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  1. Drylands, Sept. 23

    by , September 23rd, 2010 at 05:48 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drylands, 60-70 minutes:

    Warm up:

    broomstick twists, 25
    windshield wipers, 15
    flutter kicks (on back, arms in streamline position) on bosu, 50
    lateral hops on bench, 1:00

    Strength/Power Work:

    dead lift singles, 3 x 45, 1 x 95, 1 x 115, 1 x 135, 1 x 135, 1 x 145, 1 x 145, 1 x 155
    med ball floor slams (10 lb ball), 2 x 10
    plyo start drill w/med ball, 1 x 10*
    streamline on back on bosu, 2 x 2:00**
    bulgarian split leg squat w/10 lb plate overhead, 10 x 2 x 10 each leg

    -- next time I'll use a heavier plate, as these were relatively easy. Here's a vid of an overhead split squat: [ame=""]How to Perform an Overhead Split Squat Video –[/ame] I just used a bench for the back leg.
    -- you can do these SSs with added ROM as well -- [nomedia=""]YouTube - - Bulgarian split squats w/ added ROM[/nomedia].)

    back extensions w/plate, 25 x 1 x 15
    body rows (aka inverse pull ups), 2 x 15
    russians twists on incline w/plate, 25 x 2 x 25
    extreme angle isometric squat hold, 4:00 (effen ouch)
    extreme angle isometric push up hold, 1:45

    * I used a fairly heavy med ball when I started, but I seemed to put a crack in the drywall. . So I switched to a lighter wall and moved further away from the wall. I should probably do these in the racquetball court in the future.

    ** This is so much easier on the shoulders, and seems equally effective in building core strength, that I may never do a plank again.

    RC Work, 10 minutes:

    arm circles, scapular scrunches, seated straight arm dip, external and internal rotators.

    Yoga, 30 minutes:

    30 minutes of yoga and stretching. I had two people ask how long I'd been doing yoga -- only a year or so. I'm inclined to do shorter more frequent bouts of it rather than the whole 60-90 minute DVD.



    Got in a good gym session today. Would have liked to do a technique based swim, but didn't have time. I didn't get as fast a start this week as I was hoping after Savageman. But I still have a month before the Sprint Classic, so it is all good. Other random thoughts:

    1. I like the look of the vibrams. I might buy myself a pair for the gym. They were everywhere at Savageman.

    2. I need a more concrete plan for the next two 4 week cycles. I will focus on speed work and strength during the week with generous intervals. If I do any aerobic sets, it will be kick endurance or longer shooters. I'll try to get some aerobic work in on the weekend with my team.

    3. I may do 1-2 tabata sets during the week for a cardio boost. It's amazing that 4 minutes (of hell, to be sure) can have such a large aerobic impact.

    4. I need to throw my MF in the truck.

    5. I haven't received the FAST sprint paddles i tried to order. I need to check on that.

    6. Trying to decide what to do tomorrow at Mason. Either the 5 x 50 AFAP set or the Gary Hall Sr. kick workout from hell ... I fear the latter would require more tolerance of pain.

    7. My fav new smoothie combo has: blackberries, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, beet greens, and plum in it. My allergist told me to stop using flax and coconut water temporarily pending the allergy test results. I seem to have somewhat less GI distress from doing this.

    8. I've been pondering the isometric holds and whether to include them in my routine. I've tentatively decided that I want to keep the 2 I did today, but not the others. I may run this by Mr. Fort's trainer to see if they would still have the same benefit. I would think they still would, for the particular strength move involved. These are supposed to become easier and require less recovery if done regularly.

    9. Has anyone else been able to get on FB this afternoon?

    10. In support of ADD drylands:

    Updated September 23rd, 2010 at 08:30 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  2. Tuesday, Sept. 22

    by , September 22nd, 2010 at 08:46 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 various

    8 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = swim
    evens = kick

    Speed Set:

    10 x (25 AFAP + 25 EZ), no interval

    3 free, 3 breast, 3 UW kick, 1 fly fast

    100 EZ

    Total: 1700



    I only had time for a very quick swim today; the rest of the day was booked solid. (And I still have red, not Gaga, hair.) So, it seemed like the perfect time to pop in a 10 x 25 fast. I wish I had felt fast, but at least it's a start. I'm ready to get back to basics -- strength & speed! But, unlike Patrick, I plan to use actual weights.

    I glanced at a few workouts from last year in late Sept. In particular, I was looking to see what I went on my fast 50s with fins for Q. I found this set from Sept. 29:

    5 x (50 AFAP w/fins + 100 EZ)


    50 SDK on back, :23
    50 back, high :24
    50 free, :25 (missed turn)
    50 SDK, :23
    50 back, :25 (tired)

    I highly doubt I could do that right now. But I plan to do this set on Friday along with some other speed work and maybe some high intensity vertical kicking. I feel the need to do more than 31 kicks in 10 seconds, or I will have to concede defeat to Geek and send him a cap.

    To get myself out of my demi-funk, I am entering some meets. I am going to do an abbreviated line up at the Sprint Classic and go to Indy with Jimslie the following weekend. I will be staying at the famous Bobinator's house and Chicken of the Sea, FlyQueen, Bzaks and others may attend as well. If Bill White doesn't come with Jimslie and me, I will plan something evil for my next Sewickley Masters workout over Thanksgiving.

    Sprint Classic Events, Oct. 24:

    50 back
    50 fly
    25 back
    25 breast
    25 fly
    25 free

    GRIN Fall Classic at Indy, SCM, Oct. 30-31:


    100 fly
    50 free
    50 fly


    100 back
    50 breast (as split request in the 100)
    100 IM

    The weather sucks! It was 90 and humid today. It thundered as I was heading to watch FortSon's cross country race. It was delayed, causing me to miss the race because I had to take Lil Fort and friend to swim practice. Grrr ... He said he had a good race, but died in the heat. We fair skinned folk do not like exercising in heat.

    I haven't received my Swimmer magazine yet, and I am just dying to read "Swimming Through Menopause."

    I am getting some crap for being mental about the cold water and opting not to do the B2B race. I can only hope that certain people know that if I die, our relay will get DQ'd.

    And, finally ... drumroll ... Ryan Lochte will be at a local swim shop on Saturday from 11-2. Mini is urging a trip there after my swim practice.

    Updated September 22nd, 2010 at 09:51 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  3. Tuesday, Sept. 21

    by , September 21st, 2010 at 04:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Main Sets:

    10 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = stroke drill
    (1 arm fly or russian breast)
    evens = kick

    30 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :30, done as:

    10 x 25
    odds = back
    evens = belly

    10 x 25
    flutter kick shooter

    10 x 25
    twirling shooter

    1:00 rest between sets of 10

    10 x 50
    odds = stroke drill
    evens = kick

    100 EZ

    Total: 2550



    I had considered doing some speed work today, but I am not recovered from the events of the weekend. Why does it take so long to recover from races/travel? I need to get back on track, but am oddly demotivated. Thankfully, it is only Sept. 21. Still a month to the Sprint Classic. I'm going to take a look at some of my CVDB workouts from last fall to get ideas for sprint workouts. Or, I could just read Patrick's blog.

    I did speak at length to my ENT doctor today. He confirmed that cold air & cold water can be an asthma trigger, especially if combined with fall allergies. He re-prescribed Asthmanax and rescue inhalers to use as needed. He thought the B2B swim would be "risky." It's possible that taking the meds prior to swimming could stave off/prevent an attack or breathing problems. Or it might not, given the length of the swim and the cold temps. He advised pre-testing, i.e., taking the meds and having at a long cold swim. This doesn't really seem feasible for me. I'm just not comfortable doing this race right now. So I'm going to be a wimp and bail and beg beg beg for a replacement!

    Here are a few more pics from the tri, one of Mr. Fort's Jamis bike cake, and a shot of Mr. Fort and me where we do not look post race bedraggled. You can sort of see how steep the Westernport Wall is in the devil pictures.

    I am scheduled for a long visit with my hair stylist tomorrow. Maintaining red hair is difficult. I love it, but I am slightly frustrated with the major fading problem. Considering another color at year end. Thoughts?

    Updated September 21st, 2010 at 04:52 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
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  4. Savageman 2010, September 20

    by , September 20th, 2010 at 02:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Savageman Narrative:

    Setting the Scene:

    Ensconced in bucolic Deep Creek Lake woods, the Vienna Geezer Jocks began their second assault on the Savagemen coed HIM relay race. Last year, we finished 5th behind some stellar teams. This year, we finished first in 5:10, much to our shock. This was completely due to the huge improvements of Mr. Fort on the bike and our good friend, Chris McKee (and speedy Boston marathoner), on the run portion.

    We had a lovely day Saturday settling into our cottage, picking up our packets, warming up on our race sites. The only glitch that day was that one of the sensors on Mr. Fort's bike seemed to be malfunctioning. Fortunately, they had scads of bike gear at the inspection site and he was able to replace the battery. We enjoyed our cottage, hot tubbed, sat on the deck overlooking the river, went to dinner, etc. I apparently ate something that didn't agree because I had immediate bloating and rash symptoms. Ugh. I suspect it was ingestion of lactose, as the risotto I had seemed too creamy and I had a couple bites of cheese. I took lactase enzymes to no avail.


    Later, I settled down with my book (in retrospect, a horribly written thing) to attempt sleep. Just as I was getting drowsy, around, 11:45, our neighbors started setting off fireworks and screaming. And it didn't stop. Being an incredibly light sleeper, this did not sit well with me. In fact, as my blog readers would expect, it did not sit well with me at all. When it did not desist, I went out side and, making no attempt to be nice or patient, told them to shut the f*ck up because it was nearly midnight and we had a race. After several rounds of fireworks and my rather loud voice, there was blissful dead silence and I recommenced the effort to fall asleep.


    The next morning all went as planned. Mr. Fort woke me up around 6:15, I got up around 6:30, we caffeinated, ate and went off to the race site. I did do a very short warm up swim to, as Jimslie would say, "open the capillaries." So far, all was well. I went off in wave two. The first 1/3 of the race went better than last year. I didn't sprint too much at the start, but began at a controlled yet good clip. I had placed myself next to some of the other relays girls and was with or ahead of them. Then, about halfway through, quite suddenly, I began having trouble breathing. I was gasping on every breath, my chest started tightening and my arms felt like lead. At first, I thought I had overdone it at the start like last year. I quickly realized that this was not the case and that I was having asthma problems. I was panicked and dismayed. I haven't really had any wheezing problems except for last March at the Albatross meet and last May when I was sick after Nats. I had even stopped using Asthmanex.

    What to do when this happens in an OW race? I was at least smart enough to flop on my back, float a bit and slow my pace way down before bringing on a full attack. (Full attack = no way can you carry on.) I considered waving to the kayakers and getting out. I did some slow backstroke, tried to get my breathing under control. Tons of people went past me at this juncture. I felt slightly better and decided to muddle on slowly and cautiously. I gave up all notions of having a fast-ish swim. At first, I felt slightly guilty about this. But this feeling quickly disappeared as my only thought became survival and finishing. I did a combination of very slow backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle to finish the race. I'm quite sure I set the course record for most distance covered in a non freestyle manner. But I just couldn't breathe very well when swimming free, so I had to flop on my back numerous times. Not to be a martyr, but every stroke felt like agony. I'm assuming this was due to lack of oxygen to the muscles.

    The worst part of the Savageman swim is the long uphill run to the transition area. Last year, I blasted out of the swim and ran up the hill with a super fast transition time. This year, it was, well frankly, embarrassing. I staggered over the time pad and up the hill. Thank god there was a railing part of the way because I used it. The trail and steps seemed endless. I had several people ask if I was OK, and I just choked out the word "asthma" several times. I made it to the transition area, but was so out of it I couldn't remember where Mr. Fort's bike was. Later, my relay mates told me that they knew something was dreadfully wrong. They began waving frantically and finally I saw them and continued staggering forward to have our runner remove the timing chip.

    Finishing this race was, hands down, the hardest thing I have ever done in sport.

    Mr. Fort took off on the bike. I was the 8th relay swimmer to come in. We had planned to drive to the Westernport Wall. Unfortunately, because I was in distress, we couldn't get there in time to see Mr. Fort and we might have missed him anyway because he was much faster this year. Our runner, Chris, literally had to half carry me to the car. I still couldn't get my breathing under control. And, again reflecting my stupidity and hubris, I had left my rescue inhaler in my purse instead of at the transition area or in my parka. After getting in the car, I pulled down my wetsuit and we started off. I drank my electrolyte filled water.

    This was apparently the wrong move. I immediately became ill and vomited in the car. We pulled over and I continued with the same. I had to have help removing my wetsuit because my body seemed incapable of movement. I'm not sure why this happened. I suppose it was because my body was in complete distress and I filled it with liquids which it wasn't ready for?


    Anyway, after these travails, the day improved dramatically. Mr. Fort passed all but one other relay team on the bike leg. He absolutely destroyed it, finishing in 3:01. Last year, he went 3:24 after only 2-3 months of cycling. Since the pros were in the 2:40s on this super hilly course, I think this is pretty damn impressive. he said he was about 2 mph faster on average than last year. He said he had no problem making it over the Westernport Wall, but that it was more difficult than last year because there were so many bikers making the attempt at the same time. It's easiest to go straight up with no one around you. We did see a spectacular 4 bike collision later when we were at the wall later. Mr. Fort did say that Killer Miller almost killed him.

    The only problem was that his speed caught us a bit by surprise. Chris wasn't ready in the transition area when Scott biked in way ahead of when he was expected. He had to sprint back to our spot and then, inexplicably, forgot momentarily how to untie the chip. lol. This gave him a huge shot of adrenlin and he literally bolted out of the transition area.


    Chris took off with only one relay team ahead of him on the run and picked him off before the 3 mile mark. He just carried it home in a 1:36, which was the second fastest relay time. He had run 1:28 in a training half marathon race the week before. He rested somewhat for this race, but was astounded, once again, by the unrelenting hills.

    Post race:

    There was much joy among us that we had won, despite my initial F up on the swim. We were also faster than last year's winning team. When the results came up, I saw that my swim time was 31:09. Quite horrible, yet I was surprised to see that it was only 1:25 slower than last year. I theorize that this means I had a better front half of the race than last year. Having no sense of pace whatsoever, and knowing I had done a lot of non-freestyle, I had expected to be 35+ or worse. In any event, I had done a serviceable enough job to put the guys in a position to win. And they were beyond thrilled.

    We hung out, ate lunch, and attended the award ceremony. Some pics are below.

    As I recall, we were also the only true masters relay. Every other team had at least one young ringer. We were beaten by one male relay team (with a kid throwing down a 1:21 on the run), but they were all in their 20s. Our collective age was 141 (51/49/41).

    Other competitors:

    I wish I could have watched the swim! John Kenney, a pro, was the first one out of the water in 20:54. He was a former Cornell cross country runner and swimmer, who is now getting seriously into triathlon. In college, he was a national champion in the OW 25K. I'm told he appeared to be sighting almost every 4th stroke. Two other pros threw down some 21s.

    There were numerous competitors about to go to Kona in 3 weeks. Billy Graves from the UK won the men's division, setting a course record on the bike. On the women's side, there was a stud woman from Colorado (Deidre something, I had heard of her) who set course records on the bike and run. She had never biked the course before and said it was "like watching a scary movie and wondering what would jump out at you next."

    Post Race Thoughts:

    My post race thoughts are this:

    1. I am definitely married to a very studly biker if this is what he does after only 1+ years on the bike on a very technical hilly course.

    2. I did not manage my allergies & asthma for this race wisely. My fall allergies were really bothering me, which I know can occasionally trigger wheezing. I saw my ENT doctor on Friday, but didn't have time to fill my scrip for Singulair before leaving. I didn't use my inhaler pre-race and left it in the car. This was all unbelievably stupid in retrospect. I was just coasting on the fact that I'd been symptom free for awhile.

    3. I think it was also a bit of perfect storm that triggered the breathing problems -- I had some sort of food allergy/intolerance the night before (which inflames the airways), I hadn't take the proper medication and the water was very cold. I noticed some difficulty breathing last year, but nothing like what happened this time. The swimmers in the water were guesstimating that the water temp was 68. Air temp was 53. I'm used to swimming in 83-84 degree water most of the time except at Mason where it is 80. My feet did freeze during the race. I tried to kick more on the back half, but my feet were just frozen and leaden. I will definitely need swim booties if I ever venture into OW again.

    4. And, speaking of OW, I now have immense trepidation about B2B. I have barely any business swimming in a 1.2 mile race. What if this happened in a 2.4 race? If anyone is interested in racing with two uber studs, please let me know! Jimslie? Geekity? Others?

    5. Training for 50/100s is not compatible with "racing" a 1.2 mile swim. Perhaps it's compatible with cruising a 1.2 mile swim. This seems analogous to having a 5K specialist run a marathon. If we do this next year, and plans are already in the works with the enthusiasm of the two real endurance studs running high, I might just cruise the whole thing and not alter my training regimen. A few minutes one way or the other doesn't seem to make much difference as the swim is fairly inconsequential in this race. Really, I could make that up just by booking up the hill at transition. It took me almost 2 1/2 minutes to crawl and stagger up that hill this year.

    6. I'm not sure it was the greatest thing that Lil Fort was at the finish of the swim leg trying to cheer me on with her best friend. She was completely freaked out by what happened to me. I'm just hopeful she can take away from it that I didn't quit and soldiered on. She told me I was "super brave."

    7. This was the most unpleasant swim experience of my life. It makes my safe pool seem very compelling!

    8. This is a great very festival like event in a beautiful setting.

    9. 2009 was a charmed year for me. 2010 seems jinxed!

    10. Vibrams -- they were everywhere!

    Updated September 20th, 2010 at 08:54 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
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  5. Saturday, Sept. 18

    by , September 18th, 2010 at 06:44 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I'm sitting on the deck of a lovely cabin on Deep Creek Lake watching the sun set. The weather this afternoon was spectacular -- sunny and mid-70s. (Though we've been warned it will be frosty in the morning.)

    I hopped in the lake around 2:45 pm and swam the .9 mile course. Having done it once, it doesn't seem quite as intimidating as last year. Judging from the number of Cervelos in the transition area, there are a lot of serious bikers here. Mr. Fort was looking longingly at the tri bikes. Dave Scott, multiple time Kona champ, is also in the race.

    The water seemed a bit choppy this morning, but it's calmer now. Hope there's no fog in the morning. I can't tell what temp the water is. I've read it can be 68 in Sept., but it didn't feel that cold. Maybe low70s.

    We've got the cowbells ready for the Westernport wall. (Sorry Geek, the girls love them.). I am expecting Mr. Fort to be faster this year, so I hope I make it there in time to see him!

    Updated September 18th, 2010 at 07:02 PM by The Fortress

  6. Friday, Sept. 17

    by , September 17th, 2010 at 03:47 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    No swim today. Had to see my chiro and ENT and get ready for Mr. Fort's birthday. Still need to pack for Savageman. We're leaving right after Lil Fort's 8:30 am soccer game.

    I hadn't been to my ART chiro for body work in several months. (Well, I didn't train that much in the summer, so I didn't feel the need.) He said my shoulders still felt very stable. We talked about my foot. I've had increasing pain in the first toe of my right foot over the years. It began with the MF incident, developed into tendonitis and I ignored it b/c I couldn't get a cortisone shot given my then meet schedule. As I understand it, cortisone is most effective if done immediately post injury. Now I get toe/foot pain when I run and jump (or wear high heels ). I'm having an MRI done next week. The suspected diagnosis is tenosynovitis/tendinopathy, aka degeneration of the tendons. If that's what the MRI shows, I will need PRP, platelet rich plasma, therapy to fix it. This is, as I have previously noted, a controversial therapy. But it seemed to work on my shoulder. And therefore I would definitely try it again. It should be much less costly and time consuming than a shoulder as well.

    I have succeeded in making a cake that looks (somewhat) like a Jamis bike. Now I am off to finish present wrapping and pack. I am feeling slightly more savage after a good night's sleep.

    Oh, I've discovered a couple new smoothie ingredients: beet greens and leek greens. They go well with cherries, red grapes, pineapple and berries. My allergist told me to stop using Amazing Meal b/c it has grass in it, and I'm allergic to grasses. Doh. I was unable to do a skin test for food allergies earlier this week (too much histamine in my system), but did submit blood for this purpose and for routine labs. Hopefully, it will rule out food allergies, as they are there so rare in adults. And, of course, Jimslie considers the entire topic pure quackery.
  7. Thursday, Sept. 16

    by , September 16th, 2010 at 09:21 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main Set:
    (another quite modified Tall Paul set)

    6 x 100 free @ 1:40
    4 x 50 kick, done as 50 UW shooters w/fins @ 1:00
    2 x 50 drill @ 1:00
    50 EZ

    6 x 100 free @ 1:30
    4 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:00
    4 x 50 breast drill @ 1:05
    50 EZ

    3 x 100 back w/fins @ 1:20
    (I intended to do 6 of these, but completely bonked and cramped, and so desisted.)
    4 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:00
    6 x 50 fly & free drills @ 1:00
    50 EZ

    100 EZ

    Total: 3400



    Just cruised through this workout today, but am still feeling surprisingly tired. I think it's because I sleep like a beached seal on coke.

    Any advice on workouts to do the couple days before an OW swim? Was wondering if maybe I should attempt another wetsuit swim tomorrow ...

    I glanced through my workouts from this time last September and it appears that I was indeed in better shape back then, as I suspected. I also found this race report:

    I was perusing Bicycle magazine today and found a blurb on a sample Lance Armstrong endurance and conditioning circuit. The exercises included:

    back extension & hold
    walk out plank & hold
    bulgarian split squat with weights
    (I've done this one, very tortuous, but have used DBs instead of an overhead weight.)
    one foot hamstring curls on stability ball
    med ball squat & push press
    med ball slam

    And, speaking of cycling, Lil Fort and I are in the process of making a bike cake for Mr. Fort's birthday tomorrow. It's a bit of a PITA; I hope it every so vaguely resembles his Jamis. I was mildly depressed by the fact that our combined birthdays total 100 years. lol

    Sprint Classic:

    If anyone is interested in attending the Sprint Classic at GMU (and, more importantly competing in "The Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters"), the entry form is at:

    Estimated timeline:

    I still haven't pulled the trigger on the Indy meet yet. My tentative plan is to swim very few events at the Sprint Classic and then go to Indy the next weekend. Mr. Fort has a two week trial in October, so he will be AWOL during the Sprint Classic. I try to swim something different there every year. The order of events is always the same, which is not exactly to my liking. I suggested to Tim T. that we have unofficial 100 relays one year along with the unofficial 25s.

    Updated September 16th, 2010 at 11:14 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  8. Wed., Sept. 15

    by , September 15th, 2010 at 10:41 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Just sitting down for the first time today. With a largish glass of New Zealand SB.

    Made it to Oak Marr this afternoon and did a modified Tall Paul workout. I'm quite ready to get back to some faster speed work next week and take out my toys. I'm renewing my resolve to conquer the dorkel. I am not taking on the tempo trainer.


    Warm up:

    700 various

    Main Sets:

    8 x 50's @ 1:10
    odds = 25 back drill + 25 SDK on back
    evens = 25 back swim + 25 free swim

    1 x 500 cruise free w/fins
    50 EZ

    8 x 50's @ 1:00
    odds = 25 breast pull w/flutter kick + 25 free
    evens = 25 two kicks/1 pull breaststroke + 25 free

    1 x 500 cruiser backstroke kick w/fins
    (managed to miscount and stop at 450, going 5:10)
    50 EZ

    8 x 50's @ 1:10
    odds = 25 right arm fly + 25 left arm fly
    evens = chest press fly

    1 x 500
    50 flutter kick w/board + 50 free, :05 between 100s
    50 EZ

    8 x 25 cruiser free w/overbeat kick, sighting twice per 25

    50 EZ

    Total: 3800



    Feeling a little better in the water now with the muscular pain subsiding.

    The weather for Savageman this weekend is supposed to be amazing, though a bit chilly in the am. I see that I am going to be in a practically all male wave with the 25-29 year old men again. Not my fav; last year drafting seemed difficult as I felt caught in no mans land between the fast guys and the tri swimmers.

    SavageMan 70.0 Triathlon Waves:

    Wave 1: 8:30 AM (day-glo green): Pro, Elite, Clydesdale, Athena, Aquavelo, M55+, All Females
    Wave 2: 8:37 AM (silver): M25-29, M50-54, Relays
    Wave 3: 8:44 AM (red): M30-39
    Wave 4: 8:51 AM (blue): M40-49

    Need to search for the body glide ...
    Swim Workouts
  9. Tuesday, Sept. 14

    by , September 14th, 2010 at 10:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Had a beastly day. :/

    However, at around 8:00 tonight, I finally got out to the only pool open around: my gym pool. It was actually quite lovely. The air was cool, the water was cool, and it was pitch black with the lights flickering on the water. When I was SDK-ing on my back, I could see my reflection on the water's surface.

    Had my own lane and did the following quick swim:


    Warm up:

    5 x

    100 swim, 50 kick

    Aerobic Sets:

    2 x (5 x 100) @ :15-20 RI
    3 x free, 1 x kick, 1 x stroke

    10 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = evil w/fins
    evens = back w/fins

    50 EZ

    10 x 25 UW shooters w/fins
    odds = back
    evens = belly

    8 x 50 fly drill

    50 EZ

    Total: 3000 meters

    10 minutes hottub/steam



    Felt much better after a swim. There is nothing like exercise to relieve stress! Had one funny Jimslie moment. My left shoulder was bothering me somewhat during my swim, and the omnipresent and reflexive shoulder paranoia emerged. Then, I realized it was just soreness from the flu shot I had this afternoon. lol

    This pool is only 3-4 feet deep, so I was unable to take the Geekity 10 second vertical kick challenge. But very soon!

    I am having some lab work tomorrow, so I am very grudgingly going off to fast now. No flamin' cheetos or chips for me tonight.
    Swim Workouts
  10. Monday, Sept. 13

    by , September 13th, 2010 at 10:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I think this is the first time I've really sat down all day ... hoping to survive this excruciatingly busy week. All kids activities and sports are now in high gear.

    Took my wrecked body to Oak Marr late this am for a slow aerobic swim, which I rationalized by remembering that Rich Abrahams says this is good for us 1x week. Did the following, (although I went so slow I'm having trouble remembering exactly what I did):


    Warm up:

    600 various

    Aerobic Sets:

    5 x (3 x 50) @ :15 RI
    1 = free
    2 = kick
    3 = stroke

    5 x 100 @ 1:50, done as:
    25 (10 UW belly SDKs + cruise to wall) + 50 breast w/long pullouts + 25 free w/long streamlines
    (got this idea from Speedo's blog)

    5 x 100 free w/overkick @ 1:50

    50 EZ

    8 x 100 w/fins @ :20 RI
    odds = smooth free (can't really remember though)
    evens = 50 flutter kick w/board + 50 free

    8 x 25 easy free, sighting 2x per 25

    Total: 3400



    Still feeling sore from overdoing the drylands on Saturday. But, thank Zeus, I got in for a deep tissue massage today b/c there was a cancellation. So now I figure I may feel decent by Thursday or so. This is my relative rest week, so I will attempt to keep yardage up, but intensity down. No drylands until after the event on Sunday.

    I'm feeling a bit of a hot mess after having to give up being Aunty Histamine and still sleeping like crap. I am attempting to partially remedy the latter with Silenor, a new sleep maintenance aid for which Jimslie is already up in arms about the marketing strategy. After I am tested for food allergies tomorrow afternoon, no one will be able to wrest my allegy meds from my hands.

    I haven't looked at the Savageman details yet. But, according to my running relay mate, whom I chatted with at our girls' first swim practice tonight, I'm in wave 2 again with the 25-29 year old guys. Woohoo! No matter what, I am starting off more slowly this time. I may still want to crawl out at 500 yards, but perhaps I won't be in complete lactic acid shock. Patrick has me concerned about needing swim booties now. I should probably check the temp at Deep Creek.

    I have been ridiculously obsessing about FortSon's senior ad for the yearbook. I had no idea this was such a big deal. Since I refuse to say something prosaic like "we're so (or so very very) proud of you," I have to come up with something better. I scoured The Perfect Mile for some good quotes, and may have a couple. I have found an appropriately humiliating baby picture and other good sports shots. Now I can turn my attention to obsessing over something actually important like having FortSon finalize his list of colleges and figure out where he wants to use his early decision. What fun, no? And then, of course, there's shopping for the perfect Homecoming dress coming soon.

    Updated September 14th, 2010 at 09:54 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  11. Sunday, Sept. 12

    by , September 12th, 2010 at 09:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    To quote Stud, "everything hurts ... waah." This is definitely why I enjoyed shirking on strength training this summer ... I didn't swim today, as I wasn't sure I could get my arms out of the water. Instead, I did:

    P90X Stretch:

    60 minutes of light stretching and yoga
    (and didn't really feel any better after)


    I finally watched my TRX DVD. The Basic Training DVD has a workout that consists of the following exercise sequences. The exercise groups are in increasing intensity/difficulty. You can also increase or decrease difficulty by changing your body or foot position.

    squat jump
    1 legged squat
    1 legged squat jump

    sprinter's start
    sprinter's start with hop

    hamstring curl

    back row
    back row with feet on stability ball against wall
    single arm row

    chest press
    chest press push up

    T deltoid fly
    T + Y deltoid fly

    standing roll outs
    kneeling roll outs
    pike ups

    (forearm or ahnds)
    side plank
    (forearm or hands)
    moving/twisting plank

    knee ins
    (forearms or hands)
    single knee ins
    oblique crunches
    atomic push ups or oblique push ups

    More advanced exercises include:

    push ups or tricep press with kettleballs
    elevated lunges
    supine wipers
    oblique wipers (love this one)
    skater straddle push up (ouch)
    inverted shoulder press (ouch)
    extreme leg extension

    [nomedia=""]YouTube - TRX & FUNCTIONAL TRAINING: 50 exercises by Coach Miletto[/nomedia].

    [nomedia=""]YouTube - Unique TRX Drills For Advanced Personal Training Clients[/nomedia].

    Having watched the DVDs and vids, I still think TRX is a great system for masters swimmers. It helps develop many key swim specific fitness elements: balance, core & shoulder stability, power, strength. However, like Chris, my initial reaction is that I think it's a supplement to, not a replacement for, strength training. But it seems like a great way to get a quick core workout or conditioning circuit in at home without a big gym.
  12. Drylands, Saturday, Sept. 11

    by , September 11th, 2010 at 08:35 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    broomstick twists, 25
    windshield wipers, 25
    burpees with air squat, 10
    reverse scoop w/25 lb plate, 1 x 15, & w/30 lb DB, 1 x 15
    sieber squats, 25, every 5th one airborne
    supine superman streamline ("SSS") on bosu, 2 x 1:00*
    [nomedia=""]YouTube - Bosu Streamline on the Back[/nomedia].
    box jumps, 2 x 10
    lower back/tricep exercise, 2 x 25**

    skull crushers, 50 x 1 x 10, 60 x 1 x 10
    back squat, 100 x 2 x 8 on power rack
    standing straight arm lat pulldown, 150 x 2 x 8
    lunges, 50 x 1 x 10, 60 x 1 x 10

    RC exercises

    * This seems like a very effective core exercise. And I could definitely have held it longer. It hits the same areas as planks, moreover, without any shoulder stress. Nice.

    ** A trainer showed me this exercise. It's hard to describe. I used the lat pulldown machine, a pole and the wall. You kneel on the lat pulldown bench and hook your feet under, grab a long pole about mid way down, plant the pole in the intersection of the wall and floor, then lower body down and then back up. Seemed to really hit the lower back and triceps. Would probably work even better with a weight belt

    25-30 minutes of stretching, light yoga and foam roller work

    15 minutes in steam room and whirlpool



    I thought about all the comments, all very insightful, on my blog from a couple days ago. I've tentatively concluded:

    1. My dryland sessions are too long and I need to leave when appropriate and resist the urge to do more. I did less today, I believe, and cut back on the number of reps and on some core work.

    2. Do less core work in the gym, but make sure the work I do "counts" and is hard. Plus, if I don't do some core work behind hard strength work, what will I do -- talk to myself?

    3. Keep doing some plyos in a moderate amount. I don't think there's any need to go crazy on these anyway.

    4. Focus more on pure strength and less on fitness. This one is hard for me, and somewhat contrary to my nature. It might result in faster swimming, but less fun in my dryland workouts. I have been shirking raw strength work lately, probably over the last year. I'm not sure how much this has negatively effected me though. My times from Atlanta were fairly comparable to the year before. Perhaps a very slight drop off in the 50s. On the other hand, I was wearing a Jaked instead of a B70, so theoretically they should have been faster.

    5. I hate back and front squats though. Tried back squats again today. I just can't stand having the bar on my back/shoulder area. So I think I either have to do overhead squats or those bulgarian single leg squats. Any other suggestions? Carry on with goblet squats?

    6. I like deadlifting much more than back squats. Not sure this is a substitute for all squats though. And, apart from front and back squats, I've surprisingly grown rather fond of other forms of squats and squat plyos.

    7. I still want a sled ... I hope you're using that, Geek!

    Today, I saw something I'd never seen before. At FortSon's CC race, for which it was almost 80 degrees as the varsity goes last, I saw a kid projectile vomiting the last 200-300 yards of the race. No idea how he could even manage to keep running! FortSon did OK, got a wicked cramp that killed his last 1K or so (which is usually his strength), but still started out faster than he did last year.

    Updated September 11th, 2010 at 08:40 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  13. Freestyle Veggies, Friday, Sept. 10

    by , September 10th, 2010 at 09:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo @ Mason:

    Arrived and put on the 2XU wetsuit. Wetsuits are so much easier to get on than B70s.

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Transition Set:

    8 x 50
    odds = free @ :50
    evens = backstroke kick @ 1:00

    1 x 100 good cruise

    I had contemplated doing a long freestyle set with my wetsuit on. But, that was a non starter. Even though the water was 80, I was roasting after 1200. So I stripped off the wetsuit and carried on with my "freestyle veggies" workout, which I did solely out of a sense of obligation to my Savageman relay mates.

    Main Set:

    30 x 100, done as:

    2 rounds of:

    5 x 100 free @ 1:20
    5 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:20
    5 x 100 free w/paddles & fins @ 1:20

    :20 seconds transition between sets of 5
    50 EZ between the sets of 15

    I broke it up this way to not drown of boredom and to avoid losing count. I started off easy, basically cruised the kicks (by far the easiest part), and then picked up the last 5. I was holding 1:06-07s on #11-15 each set. I was faster if I remembered to kick, something I frequently forget to do in freestyle. I didn't push it too much, as I was trying to get into a good rhythm. I am very pace impaired sort.

    200 EZ

    Total: 4400



    Short rest freestyle is absolutely dull as hell to do on your own. No idea how anyone does it. I do not enjoy this type of solo workout. It would be much more palatable with a team.

    And, wow, was that wetsuit floaty. Compared to my workout suit, I was very buoyant. Much more so than a tech suit. But I felt very uncomfortable around the neck, like I was vaguely choking. I hope I can ignore this sensation. Hopefully, it's because I'm not used to wetsuits, at all.

    I've also resolved to do somewhat more freestyle without fins just focusing on kicking. I've always tended to do long freestyle sets or long aerobic sets with fins b/c of stress on the shoulders, sore shoulders, shoulder paranoia, shoulder anxiety, actual shoulder issues, etc. And it's certainly produced a lot of leg strength (and can ramp up the cardio). But, as I was telling Speedo the other day, my shoulders feel surprisingly good these days. I think next week, which is a relative rest week after killing myself for 3 weeks, I will do some mellow pace freestyle really focusing on kicking. (This also makes sense according to Chowmi's post on the Myth #9 Busted thread.) I do plenty of dolphin kicking and backstroke kicking, but very little freestyle kicking integrated with freestyle swimming. Of course, I say this now ... I may be sick to death of freestyle after doing (for me) an insane amount of it lately. I'm a sprint stroker at heart.

    I can't go to my team practice tomorrow because it conflicts with Fort Son's race. So I will hit the gym and hope to get to my team practice on Sunday.

    Happy weekend! Good luck to everyone at Big Shoulders.

    Updated September 10th, 2010 at 10:09 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  14. Thursday w/Speedo, Sept. 9

    by , September 9th, 2010 at 05:26 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I hauled my unrefreshed, allergy addled, geriatric feeling (Jimslie) body to the pool for a lunchtime swim with Speedo. We did the following:

    Swim/SCY @ Oak Marr:

    Warm up:

    800 various

    8 x 25 shooters w/fins

    Kick Set:

    Pete and I did a portion of a kick workout we did frequently last year. I thought it was 5 x 200 kick, but it was 6. I took a nature break and did an easy 100 during #6, as I wasn't expecting it. My times were faster than I expected.

    5 x 200 backstroke kick, no fins @ 3:30

    I cruised #1, and immediately cramped. (I fear my allergy meds are causing dehydration.)

    Then I went: 2:56, 2:53, 2:52, 2:51.

    I looked back at a couple of my previous sets. I usually cruise #1-2 and then go.

    On 2/4, I went 2:56, 2:53, 2:56, 2:51
    On 12/28, I went 2:59, 2:56, 2:55, 2:53

    So today's set was a slight improvement over last time. I didn't kill the SDKs. I took 8+ on the first 25 and then 6 (usually) thereafter.

    100 EZ

    20 x 50 Petra Paddle Drill Set @ :45

    Extra :15 between sets of 5 to switch paddles
    I left my fins on to float my shoulders, which are still sore, but didn't kick much.

    1-5 w/strokemaker paddles (I don't use Pete's he man version)
    6-10 reverse paddle drill
    11-20 swim (I joined Pete in ditching the paddles)

    The last 5 I tried to pick up the pace and went high 30s, breathing every stroke.

    200 EZ

    Total: 3300



    It was great to swim with Pete again today and we mulled over a number of topics such as:

    1. If fins increase your leg strength and endurance, do paddles increase you shoulder strength and endurance? And is that why Petra (Mason sprint coach) is obsessed with them?

    2. What nickname is Geek going to come up with to ride Pete about Gaga?

    3. Why do Mrs. Speedo and I so get irked when our children or spouses eat something before dinner or fail to eat the delicious food we make them?

    4. How much dryland work is sufficient? Pete is considering cutting back to 2x per week. I am thinking my sessions are too long and that I can't recover quickly enough. I perused my last 80 minute session and see that I started off with 3 x 75 med ball slams and 75 push ups before I even hit the weight room ...

    5. Life would be infinitely improved if we could have a daily massage.

    6. Pete needs to keep taking his 100 back out fast to keep putting up stellar times. I need to do this as well (I did it, finally, in Atlanta) and not die the last 15 yards.

    7. Pete and I agreed that "that perfect blend of caring and not caring" (from Andre Agassi's autobiography) produces the best meet prep and results.

    8. Petra really likes to train her sprinters with hypoxic freestyle. Pete likes oxygen. And, despite my love of underwater dolphin work, I insist on breathing every stroke in freestyle, except during a race or timed swim. I just don't buy those 3-5-7 breathing sets, so refuse to do them.

    Tomorrow, I am going to haul myself out to Mason to swim in a cool pool and do some aerobic set. Trying to decide whether to swim in regular suit, B70 or wetsuit. I saw a couple tris using full sleeve wetsuits today at Oak Marr. No idea how they do that when the pool is 84 degrees ...
    Swim Workouts , Test Sets
  15. Wed., Sept. 8

    by , September 8th, 2010 at 10:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Yoga, 60 minutes:

    No time today for anything but some yoga at home. I plugged in my Rodney Yee power yoga DVD after dinner. [nomedia=""]YouTube- Power Yoga Total Body Workout[/nomedia]. Hated the music (z-z-z-z-z); I'm just not the meditative type. I prefer the cornball Tony Horton for yoga. Or Lady Gaga even! But I was pretty sore in my upper body from yesterday's killer drylands (pecs, delts, traps especially), so I felt better afterward or at least more flexy.

    MAC Dryland Workout Youtube Clip:

    I watched the MAC dryland workout for the senior team. It was:

    4 rounds of:

    front squat, 8x
    squat jump, 8x
    TRX body row, 8x

    4 rounds of:

    pull ups, 8x max
    med ball slam downs, 8x
    stability ball push ups, 8x

    sled push for time -- this look pretty cool. Wish my gym had a sled to push.

    In the sprint swim portion, they started the workout with a "cold turkey" 50 swim for time ala Jazz Hands. Nice for kids maybe, not so nice for masters methinks.

    Indy Meet:

    Still thinking of attending the Indy SCM meet over Halloween weekend. (Lil Fort seems to dislike this holiday and has a costume phobia anyway.) I have gotten spousal approval. I just need to decide whether to drive with Jimslie or fly. The drive might make the swim worthless, as I would be too tuckered out. The order of events isn't too bad, although Saturday is a little dicey with 3 50s that day and the 50 back and 100 fly back to back. I would likely opt to swim the 100 fly, although I barely believe I just had that thought.


    1. More food for thought on the "less is more"/"more is more" debate: WSJ article on chronic overtraining in endurance athletes. It also notes that many endurance athletes suffer from high levels of performance stress caused by trying to win their masters categories or always PR. I guess it's healthy that I'm not even remotely bothered by my recent personal worsts.

    2. An article in the NYT confirming the prevailing thought that static stretching prior to exercise provides no benefit:

    Speaking of running, has anyone tried these crazy 5 finger running gloves?

    3. And an article confirming that Soni swims a fast breaststroke b/c she is mimicing fly, the king of all strokes. I felt like I could somewhat swim this way with the super suits, but not without.

    Allergies, etc.:

    I'm still struggling with some sleep/hormone/allergy/GI issues. Despite my doctor phobia, I'm going to see a specialist in hormone issues if I can get in off the darn wait list. I'm also getting tested for food allergies next Tuesday. Very few adults really have food allergies I realize (in fact, Jimslie seems to think they're a myth or a product of evolution gone bad). I also know there are many false positives in this testing, so I have some qualms about it. But I feel I need to rule it out, or possibly identify other intolerances. Tests confirm that I am allergic to practically everything else, so why not certain foods? (I did have a bite of lobster ravioli the other night and had an immediate reaction. Jimslie seems to think this could be self induced. I don't know how I could cause myself to have a neck rash though ...)

    Hoping to swim with Speedo tomorrow at lunchtime. What set(s) should we do?

    Updated September 8th, 2010 at 10:33 PM by The Fortress

  16. Drylands, Tuesday, Sept 7

    by , September 7th, 2010 at 07:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Racquet ball court:

    3 x through:

    1. med ball slams:
    25 overhead tricept pass against wall
    25 twisting slams against wall
    25 slams on floor

    2. 1:00 jump rope hops

    3. 1:00 80/20 Sieber squats
    30 second each side, then switch
    [nomedia=""]YouTube- P90X 80-20 Sieber Squats for Dancers?[/nomedia]
    (the woman in the P90X video is not getting her ass down far enough though)

    4. 25 push ups

    Move to gym:

    Lochte Triple w/25 lb plate (can't find the 35 lb one; might switch to 45), 2 x 45 (15 bench + 15 bent over row + 15 reverse scoop)
    Straight arm standing lat pull down, 130 x 2 x 10
    russian twist on incline bench w/25 lb plate, 2 x 25
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 50
    dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
    windshield wipers, 2 x 15
    plyo jacks, 2 x 15
    standing twist with 25 lb plate, 2 x 25
    goblet squat, 70 x 2 x 10

    Tabata squat press with push:
    [nomedia=""]YouTube- Faster Swimming dryland routine called Tabata[/nomedia].
    8 rounds of 20 seconds AFAP, 10 seconds rest,
    pure torture, immediate redline

    arm circles
    internal and external rotators

    May try this:

    plyo push up
    [nomedia=""]YouTube- Mark Gangloff USA 100 meter Olympic Swimmer: Plyo Push Up[/nomedia].

    Need to watch this, MAC sprint drylands (note that they're using TRX):

    and this one maybe:



    I meant to do yoga today as well, but spent most of the morning dealing with Mr. Fort's car. There is a huge Tahoe in our driveway now because I refused to wait any further for a different rental car. This thing is bigger than my Durango. Mini loves it b/c she is obsessed with trucks. When Fort Son goes off to college, I'm downsizing to some kind of convertible. Any suggestions?

    Survived the first day of school and the mad crowded dash for high school school supplies at Staples. I got one "I hate school, but X is very cute," one "I have a sh*tload of work on day one," and one "I had a great day." Easy to identify which kid said what.

    Rest of week swim thoughts:

    Wed: maybe a ripoff of a gdanner endurance workout
    Thurs: hopefully swim with Speedo. Workout to be determined.
    Friday: GH Sr. kick workout
    Sat & Sun: with team
    Mon.: off
    Tuesday-Friday: minimal drylands and maybe some workout to get me ready for Savageman.

    Gary Hall Sr. Kick Workout:

    Saw this toy intensive workout on the swim myth #9 busted thread. Looked interesting. Maybe I'll finally get some use out of my dorkel and parachute.

    1) Warm up 200 drill, 200 swim, 200 kick
    2) Kick 5 x 100 with Finis snorkel and Finis alignment kickboard, keeping head down, body in proper alignment. Medium rest....all out.
    3) Kick 5 x 45 seconds on the wall with Finis snorkel....all out, followed by 15 seconds rest. Try to maintain 100% intensity for all 45 seconds. Repeat on 1 minute interval.
    4) Easy 100 swim
    5) Kick 5 x 100 with fins and alignment kick board and snorkel ...all out, medium rest.
    6) Kick 5 x 45 seconds in vertical position with fins with arms in PERFECT streamline position above. Head always above the water. Fast tight kicks. No breaststroke kick allowed. Only flutter. 15 seconds rest between (start on 1 minute)
    7) 100 easy swim
    8) Medicine ball throw. Play catch using 10 lb med ball with someone on the deck kicking with fins with hands above head at all times. Try to reach 30 throws or more (record here is 55 throws). Repeat 3 times with 30 seconds rest.
    9) Kick 5 x 100 with fins, alignment kick board, snorkel and drag parachute. All out with 30 seconds rest.
    10) Easy 100 swim

    Bill Gates on Kids:

    Thumbs up:


    I didn't really realize that yoga is a competitive sport, but it is.

    Updated September 7th, 2010 at 10:46 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  17. Sunday Swim, Sept. 5

    by , September 6th, 2010 at 10:47 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/ Team:

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    400 reverse IM kick
    200 pull
    200 IM drill

    Main Sets:

    8 x 75 IM switch @ 1:15
    #4 & #8 FAST

    50 EZ

    3 x 300 w/fins @ :30 RI
    done 100 stroke, 100 kick, 100 kick
    minimum of 6 SDK each length

    Normally, I'm happy to see a set like this. But yesterday, not so much, as I had done plenty of SDK work in the days before. And 6 SDK with fins did not prove that easy. I did them 100 back + 200 backstroke kick.

    50 EZ

    6 x 75 @ 1:50

    odds = 25 UW dolphin + 25 Nemo drill + 25 fast fly
    evens = 25 UW flutter + 25 tricep drill + 25 fast free

    Plenty of rest on these so that the 25s could be very fast.

    50 EZ

    8 x 50 kick @ 1:05
    25 AFAP dolphin kick + 25 EZ

    Everyone did these on different intervals. Barb and I decided to do them on 1:05 together.

    200 EZ

    Total: 3900



    Loved this more speed and stroke oriented workout after Saturday's aerobic emphasis. I was worried I'd feel gassed, but I hung in there decently. That said, I am really really glad I'm having a day of rest today. Definitely need it. Then back to the gym on Tuesday.
    Swim Workouts
  18. Saturday, Sept. 4

    by , September 4th, 2010 at 06:44 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I went to my first Saturday team practice in, well, maybe ever. Saturday is typically D day (though now our practices are 1.5 instead of 2 hours) and they used to be early. Instead, I happily cruised in at 10:15 after dropping Mini off at volleyball practice. I feel like I'm getting some endurance back. Just some, but some is better than none as my date with 1.2 miles looms. I have reminded my tri relay mates that I am not in the same shape I was last year.


    Warm up:

    2 x through

    200 swim
    100 kick
    100 pull
    100 IM drill

    This may also be the first ever time I've done the assigned warm up.

    Main Set:

    3 x through:

    2 x 250 pull @ 3:30
    2 x 150 K/S/K w/fins @ 2:30
    (I did them all kick and had a ton of rest, but I didn't mind because I wanted to descend the 50s well.)
    3 x 50 stroke descend @ 1:00
    (I left my fins on for these)

    On the sets of 50s, I went back (:29, :27, :25), breast (:36, :33, :31) and back (:30, :28, :25 high)

    200 EZ

    Total: 4050

    Extra set: 8 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:30

    Since that only took us about 65 minutes, I did an extra set. Same set as yesterday, 8 x 100 backstroke kick. But this time I did it with fins @ 1:30 with 8/7/7/6 SDKs (which is probably fairly equivalent to the 10 SDKs I took yesterday). I cramped a bit, but was really happy I kicked reasonably fast and long after all that aerobic work.

    Went: 1:03, 1:03, 1:03, 1:03, 1:02, 1:02, 1:01, 1:00.

    100 EZ

    Total: 4950/1900 kicking

    15 minutes in hottub


    20 handstands
    10 cartwheels
    3 walkovers

    15 minutes of stretching



    I felt so much better today when I woke up than yesterday. I felt like I was dragging myself through yesterday's workout. Plus, it was so nice to swim in a deep cool pool. I always swim faster at Mason, it seems, than at our Rec Center pools where the temp hovers at 83-84.

    Mr. Fort got out his bike after I got home, and he's been gone for almost 4 hours ... And since he did the Reston Century ride, he seems to be on their email list. He recommended I do this tomorrow: But unlike Geek, I just can't rise at the jimmy jack crack of dawn.

    I'm tentatively planning on going to my team practice tomorrow instead. Sunday is typically my favorite day as it's stroke and sprint oriented. I could use that after today.

    This week's totals:

    swim, 5x, 18,350 yards
    drylands, 4x
    yoga, 1x

    I have full on fall allergy symptoms and I'm hoping it's due to ragweed and such and not my new kitty (with whom I'm unreasonably besotted).

    Updated September 4th, 2010 at 09:01 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
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  19. Taking Advice, Friday Sept. 3

    by , September 3rd, 2010 at 08:59 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm Up:

    700 various

    8 x 50 fly drills @ 1:00

    Pull Set:

    6 x 150 free w/paddles @ 2:20

    100 EZ

    Hypoxic Kick Set:

    8 x 100 backstroke kick, no fins @ 2:15
    SDKs = 10, 10, 10, 10 per 25
    (I really should have done 12 on the first 25. I don't think it would have made any difference, except perhaps causing me to go faster.)

    I knew it would be a tough set, as I cramped on the first one and then on #4 and #6. Took a few seconds extra rest on those. It wasn't a matter of dehydration; my legs were just fatigued from yesterday's double and the P90X plyos.

    I went 1:26, 1:24, 1:22, 1:22, 1:23, 1:22, 1:21-22, 1:20-21.

    I hadn't done a longer rep, longer hypoxic set in awhile, and this was tough, even kicking moderately after surfacing after the SDKs. On the last 3, I only managed 9 SDKs on the final 25. Still, I was happy I got this in, per Chris' suggestion. As he noted on his blog, this is much harder than stringing together 25 shooters.

    150 EZ

    Total: 3050



    I was very very tired today (didn't sleep well either) and considered taking the day off. In retrospect, perhaps I should have and worked out both Sat & Sun. But I generally prefer to take a day off on the weekend to have more family time. So I "ate my veggies" today, as Speedo puts it and got this workout in. My only focus today was the kick set.

    Improving 100 fly/back pianos:

    Chris gave me some good tips for improving my 100 fly and back, particularly, the last 25, on his blog. They are:

    1. Do more lactate tolerance work -- reproduce the spike of lactate that occurs in a real race. Example: 3-5 100s AFAP 1x per week with plenty of rest. (Not sure I am willing to suffer enough to do this set 2x a week.)

    2. Do longer reps on kick sets and fast kicks beyond 50s.

    3. Do 75s and 100s hypoxic kick/shooters.

    4. Do broken 100s. Last year, Speedo and I did a Rich Abrahams set that I liked quite a bit, and I hope to do this one more often. I know it was broken at the 50 and 75, but I will have to look up the amount of rest he used. Chris suggests 10 seconds at either the 50 or 75.

    5. Do more 50s at 95% pace to reproduce the first controlled 50 of a 100 race.

    Workout Nutrition:

    On another note, I have been abysmal about workout and post-workout nutrition of late. I've just been drinking water at practice because gatorade and vitamin water don't agree with me. I ordered some Gu Brew (blueberry pomegranate flavor), which I like, and also decided to try e-fuel, a product from Crank. I'm told that e-fuel is much less sweet than Gatorade. Inevitably, gatorade gives me heartburn and an upset tummy and part of the reason is the sweetness, I think. Mr. Fort uses this product for his cycling. I also ordered some Proasis for post workout, which I've used before. Lately, the thought of eating food immediately after getting out of the pool has not been appealing.

    Lastly, my other Speedo endurance suit, in Mason colors, has also expired. So I ordered two new endurance suits on line, one Nike and one Speedo. Both all black. I'm much more boring than Swimsuit Addict. But a friend did send me a link to some great grab bag deals on some suits at Toad Hollow:

    And, WSJ review of a book on perfecting sports performance:

    Updated September 3rd, 2010 at 10:14 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  20. Blasted, Thursday, Sept. 2

    by , September 2nd, 2010 at 11:05 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Yoga Ball Warm Up:

    torso twister on yoga ball, 2 x 25
    med ball rotation on yoga ball, 2 x 25
    (on back, rotate med ball to the left, back up, to the right, repeat)
    iron monkey aka crunch-pass-leg drop, 1 x 25
    oblique yoga ball crunch, 1 x 25

    P90X Plyos, 50 minutes:

    Yikes, I hadn't done this routine since Jan. 10, which I can confirm thanks to the wonders of the blog sub-categories. It was, er, rather challenging, especially given that I was still sore today.

    The routine goes:

    warm up
    (4 exercises: 30s|30s|30s|1min) x 2
    (4 exercises: 30s|30s|30s|1min) x 2
    (4 exercises: 30s|30s|30s|1min) x 2
    (4 exercises: 30s|30s|30s|1min) x 2
    (4 exercises: 30s|30s|30s|1min) x 2

    The exercises are:

    1) Jump squat, run stance squat, airborne heisman (lateral leaping), swing kick

    2) Squat reach jump, run stance squat with direction switch, double airborne heisman, circle run

    3) Jump knee tuck. jumping lunge, leapfrog squat, twist combo

    4) Rock star hop, gap jump, squat jack, military march

    5) Run squat with 180 jump, lateral leapfrog, monster truck tire, hot foot

    JimRude hates the Mary Katherine jumping lunges. But I have the most trouble with the "run stance squat with direction switch." Brutal. Needless to say, I did not "pick up the pace" on anything. Well, I tried, valiantly, on the knee tuck jumps. I skipped the "bonus" sports round, as it seems irrelevant.


    Warm up:

    400 swim
    300 kick
    200 IM drill
    100 scull

    Transition Sets:

    4 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = kick, drill
    evens = build

    12 x 25 w/fins @ :40
    3 x fast UW, 1x EZ
    I went 10s on my back and 11s on my belly on the fast shooters. These seemed really hard tonight, despite only having to do 9 fast ones.

    50 EZ

    Main Set, Aerobic:

    8 x through:

    75, done as 25 drill + 50 swim (IM order, 2 of each stroke) @ 1:20
    25 dolphin kick @ :30
    100 free @ 1:30

    I felt pretty rough at the beginning of this set, but was pleasantly surprised that I was able to go faster as it progressed. I cruised the 75s and 25s and tried to work the 100 frees.

    50 EZ

    6 x 25 @ :30
    odds = fast
    evens = easy

    I didn't feel up to swimming, so did these flutter kick w/fins & board. Went high 11s.

    200 EZ

    Total: 3500

    There was an optional 2 x 300 pull. But I was beat and didn't feel like it would add anything, so I skipped it.



    This was our first team workout of the 2010-11 season. Our team had no masters practices in August. So Cheryl was trying to start us off a bit easy. I feel like I've been working very hard since Zones, and can now say that every muscle in my body hurts. Today was my 4th dryland workout of the week if I count the P90X yoga/stretch day + bike day. Not sure what I should do tomorrow ... I may attempt to get myself to hot yoga, since I plan to attend team practices this weekend. I have already informed Mr. Fort that if he doesn't want me to drown in Deep Creek Lake, he will have to bike and run around my schedule.

    On the child front, my high schoolers have received their class schedules and there is shockingly little complaint. Fort Son, my scholastic minimalist, has 4 AP classes, so may be forced to study more. Mini spent the day in Ocean City playing beach volleyball with her team (thereby reducing my daily driving burden substantially). Lil Fort has her 4th grade open house tomorrow. She is happy to have the teacher she wanted and her best friend in her class. I am contemplating what I will be forced to sign up for ... After 15+ years of volunteering at numerous schools, I would really like to bury my head in the sand. Where's the emoticon for that? hehe

    Updated September 2nd, 2010 at 11:18 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts