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Alex's swim journal

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

  1. My first 200 IM

    by , December 28th, 2012 at 10:38 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Today, I really didn't know what to focus on. Honestly, I felt a little sore after yesterday's 4000... even with the longer rests, the pace was a lot faster than I usually do on my own and using all four strokes is working muscles I didn't know I had. I have a distance day tomorrow (goal: 7200), so I didn't want to overdo it with intervals or go too long, but I wanted to do some quality work and also keep my momentum on learning the different strokes. Here's what I finally did:

    Warm-up:
    100 fr EZ (1:40)
    200 br (3:50)
    200 alt. bk/fr (about 3:40)
    500 kick w/ board and fins (about 350 dolphin)


    10 x 100 alt. pull w/ paddles (mostly 1:50) and free (mostly 1:35)
    6 x 100*
    200 IM


    cool-down:
    200 EZ fr


    *reps 1-2 were hard 50 bk then 50 br; reps 3-4 were 100 IM; rep 5, 100 bk; rep 6, 100 br. All these 100s were between 1:37 and 1:50. My IM 100s were the fastest, so my fly must not be too terrible, though having a 25 fr at the end doesn't hurt any.

    At that point in the workout, I decided it was going to be a 3000-yard day, and if I could survive a 50 fly, then a 200 IM was not out of the question. A 200 EZ fr would be my cool-down. I barely survived that 50 fly, but I did survive it... last couple of strokes barely clearing the waterline with my arms. That was tough, but I noticed :45 on the pace clock when I hit the wall at 50. I finished the 200 in 3:39, which means I lost a lot of ground on the back half of the back 50 and a lot more time on the breast... not able to make up much with my 50 fr at that point--I was spent. On the other hand, 3:39 was an ambitious time for my 200 freestyle when I first started swimming seriously in summer 2011.

    My biggest difficulty with fly right now is the fact that I can't seem to get the dolphin kick down... something I'm anxious to work on; but I definitely think I'll try a 100 IM at our next SCY meet in January, just for fun.

    Tomorrow, I'm considering doing something different, instead of my usual continuous swim or 5-6 x 1200 on 21:00, whatever. Rather than swim 6,000 yards of freestyle continually at a slower pace, I thought about doing 5 sets of 12 x 100 on 1:45, where I swim every fourth rep hard, but then have three more relaxed, but still faster, 100s. I think I should be able to hold the interval for the whole workout (60 x 100, essentially) and I'll do 200 breast or back between sets. With a 1:45 interval each set of 12 will last 21:00. I think that's the plan for now.
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  2. My first 100 IM

    by , December 28th, 2012 at 12:42 AM (Alex's swim journal)
    So, I've done 7,200 SCY in the last two days. The day after Christmas was not impressive. I felt awkward in the water, things just didn't feel right after only 1-day break, the first day out of the water in two weeks. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I'm making it out to be, maybe I just needed another "rest" day. I don't know. I only did 3200:

    100 fr
    200 br
    200 bk
    500 drills
    1000 in 1:40 pace (16:40)
    5 minute rest
    10 x 50 (25 sprint/25 recovery) on 1:00
    5 x 100 on 2:00*
    200 fr cool-down (3:15)
    *3 fr 1:27-28; 1 br in 1:42, 1 bk (2:12).

    Today's workout was much better. 4000 in about 90 minutes, a lot of good quality speed work. Here's what I did:

    Warm-up (1000):
    400 swim
    4 x 100 on 1:45 (1:27-1:35)
    4 x 50 on 1:00 (:38-:40)

    Main Sets (2800)
    10 x 100 alt. pull w/ paddles and free
    5 x 200 fr on 4:00 (all in the 2:50s; 2:53-2:57)
    4 x 200 on 5:00 (first 2: 150 br/50bk, then next alt bk/br by 50s--all 3:30 range; fourth was fr in 3:15)

    Cool-down (200):
    2 x 100 IM on 3:00 (1:29, 1:32)

    Yes, that is two IM swims in the cool-down (which, btw, doesn't make for a relaxed cool-down). Scotty joined me after my pull/free 100 set and we were swimming in the same lane, so we were pushing each other pretty well on the 200s. We got separate lanes for the stroke work. Scotty mentioned that I was making up ground lost on the breast with my back, he thought maybe because of my kick. It's all relative, I didn't feel as good about my breast stroke today, felt like I was missing a piece somewhere, so the back probably seemed better in comparison.

    So, the IMs... Scotty said he needed to do at least a couple hundred worth in IM order and I said, well, I just need a couple hundred more before I call it a day. Why don't we break it into 2 x 100 IM. I figured I could survive 25 fly at least. I asked him to take a look at a few strokes worth of my fly and see if I was doing anything too terribly wrong... Using some of James' advice and what I've remembered seeing from video, I gave it a shot... and Scotty said, "whoa, where did that come from? You're a ringer!" He told me to try a wider hand entry and away we went on my first 100 IM swim ever. We were pretty close on the 25 fly, I pulled even on the 25 back , he pulled away on the 25 breast , and then I cruised in with whatever I could manage on the last 25 free: 1:28. I was pretty pleased with that time. We went again on 3:00 and I managed a 1:32. In addition to a lot more work on fly and breast, I need to work on the turn for backstroke . But it was fun. No complaints.

    Bonus family time in the pool: so, my middle son Anthony is taking a week break from his Cross-Country/Track training and wanted to do some cross-training in the pool. Before I got in and started I took a look at his freestyle stroke and it is right about where I was a couple of years ago, so I gave him a few pointers and let him get on his way. He swam the whole time I was doing my 4000-yard workout. He would stop and rest (very briefly) every 50-100 yards, but probably got in 2500 yards. I'm proud of him for sticking with it.

    Maybe tomorrow is going to be 100s day, getting ready for another distance day (those seem to come around really fast!)... Saturday might be a 7200-yard continuous swim; I've stocked up on gatorade!
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