer, I did do a fair bit of research on estimating trip cost, when to buy airfare, if the Sheraton deal was the best price, what we needed to worry about and when relay organizer became team captain I attended to paperwork requests, phone calls to the boat captain, attending meetings and paying the captain. My only organization failure was not keeping everyone up to date when times kept changing and in the future, I would know to just publish the official times of all the meetings the day before they happen since they moved around by an hour and that hour is only important the day of the meeting, not two weeks before.

    The stars aligned, and we all trickled into Maui free of injury. The DAM "organized" practice swims off black rock are really times when lots of swimmers will be in the water, so I ended up leading 3 practice swims for our relay. During no single practice swim did we have all 6 team mates because of flight and tour schedules, but there was nothing critical we all needed to be present for at the same time. I am not sure how restful a vacation this trip was to Maui for most of my teammates, because some of them packed their schedules with activities, but I think everyone enjoyed their time in Maui, and touring didn't impact anyones swim.



    Saturday morning, time to get on the boat! Four swimmers were staying in the hotel and two were staying somewhere else, so the hotel swimmers met in the lobby at 6am to head to the boat ramp to meet everyone else about 6:30 to load the boat and wait for it to be launched. We were on the road by 6:02, loaded the boat and headed to starbucks for a coffee until 6:45, the estimated launch time. By the time we got back to the ramp (the Starbuck's really is a block away), Captain Lee had launched and was waiting for us, "patiently", as we took pre race pictures.

    OH! Our team name! (Skip if you really only care about the swim) Dennis was the first to book (via his lovely wife Molly who could care less if Dennis actually swam if she got to go to Maui), but about that time he started a new company. This company happened to be a fire and water damage company and their clients usually notice their house has been flooded, after the get home from work... which means late nights. Good news, Dennis' business is doing quite well, bad news is all their business is usually until late at night and he doesn't have anyone trained that he trusts to be first on site yet. So Dennis stopped showing up at the 5am practices a few weeks after signing up for the race. In early August, we have a prerace party... and Dennis doesn't make it because of a call that came in. His wife and kids made it to the party... and approved of the name. Team Where's Dennis?!

    It is about 6:50 and we make the 25 minute boat ride over to Lanai, the weather is beautiful and the seas are calm. We chatted with Captain Lee a bit about currents, our route, how we want to do transitions and how conditions will change as throughout the swim. The night before he gave me really good directions on how to swim into the Lanai since the swim into the beach hasn't been dredged in years, the channel is very narrow, there is lots of coral and we were at low tide. Keeping this advice in my I headed off to the beach, and did notice while swimming in that even the channel was incredibly shallow.

    After an easy swim into the beach, I walked up to the beach and noticed my first mistake as I turned around to look at the boats. I switched to a new sun screen the morning of the race, and the new sunscreen left a haze on my goggles that I could not wash off in the sea water. Looking into the sun was very much like a sun flare in a photography, with the sun blurred across my vision and everything else left in a shadow. If I was looking forward, I could only see outlines of boats, but looking anywhere else, my vision was fine. Of course the start is directly into the sun, and was now completely dependent on my boat finding me.

    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXGVtVf8Q9s&list=PL44434A404FB191FB][IMG]http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/c67.0.403.403/p403x403/564606_4570591389922_646604394_n.jpg[/IMG"]Anna pre race announcement MCS 2012 - YouTube[/nomedia]

    This year's start was a water start for the first time, we lined up waist deep in the water at the end of the dock, a flag was waved and off we went. A thirty minute swim was no big deal for me, I had done a few 30 minute swims, 3k continuous and hour swims to become comfortable with long duration swims. What was really disconcerting was when I was 10 minutes into the swim looking for my boat and I kept seeing the same boat off to my right, after passing mosts boats quickly. I am pretty sure someone took their 100ft yacht out to watch the start of the race either on purpose or by chance, but I never thought I would get past it. A few minutes after passing the Queen Mary 2, my boat found me! Yeah, I can stop trying to sight into the sun!

    With the boat in sight, things get pretty easy, just try to keep the Captain in sight and I am heading in the right direction. If I am looking at the bow, then I am heading too far north and probably away from the boat and if I am looking at the motors, I am going to run into the boat. This works pretty well if you and the boat can match pace, and it worked fine for me.

    After following the boat for only a couple minutes, Anna signals me that there is only 5 minutes left and our signals are 8"x11" numbers stapled into a folder. I assume that I just didn't see the 1, and I have 15 minutes left.

    Four minutes later the boat pulls away to drop Joe, the next swimmer, off in front of me. Right around the 30 minute mark, Joe tags me and I take off swimming towards the boat, climb in and take a seat.

    That wasn't bad at all. I yet again was really surprised no one else wanted the first leg, I was the only one who has actually set foot on Lanai. What also surprised me was how many people took off faster than I did at the start, I was no where near the head of the pack. A lot of time was probably wasted trying to connect with the boat and if I did it over again, I would just head north after coming out of the channel and let the boat captain know that was my strategy. We had none, and I just swam towards the boats hoping for the best.

    As the first swimmer, I now have 2.5 hours before I swim again and am fairly tired after my 30 minute swim so grab a seat at the back of the boat watching Joe followed by Dennis. I sunscreen immediately, and have a bottle of water during this time. After Anna goes in and I help Dennis up the ladder and stow it, I am feeling a little sea sick. I head to the cooler, grab a gatorade and take a non-drowsy dramamine.

    Advice: Everyone on the relay got a sea sickness patch, and everyone followed the recommendations to put it on the day before... except me. I sent out the video to my team to convince everyone to get the patch, and I ignored the advice because it was supposed to be smooth this year. It was smooth this year. Nice smooth rolling 4-6 foot swells. My advice to everyone considering the MCS, GET THE PATCH, put it on 24 hours ahead of time.

    Five minutes later: "Oh crap, I am going to pop" running to the back of the boat, hand over mouth trying to hold back my gatorade colored vomit before I actually get to the side and empty my stomach. Good news, it was all liquid that I drank since being on the boat. Bad news, probably another 4.5 hours in the sun with 30 minutes of intense swimming without being able to keep fluids down. I am now mildly concerned that I am jeopardizing the relay finishing and my health.

    As far as sea sickness goes, my problem was mild, I just couldn't tolerate anything in my stomach. Once I emptied my stomach, I didn't feel great, but I wasn't hanging over the side green in the face either. So I manned the ladder waiting for my next swim to come up. There was some concern about me swimming, but I pointed out I was much more comfortable swimming than sitting on the boat.

    About 5 minutes before my swim, I suggested that we pull well ahead of Chris (who was in the anchor spot), and I would drink a water then toss the bottle back in the boat. I knew dealing with stomach cramps are a non-issue compared with dealing with dehydration. This worked ok, but Chris' leg was in quite tough conditions, so I got very little time in the water with some water before she caught up. Going much further ahead and she would have difficulty sighting in the swells.

    10 minutes of bliss. No cramps, the swells had gotten progressively bigger now that we were outside the protection of the Lanai shallows and the wind picked up a lot to create some chop. Fun swimming for me and about 5 minutes into it, I realized I wasn't pulling my weight at that my pace and stepped it up quite a bit.

    After finishing my swim and climbing into the boat, my water bottle and gatorade that I didn't finish before my swim are nearby so I resetup near the ladder and am good for about 45 minutes. During one of the transitions as I put the ladder up, the Captain kicks the boat into gear, I get knocked back with my shin pressing the steel rod connecting the two engines, the captain makes a hard turn slicing a 3" gash into my shin. Not a banner day. I put some vaseline on it, cut man style, and hope to minimize the chumming. It is very shallow, so it doesn't bleed much, but I didn't think to pack anything to accelerate clotting, so the vaseline will have to do.

    Right before going in again, I think I was video taping or something, my stomach does a somersault and I am at the back of the boat again. My swim starts in about 3 minutes from that point, I grab a bottle of water to rise and jump over the side to start my swim. Good to be back in the water!

    At this point the swells are dying down and other than the occasional wind induced whitecap, the swimming is the easiest it has been for me since the start.

    The water is crystal clear, but the ocean is so incredibly deep between the islands that all that you can see is a deep dark blue. It is beautiful, and enjoyable if you find swimming in the swells enjoyable, but I don't think any of my relay saw any sea life during the race. Most of us did experience some small stings during our swims that were probably from little jelly fish, but the pain went away before any of us were out of the water just leaving a short line of red marks where we were hit.

    After another enjoyable 10 minutes in the water, I was back on the boat and we can start to see land marks. At this point the sea is pretty calm, my dramamine might have kicked in and seeing the end in sight, I actually feel good. Really good. Seemingly all the sudden I am up walking around the boat, chattering away, talking about swimming a group finish, who is going to be the one to finish and really enjoying the last 30 minutes.

    Advice: Get the sea sickness patch. Put it on 24 hours before. Enjoy the ENTIRE race.

    We all agree that we will swim to the finish together and by our time, I will be the one person who has to official run up the beach to the finish table. I want to finish as a group so I hang back and swim with the everyone into the beach, then I am off and running to the table. The finish is quite confusing because the finish table is setup in front of the boat lane, and since they had a boat run over a swimmer last year, they kept the table in the same spot, but moved the swim up buoys about 50 yards north so the water buoys don't line up with the flags of the chute in the least. Luckily, we weren't going to time, and there was someone to point down the beach to where the finish chute was.

    Grabbed a celebratory water at the finish desk and headed back to hang out on the beach with the team and our families.

    Even vomiting over the side of the boat, this was still an incredibly fun swim. The time flew by both in the water and on the boat.

    Notes on the swim:

    - Direct distance from start to finish: 9.85 miles
    - Estimated swim distance: 12 miles (my estimate)
    - Estimated swim time: 6 hours
    - Actual swim time: 5:04:35
    - Actual swim distance: 10.7 miles (garmin on the boat)
    - Start time from Lanai: 8am
    - Leave from Mala Ramp Maui: 6:50am
    - only food I saw consumed on the boat: water, gatorade, gu, fig newtons, salt tablets
    - food on the boat: Apples, oranges, drink powder, peanuts, potato chips, cookies, energy bars, rolls.

    I am not sure our transition method was as effective as it could have been. It took a long time to get the finishing swimmer on the boat leaving the next swimmer without a guide for 2-3 minutes.

    We brought way too much on the boat.

    The fig newtons were really popular. One or two sealed packages of cookies is probably enough food. Even I wasn't hungry and most of the food bought was not eaten on the boat.

    Spray sunscreen sucks on a windy boat. The spray ends up on the boat and in your teammates eyes and mouth. Consider non-spray for the boat.

    Consider zinc oxide for the nose.

    Put on the same sunscreen on the beach before practice swims as you will use on the boat during the race. Does the sunscreen cloud your goggles, get in your eyes, etc? Address these issues before the race.

    Leave flip flops with the person who drops you off at the boat ramp. They aren't needed on the boat, and if everyone swims to the finish, no one has shoes! Beach sand is hot and not having shoes limits the post race celebration options.

    Updated September 9th, 2012 at 03:00 PM by qbrain

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  4. My submission for the most boring workout

    by , August 18th, 2012 at 03:19 PM (Random Nonsense)
    Lifetime SCM

    1x5000 swim (~71 minutes)
    1x200 cool down

    Updated August 18th, 2012 at 03:24 PM by qbrain

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  5. HVT MCS Style

    by , August 11th, 2012 at 05:18 PM (Random Nonsense)
    That's "High Volume Training Maui Channel Swim Style" for those without the secret decoder ring.

    Since I have not blogged since March, let me catch you up on my training. I have not done any serious training since March, but my stroke has changed considerably.

    Based on the feedback from Coach Mike and Dr G at the WCM Camp, I really started to work on catching earlier and accelerating through my stroke, the key suggestion to accomplish that being to rotate more through the shoulders to the hips. The rotation was critical, allowing me to get in an arm position that allowed EVF and shift much of the pulling workload to larger back muscle from the shoulders and arms. On the negative side, I don't think this will do anything to help my sprint speed. Working on this was about 2-3 months focused on drills (aka, goofing off while everyone got ready for two Nationals) and maybe 6 weeks of building some endurance back.

    On to the set! I was reading pwb's blog and saw his horrendous set ideas (50x100s, 25x200s, 10x500s) and thought, 10x500s is incredibly boring, that is probably a good set to do before swimming between islands.

    Nah!

    But now I had the idea of doing something incredibly boring as preparation for a swim that is a relay with six people where everyone starts with a 30 minute leg, then does 10 minute legs until they finish. My rough guess is our relay will take about 6 hours, which works out to a 30 minute leg and 3x10 minute legs each. Sounds like a set to me.

    No warm up (although I get to swim to Lanai from the boat, so maybe I should have done one)
    Main Set #1
    - 30 minute swim - 2200 SCM
    Main Set #2 (repeat 3 times)
    - 100 back ez
    - 10 minute swim - 750 SCM
    Cool Down
    - 100 back ez

    In the real relay, I will have 2.5 hours rest after the 30 minute swim (I am leading off) and 50 minutes between each 10 minute swim, but I think a 100 ez back is close enough for simulation purposes. Mild foot cramp in the last 10 minute swim so I don't think I had another 10 minute swim in me. I feel pretty good, but I am not in the aerobic shape I was in the fall of last year. That was a harder longer swim than anything since March. My preparation for the Waikiki Roughwater last year much more serious.
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  6. Back to back HIT workout experiment

    It is the weekend, so I thought would do back to back HIT workouts, all max effort swims with tons of rest and recovery swimming between.

    Saturday
    - 1500-1700 warm up
    Main Set
    -- 400 - 500 ez between each swim
    - 100 IM 1:05.83 - 30.53 35.30
    - 200 back 2:27.92 - 34.82 37.33 38.3 37.47
    - 50 breast 35.67 (pulled a "breaststroke muscle")
    - 100 free 54.64 - 26.73 27.91
    - 50 back 32.49
    - 50 free 24.23 (rolling start)
    -- no recovery swim 5 minute break
    - 50 free 24.63 (rolling start)
    -- no recovery swim 5 minute break
    - 100 back 1:08.35 - 33.19 35.16
    -- no recovery swim 10 minute break
    - 100 free 56.00 - 26.20 29.80 (rolling start)
    Cool down
    - 300 ez

    Sunday
    - 1000 warmup
    Main Set
    -- 500 ez between each swim
    - 100 breast 1:22.71 - 38.96 43.75 (pulled muscle not happy)
    - 200 free 2:03.30 - 29.11 31.55 31.67 30.97
    - 50 fly 29.79
    - 100 back 1:07.49 - 33.64 33.85
    - 50 free 24.76
    - 50 free 24.02 rolling start
    Cool down
    - Practice Monday


    Experiment results: Not much in the way of speed this weekend, but the splitting and consistency between sprints was good.
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  7. Swim Camp for Masochists: WCM Intensive Training Camp

    The focus of the camp is intensive training. The stroke schools, lectures, breakfasts, video analysis and other entertainment are just strategically timed distractions from the pain and exhaustion being experienced.

    This year there was an extended camp that included Dr G video analysis and lactic clearance test. Since I was flying out to SFO, of course I signed up.

    Pre Camp

    Before registering for camp I emailed Sid, the camp organizer, and asked her if it was ok to miss the last practice of the camp, I could only just catch the last flight out Sunday night if I left at 3pm with the last practices started. She responded with this and no more "You will probably be thankful for the excuse." Smart ass remark? Appears so. Good to know I will fit in.

    Friday

    Friday morning I flew out to SFO, rented a car and drove out to Walnut Creek. No major delays and no traffic so I got to the pool around 1pm and my Dr. G testing started at 3pm. After introducing myself to Kerry and hearing what was going on, I decided to see if I could find the hotel, get checked in and be back at the pool around 2:30pm to warm up. All went as planned.

    For warm up, I swam about 2000 yards. The video taping was running about 10 minutes behind and it was warmer to swim a 50 every couple minutes rather than get out and stand in the cool spring breeze. The testing is at a hard pace but not all out, and I swam free with bouy, free normal, dolphin kick to flutter kick, backstroke with bouy, backstroke and dolphin kick to flutter kick on my back for the testing. I have the video but have not watched it yet nor have I received Dr. G's commentary yet which should show up in my email sometime.

    What I had forgotten about was the lactate test. After being reminded I was hoping it was based on a 100 for time, but as luck would have it, it was a 200 for time. Sigh. This is a good indication of Kerry's mindset, why do a 100 when a 200 will do? On the positive side, I was very warmed up, felt great and expected to go about a 2:02 from the blocks, a couple seconds faster than I went last week. Instead we went from a push to allow two people to easily share a lane and went a 2:03. Very happy with the start to the camp... after the 200 was done.

    The test went like this, swim the 200, wait 3 minutes, get blood taken, cool down 10 minutes, get blood taken, cool down 10 minutes, get blood taken. Dr G recommended this format and from it we should learn how long we should spend cooling down after a race and I think we will also get some feedback on our conditioning.

    It is a little before 5pm and time to get out, get dry for a while and attend "class".

    Swag bags were handed out, introduction of the camp staff was made and Dr. G's began his talk on what elite swimmers are doing right that makes them the best and some of their mistakes as well. I was interested to hear what Dr G had to say, but expected him to be pretty boring. Dr G is actually a great speaker and spent about 15 minutes on each of the four strokes looking at elite level power tests and pointing out the strengths and flaws with each. Interesting stuff like Kitajima bends his legs too much on his dolphin kick actually slowing him down along with not having initiated his stroke so it was technically illegal. A lot of it was talking about generalities between the strokes, minimizing drag and using elite swimmers along with their velocity graphs to make his points. Good information and entertainingly presented, but nothing that I can easily share in a blog.

    Dr G was also supposed to give a 30 minute lecture on nutrition, but he used all his time on the strokes. I was a little surprised he wasn't given more time, but the schedule was packed.

    Next was backstroke and freestyle class. The backstroke class was 30 minutes of lecture mixed with clips from Go Swim with Misty Hyman. Rotate and kick from the core. There was a lot of detail involved in that, and if my focus was backstroke, I would have retained more, but what I came away from the camp learning about my backstroke? I need to practice more. Nothing earth shattering came from the classroom time. Freestyle on the other hand... The lecture was given by the head coach of Walnut Creek's USAS team, Mike, and like all Mike's, he had something interesting to say with a sarcastic delivery. What he said in the class room that has been stuck in my head since is "wrist below elbow, elbow below shoulder." I just changed this in my stroke after a video review in January thinking was causing too much drag with my initial catch, and thus tried to keep my hand and forearm just under the surface for the last month. I am thankful to now know I was being an idiot and creating future shoulder problems with my attempts to fix my stroke, so I can now go back to my old faster more comfortable entry. Mike's other gem for me was about the catch. The elbow is never locked during the freestyle, and if it is locked on the initial entry, the catch will be much delayed and EVF will be impossible. During the class, I just thought that this trick would help me catch earlier by having my elbow bent and arm at the right angle when it came time to catch, but Mike would come back to haunt me later.

    Back in the water... Walnut Creek is now in the low 50s and windy with no sun at 7pm. First was freestyle with coach Cokie. Cokie is great, and it was dark, but as usual I got no criticism of my stroke. I got complimented on my stroke, which I appreciate, but I want a beautiful fast stroke, so I need to hear about the flaws. Cokie kept us moving as much as possible while keeping the comments to just enough to convey meaning. Why? Because it was cold. After 30 minutes and a round of freestyle drills it was time to switch coaches for backstroke. Backstroke was the worst pool session because coach chatty-mac-chatterson recovered everything we went over in the classroom while we froze on the wall. The backstroke drills consisted mainly of drowning while doing chin to shoulder rotation with arms at the side.

    After practice I drove to a Yan's China Bistro place in my swim sweats (very stylish) and order beef chow fun, General Tsao's, white rice and a Sapporo. It was a lot of food and excellent. The General Tsao's was one of the best renditions I have had. Straight to bed afterward, around 10pm (very late for me).

    Saturday

    Woke up around 5am, headed a block down the street to Starbucks for some coffee, guzzled water until 7am when Holiday Inn served breakfast where I proceeded to stuff myself with their frozen cinnamon rolls and instant eggs. Holiday Inn Express coffee is horrible. Undrinkable.

    The morning practices are general conditioning, while the evening practices are distance specific with the stroke specialists lumped in with mid-d. Lanes are organized by speed based on what you claimed the fastest interval you could hold 10x100s on. Most of the fast people lied and put down what they could easily make 10x100s on. After warm up we did a quick adjustment and I ended up leading the second fastest lane.

    The morning workout was great for me because we had Coach Mike who has a rather dry sarcastic sense of humor that I seemed to understand quite easily. We were going into the main set, and I made some comment about someone crushing me speedwise when Mike pops out "Michael don't worry about that, all you need to worry about is making sure your left elbow is actually bent." For the rest of camp I thought about making sure my left elbow was not locked out. It was awesome, I never get critical feedback from the pool deck, and here I get one side comment that will help with two problems on my left side, impingement and a late catch.

    The main set looked more difficult than it was. Everyone in the first 2 lanes were 1:15 or faster swimmers, so our set was
    - 1x25 on 35, 1x50 on 35, 1x25 on 35, 1x100 on 1:10
    - 2x25 on 35, 2x50 on 35, 2x25 on 35, 2x100 on 1:10
    - 3x25 on 35, 3x50 on 35, 3x25 on 35, 3x100 on 1:10
    - 4x25 on 35, 4x50 on 35, 4x25 on 35, 4x100 on 1:10

    There were several people who were worried about not making the set, but no one seemed to have a problem.

    The morning entertainment was when the last main set was assigned 3x200 on 2:45, but I "heard" 3x300 on 3:45 and that is what I did. And everyone let me, coach and lanemates. I make friends everywhere I go incredibly fast.

    After a nice 5k morning it was time for a team breakfast and a break until I needed to be back in the water.

    My video session was scheduled for 1pm, they were running about 10 minutes behind, so I got in about 40 minutes of warm up before the video session. I did the video session in IM order and the video was taken as 35 with a turn from the side then 20 head on. The video reviews would be done Sunday with one of the coaches, you got a dvd of the videos and needed to take notes during the session.

    Cooled down a bit then hopped out to wait for the 1:45 breaststroke school to start.

    Breaststroke is my worst stroke. I knew this before the class, but after the class I was really surprised my stroke was considered legal. There was a lecture in the bleachers that lasted about 20 minutes followed by about 30 minutes in the water. The lecture was fine, the techniques were understandable but they really were meant to improve a decent breaststroke. Once in the water it was very apparent that my breaststroke was remedial at best. Luckily, 3 of the 4 swimmers in my group were in a similar boat and we got new drills to help us not suck and we gave up trying to do the improvement drills altogether. My remedial drill that I need to do for the next couple years to learn to kick is the bellybutton to wall kick drill, followed by the pull buoy kick drill. The belly button to wall kick drill is exactly what it sounds like, you press your belly button to the wall and kick, keeping your knees in the same plane as your torso unless you want bruised knees. My other (tragic) breaststroke problem is that while my knees are dropping they are also spreading apart wider than my feet. There are serious problems with my pull as well, but fixing the kick will help my body position and good body position will be critical in fixing my pull.

    I left breaststroke school feeling like I had no idea what I was doing, but a good idea where to start, so very worthwhile.

    Time for the Sprint workout! It seemed like all the fast people who swam with me in the morning were doing the mid distance or distance workouts, so I was back to not knowing anyone. The sprint workout was not crowded at the fast end of the pool and I ended up splitting a lane with a older guy who I didn't expect much competition with, and I only invited into my lane because it didn't look like any one else was willing to be in the "fastest" lane. Turned out he was quite the sprinter and had no problem keeping up with me into the turn and was the closest to me in speed.

    The main set went like this
    - repeat 4 time
    -- 4x25 on 45 half sprint half easy. Can use blocks on block end (did 4 of 8 possible starts)
    -- 3x50 on 1:00 (#1 ez, #2 200 pace, #3 descend 1-4 across repeats)
    -- 2x100 on 1:45 37.5 sprint 62.5 easy.

    My descends were great: 34, 29, 28, 27.5. My 200 pace not so much: 29, 28, 31, 30. It was as if my 200 pace got me setup for the descends.

    After the workout we were done for the day, so I headed by to the hotel, put dry clothes on and walked down to an Italian place to refuel and made an early night of it. There was an optional camp dinner, but it didn't start until 6:30, 8:30 my time, and I wasn't sure I could stay awake for dinner.

    Between two practices, stroke school, video taping with warm up and cool down it was a 10k day.

    Sunday

    Butterfly school started at 7:30am and Holiday Inn didn't start serving breakfast until 7, so my breakfast was a Venti latte and cinnamon swirl cake at 5am from Starbucks.

    Butterfly school was a broken up into two groups, beginners and intermediates. After breaststroke school, I knew just because I was faster than half the group didn't mean I had a clue what I was doing, so I stayed in the beginner group, wisely. Kerry was giving the lecture that basically covered body position throughout the stroke and even had a template laid out on the floor for us to lay on. I got the highest grade with a B+! Kerry doesn't give As, but he does make a lot of jokes.

    Out in the pool, we worked on drills to help with body position, hands on buoys, repeat the drill without the buoys, 3/3/3 drill were the ones I remembered. Eric Carlson was also in my lane right behind me, but I didn't yet know he was a fairly new usms blogger (until after camp actually). I have a sneaking suspicion that he is a better flyer than I am, and that I would not have gotten a B+ on the actual drills if they had been graded.

    Immediately following school was my last practice, long course.

    The main set was a racing set, so the first 3 lanes were supposed to have people of comparable speed in waves, so the 3 fastest people at camp should each be leading one of the lanes, then the next 3, etc. I took it upon myself to shuffle some people since the lane I was in at the time had 3 of the 5 fastest people in it and in typical qbrain fashion didn't ask anyone, just told one person in the lane I was leaving he was leading, and popped up in another lane that I announced I was leading while the coaches were kinda "uh... ok!". I was lane dictator over 3 lanes for about 30 seconds, I have never held so much power for so long.

    Today's main set appears easy, or at least not too painful. It qualifies as both.

    10x100s LCM on 2:10 (that is the fast interval)
    #1 90 ez/10 sprint
    #2 80 ez/20 sprint
    ...
    #5 100 ez
    #6 50ez/50 sprint
    ...
    #10 10ez/90 sprint

    Around #4 or #6 I went 1:16 and after that it was 1:17s. Increased sprinting distance didn't decrease time as my body slowly ground to a halt. The ez part was supposed to be the same speed across all 3 lanes so the sprint was raced from an even start.

    That finished the water work for me. There was another sprint/mid distance/distance practice in the evening, and I really wonder how most people did that. I was dead after the morning practice.

    Immediately following practice was pancakes. They were awesome. I hate pancakes. I think most people ate three of, I had nine. I think 4,600M of long course makes everything taste better.

    After breakfast was video review. The reviews were one on one with one of the camp coaches, 10-15 minutes covering all 4 strokes. Some good stuff came out of the video reviews. I have some very tangible and probably easy things to work on with my backstroke that should help it quite a bit. I have a fair bit to change on my fly that I doubt will be easy to accomplish unless I start swimming more fly.

    We had an interesting conversation about my breaststroke. We watched my pull out
    Coach Mike: No dolphin kick?
    I laugh at him
    Coach Mike: what is that?
    Me: I was in the remedial breaststroke school yesterday and today you are asking me about the dolphin kick on the breaststroke?
    Coach Mike: You can dolphin kick right? You should should focus on minimizing the amount of breaststroke you actually do.
    Me: Good point I will add a dolphin kick. (abashed)

    Other than that, we agreed that I needed to work on the things we talked about for breaststroke in the school and work on improving my left side of my free.

    Freestyle was pretty much watching my left elbow lockout and discussing how it negatively affected my stroke. I knew I had a late catch on the left side, but until the camp I didn't realize the problem originated with my entry. The other thing we talked about was my kick being too splashy.

    While watching the Dr. G video this morning (Friday) and pausing my kick on valleys of the velocity meter, a few things became obvious that I didn't notice before. My velocity is the slowest at the top of my recovering kick (this should be the power phase of the down kick), my knee is bent almost 90 degrees at the top of my recovery kick and my foot is out of the water to the base of my calf. This results in a really draggy kick and my kick might not actually be helpful when I really kick hard since the harder I kick the bigger it probably gets. The same is true with my dolphin kick, too much bend in the knee causes drag on the upkick.

    After the video were two lectures. The Restwise lecture was a lecture on getting enough rest and some examples of adequate resting for elite athletes compared to inadequate rest. This lecture was very good and the service is something that might be really useful. The service tracks a couple objective measures and several subjective measures and uses the information to judge how rested you are, if you are green you are good to train, if you drop out of green resting should be a strong consideration. The service was $179/year with 25% off with code ITC2012.

    The second lecture was on TRX and the lecturer could best be described as a TRX fanboy. Some of you might have noticed that I am pretty critical of unsubstantiated data, but the problem with this lecture was more the lack of any data at all. It was very much a "look shiny" approach which didn't engage me mentally and at this point I was barely awake physically. I didn't come away with any negatives about TRX but I am also not going to buy one either. It was nice to see the TRX demoed in person, so it wasn't a total waste.

    That was it for me. As everyone headed back into the locker rooms to get ready for the 3pm practice or off to take a break until the 4:45 practice as I headed back to the airport.

    Something I didn't grasp when I signed up for the camp that was critical. The camp is about training, so while I didn't miss too much information by missing the last practice, the camp really wasn't about the information. If I were to repeat the camp, I would make more of an effort to stay through all the workouts. That last workout must have been an interesting one trying to hold it all together.

    Updated March 9th, 2012 at 03:54 PM by qbrain

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  8. On the positive side

    by , February 29th, 2012 at 10:55 AM (Random Nonsense)
    I think my posts have been pretty negative lately which is an accurate reflection of how I feel about swimming lately, but today the opposite was true.

    Since I have accepted the fact that I fumbled the ball I am not going to blog all my workouts and go back to posting when I have something interesting to share. I really enjoyed a particular set today.

    Warm up
    - 250 swim, 200 kick 250 swim
    Transition
    - 4x150 free/back/free
    Main Set #1
    - 2x
    -- 300 free
    -- 4x150 on 2:00 descend 1-4
    Main Set #2
    - 8x50 kick w/fins on :45
    Main Set #3
    - 12x50 every 3rd fast on :45
    Cool down
    - 100 easy

    Main Set #3 was great for me. Josh picked the interval and it worked out that going straight from fast into a recovery 50, followed by an ez 50, followed by another fast 50 kept the set moving forward at such a pace that there was no time to dread the next fast effort, but plenty of recovery to keep the effort high. I was happy with 30s on the fasts.

    After practice Josh mentioned that he wasn't happy with his 200 at the meet and wants to do more 500s in practice, so next Wednesday I expect to see 8x500s on 6:00 as the main set.

    I finally caught up on sleep, which helped my performance today. In the first two months of the year I have flown 48,594 miles and luckily will fly slightly less than that in the next 10 months.
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  9. DAM SCY Meet

    by , February 28th, 2012 at 11:09 AM (Random Nonsense)
    In event order:

    100 Free: 55.11 (26.55)
    50 Free: 24.91
    200 Free: 2:04.29 (29.22, 31.55, 32.27, 31.05)

    I am not positive that I have been faster in practice in the 100, but the 50 and 200 I definitely have. These are not the slowest meet times I have swam as a master, but they are getting pretty close to my first meet back times.

    Not really surprised. My training is not where near the level it was at the beginning of January. Looking at my flog, there is a huge gap in Jan and again in Feb. The big impacts seem to be kicking and racing. They really go hand in hand for me. If I am not focusing on swimming fast, my kick doesn't get much work in practice. Sprinting is an acquired skill for me (like pacing is an acquired skill for others) and you can see from my splits, I went out too slow most obvious on the 200.

    Nothing is really going to change for this season. I am tossing the idea of Zones as a target meet (3 trips between now and zones) and I am not going to Greensboro (11 days in Europe in April).

    Some meet entertainment

    Me to chowmi: Do you have any advice for the 50?
    chowmi: You should try kicking.

    Martina Moravcova set the women's 50 free pool record at 36, breaking her old pool record set in her 20s with a 22.93 (old record was 22.94 iirc).

    No men beat Martina. Closest was a 22.98 by Steve Unruh.

    My training partner Josh had the 3rd fastest time overall in the 50, 2nd fastest 200 and fastest 100 (frees). This is good for me, as I have a much better training partner than he does.

    Usually I am the only person from my team to attend this meet, but a ton of people turned out this year. It was a quite enjoyable meet because of that.

    Walnut Creek Intensive Training Camp

    This starts Friday and I am a little concerned. The lactate clearance test is Friday, and I am pretty sure I am going to fail. It will be great to get feed back on all my strokes, velocity analysis of my freestyle and have my handed to me 3 days straight, but I am a little sad I am not in better shape for the camp.

    And of course my flight gets home at midnight Sunday, so I will promptly miss the first practice back Monday morning. I really really need to force myself to go because several 10k days followed by a 3 hour flight and not enough sleep will result in my needing to be tossed in the pool to work the kinks out. If someone would like to gift me some willpower...

    Zones

    I was going to shave, tapper and only swimming the 50, 100 and 200 free, but instead I might swim the max events focusing on the 100s. Still thinking about it at this point.
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  10. Moving in the right direction

    by , February 13th, 2012 at 03:00 PM (Random Nonsense)
    Today's workout seemed good at the time, but in retrospect, I didn't push hard enough.

    Team practice SCY, swam with Marge
    Warm up
    - 300 free
    - 200 kick
    - 300 free
    Transition
    - 2x100 DPS
    Main Set
    - 300 pull on 4:00 (3:30)
    - 3x100 on 1:20 (1:10s)
    - 300 swim on 4:00 (3:42)
    - 3x100 on 1:20 (1:11s)
    - 300 pull on 4:00 (3:18)
    - 3x100 on 1:20 (1:08s)
    IM Set
    - 8x25s on 40 IM order (did 4xback, fly, back, breast, back)
    Cool down
    - 300 done free/back/free by 100

    Marge beat me on all the stroke. My back might have been slightly faster than her breast.

    ---

    My reintroduction to IM workout. Prep for the Walnut Creek camp, which probably has more than just freestyle as part of the program.

    Sunday's workout Solo SCM
    Warm up
    - 600 free
    - 200 kick
    - 200 back
    Sprint set
    - 10x25 on 1:00 (3 on 40 in the middle to make a nice clock for the next set)
    -- sprint 12.5, 12.5 ez
    IM set
    - 30x50 stroke/free by 25, no free IM order 10x through on 1:00
    -- 40s fly and back, 44s breast
    Cool down
    - 250 ez

    ---

    Saturday

    My hang on workout

    Saturday's workout Solo SCM
    Warm up
    - 600 free
    - 200 kick
    - 200 back
    Hang on set
    - 1x100 on 2:00 (1:11)
    - 2x100 on 1:50
    - 3x100 on 1:40
    - 4x100 on 1:30
    - 2x100 on 1:20 (supposed to be 5, missed #2)
    - 200 ez
    - 3x100 on 1:20 (finish up the set)
    Cool down
    - 300 ez

    The goal was to not give up too much time as the intervals got tighter and, of course, finish the set. I was doing pretty good until the end of the 1:30s set when I started seeing 1:18s.
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  11. A comment on travel, training and in practice competition

    by , February 10th, 2012 at 04:04 PM (Random Nonsense)
    I travel a fair bit and early in the year more so. Most of my trips are short and easy to work swimming workouts around, but during my Asia trip I didn't swim and then caught a cold shortly after returning, keeping me out of the water for 2 weeks.

    Training and travel are not a good combo, so next focus meet I need to clear the calendar of travel leading up to the meet.

    Other than missing 2 weeks of training I still averaged my normal yardage for the month of January. That is a nice example of GTD does not translate into performance.

    Today we did our group sprint training day. There were about 5 lanes participating 4 people deep, the 5 fastest swimmers lead, then the next wave is the next fastest, etc, so the people you leave with should be similar in speed for racing purposes. There was a kick set with fins and everyone was using fins except Marge. Marge still lead her lane, and came in 3rd, beating two guys wearing fins. In my eyes, that is ridiculous.

    As for getting beat, Marge has been beating me since I have gotten back in the water and Josh has been demolishing me. Two things happened during my break, I got a lot slower, and they got faster. Marge is an excellent kicker, easily the fastest in the pool with a ton of endurance. Wednesday I learned she was the fastest in the pool at strokes when she beat Josh in 75s IM sans free. I knew she was fast, but that surprised me. Speaking of Josh, Wednesday during a short set of 100s I was holding 1:08s while he must have been 1:03s. That hurt, right in the ego and Marge was right there with me, 5 seconds faster than a month ago.

    I told Fort I wasn't blogging because I was doing boring stuff and swimming slow, but I would blog again when I could keep up again. That didn't really happen, instead we did sprint free today which I have a strong advantage over Marge in ... and Josh didn't show up.

    Hopefully that was enough whining for Geek.

    I have not been actually swimming slow, just slow relative to where I was early January. More training has been spent on endurance in the last few weeks and very little on speed. The lack of endurance is very apparent in my training when I try to go fast, #1 is fast, #2 is not. Without some depth, I see little reason to do LT work or dedicate entire workouts to sprints. Sprints and LT will be added back as the endurance returns.

    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    Goals:
    -- Feb SCY meet
    - 50 free: 23.99
    - 100 free: 52.99
    - 200 free: 1:57.99
    -- Zones shave and taper meet
    - 50 free: 23 low
    - 100 free: 50 mid
    - 200 free: 1:54
    The Feb goals might be more realistic for Zones at this point.
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  12. Did I fumble the season?

    by , January 25th, 2012 at 12:32 PM (Random Nonsense)
    Last serious practice was the 9th.

    Team Practice SCY - Aerobic
    Warm up - 1300 various stuff
    Main Set
    - 400 free
    - 5x150 on 2:00
    - 400 pull
    - 5x150 on 2:00
    Cool down - 200 ez

    Josh's 100 pace was about 5 seconds faster than mine today. My stroke felt sloppy and weak.

    In Friday's blog I mentioned that I thought I was getting a sinus infection. Whatever it was went from "I think" to "full blown" in about 8 hours. Luckily, it came on fast and hard and left pretty quickly as well. Monday I could have probably made it to practice and done just as well as I did today, it is just really hard to wake up at 4am from a cold medicine induced deep sleep. That, and I am lazy.

    Sixteen days out of the water is a big step backwards. I feel like I need to add back a big dose of aerobic before getting back to the sprint and LT work. If I am going to take another Asia trip next January, I am seriously considering training for Long Beach SCM next year instead.

    I will be attending the Intensive Training Camp in Walnut Creek unless my application is denied for some reason.
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  13. Welcome back SUCKER!

    by , January 20th, 2012 at 04:14 PM (Random Nonsense)
    That's how it felt anyway.

    Warm up
    - 1x400 free
    - 2x200 kick w/fins
    - 3x100 free
    Main Set
    - broken 1650 for time
    - 11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4 lengths take 10s after each
    - 3,2,1 lengths take 5s after each
    - subtract 90
    -- went 19:50
    -- Josh went 18:50
    Random Set
    - 25 under water
    - 25 ez
    Cool down
    - 200 ez

    9 days out of the water and a sinus infection is brewing.

    Singapore was awesome, but I forgot my goggles. The hotel pool was crap for swimming laps, but finding a pool in Singapore and Hong Kong was totally doable, just not worthwhile without goggles. Did come across some Speedo sweedes for $20.

    It was $450/night for a room at the Marina Bay Sands and you can only swim in the pool if staying there. I passed.
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  14. Team Practice with more fins?

    by , January 9th, 2012 at 11:11 AM (Random Nonsense)
    I wasn't exactly thrilled to see half the workout with fins today.

    Warm up
    - 2x150 help setup lane ropes
    - 200 back
    - 4x50 drill/swim
    Transition
    - 200 free build
    - 100 kick with fins
    Main Set
    - 8x150 on 2:05 held ~1:45
    -- fins for the rest of the main set
    - 100 kick
    - 6x50 on 45 held ~30
    - 100 kick
    - 4x50 on 40 held 30->28
    - 100 kick
    - 2x50 on 35 (28,27)
    - 100 kick
    Cool down
    - 200 ez

    I swam this purely aerobic today, which I think is the forbidden fruit of using fins as a crutch.

    Pulled a muscle in my neck Sunday during the swim (warm up iirc) but it didn't bother me until I woke up this morning. It is sore and annoying but not limiting my range of motion.

    I won't be back to team practice for at least a week (January travel), so the next week the goal is to get to a pool and swim a couple times and hopefully I will come back with my body clock screwed up in such a way that it is easy to get to practice.
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  15. LT with fins - The I hate Fort workout

    by , January 8th, 2012 at 11:15 AM (Random Nonsense)
    I liked fins better when I used them as a crutch. I am never ever buying a monofin.

    Lifetime SCM w/ LW
    Warm up
    - 400 free
    - 200 back
    - 200 kick w/ board
    - 200 back
    Sprints
    - 6x25 on 60 12.5 AFAP/12.5 ez
    -- still dropping left hand when sprinting
    LT Set
    - 5x100 on 6:00 free w/fins
    -- did 100 ez after each on
    -- 58,57,57,57,58
    Cool down
    - 200 ez

    For perspective, my last 100 free scm time was 1:01.29, so I was at least 3 seconds faster on each swim today.

    it hurt. Especially the last one.

    I took gatorade today and had a mouth full after each 100. Not sure it made a difference during the set, but it probably allowed me to maintain enough energy to get out of the pool in a civilized manner.

    Not exactly solo today. LW did 4 of the 100s with me, but she did breaststroke.
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  16. Sprint Turns

    by , January 7th, 2012 at 01:51 PM (Random Nonsense)
    Lifetime SCM Solo

    Warm up
    - 400 swim
    - 200 back
    - 200 kick w/ board
    - 200 back
    Sprints
    - 8x25 on 60 12.5 AFAP/12. ez
    Turns
    -- 50s are middle 25 fast focus on fast turns
    - 4x50 on 60 w/fins
    - 4x50 on 60
    - 100 ez back
    - 4x50 on 60 w/fins
    - 100 ez back
    - 4x50 on 60
    - 100 ez back
    Kick
    - 2x 25 kick AFAP 125 moderate
    -- 20, 22
    Cool down
    - 200 ez back

    That turn set might get one more try, but something better probably needs to be found. It did not seem like my turns were getting the focus they needed in that set, although the middle 25s were fast. The swimming speed gained from the fins is offset by the changes in the turn dynamics. Rotational speed seems to be decreased and the fins definitely have a vacuum effect on push off.

    It might be better to practice race pace turns in the kiddie pool that is only about 10M wide, but I think the lane markers are only in about 2.5 feet of water. Another alternative would be starting about 10M from the wall and seeing if a push off the bottom (4-4.5 feet deep) is enough help to easily hit racing speed.

    The ez 100 back were definitely qbreaks. They were not planned going into the workout, but the fins portion of that workout was killer.

    My left arm is drifting way deep before the pull is initiated during the sprints today. I need to keep it closer to the surface during the glide portion of the stroke.

    Happy with the effort, not happy with the accomplishing the goal of the set.
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  17. Team's 5th anniversary

    by , January 6th, 2012 at 11:55 AM (Random Nonsense)
    North Texas Masters celebrated their 5th anniversary today. I had a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing and a cup of coffee, the breakfast of champions.

    Team practice SCY
    Warm up
    - 500 free
    Main Set
    - 5x150 on 2:00 (1:40, 1:41, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40)
    - 5x125 100IM+25 free on 2:00
    - 5x100 free descend on 1:50 (16,13,6,2,0)
    - 5x75 ez/fast/ez on 1:00

    There was supposed to be a 500 cool down and there was an optional fins set, but this practice ran way over with a late start and team pictures.

    Split a lane with Marge. She was really worried about making the 150s, then made them by 15s. She then crushed me on the IMs. One day I should learn to swim those other 3 strokes so I can hold my own with the girls.

    A little disappointed that I couldn't break 60 on the descend 100s, but overall very happy with the effort level today. Coach Anna called us "pink people" since we were rather flush.

    My pink snorkel arrived yesterday to go with my Uggs.
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  18. Sprint/Technique/Recovery?

    by , January 5th, 2012 at 10:22 AM (Random Nonsense)
    Lifetime Solo SCM
    Warm up
    - 325 swim
    - 225 kick
    - 300 back
    Sprints
    - 8x25 on 60 12.5 AFAP/12.5 easy
    - 4x25 on 60 dolphin kick to free breakout then easy
    - 4x25 on 60 dolphin kick to back breakout then easy
    - 2x150 25 kick AFAP 25 kick ez 100 back ez
    -- (19+, 20)
    Cool Down
    - 300 ez

    How was this recovery (my theory)? Everything today was CP and didn't really use any glycogen, thus my energy stores should be well recovered for tomorrow. On the neural side of things, this was not recovery, but unlike sprinting and even LT work, hard aerobic (tomorrow) requires energy more than sharpness. Tomorrow I will find out how true this theory is.

    Currently I kick out with flutter kick. My dolphin kick is not powerful enough nor am I coordinated enough in the transition to use it for any kick out besides back. Even back is questionable. Thus the initial 25s were with flutter kick working on my current method and the dolphin sets were laying future ground work.

    I am not really a fan of the "just start using dolphin off of every wall" theory. A half assed couple of dolphin kicks off every wall aren't going to help me train for anything.

    LW said my feet were not floppy during but got better the longer I swam. A couple years ago I worked on ankle flexibility nightly and need to resume this. This is something to think about at swim meets, keeping the ankles warm might help my kick and it won't take long standing on a cold pool deck behind the blocks before they are stiff.

    CP: Allows you to work anaerobically for about 10 seconds without creating lactic acid, and it is quick to recover.
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  19. Zone 3: A very painful zone

    by , January 4th, 2012 at 12:35 PM (Random Nonsense)
    Team Practice SCY - No one on my send offs
    Warm up
    - 300 swim
    - 150 kick w/fins
    - 300 swim
    - 150 drills
    Main Set
    - 2x400 on 6:30 broken at the 200 for 15s; #2 80%
    -- 2:12/2:22; 2:11/2:19
    - 100 back recovery
    - 4x200 on 4:00 broken at the 100 for 10s; #2 90%
    -- #1s (3,2,3,5), #2s (5-6)
    - 100 kick recovery
    - 4x100 on 2:00 broken at the 50 for 5s; #2 100%
    -- 29/31, 28/30, 29/31, 30/33
    Cool down
    - 300 ez

    There were supposed to be 8 100s for the pattern spotters. Given the intervals, it was a 75 minute workout, which I did not get in the pool early enough to finish ... and I blew up on #4.

    I didn't really understand the 80,90,100 progression on the back half of the broken swims and what the front half was supposed to be, so I pushed the front half and dialed back the back half some.

    The second 50 of the broken 100s were 100% effort, but with only 5s rest, weren't that close to the first 50. My goal was to break 30 4x and call an end to the set. Attempting to break 30 on the second 50s probably resulted in me blowing up and not breaking it on the 4th 100. I was really really hoping to break 30 four 50s in a row.

    Very good set for me.

    During the 100s the coach came down and asked if I was going to finish, and I told him no. He said Wednesday's are going to be distance day going forward, which I thought was funny but knew he actually meant the workouts would be closer to 4k than our typical 3k, not that is would actually be distance focused.



    Zone Reference: http://teriwenzel.tamu.edu/swimming/...%20Dummies.htm
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  20. Catchup drill, catching up on 3 workouts

    by , January 2nd, 2012 at 10:21 AM (Random Nonsense)
    I had an enjoyable busy weekend. I hope everyone had a happy New Year, even Geek.

    Saturday - LT day
    Lifetime SCM
    Warm up
    - 400 free
    - 200 back
    - 200 kick w/board
    - 200 back
    Sprints
    - 6x25 12.5 AFAP/12.5 ez on 60
    LT Set
    - 6x50 on 4:00 (30,30,30,29,29,29)
    Cool down
    - 300 ez

    Sunday - Technique Day
    Lifetime SCM
    Warm up
    - 400 free
    - 200 back
    - 200 kick w/board
    - 200 back
    Drill/Technique
    - 10x25 on 30 w/fins
    - 10x25 on 30
    -- focus on keeping the hand high during the glide, just under the surface; EVF
    - probably more random swimming

    Monday - Hard Aerobic
    Team Practice SCY (No one on my intervals)
    Warm up
    - 300 swim
    - 200 kick w/fins
    - 300 pull
    Transition
    - 6x50 drill/swim
    Main Set
    - 200 kick w/fins
    - 6x150 on 2:30 (40,40,38,38,38,37)
    - 6x50 w/fins alternate back/dolphin on back
    - 8x50 pull descend 1-4
    Cool Down
    - 400

    I really am enjoying LT day. It is so little yardage but leaves me completely destroyed. Getting down to 29s from a push was good for me.

    Sunday I wasn't expecting to swim because I thought the pool would be closed in the morning but Lifetime didn't close for the New Year, so we got in a quick morning yoga swim in.

    Today's 150s were the only really difficult set and it feels like I should be going faster on them given the rest. My goal was to swim under 1:40 and was probably a little too conservative early in the set.
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