View RSS Feed

Alex's swim journal

It's a journey: musings on art, literature, life... and occasional notes on training.

  1. cold water, continuous swim...

    by , March 3rd, 2015 at 12:11 AM (Alex's swim journal)
    Yesterday at the YMCA I noticed the heat was off in the pool, which didn't bother me so much because the temp was still probably around 75-78... just about perfect really. Today the temp was much colder. If air temp was around 70, the water had to be in the 60s. OK, maybe low 70s, but it was painful getting in in that dark natatorium (amazing how much warmer 70 feels when you're headed into a sunny outdoor pool!). The age-group kids finishing up their practice as I was starting were complaining about it, so I knew the first few laps were going to be on the chilly side and that I'd better keep moving if I wanted to retain my body heat. I had planned a bunch of drill anyway, so I just did everything continuously.

    3500 SCY/65 mins

    5 x thru
    --200 free
    --200 back
    --100 kick w/ board
    --200 pull w/ buoy

    My kick is feeling stronger and my back stroke is pretty relaxed. Overall I feel a lot stronger now than I did even at the beginning of last week. I'm pretty psyched about getting through 3500 in only 65 minutes even though 500 was kick (no fins) and 1000 was backstroke.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  2. 4000 SCY

    by , March 1st, 2015 at 06:07 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    I thought I was going to be really sore the day after sprint work, but felt pretty good and (BONUS) my normal 1650 pace didn't feel like a hard slog... it felt comfortable and relaxed by comparison. Here's what I did:

    8 x 100 fr on 2:00 (desc. 1:32-1:26)
    200 BK on 4:00
    8 x 100 fr on 1:50 (1:27-1:30)
    200 BK on 4:00
    8 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:29-1:35)
    200 BK on 4:00
    8 x 100 fr on 1:40 (1:30-1:36)
    200 BK on 4:00

    4000 SCY/1:17:00

    Toward the end of the third set of 100s I was starting to feel pretty icky, but recovered my pace after a few reps in the final set of 100s. I didn't miss any intervals in the final set, like I did earlier in the week, so I felt pretty good about that, but I'd really like to find 1:25-1:27 and be able to hold it for a whole set or two.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  3. first sprint day in a while...

    by , February 28th, 2015 at 06:08 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Haven't had the motivation or the company to do sprints in a long time, but figured I better start if I'm even going to try to do a meet at some point this SCY season. I am so slow and out of shape! I just did back and free today.

    WU (1000/20:00):
    200 fr
    100 kick
    200 pull
    200 fr
    100 kick
    200 pull

    1:00 rest

    MS 1 (1000 BK/27:00):
    20 x 25 bk on :40 (:21-:23)
    :40 rest
    10 x 50 bk on 1:20 (:45-:48)

    200 recovery (pull/bk)

    MS2 (1000 fr/25:00)
    20 x 25 fr on :40 (:16-:18)
    :40 rest
    10 x 50 on 1:00 (:36-:41)--occasionally took an extra :10-:20 rest if I was really winded, maybe after 3-4 reps.

    CD:
    300--mixed bk, pull, kick

    3500 SCY in about 1:20:00.

    Met some of the kids from the Baylor Swim Club, who came in to use the 2-3 lanes next to me when I was in the middle of my Back set. I thought they might be some random high school swimmers, but they looked a little older, so when I finished I asked them if they were on a team and they mentioned the BU swim club. I told them since they were all college age, they should consider doing the nationals in San Antonio (only about a 3-hour drive for us). Maybe I'll start joining them on Saturdays for their sprint day... it's really hard for an endurance guy like me to get up for sprints without teammates to help push me.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  4. Late evening swim...

    by , February 27th, 2015 at 11:46 AM (Alex's swim journal)
    Got in last night for a bit of detox swimming at the YMCA and thought I might push it in the middle of the swim, but might have pushed too hard... had a hard time coming down afterward and felt pretty close to a bonk; remembered that I hadn't eaten very much all day, but by that point (9:30-10:00) it was too late, damage was done.

    3500 SCY/63 minutes

    WU (1100 SCY/19 mins):
    200 fr
    200 pull
    200 fr
    200 pull
    200 fr
    100 bk

    1:00 rest

    MS (1800/30:00--all free):
    6 x 50 on :50
    3 x 100 on 1:40
    3 x 200 on 3:20
    3 x 100 on 1:40
    6 x 50 on :50*

    *Knew I'd pushed it too far here, because I missed the interval on the last few and finished the set in 30:05... it was like my arms were quick-hardening cement, in fact the arms/shoulders hadn't felt so tired since the last time I spent an afternoon mixing cement by hand.

    CD (600/12-13 mins):
    600 mixing EZ pull and back
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  5. The road back...

    by , February 25th, 2015 at 10:20 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Looking back at my posts from the beginning of the year I feel like I've squandered so much time over the last month... trying to get back into shape, but missing so many days. By the middle of February I was practically back to square one again. Last weekend was good, four days in a row with a swim (Thursday thru Sunday), though only the last one was over 2500. Today, after missing two days in a row, I managed to get in 3K.

    3300 SCY in 62 mins:

    5 x thru
    --200 fr
    --100 bk
    --200 pull
    --100 kick
    6 x 50 fr on 1:00

    The long continuous swim is still the thing I think I like the best; it satisfies my need to stay in motion for ever increasing time periods. This workout helped me keep going, but also throw in some variety. Since I only stopped to rest for the cool down (6 x 50 on 1:00), I was never tempted to pull myself out of the water in disgust over my slowness... which happened a couple of days last week when I got to around the 2000 mark. But I've been on this road before, just have to keep plugging away.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  6. 3K Lunch

    by , January 20th, 2015 at 06:31 AM (Alex's swim journal)
    I observed MLK Day by not posting to the blog, though I did get a relaxing lunch-hour swim in: 3300 SCY in 59:00.

    5 x thru:
    200 fr
    200 pull w/ buoy
    200 bk

    300 EZ fr cool-down
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  7. Ahead of GTD...

    by , January 18th, 2015 at 05:32 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    "Congratulations!" I'm ahead of the goal for the second day in a row; a mile ahead now in fact. Today's workout included some more freestyle distance work, 3700 SCY in 69 minutes swum thus:

    WU:
    6 x 200 (fr, pull, bk)
    8 x 25 fr on :30
    [1400/26:00]
    1:00 rest

    MS1:
    3 x 200 fr on 3:30 (2:58-3:01)
    6 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:27-1:31)
    12 x 50 fr on :50/:55 (:43-:45)
    [1800/31:30]

    MS2:
    4 x 50 bk on 1:00 (:48-:52)

    CD:
    100 pull
    100 bk pull
    100 bk
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  8. 4000; found a rhythm finally

    by , January 17th, 2015 at 05:08 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Today was distance day, but I was a little concerned about how off I've felt lately, how slow my turnover, etc. So I got a lane where I could see the pace clocks really well in the last two or three strokes before each wall. I worked the hip rotation and hand entry into a rhythm to make sure I was going at a stroke per second. The times dropped immediately. Wow, I guess I'd let myself slow into a slide and glide mode lately that was lengthening my stroke but making my stroke rate really low. When I focused on rate instead of length today I found my SL didn't suffer that much, but it was much easier to maintain the faster speeds.

    Here's how the workout went:

    10 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:29-1:33)
    100 bk EZ
    :30 rest
    10 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:25-1:30)
    100 bk EZ
    :30 rest
    10 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:27-1:33)
    100 bk EZ
    :30 rest
    5 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:29-1:36)
    200 bk EZ

    4000 SCY/71 mins

    Found a really good rhythm and was able to hold form particularly well in the second set of 10 x 100 and in the first 6-8 reps of the third set before things (the form) started to fall apart. That's probably close to a mile at an SR around 16-18 per length and 100 pace averaging 1:27-1:28/100. I did lots of counting today, which helped distract me too as the lactic acid started building up.

    So the endurance still needs some work, but I feel very encouraged by today's performance!
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  9. 3000 with a broken 1650

    by , January 17th, 2015 at 12:05 AM (Alex's swim journal)
    Again, I felt like I was swimming in jello today... just real lethargic, low energy, couldn't speed up my turnover. I did 3000 and decided to do a broken 1650 to get a baseline. Wow, have I lost a ton of fitness since last year! I think I ended up around 27:15 after subtracting the :10 rests. I was flirting with 25:00 the last couple of years for my 1650s in the middle of spring, so this seems like a huge step back (even from last week).

    Here's the whole thing:

    WU:
    400 EZ on 8:00
    4 x 100 fr on 2:00 (1:29-1:33)
    4 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:42-:44)
    4 x 25 fr on :30
    100 bk

    MS (broken 1650)
    400 + :10
    300 + :10
    200 + :10
    150 + :10
    100 + :10
    50 + :10
    100 + :10
    150 + :10
    200
    = 28:35 (-1:20 = 27:15)

    CD: 150 bk

    This total time was slower than my LCM 1500 in June; even slower than my SCM 1500 in my first meet ever, just over two years ago... after making so much progress, it's sad to see it all vanish in a matter of months; hopefully it won't take too long to get back into the swing of things.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  10. holding pattern...

    by , January 16th, 2015 at 10:27 AM (Alex's swim journal)
    I was only able to get in two swims this week, so I'm really looking forward to getting in today around noon. Waiting for the refrigerator delivery now! Tuesdays and Thursdays have been really busy, but especially so this week, so no swim. Monday and Wednesday I managed about 2000 each day. My Wednesday swim felt extremely slow, even though I'd had a day of rest... thought it should have felt faster. Here's what I did:

    400 EZ fr on 7:00
    4 x 100 fr on 1:45
    4 x 50 fr on 1:00
    4 x 50 bk on 1:00
    4 x 100 bk on 2:00
    200 bk on 4:00
    200 EZ fr

    Felt so lethargic, which was disappointing on a short workout... felt much better in the 3500+ workouts this weekend. Could be the late evening time (I'm pretty tired after 7:30 or 8P), but I think it's the lack of sleep this first week with the students back on campus and me scrambling to put classes together while scheduling already for next fall. Crazy time!

    After briefly inching ahead of my GTD goal, I'm now almost three miles behind again! Catch-up on the weekends; fall behind during the week.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  11. 3600 yards

    by , January 11th, 2015 at 11:18 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    3600 yards in about 65 minutes, felt ok...

    WU:
    400 fr on 7:00
    4 x 100 fr on 1:45
    4 x 50 fr on 1:00
    4 x 25 fr on :30
    1:00 rest

    MS1:
    3 x 200 fr on 3:30 (2:56-3:04)
    6 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:28-1:33)
    12 x 50 on :50/:55
    100 bk recovery

    MS2:
    4 x 50 bk on 1:00
    100 ez fr recovery
    4 x 50 bk on 1:00
    100 ez fr recovery

    Left shoulder was starting to tug a little on the 50s, need to pay real close attention to holding form as my body starts to fatigue. Third day in a row with 2+ miles of swimming, so the body is tiring out... not adapted to the yardage yet.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  12. New Year, trying to get back on track...

    by , January 10th, 2015 at 08:27 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Couldn't believe it when I opened up my BLOG yesterday and found my last entry was dated more than two months ago. I've lost a lot of fitness since then as we went through our second move in four months (this one across town to the "new" permanent home).

    Between the…
    ...craziness of this move,
    the adjustments to the rhythms of the new job,
    the holiday travels,
    and the fact that I still haven't managed to figure out how my new YMCA's pool schedule is going to mesh with my own schedule in something like a routine…
    … I have missed a lot of days.

    I swam less than 10 miles in all of December, and ended the year with my worst total mileage year since I started keeping track in 2011. Still averaging more than 400 miles/year for the last four years. My weight is still down in the mid 160s and the vegan diet is still pretty much in place (there was a lot of accidental dairy during the holidays, if you know what I mean, sometimes it's best not to ask… as long as it isn't a steaming carcass).

    So I'm trying to get back on track. Set my GTD goal at 365, mile-a-day pace, and have still managed to fall behind! I'm slowing ramping up the yardage though and hope to start training for long distance free and middle distance back and fly on a more regular basis. Yesterday I did 3500 and today 3600 and I feel pretty good. Here were the workouts, nothing too intense (and paces way off where they were even earlier this fall), just getting the body used to the yardage again:

    Friday, 1/9/15:

    3 x thru
    --8 x 100 fr on 1:45
    --1 x 200 bk on 4:00
    100 fr recovery
    6 x 50 bk on 1:00
    100 fr cool-down

    Total: 3500 SCY/64 mins

    Saturday, 1/10/15:

    400 fr + 100 bk on 9:00
    4 x 100 fr on 1:45
    100 bk recovery
    2 x 200 fr on 3:30
    100 bk recovery
    2 x 200 fr on 3:30
    100 bk recovery
    4 x 100 fr on 1:45
    100 bk recovery
    400 fr + 100 bk on 9:00
    6 x 50 bk on 1:00 (:47-:50)
    200 EZ fr
    100 bk cool-down

    Total: 3600 SCY/66 mins

    My pace on the free intervals was between 1:30 and 1:36 per, I really only pushed it a few times, not building up any lactic acid on the 200s but managed to keep them in the 3:04 to 3:06 range nonetheless… lots of rest in those sets when I was going on 3:30.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  13. Back to back 3000-yard wkouts

    by , October 11th, 2014 at 08:14 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    It's been a while since I've been able to work in 3000 yards or more two days in a row. I've been doing more like 2000 every other day. So I feel tired, but a good tired. Here's what I did:

    Yesterday (10/10):

    6 x 500 (=400 free + 100 back) on 9:00
    Total: 3000 SCY/54 minutes

    Today (10/11):
    Wm-up:
    400 fr on 7:00
    4 x 100 fr on 1:45
    4 x 50 fr on 1:00
    100 BK recovery on 3:00

    MS:
    3 x 200 fr on 3:20
    6 x 100 fr on 1:40
    12 x 50 fr on :50
    100 BK recovery

    Cool-dn:
    6 x 50 on 1:00

    Total: 3300 SCY/60 minutes

    The pace was slow (probably averaged 1:31/100 pace over the main set), as to be expected on my first time with this workout in a while, but I was happy just to have enough energy to finish.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  14. Erratic training, house hunting

    by , September 20th, 2014 at 07:00 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Looking back over the last 8 weeks or so, I can't be too upset at my swimming. With the craziness of the move, the transition into new position, and the search for a new home in the area I've only been able to get in 3-4 times per week for very short swims (1500-2500 SCY range). But over the last couple of years I've gotten used to swimming almost every day going 3-4K pretty regularly, so anything less than that feels like I've completely abandoned my fitness program. Hoping I'll be able to get back into a routine of swimming every day soon!

    I'm used to putting in long hours of work, but when you add a couple of hours with the real estate agent looking at homes every day your free time starts shrinking rapidly. I think the daily "house hunt" is way more exhausting than an hour at the Y. At this point we're so tired of looking that the thing really needs to be "move-in" ready, unfortunately most of the stuff at our price point is flame-thrower ready. My personal favorite was the dated house in a great neighborhood (Hawaiian motif wall-paper!), with a chicken coop in the back yard and a swimming pool that was getting ready to slide off into a ravine. Or the beautifully updated house in a nice neighborhood with the fatal flaw of a four-lane highway and access roads 25 yards from the back porch. Sigh. I think we're getting closer.

    The other thing that is frustrating is that my 3-4 days per week in the pool have been highly erratic, so like last week I managed 4 days straight between Thursday and Sunday... awesome, right? But then I couldn't manage to get back in until this Friday, so whatever progress I made on getting back into shape in those four swims was lost in the four day hiatus that followed!

    Here's what I did yesterday and today:

    Friday, 2200 SCY, 45 mins:

    WU:
    2 x thru
    200 fr
    50 bk

    MS1:
    10 x 100 fr on 2:00

    MS2
    2 x thru
    4 x 50 Bk on 1:00
    50 fr recovery

    CD: 200 EZ swim
    ---
    Saturday, 2200 SCY, 44 mins

    5 x 200 fr on 4:00 (desc. from 3:20 to 3:05)
    4 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:39-:42)
    8 x 25 fr on :30 (:18-:19)
    200 bk on 4:00
    4 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:40ish, counting about 35-36 strokes per 50)
    200 bk on 4:00
    200 EZ recovery
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  15. Settling into a new life...

    by , August 24th, 2014 at 08:27 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    The move is complete, though we're still making our way through boxes. I'm getting used to the new YMCA. Haven't joined the masters workouts yet... I'm holding off for a semester at least; the learning curve at work right now is pretty steep on the administrative side, so I'm going to ease back into the swimming as I can. I have been getting in to swim a few times a week, but really just for stress relief... nothing intense.

    Today I did 2200 SCY:

    400 EZ swim on 8:00
    4 x 100 IM on 2:00
    4 x 50 FR on 1:00
    4 x 25 Fr on :30
    4 x 25 BK on :30
    1:00 rest
    4 x 50 BK on 1:00
    100 FR recovery
    4 x 50 BK on 1:00
    100 FR recovery
    200 IM stretching it out on 4:00
    200 EZ swim
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  16. 2 miles OW

    by , August 1st, 2014 at 09:20 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Yesterday I did 2000 (4 x thru [4 x 100 fr on 1:45; 1 x 100 bk on 2:00]) in 36 minutes.

    That was my last swim as a member of the Kenosha YMCA--sniff; I'll have to sign up with Waco YMCA as soon as I get down there. But it was a little tough walking out of the locker room for the last time as a resident.

    Today I did 2 miles at Lake Andrea, inside their 50 meter lap swim area... the one with the nasty left turn and tapering at one end... seems like a recipe for collisions. I was just happy to get in the mileage and be in the open air. I'll go there a couple more times before the move next week.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  17. 4000 SCY; pace-work for 1650

    by , July 30th, 2014 at 03:19 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    More pace-work for 1650 today in my first 4000-yard workout in a while:

    4 x 100 on 2:00 (3 fr, desc. 1:36-1:30; 1 bk in 1:45)
    7 x 50 fr on 1:00 (desc. :45-:39)
    1:00 rest
    4 x 200 fr on 3:30 (2:59, 2:54, 2:58, 2:58)
    8 x 100 fr on 1:45 (mostly around 1:30)
    16 x 50 fr on :50/:55, alt. (:42-:44)
    4 x 50 bk on 1:00 (:50-:51)
    2 x 100 bk on 2:00 (1:42; 1:41)
    1 x 200 bk on 4:00 (3:32)
    Cool-down: 5 x 50 (br, fly, br, fr, fr)

    75 minutes
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  18. 3500 SCY

    by , July 28th, 2014 at 02:46 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    I'm only getting in every other day now, so I'm trying to do as much quality work as possible... a lot of pace-work for 1500 and some backstroke.

    400 EZ fr on 7:00
    20 x 100 fr on 1:45*
    10 x 50 fr on :50 (:42-:46, not feeling good at the end)
    :40 rest, then...
    10 x 50 back on 1:00 (mostly :49)
    100 EZ cool-down

    65 minutes total

    *These were mostly in the 1:28-1:29 range, maybe 3-4 in 1:30-1:31, so this is probably my current 1650 pace (as it has been for more than a year now... sigh)., but I'm encouraged by the fact that I'm just starting to get back into the swing of long freestyle interval sets.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  19. 3600-yard workout

    by , July 26th, 2014 at 06:00 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    First time in a while I've done more than two miles in a workout. I decided just to do 3000 in 100s today... 30 x 100... just to see what would happen. I used the first 3-4 to walk myself down below 1:30, then I kept a 1:27-1:28 pace for about 1600 (more or less my goal pace for that distance); then just started cruising, keeping mid 1:30s (my 3-5k pace). Here's how it went down:

    10 x 100 free on 2:00 (desc. from 1:33 to 1:27)
    10 x 100 free on 1:45 (held 1:27-1:28)
    10 x 100 free on 1:50 (mostly 1:34-1:35; one 1:39 immediately after the 10x on 1:45 set)
    10 x 50 back on 1:00 (EZ, :52-:55; mostly :53)
    100 EZ and out

    3600 SCY in 68 minutes

    On this last few weeks before the move... I finished summer school first session on June 13 and have had since then really to focus on the move, with the exception of 5 days in Austin over the long 4th of July weekend. Usually a month goes by really quickly... but for some reason I feel as if time has sort of stood still for the last six weeks. My last day of class in the UW system seems like ages ago. Took me forever to clean out the office... maybe that's why. Just thought I would record that bizarre feeling here. Of course, when I want time to stand still it flies like a bat out of the infernal regions. Oh well, a watched pot...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  20. 200 miles

    by , July 24th, 2014 at 05:48 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    203 miles year-to-date, to be exact. It's been a rough spring and summer so far in terms of training... all the pressure of the move, which is finally coming to a head, after fourteen years in the same place, has taken its toll on my training. I'm lucky to get in 4x a week, some weeks over the last couple of months it's been only 3x. Either I haven't had the time or, more likely, the motivation and/or energy. Swimming has definitely been on the back-burner, but today I felt pretty good... well, good when the workout was over. Did 3000:

    400 EZ on 8:00 (mixed drill, free and back)
    4 x 100 fr on 2:00 (1:28ish)
    4 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:41ish)

    Main set was 1800/36:00:
    3 x 200 fr on 4:00 (2:56-2:57)
    6 x 100 fr on 2:00 (1:25 x 2; 1:26 x 2: 1:27 x 2)
    12 x 50 fr on 1:00 (averaged :41)

    200 cool-down (all backstrk)

    The main set was 1650 pace set, I guess, the 200s were probably a little faster than current pace, the 100s started off in goal pace and then dropped back toward my pace from last spring; the 50s were a little faster than goal pace.

    A measure of my fitness and motivation was that this is an absurd amount of rest in comparison to the workouts I've been doing for 1650 pace over the last couple of years (usually a 1:40-1:45 interval for 100s and 3:20-3:30 for 200s at 1500 pace). I keep telling myself that this is just maintenance work and it's off-season for me now anyway. I imagine a few months after the move, things will start to get back to normal (whatever that is!).

    The move is set for the first week in August. We have an offer on the house here, awaiting the reappraisal, so hopefully that all goes off without a hitch... the offer has just come in in the eleventh hour, but it will be a huge weight off our shoulders not to have to carry that mortgage with us down to Texas.

    For now, we'll be renting a townhome near Aaron's High School... keeping an eye out for nice homes/neighborhoods in the school district over the next few months. Our unit is right across from the pool, though it's a small one... probably 15-20 yards in length. Being so close though, it might entice me to get in and work on the underwater dolphins and other drills that don't necessitate a full-length pool.

    We did our LCM state champs here in WI a month ago already... hard to believe. I swam the 1500 and all the back events. My 200 back was an LCM PR by nearly :12. And had me briefly in the top 10 for that event this season... oh so briefly! My 1500 came in at 26:16, almost :30 faster than last year. The focus on form, even as the volume has fallen off this year, is starting to pay off.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
Page 1 of 19 1234511 ... LastLast