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A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming

A little background info about me. In my younger days I was a runner but quit while in my mid 30's when it was no longer fun. I began swimming in 2000 to lose a few pounds and get in shape. I did not participate in age group or high school swimming and prior to taking up swimming as a 48 year old the only previous swimming experience I had was from Red Cross lessons and Boy Scouts.

  1. Nationals Recap

    by , May 3rd, 2011 at 05:08 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    I'm back finally. Although I could have gone to the hotel's business center and kept this updated the room was very hot and uncomfortable so I just decided it could wait until I got home.

    We (my son and I) drove to Mesa on Wednesday and with the long drive we were unable to get in the pool on Wednesday.

    Thurdsay I went to the pool after the conclusion of the distance events and did a workout that basically was my meet warm up. Total yardage about 1200 yards.



    Friday
    This was not a good day. They were running way faster than the timeline and we didn't get to the pool early enough. Didn't have enough time to get my usual long warm up and was not comfortable for the rest of the day. And the warm up pools were so crowded that it was nearly impossible to do anything but swim at the same speed as everyone else. Couldn't kick or do sprints.

    50 Fly - 31.27
    This was about a second and a half off my best (29.86). I just didn't seem to ever get in a good flowing rhythm. Had a good start and turn and breakouts were timed right. Just not fast enough on the swim. Need to work on faster turnover without spinning. Cool down swim: 300 easy

    200 Back - 2:37.39
    (36.96-39.71-40.30-40.42)
    I was really disappointed with this swim. I had expected to go a LOT faster. I felt good during the swim and didn't think I was going that slow and was really surprised at the time. The good side of it is that my splits were ok. No big range between fastest and slowest and no big drop off from the 1st 50 to the last. But I was about 2 seconds per 50 slower that I thought (and my training indicated) I could do. Maybe I should have continued doing the broken swims and pace work right up to just before I left for the meet.
    Cool down swim: 300 easy

    50 Free - 28.18
    This is almost 2 seconds slower than what I did last year (26.32). I just don't seem to be getting a good fast turnover with my stroke. Kick was good and strong though. Start and turn were good.
    Cool down swim: 500 easy

    Saturday
    Made sure to get there a lot earlier so we could eat, relax a bit and then get a good warm up. The pools weren't quite as crowded and I was able to get my usual warm up routine in. Then sat in the shade until just before my race, when I got back in the water and did a short warmup. Then went to the start area to wait for my heat (about 10 min).

    100 Back - 1:11.00 (35.16-35.84)
    Again I felt really good, had good start and turns and stayed away from the lane lines. Was just slower than I had hoped for (I did 1:09.36 last spring). Splits were good. But I think I need to get out faster, maybe like I'm doing a 50. Something to work on. Perhaps more broken 100's at race pace in the month leading up to the meet.

    This was my only event of the day. Did 400 easy cool down swim after.

    Sunday
    Like yesterday we got there early enough that we had time to eat and relax before getting in for warm up. Was able to get a good warm up and followed the same basic routine as yesterday.

    50 Back - 33.27
    I had a great start, good underwater and breakout and then totally pooched the turn! My feet slipped on the wall and I had NO push and I was up before the flags. I watched the video this morning and when I rolled over to turn, I ended up at an angle to the lane instead of square to the wall. So my feet slipped to the side and I had no push. I guess I need to practice more turns at all out speed! The up side is I was the last in my heat to breakout (at just past midpool) AND I was ahead of everyone in the heat until the turn!
    Did 400 cool down swim.

    100 free - 1:01.92 (30.27-31.65)
    I went 1:00.04 last year.

    I felt good and had a good start and turns. I thought I had a good kick going too, but in watching the video there wasn't much indication of that. Need to work on more sustained sprint kicking. Splits were good again but I should be out under 29. And I noticed while watching the video that my turnover is really slow. Again, like I said earlier, I need to work on getting a faster turnover without spinning.

    Finished the meet with a 400 cool down swim.

    All in all I think it was a good meet even though all my times were off my previous times and did not meet my expectations. I guess not being able to wear the body suits (and age? NAH!) is a factor, though others are swimming as fast or faster without them.


    Although I was disappointed that I didn't swim the times I felt I was capable of, I had a good time. It was fun to see old friends and make new ones. And it was really awesome that Jared went with me and swam well. He placed in 4 of his 6 events with his best finish being 2nd in the 200 Fly.

    Updated May 4th, 2011 at 08:34 AM by poolraat

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  2. Tuesday, 4/26/11

    by , April 26th, 2011 at 11:47 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo
    3 days to go!
    Today's workout was basically a warmup workout.

    Warm up
    400 choice - include swim/drill
    - did free and back
    3 x 100/1:45 50 Back - 50 Free, Build by 50's
    - these felt pretty good, was around 1:22-3
    3 x 50/1:15 7.5 Breakout sprint - 10 yards easy - 7.5 FAST FINISH
    - did 1 each stroke
    6 x 25/30 Strong alt free, back. fly by 25's

    Cont'd Warm up
    1 x 50/1:00 build - did free
    2 x 25/1:00 Very Strong - did both back
    4 x 12.5/45 FAST - did all fly

    Kick
    8 x 25/45 Dolphin underwater as far as you can go - kick flutter into wall
    - 15 dolphin kicks are taking me to mid pool


    Warm down
    400 easy swim
    - 200 free/200 back

    Total: 1750 yards

    I'll be leaving for Mesa early tomorrow morning. Looking forward to this meet as my 18 year old son is coming with me. It will be his first masters meet. It exciting that he's doing this with me since he and his sister are the reason I started swimming 11 years ago. First races for both of us will be on Friday.
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  3. Monday, 4/25/11

    by , April 25th, 2011 at 11:36 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo
    4 Days to Nationals!

    Warm up
    500 Choice
    - did a mix of stuff: 150 free/150 back/100 kick/50 fly drill/25 free/25 fly
    4 x 75/1:20 build
    - alternated free and back
    8 x 25/30
    1) 12.5 fast - 12. 5 easy
    2) 12.5 easy - 12.5 fast
    3) 25 easy
    4) 25 FAST
    - 1-4 free, 5-8 back

    Main Set
    1 x 50 Free off Blocks: fast breakout/easy 10 yards/sprint 7.5 yards into and out of wall with good turn/easy 10 yards/7.5 FAST FINISH!
    - even with the easy 20 yards, was still around 33 on this
    50 easy free

    2 x 25 Back/2:00 off Blocks
    - mid 15 to the feet for both
    easy 50 free

    2 x 12.5 Fly/1:00 AFAP
    - did both off block, focusing on breakout with kick and stroke in synch. did 3 strokes after breakout then swam easy free back to blocks

    Kick
    4 x 50/1:15 dolphin w/flutter
    - did as 10-12 SDK underwater, flutter on surface, 8-10 SDK off wall then dolphin on surface to end. Times were around 53

    Warm down
    1 x 500 Choice (swim, drill, kick, pull, scull, blow bubbles...)
    - alternated free and back both as swim and fist drill

    Total: 1950 yards
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  4. Saturday, 4/23/11

    by , April 23rd, 2011 at 12:25 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo
    6 days to go!

    Warm up
    500 Choice
    - 250 free/250 back
    4 x 100/1:45 Build up - work on DPS
    - all free, tried to keep stroke count at 15-16
    4 x 25/30: Backstroke - pull on lane lines
    - Didn't actually pull on land lines just swam with that motion.
    4 x 50/55 Freestyle Catch - up Drill

    Sprint Set
    6 x 75/2:00
    Sprint AFAP from wall to 7.5 yards out - both coming and going.
    The 10 yards between the 7.5 marks is smooth DPS
    - did 2 fly (w/easy free in middle), 2 back, 2 free
    100 easy

    Starts
    3 x 25 Fast 1 Free, 1 Back, 1 Fly
    - with TT for starter and timer. Fly at 14, free at low 13, back at low 15. walked back after each

    Warm down
    300 free/200 back easy

    Total: 2325 yards
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  5. Fast Friday

    by , April 22nd, 2011 at 04:51 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Friday, 4/22/11
    SCY, Solo
    One week to go!

    Warm up
    300 free and back
    Kick 200 on back w/6-8 SDK off walls
    4 x 50/55 free build
    6 x 25/30 strong, 2 each stroke
    150 easy swim

    Repeat twice
    9 x 25/1:00 every 3rd FAST
    - did 3 fly, 3 back, 3 free. desc to fast on each group of 3
    4 x 12.5/40 SPRINT
    - mixed it up with the 3 strokes.

    Swim/Kick
    4 x 50/1:15 Swim with overkick
    - this kicked my butt! times around 38

    Warm down
    150 easy free and back

    Total: 1900 yards
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  6. Thursday, 4/21/11

    by , April 21st, 2011 at 11:34 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo
    8 days to go!

    Warm up
    300 as 50 swim/50 kick/50 drlll - repeat

    - did 150 free/150 back
    200 as 50 scull - of each 4 different positions
    4 x 50/55 build

    - did 2 free, 2 back
    8 x 25/30

    1)12.5 fast - 12.5 easy
    2)12.5 easy - fast finish
    3)25 easy
    4) 25 fast
    - 1-4 back, 5-8 free
    100 easy

    Main Set
    Repeat 2 Times:
    1 x 50/1:00 build free
    8 x 12.5 AFAP (round 1 = fly, round 2 = back)

    Recovery
    50 swim/50 kick/50 drill/50 swim build

    Kicks:
    6 x (SDK at least 15 yards Fast Under water, easy streamline kick for reast of 50)/ on 1:30, was going 20+ SDK to around 15. doing the 50's in 52-53 sec

    Warm down
    300 easy as 50 free/50 back


    Total: 2100 yards
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  7. Wednesday, 4/20/11

    by , April 20th, 2011 at 12:44 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo
    9 days to go!

    Warm up (this is essentially my meet warm up)
    300 swim back and free
    200 kick on back
    4 x 50/1:00 build
    4 x 25/30 strong
    200 easy swim

    Broken 100 Free
    50 (10sr) - 25 (5sr) - 25
    - total time was 1:18 (-15sr=1:03 swim time)
    200 easy swim

    Kick, no fins:
    8 x 50/1:15, streamline with fast breakout kicks and strong finish (moderate effort kick in between)
    - was averaging 53 on these with 7-10 SDK off walls

    Starts:
    2 x 25 FAST OFF BLOCKS
    - did free for both using tempo trainer for a starter. Feet to the wall at just under 14. swam easy 75 after each

    Warm down
    - did 300 mix of free, back, and breast

    Total: 2200 yards
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  8. Tuesday, 4/19/11

    by , April 19th, 2011 at 11:27 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo
    10 days to go!

    Pretty easy workout today.

    Warm up (1500)
    300 Swim
    - 200 free/100 back
    4 x 75/1:20 build each
    - 1-2 free, 3-4 back
    400 IM drilll and/or kick
    - did this as 25 kick/25 drill
    4 x 75/cso - 25 scull/25 fists/25 swim
    - 1-2 free, 3-4 back
    8 x 25/30 Strong Choice of stroke
    - IMO on these

    Main Set (500) Swim w/Fins
    10 x 50/1:00 every 3rd FAST
    - every 3rd was: fly-31, back-32, free-28. Others were all free, around 37

    Warm down
    10 min easy swim, back and free (600 yards)

    Total: 2600 yards
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  9. Monday, 4/18/11

    by , April 18th, 2011 at 11:26 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo
    11 days ro go to Nationals!


    Warm up (1200)
    200 choice - 200 kick - 200 drill
    8 x 50/1:10 25 ez Free - 25 build Fly
    8 x 25/30 strong
    - alternated 2 free, 2 back

    Main Set (600)
    Swim following Twice:
    1 x 200 Back or Free smooth/4:00
    - did 1st one free, 2nd one back
    4 x 25/2:00 FAST from Blocks
    - 1st round - #1-3 fly, just under 15; #4 back, just under 16
    - 2nd round - #1-2 back, mid 15s, #3-4 free, mid 13s

    Cool Down
    400 easy free and back

    Total: 2200 yards

    I felt pretty good today but the times on the 25's weren't as fast as I thought they should be. Used the tempo trainer as a starter and set it for a goal pace. But it's still hard to tell just what the times actually were. Wish I had my coach on deck to time me.
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  10. Saturday, 4/16/11

    by , April 16th, 2011 at 12:55 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo
    13 days to go!

    Warm up (1000)
    300 Mixer
    - free and back
    4 x 75/1:30 build
    - 1-2 free, 3-4 back
    4 x 50/1:00 25 Fists - 25 Swim (any stroke)
    - 1-2 free, 3-4 back
    4 x 50/cso 25 scull - 25 Sprint
    - did free-back-fly-free

    Swim Set #1
    - all free except for 2-25's were fly
    1 x 200/3:10 smooth build - 2:45
    2 x 100/1:35 build to strong finish - just under 1:20 on both
    4 x 50/1:00 desc. - went 40->34
    8 x 25/40 fast - around 15-16 on free, 6 & 8 were fly, around 17-18

    Swim Set #2
    5 x 50/1:10 hit backstroke goal pace (37.5)
    - kept these under 38, was seeing 37-39 on clock after finish.

    Was another short set but calves cramped on push off on first one so I skipped the rest of the set and did cool down swim

    Cool down
    400 easy alternating 100 free/100 back

    Total: 2450 yards
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  11. Friday, 4/15/11

    by , April 15th, 2011 at 11:41 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo
    14 days to go!!

    Warm up
    200 Swim - choice
    300 Mixer (kick - drill - scull - pull)
    2 x 100 IM Kick continuous - No boards or Fins
    4 x 50/55 Odd Free - Even Back
    8 x 25/30 25 Fists - 25 regular stroke

    Swim Set #1
    20 x 25
    4/45 - 4th fast from blocks
    3/40 - 3rd fast from blocks
    2/35 - 2nd fast from blocks
    1:00 rest
    1/30 - FAST
    - this was kind of confusing. Blocks kept ending up on the wrong end on the 1st round! 2nd time through I took extra rest between each set to switch ends so that I would be at blocks for the fast one.
    - Didn't get times. but fast ones were close to top speed.

    Kick
    4 x 100 IM/cso - no boards or fins

    Swim Set #2
    Broken 200 Back - write down goal time
    50 (10sr) - 50 (10sr) - 50 (10sr) - 50
    - Goal time was 3:05 (2:35 swim time)
    - finished at 3:02!

    Warm down/Recovery
    100 easy - 50 kick - 50 drill - 100 easy

    Total: 2500 yards
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  12. Thoughts on Tapering

    by , April 15th, 2011 at 11:30 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Here's something my coach sent me this morning about tapering.

    From the COACHES' quarterly - March 1995 on tapering.

    "It's Taper Time!" compiled by Bob Steele, USS Coach Development Director

    -60% decrease in training volume - supercompensation is achieved (individual preference based upon coach - athlete experience)

    - 3- 4 week taper can effectively lead to optimal performance.

    - do 5 x 50/1:00 race pace once a week (Nort Thorton - U of C Berkeley)

    -do broken swims once a week and keep goal time on board for a hype

    -dryland tapering: reduce 4 - 6 weeks out, to maintain a specific power during taper, some coaches switch to a limited number of repetitions with surgical tubing (6 sets of 15 sec)
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  13. Thursday, 4/14/11

    by , April 14th, 2011 at 12:25 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, solo
    15 days to go!

    Warm up
    400 Mixer
    - alternated 100 free/100 back
    4 x 50/1:00 build
    - did 2 free, 2 back
    200 IM Drill/Kick
    4 x 75/cso
    25 Scull - 25 Fists - 25 Swim

    Turns Set
    8 x 25 midpool, rest as needed
    did 3 free turns, 3 back turns and 2 fly turns

    Main Set
    10 x 50/1:30 as 50 build - 12.5 SPRINT - 12.5 coast (work the build into full sprint at turn)
    - did 2 free, 2 back, 1 fly, repeat

    Mini Set
    4 x 25/2:00 Fast from Blocks
    - did #1 fly - under 15, #2 free - about 13.5, #3 & 4 back - around 15

    Kick Set
    4 x 100/15 SR Swim with Strong Kick
    - no fins, long underwaters, times around 1:52

    Warm down
    300 smooth

    Total: 2600 yards
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  14. Wednesday, 4/13/11

    by , April 13th, 2011 at 04:39 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo

    Warm up
    400 Mixer
    - 200 free/200 back
    6 x 50/55 ds 3
    - 1-3 free, 4-6 back
    3 x 100/10sr
    25 scull - 25 kick - 25 drill - 25 swim
    - with snorkel


    Swim Set (450)
    18 x 25/30 Every 3rd FAST Alt Free, Back, Fly on fast swims
    - did fly on 3 & 12, back on 6 & 15, free on 9 & 18, not sure of times.
    - free and back on all others

    Kick Set (600)
    12 x 50/1:00
    May use fins - No board - Strong Streamlines
    - did dolphin kick to midpool on start and turn, flutter on back for remainder of each length. alternated back and belly on uw dolphin. times were all around 40

    Swim Set #2 (350)
    4 x 12.4/30
    2 x 25/2:00 from blocks
    - #1 fly, under 15. #2 back, just over 15.
    1 x 50/2:00 from blocks
    - free, just under 30
    1 x 200 smooth

    Warm down (400)
    4 x 100/2:00 25 ez - 25 kick - 25 drill - 25 ez


    Total: 2800 yards
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  15. Tuesday Night Starts Practice

    by , April 13th, 2011 at 04:35 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Was feeling like I needed to spend some time working on starts, especially back starts. I generally don't have time during morning practice to focus on starts because of limited time. So I went to the pool after work just to focus on starts.

    Short warm up
    swim 200 free
    swim 100 back
    swim 50 breast/50free
    kick 200

    Backstroke starts:
    Not sure of actual count as I wasn't keeping track but as a guess;
    about 2 or 3 as glide only after entry, focusing on getting a tight streamline
    3 or 4 kick to breakout
    3 or 4 as 3-4 strokes after breakout
    and 2 for a full 25.
    Fly starts:
    2 off blocks for full 25, hard kickout then easy speed to wall

    200 easy swim for cool

    1000 yards
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  16. Tuesday, 4/12/11

    by , April 12th, 2011 at 12:01 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY Solo
    17 Days to Nationals

    Warm up
    400 Choice
    - 200 free/200 back
    4 x 100/1:40 - Build
    - all free
    4 x 50 ds 1:00
    - all back
    4 x 24/30 strong kick
    - all free

    Main Set
    Repeat the following 4 times:
    3 x 50/1:00
    1 x 100/2:00 smooth
    - 1st time 50's were 25 free/25 fly, around 38-39
    - 2nd time back, times around 40-42
    - 3rd time free, times 36-37
    - 4th time 1 each of above

    Kick Set
    Repeat 3 Times:
    2 x 50/1:00 Sprint Kick - no board
    1 x 100/2:00 smooth swim
    all kicking on back, times were 50-55

    Warm down
    200 easy back

    Total: 2900 yards
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  17. Monday, 4/11/11

    by , April 11th, 2011 at 12:47 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo
    18 days to Nationals

    Warm up
    400 choice
    - 200 free/200 back
    300 choice 50 kick - 50 drill
    - did 100 each back-free-fly. Drill was fist and 1 arm
    3 x 100/1:35 build
    - all free, times were under 1:20
    8 x 50 ds 4 4/55, 4/50
    - 1-4 back desc to under 40; 5-8 free, desc to around 35

    Swim Set
    6 x 100/1:40 75 build - 25 sprint (Finish!)
    - alternated back and free, back was around 1:25, free was around 1:20

    Kick Set
    4 x 100/20sr moderate pace - last 25 strong dolphin
    - all on back, no board, times around 1:52

    Pull with paddles & Fins
    1 x 400 continuous - feel good (Back or Free)
    - did 200 free/200 back

    Warm down
    8 x 50/1:00 smooth - alternate free and stroke
    did back-breast-back-fly on stroke

    Total: 3000 yards
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  18. Recovery day, then the taper begins

    by , April 9th, 2011 at 12:50 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Saturday, 4/9/11

    SCY, Solo

    Warm up (800)
    4 x (100 swim - 50 kick - 50 drill) Choice
    - Alternated free and back

    Set #1: Fins, Paddles and Snorkel (500)
    1 x 500 - smooth Negative split
    - was around 6:45 on this

    Set #2 (500)
    10 x 50 - No Equipment all free
    2 build/55 - 1 strong/50
    - 40, 38, <35
    2 build/55 - 1 strong/45
    - 42, 40, <35
    2 build/55 - 1 strong /45
    - 43, 41, 35
    50 easy

    Drill Set (600)
    3 x 200 Back/20sr ~ Fins
    50 kick under H2O
    - kicked to around 15y each way
    50 kick w/cup
    50 swim w/cup
    50 swim fast w long underwaters
    - was 3:05-10 on these

    Main Set:
    24 x 50 ds 4 to a fast build on 4th 50/1:00
    - 1-4,13-16 as 25 fly/25 free; 43->38
    - 5-8, 17-20 free; 40->35
    - 9-12, 21-24 back 45->39

    Warm down
    200 easy
    - did mix of strokes. (even breast!)

    Total: 3800 y
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  19. Friday, 4/8/11

    by , April 8th, 2011 at 11:50 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo

    Warm up (1200)
    300 swim back and free
    300 kick on back, focus on SDK of walls
    - was doing 5-6, breaking out around 8-10 yards out
    300 pull, alternating 25 free/25 back
    6 x 50/1:00 25 drill/25build
    - alternated back and free, fist swim for drill

    Main Set (1000)
    4 x 100/4:00 broken backstroke w/fins (5sr at 50)
    - was going under 1:15 on these (total time) so swim time was under 1:10
    - swam an easy 50 after each.
    4 x 100/2:00 kick - drill
    - alternated 25 kick on back and 25 fist swim free or back

    Pull set (600)
    6 x 100 back/1:50
    - with buoy and catch paddles. was going around 1:35

    Cool down
    200 easy free

    Total: 3000 yards
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  20. Thursday, 4/7/11

    by , April 7th, 2011 at 05:03 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo

    I skipped yesterday as I've come down with a cold and had a bad sinus headache. I think flip turns would have been very painful.

    I did the workout that was sent for yesterday but shortened the main set.

    Warm up
    300 Swim free & back
    200 Kick
    - all flutter on back
    3 x 100/1:40 build
    - all free
    4 x 50 Drill/1:10
    - fist swim, all back
    4 x 50/1:10 15 fast - 20 easy - 15 fast
    - all free

    Main Set:
    Kick 12 x 25/40 sprint with no fins
    - alternated 2 flutter on belly w/board and 2 flutter on back. times were between 23 and 25
    6 x 50/2:00 Sprint - Free
    - used tempo trainer for starter and went off blocks. Set TT for goal pace of 30. All were at 300.5. I might have done 7 of these, I got confused about count halfway through set. After this set I was trashed!

    4 x 100/2:30 kick - drill

    Cool down
    200 easy free

    Total: 2400 yards

    Updated April 7th, 2011 at 06:55 PM by poolraat

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