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  1. Thursday, April 9

    by , April 9th, 2009 at 03:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    2 mile warm up run on treadmill

    15 minutes of RC exercises

    15 minutes of stretching


    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    10 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 easy)

    50 EZ

    8 x (50 backstroke AFAP + 50 easy) @ 3:00

    200 c/d

    Tota: 2250

    The speed/lactate set started off a bit rough. I was at least a second slower than usual on the first four 50s. Didn't know if it was due to the outdoor/shallow pool or the fact that my arms/shoulders were weary from weights. In any event, I was in the normal range on the last four. The last one was fastest at 25ish. Oddly, I felt like I could have kept going. Usually I'm dead after 6 AFAP efforts. Even though this workout was much less yardage than the one I did on Tuesday, I expect to be more tired from it later on.

    Off to Mt. Lemon now!

    Updated April 9th, 2009 at 08:03 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Running
  2. Sunday, Apr. 4

    by , April 4th, 2009 at 05:23 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    5 mile trail run + several miles of hiking along the Potomac River.

    Meant to swim later, but ran out of time and decided packing was more important.

    Hoping for sunshine in Tucson. Though it was quite lovely here today.
  3. 5 x 5 pull ups! Wed., March 25

    by , March 25th, 2009 at 04:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    AM Spin:

    Went to a 60 minute spin class. Haven't been in ages; this may have been my first since January. It was a hard one with lots of hill intervals. It just kicked my butt after the kick fest in the pool yesterday.

    15 minutes of stretching

    AM Mini-run:

    Got a quick 2 miles in. Had to drop off my car for inspection and to get the brakes checked. I ran home and then ran back to pick up the car. Legs burned.

    PM Weights:

    Increased weight ... prepared to be sore tomorrow!

    deadlift, 110 x 2 x 10
    seated narrow grip lat pulldown, 110 x 2 x 10
    standing ab crunch, 80 x 2 x 10
    bench press, 90 x 2 x 12
    alternating hammers, 20 x 2 x 20
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
    arm extensions, 3 x 3 x 10

    back extensions w/25 lb weight, 2 x 15
    long arm crunches, 2 x 25
    russian twists w/med ball, 2 x 50
    V ups w/med ball, 2 x 15
    scissoring, 2 x 50
    iron monkeys, 2 x 25
    (meant to do burpees, but forgot)

    2 x 15 push ups
    5 x 5 pullups

    I think I did a pull up for the first time in my life just a month or so ago. lol Geekity has been working on his pull ups as well. Since he hasn't posted details, I'm assuming I'm in the lead in our informal contest. Stud was doing very well on the chinning and pulling as well, but he's behind the pace with his recent back injury. Can he catch up? hehe

    10 minutes of stretching


    Pull ups:

    Checked the Cross Fit site last night for the first time in awhile to check out the WODs. Saw that the "Kipping" pull up is Cross Fit's pull up of choice.

    Here's a video:
    [ame=""]YouTube - CrossFit - Kipping Pull-Ups[/ame]

    Looks rather hazardous on the joints?

    Cross Fit says that it's mean to generate explosive power and is more akin to a plyometric than the conventional pull up where you "numb" your lower body. The theory is that it uses more muscle groups with greater intensity. By increasing an individual's max power output, you have increases in absolute strength, speed, endurance and stamina rather than simply strength gains.



    1. Jazz mentioned yesterday that it's OK to complement strength training with core work if you don't exhaust yourself with too many reps. Is this right? How many reps is too many? Don't we need core endurance as well as core strength? Chris?

    2. Hulk recommended 4 weeks of progressive training and 1 week of rest. By "progressive" he said he meant changing up the weight or intensity. Aren't I pretty much already doing that with increasing weight and doing different exercises? Or is something else meant by "progressive" training? And how is that more beneficial than conventional lifting?

    3. Aside from lunges (still taking a break from these) and squats, what other exercises/weights are good for improving hip strength?

    4. In the never ending B70 debate, Jim -- author of the newest urban myth -- finally conceded last night that the suit helps certain body types more than others. He also opined, however, that if I gave up weights and still used the B70, my 50 times might be slower but my 100 times likely would be the same. Don't agree! I think the weights help my 100s as well.

    Updated March 25th, 2009 at 04:13 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Running , Spinning
  4. Sun. & Mon. March 22-23

    by , March 23rd, 2009 at 05:36 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    5 mile trail run


    AM weights:

    Starting up after 9 days off. Went 10 pounds lighter in a few exercises

    bench press, 80 x 2 x 12
    tricep press, 45 x 2 x 15
    standing lat pulldown/press, 110 x 2 x 15
    seated narrow grip row, 100 x 2 x 12
    goblet squat, 25 x 2 x 15
    chin ups, 2 x 10 (10 neutral grip, 10 regular grip) -- Is there supposed to be a difference in difficulty depending on the grip for these?

    russian twist w/med ball, 2 x 50
    incline bench crunches, 2 x 25
    dead bug on bosu, 2 x 25
    V Ups w/med ball, 2 x 15
    crunch on bench w/10 lb weight held by feet, 2 x 15
    long arm crunches, 2 x 25

    prone scapular scrunch, 1 x 25
    external rotators, 10 x 1 x 15, each arm
    seated straight arm dip, 60 x 2 x 25

    5 minutes of stretching (I realize I am terrible about doing this if I'm not at the gym ...)

    PM Swim in SCM Gym Pool:

    Recovery swim. I'm still tired from the meet, hectic weekend, getting up early, etc.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Hypoxic/Aerobic Sets:

    20 x 25 shooters on back w/MF & nose clip

    50 EZ

    1 x 200 back @ 3:15
    2 x 100 back @ 1:45
    4 x 50 back @ :50
    6 x 50 dolphin kick w/board & MF @ :50
    8 x (25 easy speed fly + easy)

    200 C/D

    Total: 2750 meters


    Post Meet Thoughts:

    1. I have to make more of an effort to push more deeply off the turns when swimming backstroke in practice. I'm pushing off "flat." I believe I could have SDK'd further in the 100 backstroke last weekend, even without a nose clip, if I had. The B70 seems to make me pop up faster. Need to work on the "suit surge."

    2. I was mulling over using the Jimby strategy for the 100 back. It occurred to me that if one is going to use a strategy of markedly changing pace in a race it would beneficial to do speed play and speed variables in practice. I do this sometimes, but think I need to do even more. I did a 6 x 100 backstoke this way last week (Quick also does this set); the speed play is harder than you would think.

    3. The last couple meets I've warmed up differently because I've been swimming the first event each day and had to get out early and/or start warming up early. I basically did some 25 build kicks and sprints, but did no all out sprints off the blocks. This warm up seemed to work just as well or better than previous ones. Maybe not as tiring?


    Sprinter Periodization Cycles:

    Q and I briefly chatted yesterday about periodization cycles for sprinters. I was wondering what would happen to times if a 1 or 2 month cycle were used. For example, on a 1 month cycle, you would train like crazy for 2 weeks, maintain for one, rest for one. We both thought strength gains might diminish. Although Jazz's non-linear weight training suggests perhaps not ...

    I may do this for the next 5 weeks. I have Zones in a bit less than 4 weeks and a SCM meet where I'd like to swim some fast 50s in 5 weeks (May 3). So I may train like crazy for 3 weeks, time permitting (I have a vacation in AZ in there), maintain/rest some for one, and then taper for one. Any thoughts?

    The other "non-periodized" option would be to do what Ande does -- "maintain speed and strength" and not get broken down. Is this
    preferable to re-starting a training cycle? Or is the re-start more like a re-taper? Seems like many swimmers are successful with a double taper 6 weeks apart.



    A friend recommended I had the burpee exercise to the dryland regimen. It's a whole body type exercise. You essentially jump back into a plank, do a push up, then jump back to standing.


    NAG Record:

    I did get to see Jack Conger break Matt Grevers' 200 back national record in the 13-14 age group. What a swim! 1:46.8. The kid didn't even have his hands in a perfect streamline off his turns ...

    Updated March 23rd, 2009 at 06:32 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Running
  5. Core + Run, Tuesday, Mar. 10

    by , March 10th, 2009 at 04:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Wasn't sore from weights yesterday. Of course, I didn't do too many lifts either. Weights seemed to have helped my drylands; feel quite a bit stronger and able to do more. Did my first push ups since college! (Well, I've tried them before, but they always bothered my shoulders, so I stopped.)

    long arm crunches, 2 x 25
    russian twists w/med ball, 2 x 50
    iron monkeys, 2 x 15
    decline reverse crunches, 2 x 25
    back extensions w/25 lb weight, 2 x 25
    total ab machine, 130 x 2 x 25
    squat presses w/ yoga ball & raising med ball in air, 2 x 25
    held the plank for 1:30
    push ups, 2 x 15 (and felt easy!)
    cavic exercise on yoga ball w/3 lb weights, 2 x 25

    external rotators for RC, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
    arm extensions w/3 lb weight (front, V, side), 2 x 15
    prone scapular scrunches w/3 lb weights, 2 x 25


    5 mile trial run

    Went on a trail run. Felt great today with some easy speed, no plods. Didn't feel my hip until the last 1/2 mile or so when I was running on asphalt.



    Saw my chiro today. Grilled him the whole time.

    1. Hip issue: My issue is definitely in my left hip, it's not referred pain. He's pretty sure I re-strained it doing lunges. So no lunges for me until it's cleared up completely. Squats with very light weight and running are OK. I'm tighter than usual, probably because I haven't been stretching my hips as much. He encouraged a repeat of the ice bath. I'll try to wrap my brain around that.

    2. Weights: He thinks the weights, especially working up to the heavier ones, have definitely helped my shoulders. My whole scapular area is stronger than before. All the strength in the shoulder/back/scapular area helps compensate for the internal instability. Fixing the muscular imbalance by doing more pushing and not all pulling is also a good thing. He agrees I am very buff -- more buff than when I started this "weight project" last May. He believes I am now more able to defend myself with Mr. Fort traveling so frequently. Oh joy.

    3. Cross Fit: We discussed this briefly. He says it's the "hottest" new thing in fitness. He has many cross fit clients and among them are the cross fit trainers themselves. Found the latter interesting. In his experience, he sees cross fit athletes coming in with shoulder and achilles issues (sometimes also hip/glute issues like mine). He also said something called "Yoga Fit"
    is becoming extremely popular in our metro area. This discipline combines yoga and heavier weights, and apparently attracts strong guys.

    4. Protein: He's worried I might not be getting enough, as I find weights so tiring. He recommends 15-21 grams of protein after heavy lifting. Checked the high protein balance bars I've been eating. They have 15 grams, probably OK for shorter workouts.

    5. Suit Competition: I was perusing Triathlete magazine for a few minutes while I was waiting. There was a wetsuit survey. Couldn't believe how much competition there is in the wetsuit market. The tech suit market is ridiculous by comparison. I hope the Speedo monopoly is a thing of the past.


    Cross Fit:

    Spent some time perusing the site, There is a huge amount of info there! Myriad articles on many topics. Ahelee also turned me on to the cross fit journal where WODs, among other things, are posted. WODs = workout of the day. Looked over some of them. Yikes.

    Here's one:

    5 x through:

    20 pull ups
    30 push ups
    40 sit ups
    50 squats

    Don't think too many masters swimmers could do this! Well, maybe Chris or Jazz. I'm told that swimmers/tris/runners are generally considered weak at CF.

    I like these types of exercises/drylands quite a bit, so wouldn't mind trying to work up to it gradually. I think cross fit is something you need to approach with caution and not go crazy right away.

    (Jazzy, I did notice a WOD that consisted solely on 1 max lift deadlift repeats.)

    Here's a cross fit swim workout that looked pretty fun to me and I may give it a go sometime:

    200 IMs for time, done as:

    3 x through:

    10 air squats + 50 fly
    10 pull outs + 50 back
    10 push ups + 50 breast
    10 crunches + 50 free

    (didn't indicate an interval)

    For Jazz:

    This is what Cross Fit says about squatting:

    Why Squat?
    The squat is essential to your well-being. The squat can both greatly improve your athleticism and keep your hips, back, and knees sound and functioning in your senior years. Not only is the squat not detrimental to the knees it is remarkably rehabilitative of cranky, damaged, or delicate knees. In fact, if you do not squat, your knees are not healthy regardless of how free of pain or discomfort you are. This is equally true of the hips and back.

    The squat is no more an invention of a coach or trainer than is the hiccup or sneeze. It is a vital, natural, functional, component of your being.
    The squat, in the bottom position, is nature’s intended sitting posture (chairs are not part of your biological make-up), and the rise from the bottom to the stand is the biomechanically sound method by which we stand-up. There is nothing contrived or artificial about this movement.

    Most of the world’s inhabitants sit not on chairs but in a squat. Meals, ceremonies, conversation,
    gatherings, and defecation are all performed bereft of chairs or seats. Only in the industrialized world do we find the need for chairs, couches, benches, and stools. This comes at a loss of functionality that contributes immensely to decrepitude.
    Frequently, we encounter individuals whose doctor or chiropractor has told them not to squat.

    In nearly every instance this is pure ignorance on the part of the practitioner. When a doctor that
    doesn’t like the squat is asked, “by what method should your patient get off of the toilet?” they are at a loss for words.
    In a similarly misinformed manner we have heard trainers and health care providers suggest that the knee should not be bent past 90 degrees. It’s entertaining to ask proponents of this view to sit on the ground with their legs out in front of them and then to stand
    without bending the legs more than 90 degrees. It can’t be done without some grotesque bit of contrived movement. The truth is that getting up off of the floor involves a force on at least one knee that is substantially greater than the squat. Our presumption is that those who counsel against the squat are either just repeating nonsense they’ve heard in the media or at the gym, or in their clinical practice they’ve encountered people who’ve injured themselves squatting incorrectly.
    It is entirely possible to injure yourself squatting incorrectly, but it is also exceedingly easy to bring the squat to a level of safety matched by walking. In the accompanying article we explain how that is done.

    On the athletic front, the squat is the quintessential hip extension exercise, and hip extension is the foundation of all good human
    movement. Powerful, controlled hip extension is necessary and nearly sufficient for elite athleticism. “Necessary” in that without powerful, controlled hip extension you are not functioning anywhere near your potential. “Sufficient” in the sense that everyone we’ve
    met with the capacity to explosively open the hip could also run, jump, throw, and punch with impressive force.
    Secondarily, but no less important, the squat is among those exercises eliciting a potent neuroendocrine response. This benefit is ample reason for an exercise’s inclusion in your regimen.


    Next meet: Albatross Open

    Unlike Chris, I'm knocking off weights the week before, not one measly day. Will rest some next week. Nothing that will produce homicidal thoughts though.

    Updated March 10th, 2009 at 05:52 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Running
  6. Saturday, Feb. 28

    by , February 28th, 2009 at 05:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    5 mile trail run

    I've lost my running legs. The first half was easy, almost went further before turning around. Glad I didn't. Yeesh. Hope to get my legs back a bit more this Spring. And, BTW, when is Spring going to get here?! It was 60 yesterday and then back to the 30s today ...

    Weight lifting questions:

    My rear delts are pretty sore. Is this from the chinning?

    How many reps are typically done with squatting? Or is nothing "typical."?

    Hoping to do a triple tomorrow -- team swim/weights & yoga with Mini-Fort.
  7. Tuesday, Feb 17

    by , February 17th, 2009 at 01:50 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Yesterday afternoon, I swam an easy 1200 meters or so and sat in the hot tub for 20 minutes. Hoping to get some lactic acid out.

    Today, I went on a 5 mile trail run. Like the klutzy idiot I am, I tripped jogging down a hill again. When I did this last August, I had a sore ankle for 3 months. This time, I seem relatively intact. Don't feel like I have my running legs -- I've run so little the last few months. (Checked runlogger, only 7 x the last 3 months.) I must confess that I walked on an up. I hate ups.

    Left hip is still a bit sore. I didn't notice it much during the meet. I think the drive/plane ride home from Auburn aggro'd it. May see if I can get in to see my chiro. I'd like it to just clear up so I can go back to kicking fast in the pool.

    Hitting the gym tomorrow. I may try to write down what weights and exercises I'm doing. If I can figure out WTH they're all called. Jazz has suggested that I do some weight assisted pull ups, so I think I may add these to the regimen. I read that skinny Laura Smith is dead lifting 150 lb, which makes me a complete lightweight in the weight room!

    Updated February 17th, 2009 at 02:02 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Running
  8. Triple, Thursday, Jan. 22

    by , January 22nd, 2009 at 06:10 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Worked all morning, but had the afternoon clear until 4:30 -- a rarity. Took advantage and did a triple -- run, weights, swim.

    First, went on a 5 mile trail run. I haven't been running since Dec. 25. Very unusual for me, but the cold weather has just turned me off. Today, it broke 40 and was sunny.

    Drove to the Rec Center and lifted weights for 25-30 minutes. (see, Q, ). Intended to go swimming there, but forgot my swimsuit. Argh. Had to drive home to get it and go swimming in the hot gym pool instead. Ripped off and remixed a set that Chris did yesterday.

    SCM, solo:

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    10 x 25 UW fly spin drill w/MF

    Main set:

    4 x 100 IM @ 2:10, broken at the 50 for 10 seconds (used this to get the heart rate up)
    4 x 50 back @ 1:10, @ 200 pace
    (went 39ish)
    100 EZ
    2 x 200 dolphin kick @ 4:00 w/board & MF, break at 50 for 10 seconds
    (went 32, 32, 33, 34 on both 200s. these hurt. had to do a 50 EZ after)
    4 x 50 fly @ 1:10, @ 200 pace
    (went 32s with fins)
    100 EZ
    4 x 100 back @ 2:10 w/ fins, broken at the 50 for 10 seconds
    (went 35-36 for first 3 and 34-35 on last one)
    (ran out of time for the last set of 4 x 50s)

    200 C/D

    Total: 3000 meters

    Updated February 10th, 2009 at 10:28 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Running
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