View RSS Feed

I swim, therefore I am

Frank D Totten

Swimming is an activity I just like to do. Participation and competition in organized events are good and so is the exercise. But most of all, moving through the water is what I like the best. After years of stroke skills development I am always striving to improve.

I swim at Fort Myers Aquatic Center, FMAC, Florida Gulf Coast University, (FGCU) Aquatic Center mostly on my own with guidance from Coach Chuck Slaght. When rare occasional circumstances require being close to home, I swim at the Catalina lsle Community HOA Pool. More about me...


  1. Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    by , October 31st, 2012 at 04:37 PM (I swim, therefore I am)
    SCY @FGCU Aquatic Center
    Air temp of 59, pool at 79, 100% water clarity.
    Sunny blue skies with humidity at 43%

    *Warm Up*
    2x500 FR on 1min rest

    *Set 1*
    1x2000 FR broken as:
    2(10X50 on :45, 5x100 on 1:30) Did:
    1. 50s 1-5 @ :37-36, 6-10 @ :36-35, 100s 1:12 - 1:10
    2. 50s 1-5 @ :36-35, 6-10 @ :35-34, 100s 1:12 - 1:09


    *Set 2*
    2x200 BR kick w/Snorkel
    6x100 FR kick on 2:10, Did:
    • 1-3: 1:55-1:49, 4-6: 1:52 - 1:44


    *Set 3*
    1x1000 FR broken as:
    5(2x50 on :40, 1x100 on 1: 40) Did
    1. 34/1:08
    2. 34/1:07
    3. 34/1:07
    4. 33/1:07
    5. 33/1:06


    *Warm Down*
    100 EZ

    Comments:
    • While I felt I was making headway with basic swimming fitness, I knew in my heart I would have to break the ice with doing "real training", with interval based sets.
    • The result from my most recent straight 5000 yard swim was 1:03.10, so my aerobic base 100 pace at this point appears to be about 1:15-16.
    • Set 1 - I was disappointed in the truth of my times, but at least it is a starting point. It was more effort than I expected to do those times. Also - the warmup needs to be different including more pace/tempo swimming.
    • Set 2 - Did some BR kick for the IMs. For my freestyle, I feel that with a steady kick I have better balance and overall stroke, so might as well begin to condition the legs to be there all the way.
    • Set 3 - Made an effort to finish the workout with a more quality and encouraging swim. Doing the FR kick set earlier led me to hold on to it in my stroke more with this last set. It felt better overall, and I will be more prepared for my next workout.

    Updated October 31st, 2012 at 05:53 PM by fdtotten

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  2. Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    by , October 30th, 2012 at 06:56 PM (I swim, therefore I am)
    SCY @FGCU Aquatic Center
    Air temp of 58, pool at 79, 100% water clarity.
    Sunny blue skies with humidity at 45%

    IM
    Focus - Stroke Technique, Endurance Base

    *WarmUup*
    • 1x400 Free
    • 2x200 BR kick w/snorkel 1:00 rest


    *Set 1*
    1x1000 IM done as
    • 4x250 RIMO Swim


    *Set 2*
    3x400 IM on 1:00 Rest
    1. 75 cruise 25 strong by 100
    2. 25 cruise 25 strong by 100
    3. 50 build 50 strong by 100


    *Set 3*
    1x2000 K/fins done as
    • 400 Fly: 4(75 dk/back, 25 swim fast)
    • 400 BK: 4(75 k, 25 swim fast)
    • 400 BR: 4 (75 dk/back, 25 br pull w/dk)
    • 800 FR: 4 (100 kick/board, 100 Swim strong)


    *Set 4*
    1x1000 FR Swim/paddles, broken with :45 rest, done as
    • 4x250 - 100 smooth, 100 strong, 50 firm pull, steady 6k


    Warm down: 100 EZ

    Comments:
    • Once again, tired/sore from previous day 5K and weights the night before.
    • Set 1 - Extension of a warmup - swam straight except did several 25s of the fly as RA/LA
    • Set 2 - The last 400 IM was really the challenge to do with legal and correct turns.
    • Set 3 - Did not cramp in my toes, and kept the freestyle timing the same as without the fins
    • Set 4 - After the first 250, the remaining three were good - but I need to get new tubing for my paddles. I have been considering trying out the new Finis Agility paddles.
    • Warm down - after a lap of sculling and eggbeater kicking my strokes felt pretty good with the paddles off.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  3. Monday, October 29, 2012

    by , October 29th, 2012 at 07:01 PM (I swim, therefore I am)
    SCY @FGCU Aquatic Center
    Air temp of 65, pool at 79, 94% water clarity.
    Sunny blue skies with humidity at 48%

    Freestyle
    Focus - Stroke Technique

    *Warm Up*
    1x400 FR Drills

    *Set 1*
    1x5000 FR Swim, done as

    #1) 1000 as 2x500: 250 Smooth, 250 Strong

    #2) 1000 as:
    • 400 - EZ legs, smooth pull
    • 300 - moderate 2k, steady pull
    • 200 - firm 4k, stronger pull
    • 100 - steady 4-6K, firm controlled pull

    #3) 1000 as 2x500: 300 Smooth, 200 Strong

    #4) 1000 as:
    • 400 - EZ legs, smooth pull
    • 300 - moderate 2k, steady pull
    • 200 - firm 4k, stronger pull
    • 100 - steady 4-6K, firm controlled pull

    #5) 1000 as:
    • 400 - moderate 2k, steady pull
    • 400 - firm 4k, stronger pull
    • 200 - steady 4-6K, firm controlled pull


    Warm down: 100 EZ

    Comments:
    • Thinking of my family in Princeton, NJ and the entire eastern seaboard as Hurricane Sandy passes today, tomorrow, and Wednesday.
    • A Fall/Winter day in SWF with temperatures in the low 60s up to 65 by the time of my swim.
    • The 5K was a good swim with two days off this weekend, I enjoyed the challenge to work on the variable pace, effort and stroke technique.
    • The approximate 100 yard pace when using a steady kick and firm pull was 1:07-8 glancing at the clock before the flip turn.

    Updated October 29th, 2012 at 07:12 PM by fdtotten

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  4. A Brief Bio

    by , October 26th, 2012 at 07:39 PM (I swim, therefore I am)
    Swimmer
    Swam competitively in High School-NJ 1971-75, then NCAA I-CA (2yrs) Waterpolo (3yrs). Unfortunately, I did not train year-round during the off season, summers and did not compete in AAU swimming. Participated in local USMS (PMS - SF Bay Area) SCY & LCM meets, OWS on & off from about 1981 to 1998.

    While working abroad I swam laps in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Singapore as available. After a job relocation to Evans, GA in 2008, I started lap swimming at the Augusta Aquatic Center, GA averaging 2-3K SCY/LCM as available 3-4 time weekly.

    Another job relocation took my family to Fort Myers, FL June 2011 where I continued to swim laps at the Fort Myers Aquatic Center. Since February 2012, my primary daily training facility has been at FGCU (Florida Gulf Coast University) with LCM 6-8 months of the year.

    Most of my swim sessions are solo with 1-3 sessions weekly or monthly supervised by Coach Chuck Slaght according to seasonal training cycles and competition schedule. Currently doing workouts towards 3-5K OWS events, and 1650/1500/800 and IMs at local USMS or Senior Games events.

    Coaching and Teaching
    I was active in part-time coaching and teaching swimming over the years beginning in high school as Red Cross WSI Swim Instructor teaching and coaching at Summer Swim League clubs during my Jr/Sr years of HS and while attending the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA near the SF Bay Area.

    After college graduation with a BA degree in English & Communication, I was employed full time off an internship, and also assisted with part-time coaching of the University NCAA Div I Men's & Women's swimming teams, along with Men's Waterpolo. Next came Age Group and Assistant Senior USS swim club coaching positions along with ASCA membership, courses and certifications. Different jobs and locations led to part-time head coaching positions with High School Swimming/Water Polo and USMS teams in the Bay Area and San Francisco. Soon after relocating to San Francisco, I was selected as part of the staff that founded the University of San Francisco USMS swimming program at the Koret Center.

    From USF I went on to assist The Olympic Club athletic department with TOC competitive aquatics programs including Masters Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Water Polo, and a lap swim fitness program called Spin and Swim, along with events such as The Olympic Club Mile, and the Trans Tahoe Relay Swim. Due to evolving family and career choices, I choose not to continue part-time aquatic teaching or coaching to simply be a lap swimmer. When we returned to the USA from living and working overseas, I also eventually returned to participating in USMS upon becoming 55.

    Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:17 PM by fdtotten

    Categories
    About Me
  5. Friday, October 25, 2012

    by , October 26th, 2012 at 06:05 PM (I swim, therefore I am)
    SCY @FGCU Aquatic Center
    Air temp of 79, pool at 78, 100% water clarity.
    Cloudy dark gray possible rainy skies with humidity at 70%

    Freestyle
    Focus - Stroke Technique

    *Warm up*
    1x400 FR Drills

    *Set 1*
    1x2000 FR
    Swam 5 rounds of:
    • 200 EZ legs, smooth pull
    • 200 moderate 4k, stronger pull


    *Set 2*
    200 BR Kick with Snorkel
    200 BR 50 K/bk, 50 Swim

    *Set 3*
    4x500 FR on 1min rest or HR=>11/6
    Swam each as:
    • 400 EZ legs, strong pull
    • 100 steady 4-6k, firm controlled pull


    *Set 4*
    1x1000 FR w/paddles
    Swam 5 rounds of:
    • 150 EZ legs, strong pull
    • 50 steady 4-6k, firm controlled pull


    Warm down: 100 EZ

    Comments:
    • Today is the best day of this week because my wife returns from two week business trip to Shanghai, China - we get to pick her up at RSW airport tonight. Hurray!
    • Before getting in the water, I had planned to do some basic early season intervals: 400 cruise on 5min, 4x50s on :45 @33-34 pace, 2x100 on 1:30 @ 1:07-08 pace, 1x200 on 3:00 @ 2:16-18 pace, perhaps 3-4 rounds continuous.
    • During the warmup - I felt like trash. The week of swim workouts along with wk #1 of weights & core work at night had taken more of a toll than expected. I will have to work up to it again, like I did last spring. Really - what was I thinking...
    • Set 1: A basic cruise doing the best form and technique possible in a tired state. My coach said it would be good for me, so I did it.
    • Set 2: A break from Freestyle
    • Set 3: A broken version of Set 1, but to make sure there was sufficient recovery for maximum stroke focus.
    • Set 4: This was actually fun. I like swimming with paddles (medium size, just slightly larger than hands) because it helps my feel of the water, reinforces stroke technique, and it is always good to swim faster, even with a little help.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  6. Thursday, October 25 2012

    by , October 25th, 2012 at 06:09 PM (I swim, therefore I am)
    SCY@Fort Myers Aquatic Center
    Air temp of 84, pool at 80, 100% water clarity.
    Cloudy skies with humidity at 68%

    IM
    Focus - Stroke Technique, Endurance Base

    *WarmUup*
    1x400 Free

    *Set 1*
    1x1600 IM done as
    • 2(4x200 IMO 50 drill/50 swim)


    *Set 2*
    1x2000 K/fins done as
    • 400 Fly: 4(75 dk/back, 25 swim fast)
    • 400 BK: 4(75 k, 25 swim fast)
    • 400 BR: 4 (75 dk/back, 25 br pull w/dk)
    • 800 FR: 4 (100 kick/board, 100 Swim strong)


    *Set 3*
    1x1000 FR Swim/paddles, broken with :30 rest, done as
    • 2x300 - desc effort by 100
    • 2x200 - 50 cruise, 50 fast


    Warm down: 100 EZ

    Comments:
    • Tired/sore from weights the night before.
    • Set 1 - Was going to do 400s straight, the changed it after doing the first 100.
    • Set 2 - More challenging due to leg fatigue from air squats and leg extensions from the previous day.
    • Set 3 - First 300 was awkward, second 300 better, but sloppy - 200s were almost in a groove
    • Warm down - great~!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  7. Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    by , October 24th, 2012 at 06:05 PM (I swim, therefore I am)
    SCY @FGCU Aquatic Center.
    Air temp of 82, pool at 78, 100% water clarity.
    Cloudy skies with humidity at 65%

    Freestyle
    Focus - Stroke Technique

    *Warm up*
    1x400 FR Drills

    *Set 1*
    2x1000 on 15min
    do each one as
    • 500 EZ legs, smooth pull
    • 300 moderate 4k, stronger pull
    • 200 steady 4-6K, firm controlled pull


    *Set 2*
    2x500 on 1min rest, do as
    • 250 EZ legs, smooth pull
    • 250 steady 4-6k, stronger pull


    *Set 3*
    3x400 on 1min rest, do as
    • 200 EZ legs, strong pull
    • 200 steady 4-6k, firm controlled pull


    *Set 4*
    4x300 on 1min rest, do as
    • 200 EZ legs, strong pull
    • 100 strong 4-6k, firm controlled pull


    *Set 5*
    5x200 on :30 rest, do as
    • 100 EZ legs, strong pull
    • 100 strong 4-6k, firm controlled pull


    Warm down: 100 EZ

    Comments:
    • The coach looked at my FR stroke last week, and once again, the truth about one's stroke flaws stings a bit, and corrective progress gradually evolves unevenly over weeks of practice. Last April/May I swam reasonably well because I finally got in pretty good swimming shape and became relatively stronger with consistent weight training (not surprising as I did not do any strength activity other than pushups the last 12 years).
    • The endurance and strength I enjoyed at that time also appeared to moderately mask my more obvious stroke flaws. What is most apparent at this point, is how quickly I can LOSE hard earned endurance and strength in eight weeks!
    • The three biggest errors in my FR are; 1) head goes out of alignment on left side breathing (my favored side), 2) breathing too late on left side, and 3) the right hand drifts out laterally past line of shoulder before the catch.
    • With Coach patiently providing visual/verbal feedback (I am nearly deaf in the water), I was able to calm my head position minimizing breathing motion and looking more downward to the lane line. By cropping my arm/shoulder recovery closer to my head in front of ears, I was able to keep the extension of the hands and arms more linear directly into the catch. So for now Coach approves of my progress.
    • So having said all that, in the workout today, the focus starting each swim was to cruise just a bit faster than warmup but implement the desired stroke technique and then complete the swim with a slightly stronger pull but same form, with the support of a solid streamlined flutter kick.
    • It was harder to do than expected; after completing many of those 500s to 200s my HR was typically about 27/29 for 10, or 15-16 for 6. Last March/April after Coach challenged me weekly with several lactate level fast swimming sets LC where my HR was up as high as 19-21 for 6 (some of those swims were really painful), by the end of April I was able to swim almost an hour of straight and broken swims where my HR would average about 15-17 for 6. The effort was not that much easier, but I just got used to it.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  8. Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    by , October 23rd, 2012 at 06:30 PM (I swim, therefore I am)
    SCY @FGCU Aquatic Center.
    Air temp of 80, pool at 78, 100% water clarity.
    Blue skies with humidity at 58%

    IM Day - SCY
    Focus - Stroke Technique

    *WarmUup*
    1x400 IM Drill

    *Set 1*
    1000 IM Rev Order as 4x250

    *Set 2*
    3x400 IM: 100 K choice after #1,#2

    *Set 3*
    1200 Kick wFins: as 5x200
    1. Fly - Swim lengths 3-6-8 (swims are fast, but not sprint)
    2. Bk - S 3-6-8
    3. Br - DK/back, BRpull+DK 2-4-6-8
    4. Bk - S 3-6-8
    5. Fly - S 3-6-8


    *Set 4*
    3x500 FR w/Paddles on 1min rest
    Technique Focus - steady head, linear rotation
    1. Snorkle, steady tempo
    2. as 250 steady, 250 strong
    3. as 200 steady, 300 desc by 100


    Comments:
    • The slow fly feels great, going faster later will be the problem.
    • At the end of each 400 IM my HR was 24-25/10, and I was running out air on the underwater push offs and transitions.
    • Using the snorkle is really useful in LC, but not as fun in SCY
    • I definitely feel the need to get back on the weights after using the paddles today.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  9. Monday, October 22, 2012

    by , October 23rd, 2012 at 06:13 PM (I swim, therefore I am)
    I am back! Summer schedule and family activities resulted in about 8 weeks down time from swimming. Returned to the pool after Labor Day to begin again.

    SCY @FGCU Aquatic Center.
    • Air temp of 80, pool at 78, 100% water clarity.
    • Blue skies with humidity at 62%


    *WarmUup*
    1x300 FR

    *Set 1*
    5x1000 FR on 15min
    • Build effort each 1000 as 500/300/200
    • Not timed
    • Stroke Tech


    Comments:
    • The coach is back on the deck Mondays and sometimes also Fridays. Working aerobic volume and stroke technique in Freestyle and IM up to Thanksgiving.
    • Currently I feel that I am about 75% of the fitness level of May 2012. I have not yet added the core or strength training as my time has been consumed by a wide range of obligations and I was tired of the pool work. But now I am recovering faster and feel back to normal soon after doing a strong 5-6K workout.
    • This summer in SWF was hot, humid, and long. Now I so happy to go out in the morning and the temperature is starting out 72 or 74, and soon will be in the mid 60s just after dawn.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts