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To swim short distances faster

Grand Strand Masters Swimming

Acronyms used in blog:

HUDKF = dolphin kick freestyle with head up
FSP = with fins, snorkel, and paddles
SP = with snorkel and paddles
HPD = human paddle drill
BO = as fast as possible
OTB = off the block
P = with paddles
K = flutter kick
RP = race pace
R = rest
E = effort
F = with fins
= race pace
S = with snorkel
FP= from a push
= dive from side
= without air/hypoxic
FS = with fins and snorkel

FP = with fins and paddles
= dolphin kick freestyle
SDK = streamlined dolphin kick

  1. 4|23|14 (20 minute SCM noon / 36 minute SCM evening)

    3 x 25 DFS hypoxic free on 1:30
    • 19, 16, 16

    8 x 25 DFS hypoxic free on 2:00
    • 15's 14's and maybe a 13 high

    First 3 had interval too short on 1:30 to go hypoxic, gave me an irregular heart rhythm that I just got over a few minutes ago (hour after workout). Note to not go hypoxic 25's fast with less than 2 minute int.

    4 x 25 DFS hypoxic free on 2:00
    • tendons on sole of right foot lightly strained, so:

    4 x 25 hypoxic free on 2:00, pushed
    • did not get accurate times for any of these due to insufficient light (not to mention I didn't have reading glasses on)

    13 x 25 FK on 0:45, S
    • ~0:26's

    10 x 25 FK on 1:00, S as 12.5 fast / 12.5 easy
    • ~0:10's on fast

    Updated April 23rd, 2014 at 09:16 PM by __steve__

  2. 4|21|14 LCM (with dryland edit!)

    10 x 50 fr on 0:50 (shortfins)

    50 FK for time - 0:45, S
    100 easy kick

    SET 1
    10 x 18-19m AFAP fr (:/) / 32 -31m easy fr on 1:00 (shortfins)

    SET 2
    10 x 15m AFAP fr and flip (:/) / 15m easy kick on 1:00 (shortfins)

    SET 3
    30 x 10m fast break to stroke / 10m easy kick on 1:00 (shortfins)


    Did heavy drylands yesterday which included legs, chest, core and back - possible explanation for the 45 FK for time

    Went for a run:
    4 x 200m run with arms fully extended front (like old style Frankenstein) on 1 min rest


    4 x 200m fast on 1:00

    • 43, 43, 46, 46

    Yoga stretches

    4 x lay belly down, balanced perpendicular on bench assuming the streamline position and hold for about 15 seconds

    RC with 3lbs

    5 x wrist curls

    I can tell if my swim was well pushed by how I feel with subsequent drylands. My run was completely empty so I'm confident the LCM was extreme for me.

    Updated April 22nd, 2014 at 12:35 PM by __steve__

  3. 4|19|14 SCM, drylands yesterday

    20 x 25 on 0:30 free, S
    • 21 - 19


    5 x (2 x 25 on 0:25 flutter kick) on 2:00
    • couple seconds late on last one

    10 x 25 on 1:00 single leg flutter kick

    10 x 25 on 0:45 single leg flutter kick

    12 x 25 on 0:40 single leg flutter kick
    • right leg odds / left leg evens for these 3 sets


    Installed fins and did 1350 of various kick based drills

  4. 4|17|14 drylands and SCM

    • Yoga stretches last night for an hour
    • Weights this morning - upper body mostly
    • Running - 3 laps in outside lane, whatever that is (inside lap is 400M)

    as 16 x 15 seconds of fast running then stop, and go again on the 0:40

    only had 30 or so minutes so I put the fins on and did:
    20 x 25 free hypoxic on 1:00, F
    • 15's for several then held 14's and a little less for the rest

    20 x 25 free on 0:30, F S
    • 16-17's

    Didn't go all out today because yesterday was an all-out day. Moreoverly, I did two work shifts today (16 hours). One important good thing however did revelate itself in the form of form, specifically sprint stroke form. I discovered if I recover my arm closer to center by shrugging shoulder towards my ear, then really drive fully stretched shoulder to the catch, I would make the 14's with less effort (of course with short fins on).
    The second set was to reinforce this new approach at easier pace with repetition.

    I am totally exhausted, had just 5 hours of sleep last night on top of this. Maybe this could be the reason for this possible stroke evolution, from lapse of concentration fortunately to the good side.


    Updated April 17th, 2014 at 10:43 PM by __steve__

  5. 04|16|14 LCM today and weights yesterday

    200 easy free (fins)

    200 easy free


    3 x 100 FK, S as 50 AFAP and 50 easy
    • fast's - 46, 56, ?? (legs hurt too much to see the clock)


    6 x 100 free, (fins) on 3:00 as 50 fast / 50 easy
    • fast's - 29, 28, 30, 30, 30, 30

    7 x 20m fast (20m easy) free on 1:00


    Could not bust a good 50 flutter kick today. That set produced the most painful acidosis in my frontal thighs ever. Rest did not help and the easy kick back to start wall seemed to just ferment it further. Right leg got it worse so I seem to favor it. Nevertheless, I must get my kick back on line now ! as it's getting late.
  6. 04|14|14 SCM and weights

    06 x 50 on 2:00 DFS as free / back by 25
    10 x 25 on 0:90 DFS free hypoxic
    • easy sprint
    • 16 - 17's

    10 x 25 on 1:00 DFS free hypoxic

    • easy sprint
    • 16 - 17's

    21 x 25 on 0:45 Drill, F as HUDKF / one arm with fist - L / one arm with fist - R by 25
    30 x 25 on 0:40 sprint free, F, S
    • 17 descend to 15, 14 on final

    Today marks the beginning of a 2 - 3 week hypoxic adaptation block, with 4 more weeks of like-based maintenance (one set per session) to follow, as I work to sharpen speed. I am targeting a June 7 LCM meet.

    Developed one of those skin tears behind the callus of my left big toe and need to avoid dives until it heals.

    Weights: Legs and shoulders
  7. 04|13|14 SCM and dryland stuff

    Started to swim yesterday but after a few lengths my body just was not up to it, and neither was my enthusiasm. Felt cruddy and the shoulders felt weak and tired. Left the pool.

    On the other hand I did a little running which consisted of 15 minutes of sprinting up to speed thenback off to a walk (10 seconds run 20 seconds walk). I also ran 1.58 miles on Friday. Just enjoying the weather before it is too hot and humid.

    15 x 25 DFS free on 2:00
    • work the entry and breakout
    • easy on first several then moderate sprint for the rest of them

    15 x 15M DFS free on 1:00
    • streamlined entry

    Weights afterwards
    • snatches
    • single arm dumbell bench
    • single arm rack rows

    need to stop doing snatches - too dangerous (left shoulder a little twingy and lower back close to spasming out)
  8. 04|10|14 LCM

    10 x 13M free on 0:30
    • 10's

    10 x 13M free on 0:30
    • 7's

    20 x 13M kick on 0:30
    • 9's

    10 x 13M HUDKF on 0:30
    • 8's

    1000 various, F, S

    Updated April 10th, 2014 at 06:38 PM by __steve__

  9. 04|09|14 scm

    1000 various F
    33 x 12.5 @ 0:45 - 1:00 DFS free
    • Relay style (hang ten toes, hands free and fixed together)
    • Track style every second (left foot forward)
    • Track style every third (right foot forward)

    Recovery based, muscle memory and form minded, light yet speedy type of workout.

    Realizing the dive entry for me is quite a fine line between entering with arms and shoulders too flat, or with hands digging downward. To get it just right it seems I must let the hands dig just lightly upon entry following with a quick upward with forward thrusting counter pressure, then follow through spearlike. I had just two of them feel like that, both were with the relay style. If possible I need to master this ability then input it into the track style. This is why I've been doing alot of them. To help, I've been launching with light effort so the joints can hold up long enough to make forward progress (as the opposite can happen easily).

    Also kept close attention to glide - kick transition, to first arm pull and body position, first stroke breakout and subsequent armstroke cycle, while trying to keep peak streamline a constant programmed thing.

    Updated April 9th, 2014 at 09:13 PM by __steve__

  10. 04|08|14 SCM and drylands

    8 x 25 free on 0:40
    • 20's`

    8 x 25 free on 0:40
    • 16's

    5 x 50 free on 2:00 25 AFAP / 25 recovery
    • 14's high

    5 x 50 FK on 2:00 25 AFAP / 25 recovery
    • 20, 22, 22, 22, 22

    Still a little tired. Also only managed 4.5 hours of sleep (I usually get 7-8) because of a 9am dental.

    16 is my max speed for 25's done USRP. The only way to make it work would be with 12.5 - 15M reps

    On the FK AFAP's, the acidosis really kicked in and hurt on the last 5M of each except the first. The Free AFAP's created LA too, but not the painful type, was more paralyzing, but on just the last two reps.

    Concentrated on turning the recovery faster and getting up on surface all the way to the kick, and I did find it to be faster (unless I'm showing a training effect). But I'm not certain this would be feasible on a LC50, as this is my all-out CP swim - good for about 20M.

    Dryland Amendment:

    4 x 200 run on 1:00

    • 43, 42, 45, 46 (slow because of the 5 x 25 AFAP FK)

    5 each depth jumps from 18" using 4 resistance bands with kit

    Leg extensions, leg curls, calf raises, and RC dumbells

    Updated April 8th, 2014 at 08:47 PM by __steve__

  11. 04|07|14 - post 1.6 atm SCM swim

    15 x 50 on 1:30 DFS, F, 25 easy sprint free / 25 easy kick
    10 x 15 on 1:00 DFS, easy sprint free
    10 x 12.5 on 0:40 DFS, easy sprint free

    This swim left me completely depleted. Though I took yesterday off, I am in dept for recovery due to work last night. Every so often we need to pressurize the aircraft to check various systems and what-not. Unfortunately we must be inside of it while this is being done, which requires exposure to 8.5 psi over atm. I found that it just adds to the overall required recovery of sorts, and workouts just before or after these checks seem to push me into the toasted zone. Felt fine this morning but this brief swim did me in. I was expecting this however, from prior experiences.

    It is impressive the stress these aircraft can endure when considering the volume of compressed air in addition to other major stress loads.

    Updated April 7th, 2014 at 04:50 PM by __steve__

  12. 4|5|14 scm

    10 x 25 free on 2:00 DFS
    10 x 25 free/kick on 2:00 DFS
    15 x 10 DFS and glide on 0:30
    10 easy dives

    Stumbled over an old mountain biking picture from Sep 1996 on the net (Snowbasin Utah).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Updated April 6th, 2014 at 10:01 PM by __steve__

  13. 4|4|14 SCM on 20 seconds rest

    ultra short warmup as 16 x 25 with 20 seconds rest

    14 x 15m fast / 10m easy with 20 sec rest (10 sec sprint /10 sec easy on 40's)

    16 x 25 flutter kick on 20 sec rest
    • 23-28

    16 x 25 HUDKF with fins on 20 sec rest

    200 easy

    Updated April 5th, 2014 at 07:41 PM by __steve__

  14. 04|03|14 LCM

    500 various, F, S

    SET I
    50 free fast for time, S
    • 32 flat, pushed

    450 easy various, S, F

    SET II
    50 FK for time, S (50 easy)
    • 44 mid PB

    4 x 50 FK on 1:30, S
    • 1:06, 1:12, 1:14, 1:08

    40 x 20M free on 0:30 [push off + 2 sprint strokes and flip (~10m out), easy kick back]

    Another awsome day outside, was feeling motivated so I drove the extra 10 min to the LCM pool to make an attempt on a FK50. I took freestyle kicks instead of dolpin kicks off the wall for the 50FK (for time), which are faster for me. It was accomplished without board and with snorkel, and it did hurt near the end.

    Updated April 3rd, 2014 at 04:38 PM by __steve__

  15. 04|02|14 SCM

    Gosh, this SCM pool is sooo tough to motivate myself in. Nonswimmer poolmates, cloudy water, my overusage of it (perhaps 280+ times a year). But it's convienient.

    20 x 25 free, S on 0:30
    • 20's

    15 x 50 on 1:00 as 25 drill / 25 kick, F
    • drill was one arm fist on a BR, L, R, BL air schedule / easy kick on back

    Snatches with added band resistance (jump kit) 4 x 4 reps

    • proped barbell about 14" off ground on starting position to keep back happy
    • worked up to 4 bands and 85lbs

    pushups with added band resistance 4 x 10 reps

    Updated April 2nd, 2014 at 09:15 PM by __steve__

  16. 04|01|14 SCM and drylands!

    500 various
    50 FK for time with snorkel

    • 0:43

    18 x 50 on 1:30 as 25 fast / 25 drill
    • odd fasts - free - 16 - 17's
    • even fasts - FK - 22 - 23's

    Still have an overall fatigued feeling not unlike a fever. I suspect I am still recovering from working on the car over the weekend.

    USRP Drylands:
    Iso Lateral rows, triceps, pullovers, leg extensions and curls, calfs, and dumbel clean-jumps (to 10 reps with 45's)

    4 x 200M on 1:00
    • 38, 38, 42, 46 (nice lung burn)

    Stationary spin bike:
    20 x level 13 - 15 (whichever it lands on) on 0:30
    • 7 - 10 second AFAP efforts

    Streching and RC stuff

    I plan to test the USRP philosophy on running for my 1.5 mile run test this October. As a drop-dead fleet swimmer, I really have no purpose for it other than a change in motions, variety, or condensing a set due to time constraints. But applying it on my feet once a week seems simple and straight forward. It could provide a conclusion that bare minimal running using the USRP method is better than my prior minimal run training. Last year I estimate that I ran about 30 net miles in preparation for the 1.5 mile run.

    Using USRP as 200's on 1:00, working up from 4 x 200 (just under half mile) to, perhaps, 16 x 200 by October should net me close to the 30 net miles I had from last year. Unfortunately my test last year, though timed, was only done half-ass (12:25ish), as I didn't really feel like running hard and furthermore wasn't under pressure to do so. But if I can knock a minute off that from just a 1 mile/week base, it would be safe to conclude the USRP method would hold it's recent reputation in the running world.

    The equivalent RP in my above strategy is also much faster than what I will run the 1.5, more like a 800 RP, but if I did tailor it for the actual distance it might slow my swimming

    Updated April 1st, 2014 at 09:43 PM by __steve__

  17. 3|31|14 SCM

    20 x 50 on 1:00 free - F, (plus S on 6 thru 20)
    • eight were 35's, two were 33 - 34, the rest I descended to 35 (from 40) and ascended from 35 (to 40)

    15 x 16.7M on 0:90 AFAP, DFS, alternate FK and free (also did a few UWF and DK)
    10 x 12.5M on 1:00 AFAP free
    10 x 12.5M on 0:45 AFAP free

    Had two days of no swimming. I spent the weekend working on one of our cars. It has close to 200K mi on it, so many of the rear suspension and stabilizing parts have worn and disintegrated rubber bushings. I didn't want to pay someone to have it done and furthermore do not trust their work, especially on this vehicle which has stuck bolts and corroded, hard-to-remove parts. I have been cheated too many times by mechanics neglecting to replace hard to get to, and hidden parts, seals, and gaskets, or whatever else they can get away with. I have a long list these encounters (in fact, not one fully successful experience where corners weren't cut), all of which have resulted in additional problems later on.

    So I, once again, embarked on a major automotive repair adventure, with limited tools and equipment. One bolt had a 19mm nut stuck so bad that it became destroyed - had to grind it off while under the car. The bushings I replaced, I discover, were designed to be pushed in by a 1000+ psi hydraulic press - ended up beating them in with a 20 lb dumbell like a hammer. But I had to sandwich it between custom cut lumber pieces, taking due care not to destroy them in the process. Started project Saturday afternoon, was up to 1:30 am Sunday morning and finished Sunday afternoon before work. When I washed there was a layer of sand and metal shavings in the tub. No blood drawn though! Also did some gardening on Sunday to cleanse the mind. My body felt like tired, beaten flesh, but not injured. I'm about 80% today. Probably saved me over $500 laybor costs doing it myself, and I have peace knowing it was done thoroughly.

    On a side note the microscopic antigenic pollen this spring is the worst I have ever experienced. Started out with a sore throat, then it went nasal, and now it's in the lungs but I'm getting over it.
  18. 3|28|14 SCM

    Did drylands on 3|27 and blasted lower body with a combination of dumbells and my vertical jump bands.

    It went like this - hold dumbells at knee level with knees bent, clean dumbells to shoulders (not over head) while jumping forcefully, then land. Without keeping weights up at shoulders too long, let them free fall and swing yourself back to starting position. The complete movement requires no static spots to carry momentum.

    did 4 sets of 10 working up to 35 lb dumbells using all 4 elastic bands
    also did elastic band loaded planks with a rig which took 5 minutes to setup

    SCM 3|28

    10 x 50 on 1:00 free, strict form with full awareness
    4 x 25 FK AFAP on 3:00, 19, 19, 19, 20 (blah!)

    • disappointed as I thought I would actually do at least one in a dignifying manner then realized, though my legs weren't sore they must have been toast from the leg workout prior (which is why they were mentioned, as excuse)

    10 x 50 on 1:00, F, S - as 25 HUDKF AFAP/ 25 easy

    • gratifying for me to accomplish this one, 11 of them would have caused spontaneous auto-ignition

    Left the pool on a good note as if I accomplished something in pursuit for faster swimming, despite a disappointing kick test set.

    Fortress was totally 99+% accurate with her warning against the distance swimming I did for 3 weeks following my meet. 3 weeks of distance swimming has taking even longer for me to regain my speed. Interestingly though, is flutter kicking did not get affected. Only did my raw free sprinting slowed. Maybe because of the differences in fiber types, and the differences in loads on legs between fast and slow swimming vs the upper body's differences.

    Winter is finally behind! As well, our 2013 taxes (I use turbotax) are behind. Appears I underestimated by the equivalent of a decade of tech suits (ouch). Taxes are funny, we would've been much better off if we made equivalent, just a dozen or so tech suits less. Nevertheless, I have just one tech suit, it has been used for two swim meets, and I plan on keeping it around to race in for at least another year. I estimate that the following tech suit might make it to see 50 - 54 racing.

    Updated March 29th, 2014 at 12:24 PM by __steve__

  19. 3|26|14 SCM 56 minutes

    20 x 25 on 0:30 fr/fk, S
    • alternate free and flutter kick each 25

    20 x 25 on 0:30 fr, S
    • brisk breakout/stroke transition, easy to wall
    • left shoulder getting a little loose

    150 easy

    8 X 12.5 fk on 1:00 AFAP, S
    • arms back (to rest shoulders)
    • from dig, at pool center
    • 13 - 15's

    10 x 25 FK on 1:00, moderate - fast, hold form and narrow kick
    • 22 - 26's

    250 continuous FK, S
    • sprint kick to ~ 1 - 2 seconds before acidosis then hold an easy kick, repeat
  20. 3|25|14 SCM (weights yesterday)

    1000 of drills, free and br S
    10 x 12.5M on 1:00 DFS fr AFAP
    2 x 25 on 2:00 fr AFAP
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