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Swim like an Orca, but faster !

In my third year * of training for competition swimming. First Meet was October 2008. Started with a Masters team on May 2009.
Started blogging in winter of 2009 as a way to document my progress and pitfalls of training for the sport.

I swim with Aquasol Masters, part of Aquasol Swimming a USA-S team, 4-5 times a week in the evenings. Coached by Janine Joy and Head Coach Steve Skidmore respectively.

I also swim every Thursday at the Swimstitute, this is the only SCM pool in the region, except for UC Davis.

Meets Attended:
October 5 2008 Sacramento Sprint Pentathlon SCM
December 4 2008 Reno Winners Meet SCY
March 2 2009 Bears Don't Hibernate SCY
April 19 2009 Pacific Masters Championships
August 15 2009 MAAC Modesto Area Aquatics SCM
October 11, 2009 Sacramento Sprint Pentathlon SCM
March 28, 2010 Strawberry Canyon Aquatic Masters @ Cal Berkeley
July 10, 2010"Sierra Nevada Swimming Long Course Last Chance Qualifier " USA-S meet

October 9, 2010 “SPOOK-TACULAR” BB+/-" Roseville Aquatics Center (aka Summer Sanders) USA-S SCY
March 4, 2012 Strawberry Canyon Aquatic Masters U.C. Berkeley SCY USMS

* Sept. 2008

Everyday... praising the Lord Jesus <><

  1. Mar 1 2009 - BEAR meet at San Pablo (rain)

    by , March 1st, 2009 at 07:46 PM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    It was a rainy meet, yet still plenty of peep's showed up to swim. I didn't do very well, I swam well in my first split of the 100 FR, but just lost energy in the second split, I got a 1:02. Just one second faster, one second after all that extra training, daily dryland etc... I even scratched 3 events to do it. I thought I had checked in for the 50 FR, but as I was checking the lane position assignments, I noticed my name wasn't on the list, then I heard my name being called for the 50 FLY, oh well, next time I will just swim all the events I sign up for!
    My wife was in attendance , she was kinda cheering me on!
    Back to the workouts
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  2. Feb 26 - 3 days till BEAR

    by , February 27th, 2009 at 06:09 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Even though I can best my old times in the 100IM, 50 Fly and 50 Back in workout and not be so embarrassed to share them. I decided that its more important to try to break a minute in a sanctioned meet in the 100 FR. I might just scratch 3 events and keep the 100 and 50 FR.

    BEARs don't Hibernate, San Pablo, CA.
    March 1, 2009 Contra Costa College
    #10 100 Free 1:03 (From Dec 4,08)
    #24 50 Free 29:42 (From Dec 4, 08

    Today I started another Jacki Hirsty workout however midway thru Set 2, I quit and just focused on FR, concentrating on stroke / kick sync, turns and strategy


    STROKE/IM

    WARM UP 300 CHOICE

    SET 1
    3 X THIS SET:
    50 DRILL (STROKE) @ 0 : 55 (about 10 sec rest)
    100 BUILD FREE @ 1 : 30 (about 12 sec rest)

    3 X 200 PULL @ 2 : 50 (about 20 sec rest)
    SET 2 FLY 3 X 50 #1) KICK/SWIM, #2) DRILL/SWIM, #3) SWIM @1 : 05 (about 10/15/20 sec rest)
    BACK 3 X 50 #1) KICK/SWIM, #2) DRILL/SWIM, #3) SWIM @1 : 05 (about 10/15/20 sec rest)

    --end--
    5x100 FR Pace on 2:00 did 1:10, 1:12, 1:13, 1:15, 1:12 (not full effort, just strong long strokes)
    2 x 100 FR PULL
    2x100 K
    2x100 Long and stretch out
    100 cool
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  3. Feb 25 Gym then Swim

    by , February 26th, 2009 at 02:23 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    I decided to stick with Jacki Hirstys 2/23 -2/27 workouts found under Workouts in the discussion forum...since I'm suppose to taper for this Sundays Bear meet, (even though I don't feel I deserve a taper!) Today is the last full workout, tomorrow I will do a 2000 then a 1000 on Friday....
    I did the following in the gym
    Lat Pull 8x80, 6x100 & 5x120
    on the Dual Cable Pull machine;
    Fly/Free pull down 5x40 5x35
    Back (perside) 5x15 5x20
    Chops Down 5x40 & 5x50
    Chops Up 5x15 & 5x20
    Standing cable machines:
    Leg Curls - 8 x30
    Leg Extensions - 8x20
    I forgot to stretch beforehand, so I suffered later in the pool...

    Did the Jacki Hirsty DISTANCE FREE w/o
    WARM UP 300 CHOICE FR and BK
    SET 1
    1 X 150 DRILL/SWIM @ 2 : 15 3:00
    1 X 150 KICK/SWIM @ 2 : 30 3:00
    4 X 50 DESCEND @ 0 : 45 :42, :40, :35, :30
    SET 2

    1 x 300
    @ 4 : 00 (about 15 sec rest) 5:00
    2 x 200 @ 2 : 45 (about 15 sec rest) 2:45, 3:00
    3 x 150 @ 2 : 05 (about 10 sec rest) 2:15
    4 x 100 @ 1 : 25 (about 10 sec rest) 3@1:30, 1@1:40
    5 x 75 @ 1 : 05 (about 10 sec rest) 1:00
    6 x 50 @ 0 : 45 (about 10 sec rest) :45
    7 x 25 @ 0 : 30 (about 15 sec rest) :30
    SET 3
    6 X 50 KICK @ 1 : 00 (about 10 sec rest) w/fins 1:00
    6 X 50 KICK/SWIM @ 0 : 55 (about 10 sec rest) did Pull instead on 1:00
    100 cool
    YARDAGE: 3800 3900
    I had to really push through the "out of breath sensation"(kind of ripples down through the legs) after the 3rd and successive flip turns and concentrate on breathing . Which is why I love 50's & 100's but hate 200+!
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  4. Feb 21 & Feb 23 workouts

    by , February 24th, 2009 at 05:22 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Saturday Feb 21, 2009
    After a few days of just not having the energy I returned Saturday 7-8:30am, swam with our local YMCA, The resident coach is busy with the High School team, so its more of a "lap swim" session. This is where I grab a w/o and try to focus on staying on the intervals, and try not to socialize too much.
    I borrowed one of Jacki Hirsty's, Stroke/IM w/o from 2/16-2/20, that looks like this:
    STROKE/IM
    WARM UP 300 CHOICE FR

    SET 1 MIX STROKES
    4 X 75 KICK/DRILL/SWIM @ 1 : 10 (about 10 sec rest) (IM order)
    4 X 50 DRILL/SWIM @ 0 : 50 (about 10 sec rest)(IM Order)
    4 X 50 DESCEND @ 0 : 45 (about 10 sec rest)
    (Im order)
    SET 2
    8 X 200 @ 3 : 20
    1) 200 FREE (about 45 sec rest)
    2) 150 FREE/50 STROKE (about 35 sec rest) Fly
    3) 100 FREE/100 STROKE (about 25 sec rest) BK
    4) 50 FREE/150 STROKE (about 15 sec rest) BR
    5) 200 STROKE (about 10 sec rest) BK
    6) 150 STROKE/50 FREE (about 15 sec rest) skip
    7) 100 STROKE /100 FREE (about 25 sec rest) skip
    8) 50 STROKE/150 FREE skip
    SET 3
    2 X THIS SET:
    200 PULL @ 2 : 50 (about 15 sec rest)
    50 SWIM @ 0 : 40 (about 5 sec rest)
    50 SWIM @ 0 : 45 (about 10 sec rest)
    50 SWIM @ 0 : 50 (about 15 sec rest)
    SET 4
    4 X this set (one each stroke):
    50 KICK @ 1 : 00 (about 10 sec rest)
    25 SWIM @ 0 : 30 (about 12 sec rest) all FR
    YARDAGE: 3600 3000
    Had to skip 6-8, a little too much after a few days off.
    Monday Feb 23,2009
    Officially joined (i think) the Aquasol Masters, since I can't make all the workouts, I drop in once a week, then swim with the YMCA the rest of the week.
    Coach Janine is really cool, she has an eagle eye for stroke, we did:
    Warm 300
    4x50 K on 1:00 (kicked the edge of the pool, ouch)
    6x200 FR on 3:45 (my worse 200's ever, got winded and had to do half of the turns open.)
    4x100 drill/stroke (1/2Fly BK, BK, BR, BR)
    5x50 Sprint on 2:00 do :30's ( My first one was :28, :29, :30,:31, :34)
    Its an hour w/o, but I came away with more instruction on what to focus on, keep my head down on the fly drill, keep my ears underwater on the BK...etc
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  5. Feb 18 - 11 days till BEAR

    by , February 19th, 2009 at 07:07 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Work has been interfering with my swimming time, however since I still have a job, there's really nothing to complain about. After 2 days in Hayward for company training and getting in some "hotel" gym w/o. I'm realizing that time is getting away from being ready for the BEAR swim meet in San Pablo, CA.
    Ive been on this "swim training" (more like a bog) plateau for several weeks!
    My "official" times thus far and as entered for the upcoming meet:
    #8 50 Back 38:34 (From Dec 4,08)
    #10 100 Free 1:03 (From Dec 4,08)
    #14 100IM 1:33:02 (From Oct5, 08)
    #16 50 Fly 39:12 (From Oct5,08)
    #24 50 Free 29:42 (From Dec 4, 08

    Hopefully with the added dry-land and stroke correction I can turn in better times, something I didn't do before the last 2 meets.
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  6. Snow then Rainy Friday the 13th

    by , February 14th, 2009 at 05:30 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Hit the gym before the swim:
    Used a dual cable pull thing, which made it nice to simulate FR, FLY and BK strokes.
    Chops Up 8x20, 3x
    Chops Down 8x20. 3x
    Fly 5x20, 5x22.5
    Back 5x10, 5x12

    Lat Pull down 8x80, 6x100, 5x120
    Lat Press (w/dumbbells) 8x20, 6x25, 5x30
    Curls 20x35 (dumbbells)
    Leg Press 8x280, 6x370
    Laid on back with 10 lb Medicine Ball, over body throw to a mini trampoline set at an incline (so the ball would return), did about 15 reps.

    Thought I would try one of Patrick Cantrell's All Pain All Gain w/o's, I had to trim it down due to time, getting dark, work tonight....
    Used Thursday Feb 12, and completed;
    Warm 200 Swim, 200 IM Drill, 200 Swim(I pulled), 200 Kick.
    main
    3x150 FR, 3x100 stroke, 3x50 K
    2x150 FR, 2x100 stroke, 2x50K
    1x150 FR, 1x100 stroke, 1x50K
    cool 200
    2900yds

    Strokes were BR, BK and FLY

    I skipped a 10x50K (Odds FR, Evens Choice) and 10x50FR descend 5 to fast, ascend 5 to ez 1:10
    (really wanted to do the 10x50FR!!!)

    The slowest time called in the workouts were2:45 on the 150, 2:00 on the 100's and 1:10 on the kicks.
    2:45 was way too much for 150 FR, 2:00 was better. 100 on 2:00 was good for my BR, still learning the Breast-kick.
    Backstroke; still getting used to looking straight up at the moving clouds.
    Fly; struggling with timing. I have a bad habit of coming up to breathe near the end of the pull.
    Improving on the BR kick.

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  7. Feb 11 - W/O with some borrowed ideas

    by , February 12th, 2009 at 01:30 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Since this is my last month at the El Dorado Hills Sports Club ("the pampered poodle club") I decided to take advantage of there gym and just tough out the "77 degree" bromine 6 lane 25 yard pool.
    I was reading other blogs and borrowed from 'ande' "the lifted and short practice", but only used the weight portion and modified it:
    I also wanted to practice what Coach Janine of the Aqualsol Masters taught me on Monday.
    So I put this together, the first time I have done a short workout before a swim.

    Quick stretch with band
    Lat pull 8x40, 6x60, 5x80
    Lat press (with barbell) 6x40 3x
    Chops- one arm pull down with adj cable pull 5x30 3x
    Chops-one arm pull up with adj cable pull 5x30 3x
    leg press 5x160 2x

    W/U 200 swim,200 pull,200 kick,200 swim
    Main 10 x 100 Pace hold 1:15 on 2:00 (avg'd 1:17)
    4x50 BR K drills alt on back/normal
    6x25 Fly - focus on fixing head/breathing timing issue
    5x50 BK K alt w/ 4 sec switch drill
    5x50 BK focus on proper execution 1:00
    cool 250
    2900yds.

    My focus this week is:
    1. keep working on my 100 and 50 FR
    2.Keep ears under water in the backstroke and be more precise with stroke execution.
    3. Learn the BR kick, I was using the top of my feet for propulsion, not good. Having to learn the breaststroke kick from scratch.
    4. Raise head earlier on the Fly, timing issue. Also get into a 2/1 cycle, was doing 1/1 which was causing early fatigue.
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  8. Feb 09

    by , February 10th, 2009 at 10:56 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Today was the second day of "a free trial" that Coach Janine of the Aquasol masters here in El Dorado offered me last week, I was floundering at the El Dorado Hills (totally different town) Sports CLub; as their pool is about 75-77 degrees of bromine, yucky salty water, because I work nights, I needed to get some rest before my w/o. In contrast the YMCA/Union Mine/Aquasol pool is usually in the 80's with mild chorinaltion, the best pool I have been in thus far. Anyways its so cool to have a coached workout, even though Im am self taught swimmer, there are things that only a trained eye can see and a coach can evauate your strenghths and weaknesses and prescribe drills and w/o to help balance out your strokes.
    W 300 FR
    M 200 P / 200 K / 200 Swim
    10 x 50 Pace work on :35 every 1:00
    5x100Im
    D BR kicking drill (my kick is all wrong, so its getting fixed)
    D BR drill / BR stroke - dolphin kick
    c/d 200fr

    Although this was a short w/o, it was really stroke specific, and stroke remediation.
    Looks like I will be cancelling the salty cold pool club and returning with the YMCA swimmers in the morning, and if my boss puts me on days by March I can join up with Aquasol.
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  9. Swimming in the Oaks

    by , February 10th, 2009 at 10:26 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    I have to admit, up until the Summer Olympics of 2008, I was just a casual lap swimmer. My idea of a workout was doing 20 or 40 "laps" (there and back, or 2 lengths) 3 times a week and ride my road bike 14 miles on the alternate days. My fitness and enthusiasm would wax and wane through the years.
    Back in 1977 I was on the high school swim team, Poly High in Sun Valley, CA. Coach Richards said off hand one day, that I wouldn't become much of a swimmer in the future. I remember the varsity guys bragging to me about the L.A. High school city finals and maybe the Olympics, later they would have there dreams handed back to them in a wet paper sack as they didn't fair very well either!
    Although I could swim one lap (there and back, or 2 lengths) under water and easily cross reservoirs, such as Medicine Bow and Lake Oroville, I just didn't have much aspirations to be a swimmer, like those 'Olympians'
    Today, I have been working an average of 4 days in the pool a week, still trying to get under a minute in the 100 FR with room to spare, under 30 in the back, breast and fly. But Im a much different swimmer then last summer. Now, I swim intervals, I do structured workouts, the old "lap swimming" is a thing of the past. In fact someone once asked me, "How many laps do you swim in your workout?" I answered "i dont know, I know I swam 3200 yards, so I had to stop and calculate it.
    Although I have only had 2 coached workouts in the last 7 months and both of those were in L.A., the videos, books and even some of the workouts on this site have totally changed my perspective on swimming.
    I worked Janet Evans "Total Swimming" for 3 months, it brought my 100 FR time from 1:12 to 1:03. Im confident that I will get :55 within the next 2 months, my dryland training has increased and includes Pilates, road bike and some exercises from the "Complete conditioning for Swimmers".
    So I guess Ill try to log my progress here, cause us "Lone Rangers" need all the encuragement we can get...

    Updated February 12th, 2009 at 01:40 AM by EricOrca

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