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  1. Sunday, April 19

    by , April 19th, 2009 at 06:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    As I expected, couldn't get to the pool. Wasn't feeling great anyway. Did some stretching and RC exercises.


    Couldn't get to my team practice today. Older two kids were running/helping with a 5K and younger one is now sick. And Mr. Fort is at his law school reunion. Haven't done a start since Auburn. Oh well, lol.

    Ventured to the Rec Center, which is usually mobbed on weekends. Had a lane to myself for awhile and then there was a massive influx of triathletes and noodlers. I'm happy to share a lane with triathletes, but I don't want to do their endless freestyle circle swimming. They actually seems surprised by that, as if regular pool swimming doesn't exist ... I ended up switching lanes and sharing a lane with another fellow prepping for Zones. Had noodler trouble as well. One woman was doing a frog kick (with weights on her ankles) that was wider than my body length. She repeatedly kicked me on my side of the lane line. I finally had to stop and explain why this was not acceptable.

    With two illness and two more weeks of tapering, I'm sure the taper bitchies will really be in full swing ...

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim

    Main sets:

    16 x 25 backstroke shooters @ 1:00, no fins

    50 EZ

    8 x 50 backstroke @ 1:10
    10 SDKs off the walls

    50 EZ

    8 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 easy)

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP free + 50 easy)

    100 C/D

    Total: 2600


    Dynamic Stretching:

    At Patrick and Q's suggestion, I did some dynamic rather than static stretching this am. Did straight leg march, scorpion, handwalks, side bends, trunk rotations, hamstring stretch, back/ab stretch on ball and leg swings. I have to admit, it didn't feel like I was doing much of anything. Read up on it a bit:

    What I haven't taken the time to research is whether static stretching is still good to do after working out? That's when I typically, but not always, do it.



    Checked the psych sheet for Zones. Pretty competitive this year! I will have to get my ass in gear for a couple events or my Zone records will be erased. My former secret nemesis is swimming again this year.

    I have a borrowed LZR that I might use for a swim or two. I think it's seen about 10 swims, so it could technically be "done." As for the stretching, I think it would just have stretched to my size. But I'll have to try it on. Found Chris' comment that Sue Walsh prefers the LZR interesting. I know Michelle Chow does too. In fact, from what I have gleaned from masters and USS swimmers, it seems the slimmer-sprinter types prefer the LZR. This would be consistent with my own view that the B70 "float" helps relatively more in distance events. But who knows for sure?

    With respect to B70 use, Jim Clemmons tells me his suit now has 60+ swims. He's still swimming extemely fast in it too.

    This was supposed to be a "maintenance" week. I was worried I wasn't doing much at all, but still got in 5 swims for almost 16,000 yards and one short weight session. The last couple workouts have been pretty light, I guess, owing to being sick.

    Updated April 19th, 2009 at 07:29 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  2. Bit of Hypoxic, Friday, April 17

    by , April 17th, 2009 at 05:26 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Still under the weather and an energy-less FAF, but better than yesterday!

    AM: Massage

    Got a deep tissue massage. Ouch! Guess I had some cranky muscles. The tightest area is my middle back. (Lower back was fine.) How exactly does one stretch the middle back?

    PM Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Just a short workout. Wanted to keep feel and not sure I can get to the pool tomorrow. Did some hypoxic work that I like to do when I'm resting or feeling sub par.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Hypoxic Sets:

    10 x 25 back UW shooter w/MF @ :30

    50 EZ

    Then, realizing that I had just told She Puff that I had become too besotted with my MF lately and needed to do some fin-less SDK work, I grudgingly took it off.

    10 x (25 back UW shooter no fins + 25 EZ) @ 1:15

    50 EZ

    3 x 150 (50 scull, 50 kick, 50 swim)
    7 SDKs off each wall on kick and swim

    50 EZ

    5 x (25 belly UW shooter no fins + 25 EZ)

    200 C/D

    Total: 2275


    The UW shooters with no fins were easier than I anticipated. For the last year, I've felt faster/better on my belly shooters than my back shooters and have started avoiding back shooters because of the air bleeding. With a nose clip, I felt like this phenomenon was reversed: I felt faster and more comfortable on my back. Though I took about 21 kicks each way.

    Will try to get to my team practice on Sunday if I'm feeling better to practice some starts, etc. I won't be doing 3000, though, so I may be a dirty rotten selfish rule breaking teammate that is disrupting the normal swimming protocol. I suspect a few others are tapering for Zones too though. But, since I'm one of few sprinters, I'm sure I'll do less yardage.
  3. Really sick, Blech!

    by , April 16th, 2009 at 02:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I'm sick again, and it's making me really dang grumpy. Could be allergies run amuck or a nasty cold I picked up traveling. Very frustrating, as I just had a severe cold two weeks ago. So forced to take a day off. Just hope I get better soon, as I have a very packed weekend. If I don't, I may question the back to back meet plan or the number of events at Zones ... For sure, I'm going to kick into rest mode swim wise and not overdo it in the pool the next few days.

    Going to lay on the couch now and feel sorry for myself. April is just not my month.

  4. Wed., April 15

    by , April 15th, 2009 at 05:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Since Jazz is cranking out the yardage, I decided to steal his workout from yesterday. With modifications, of course. No paddles. Swam with fins.


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    10 x 25 shooters on back w/MF

    Main set:

    8 x 25 build free @ :35
    8 x 25 fast backstroke kick @ :30
    8 x 25 smooth free w/overkick @ :35
    50 EZ
    8 x 100 @ 1:50
    odds = easy speed free, trying to remember to kick
    evens = cruiser backstroke kick
    50 EZ
    8 x 25 easy speed fly @ :45
    8 x 25 fast MF shooter @ :40, alternate back & belly
    8 x 25 "burst" free @ :40 (15 fast, 10 cruise)

    200 C/D

    Total: 3250



    Went to the chiro after swimming. He said I had some hot spots, had probably overdone the weights, but nothing serious. He nixed Kipping pull ups. No surprise there. He gave me a free supplement to try on a guinea pig basis. It's a 3 day regimen intended to reduce inflammation and muscle pain -- sort of like a mini non prescription steroid pack. It's called Acute Phase by Metagenics. Some of his patients have noticed immediate relief in 3 days. We'll see ... I have tried Protrypsin before, and didn't notice a dang bit of difference.

    We discussed explosive lifting briefly. He recommended that, if I ever try it, to reduce the weight quite a bit. Otherwise, as people have noted, one risks joint pain. The tough thing, apparently, is finding the right amount of weight to benefit from the technique while not overloading the joint.

    He did comment that I was, ahem, looking more defined. All good for the shoulders though.


    Not feeling the greatest. Still not sleeping well and my allergies are bothering me. I'm coughing and wheezing a lot, and hoping it doesn't turn bronchial. Or the taper bitchies will be very bitchy. Going to start cutting intensity tomorrow. Feel like I've been doing a fair amount of speed work lately.
    Swim Workouts
  5. Tuesday, Apr. 14

    by , April 14th, 2009 at 06:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Quickie AM Weights:

    Cut back 1/3 of the weight. Shoulder still cranky, stayed away from pull ups/chins and hanging ab exercises. Going to chiro tomorrow afternoon.

    standing lat pulldown, 100 x 2 x 15
    dead lift, 70 x 2 x 12
    seated narrow grip row, 70 x 2 x 15
    alternating hammers, 12.5 x 2 x 20

    decline reverse crunch, 2 x 25
    elevated crunch, 2 x 25
    crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    back extensions w/10 lb weight, 2 x 25

    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25
    seated straight arm dips, 60 x 2 x 2
    (did a bunch of arm extensions last night)

    PM Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Swam late today because I was taking care of really important things like beautifying my chlorine-damaged hair. The FISH were practicing. Swam in a lane right next to Kate Ziegler.

    Warm up:

    600 variety swim-kick

    Hypoxic Set:

    20 x 25 shooters on back w/MF @ :30

    50 EZ

    Speed Work:

    4 x (50 dolphin kick on back w/MF AFAP + 100 easy)

    Went: 22, 21.5, 21, 21.5

    My fastest to date. Before Auburn, I was going 23s. Think the time drops are due in part to use of a nose clip. I'm only above water from the flags to the wall. Was planning on doing more 50s, but someone joined my lane and I didn't want to slice and dice.

    4 x (4 x 50) speed variables @ 1:00

    #1: 50 back, descend to fast
    #2: backstroke kick, EZ, fast, EZ, fast
    #3: breaststroke, 25 fast, 25 easy by 50s
    #4: 25 fast doggie paddle scull drill, 25 EZ

    300 C/D

    Total: 2850



    Pondering amount of rest for Zones/SCM Meet. Went back and looked at the yardage I did before Auburn two weeks out:

    14: off
    13: 3200
    12: 3000
    11: 2650
    10: off
    9: 2800
    8: 3100
    7: 2000
    6: off
    5: 1850
    4: 1500
    3: 1400
    2: 1000
    1: off

    May try to replicate some of the workouts. The last time I lifted weights before Auburn was Jan. 25. Using that as a guideline, I should probably stop lifting now if I want to swim well at my SCM meet. Anyone have any different thoughts?

    Of course, having Zones before the SCM meet will effect how "rested" I am for the second meet, assuming I go ... For Zones, I am entered in:


    100 free
    200 mixed medley relay
    50 breast (gridge anyone? haven't swum this event in 4 years)
    400 medley relay
    200 free relay


    50 fly
    100 back
    200 free relay

    Signed up for the 50 fly, 50 free and 50 back for the SCM meet. I NT'd the 50 fly because there is only 1 event between the 50 fly and 50 free. Have at me, you anti-sandbaggers, but this is my response to the social engineering meet line up.

    Hosting a apres meet party Sunday after Zones: burger and beer. Last year, we had a fun party as well, some of the pics are in my photos albums. We also had a video show with vids taken by Ensignada, Stud and me. The funniest one, of course, featured Jimby standing on the blocks as everyone else took off for the 100 free. (They let him swim in another heat.)


    Feeling pretty exhausted. Traveling from the east coast to the west coast doesn't agree with me. I only got 5-6 hours sleep in Tucson because I would wake up so early every day. Now, back east, I'm having trouble going to sleep. Thought I would be dead in the water today, so was surprised to swim pretty fast. Hoping for more sleep the rest of the week.

    Updated April 14th, 2009 at 06:19 PM by The Fortress

  6. Reunited with MF, Monday, April 13

    by , April 13th, 2009 at 04:28 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Hypoxic set:

    30 x 25 UW shooters w/MF @ :30
    20 back, 10 belly

    Kick Mountain:

    dolphin kick on back w/MF:

    1 x 50 @ :45 (10 sdk)
    1 x 100 @ 1:30 (8 sdk)
    1 x 150 @ 2:15 (7 sdk)
    1 x 200 @ 2:45 (6 sdk)
    1 x 300 @ 4:00 (5 sdk)
    1 x 200 @ 2:45 (6 sdk)
    1 x 150 @ 2:15 (6 sdk)
    1 x 100 @ 1:30 (8 sdk) (around 1:00)
    1 x 50 fast @ :45 (no extra rest) (went 22.5-23)

    100 EZ

    Speed sets:

    5 x 100 back @ 2:00
    75 cruise, 25 fast

    100 EZ

    4 x (25 AFAP free + 25 easy)
    (was going to do more, but was cramping too much. sprints didn't feel great.)

    100 EZ

    Total: 3950


    Shoulder feels better after swimming. Inactivity does not agree with me. I don't like taking 2 days in a row off swimming. It seems to work better for me to take one day off swimming during the week and one day off on the weekend as part of a rest day. The whole weekend off makes me feel a bit rusty and tight. Going to ice a lot today and do RC work all week.


    Anyone doing marine push ups to add explosive strength? I'm not sure what a marine push up is. Will have to google.


    I noticed that Jonty said that tech suits do not afford everyone the same level of improvement.

    Updated April 13th, 2009 at 11:13 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  7. Rest Weekend + Shoulder Paranoia

    by , April 13th, 2009 at 01:19 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    It was raining on Saturday in Tucson, and I let that dissuade me from swimming. I was pretty tired from my M-F workout craze anyway. Sunday I traveled home. Will swim later today.

    Sent in my entry form for a SCM meet in Brooklyn on May 3. Still not sure whether I'm going. May conflict with family things, or I may be too tired after Zones. I'll play it by ear. This is the only meet where I've read the words "all entries are free." lol

    Not sure what I did, but my cranky shoulder is really bothering me. Lack of sufficient RC work last week? Or overdoing weights? Or sitting on the airplane all day? It hasn't noticeably bothered me in awhile. Chiro check up is probably in order. I'll do a lot of kicking the next couple days. It probably will effect my weight lifting this week too. I had been planning on lifting this week, and knocking off next week before Zones.

    I don't see my entries on the psych sheet for Colonies Zones yet. Hopefully, it just hasn't been processed yet and it was received. Need to think about the apres swim party soon.

    Got my shipment of nose clips while I was gone. The speedo competition nose clip seems much tighter than the others. Hopefully, it will stay on better.

    Updated April 13th, 2009 at 01:44 PM by The Fortress

  8. Triple, Friday, April 10

    by , April 10th, 2009 at 07:15 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    2 mile warm up run on treadmill


    decline bench press, 130 x 2 x 8
    leg press, 260 x 2 x 10 (this machine seemed waaay harder than the one at my gym)
    row, 100 x 2 x 10
    tricep press, 55 x 2 x 8
    bicep curl w/40 lb BB, 40 x 2 x 12
    hanging reverse ab crunch, 2 x 15
    incline crunches, 2 x 25
    elevated crunches w/10 lb DB at feet, 2 x 25
    ab rollers, 2 x 15

    Tried the Saxon side bend again today, but decided I didn't like it. Gave my shoulders/arms a break from all the pulilng and chinning.

    10 minutes stretching


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    Aerobic Sets:

    20 x 50 @ 50
    5 back, 5 back kick, 5 back, 5 back kick
    7 SDks off each wall
    (couldn't use nose clip at all -- sun screen was too slippery, used a different kind today)

    50 EZ

    5 x 100 IM @ 1:45
    9 SDKs in fly, 7 SDKs in back

    50 EZ

    10 x 50 w/fins @ 1:00
    25 belly shooter, 25 easy free

    (Had a stray thought about loping on freestyle. Sometimes I have trouble maintaining my high turnover straight arm free when going distances beyond 50. Was wondering if a lope might be good with my new strength. Seemed fairly natural when I tried it a bit. I've never worked on a stroke change in free as a master.)

    50 EZ

    10 x 25 easy speed fly w/fins @ :30

    150 C/D

    Total: 3250


    Couldn't make it to the noon masters practice today, as I was informed I was going to the Hannah Montana Movie premiere at 12:15. Joy!

    Just did an aerobic swim today. Feel like I've been doing quite a few AFAP 50s and 25s (either as 25s or within 50s or 100s). Feeling a bit tuckered out. But I enjoyed the aerobic workout, and tried to practice good technique. It was very windy today. Between that and the noodler class right next to me, I felt like I was getting bounced around a lot. Would have been a good day for more hypoxic work, but I don't have my MF with me and my allergies are killing me. I thought I was escaping from DC pollen, but there seems to be pollen and weird plants here too.

    I think this is the most working out I've ever done on vacation. lol Will probably just do a swim tomorrow. Heading home on Sunday, so that will be a rest day.

    My hamstrings have been a tad sore lately. At first I thought it was from the squatting, but now I think it's actually from the back extensions with the 25 pound weight ... Looking forward to a couple days away from the weight room.

    Not sure how much strength one can gain in 8 weeks. But I definitely feel stronger than I was at Auburn. Arms are definitely more defined. Need to figure out a plan for the summer for LC. Not sure if I want to trying to lift 3x a week. It's so exhausting!
  9. 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
  10. Weights + Ellipse, Wednesday, April 8

    by , April 8th, 2009 at 08:31 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Hit the gym in the am this time. A little bleary from lack of sleep. Every time I travel to the west coast, I wake up at 4:30 am or so every morning and can't get back to sleep. (This is one of the main reasons I didn't consider Clovis.) Still had a good workout.


    decline bench press on Hammer machine, 120 x 2 x 10 (I increased weight like Jazz suggested (+30 lbs). I am such a good student. Or a puppet. Not sure which. lol)

    iso-lateral front lat pulldown on Hammer machine, 140 x 2 x 8 (I've finally caught up to the buff Elise who just posted a cool profile pic of the "guns".)

    V Squat on Hammer machine, 200 x 2 x 15

    alternating hammers, 20 x 2 x 20

    3 x 5 pull ups
    3 x 5 chin ups

    hanging reverse ab crunch, 2 x 15
    hanging twisting ab crunch, 2 x 15
    (I think these would be much easier with slings. Just hanging is pretty hard. Think my shoulders will be sore tomorow.)

    incline crunch, 2 x 25
    decline reverse crunch, 2 x 25
    back extensions w/25 lb weight, 2 x 15
    elevated hip lifts, 2 x 25
    long arm crunches, 2 x 25
    ab roller, 2 x 15
    (This is the first time I've done this. Seems like a good exercise that hits all the muscles from the knees up.)
    elevated horizontal scissoring, 1 min
    elevated vertical scissoring, 1 min

    2 x 5 minute stretching

    Know I'm forgetting something I did ... did that last time too.


    30 minutes on ellipse.

    Wasn't moved to swim and didn't really have enough time after the long gym session. Trying to think of a good workout for tomorrow ... I miss my MF and doing more backstroke.


    Saw a couple crossfitters at the Y today. they were doing Kipping pull ups. Studly girl cross fitter seemed to be doing sets of 10. I decided to try a few. I couldn't really get the motion down right. Think you might have to have someone help you or practice for awhile. I couldn't figure out how to get up enough speed either.

    I also tried the Saxon side bend. Started off with waaaaay too much weight, obviously vastly overestimating my oblique/core srength and almost fell over an exercise bench. lol

    Couldn't find a machine to do external rotators on ... WTH? Couldn't find any 3 pound hand eights for RC work either. I think they may be in the land noodler room ...

    Updated April 8th, 2009 at 09:13 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Spinning
  11. Tuesday, April 7

    by , April 7th, 2009 at 08:08 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Spent the morning at the Desert Museum. Very nice! Was in a convertible and walking around for many hours in the sun. Got to the pool, hopped in and was DEAD, no energy. Should have injected caffeine first, I guess. I almost got out because I was worried it would all be garbage yards. Sheesh. Luckily, I had some Jolt gum in my back pack. Tried that after the first set, and it seemed to perk me up some.

    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    Main sets:

    8 x 100 @ 2:00
    odd single arm fly
    evens dolphin kick w/board

    6 x (6 x 50), done as:
    (30-60 seconds rest between rounds)

    #1: 25 variety scull, 25 back @ 1:10
    #2: 25 fast fly, 25 easy w/fins @ :50
    #3: 2 x 50 fast breast, 50 easy, 2 x 50 fast breast, 50 easy @ 1:00
    #4: 25 easy free, 25 backstroke shooter w/fins & nose clip @ 1:00
    #5: 25 easy speed fly, 25 easy @ 50
    #6: 50 backstroke kick @ 1:00

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP + 50 EZ)
    2 fast fly, back, free

    100 EZ

    Total: 3900


    When you're doing pull ups and chin ups, do you have to be in a straight arm dead hang between each rep for them to "count" and not be "cheating"?
  12. Monday, April 6

    by , April 6th, 2009 at 07:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swam and lifted at the Tucson Y today. Really nice Y!! The weight/exercise room was jam packed. However, there was another room with plentiful free weights and hammer machines that was relatively empty. The pool was fine, and had a nice view of the mountains. However, I just can't swim backstroke fast outside. Doing shooters on your back is even worse. Glare, glare, glare. I'm sure it's an east coast disability. Aside from backstroke, it's lovely swimming outside in the sunshine.


    decline press on Hammer machine, 90 x 2 x 10 (couldn't find a standard bench press Hammer machine)
    ground squat on Hammer machine, 90 x 2 x 10 (these were an interesting cross between a conventional squat and a deadlift/rack pull. probably should have used more weight.)
    alternating hammers, 20 x 2 x 20
    overhead trcipet press, 35 x 2 x 15
    2 x 8 neutral grip pull ups
    front lat pulldown on Hammer machine, 130 x 2 x 12
    push ups on flat part of bosu, 2 x 15
    (a man tried to warn me that this might hurt my shoulders)
    back extensions w/25 lb weight, 2 x 25
    elevated crunches w/10 lb weight held by feet, 2 x 25
    dead bug on bosu, 2 x 15
    supported reverse crunches w/10 weight held by feet, 2 x 15
    incline crunch, 2 x 25
    decline reverse crunch, 2 x 25


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic Sets:

    4 x (4 x 50) @ 1:00
    1st 4: fly back
    2nd 4: backstroke kick
    3rd 4: back breast
    4th 4: dolphin kick on back

    8 x 100 w/fins @ 1:50
    done 25 shooter, 25 back, 25 fast fly, 25 easy
    (did 2 shooters on my back and flipped over to belly for the rest)

    50 EZ

    Backstroke Kick Set:

    4 x through:

    100 tempo backstroke kick @ 2:00
    50 backstroke kick fast @ 1:00
    50 easy @ 1:00

    Speed Set:

    8 x (25 AFAP + 25 easy) w/fins
    4 fast free, 4 fast fly

    150 EZ

    Total: 3700

    Wish I could break up my workouts more. Feel like I've been doing back to back weight-swim frequently lately and it's rather exhausting ...

    Lap swimmers in Tucson aren't as noodly as my usual pool. There were a couple pretty fast masters swimmer there. (Doing 100 freestyles and slow kicking though.) The masters group works out at 5:30-700 AM, not pm as my mother told me. Hence, I will not be availing myself of this option, despite the time change. (No way will I be able to stay on east coast time.)

    Updated April 8th, 2009 at 09:00 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  13. 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.
  14. Friday, Apr. 3

    by , April 3rd, 2009 at 06:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Slept in today as schools are closed for spring break. I did have to drag my 8 year old with me to the swim portion of my workout, poor thing, but I bribed her by downloading some new things on her ipod and breaking out a new book. That'll put me in line for mother of the year, for sure.


    bench press on Hammer Strength machine, 90 x 2 x 8
    incline press on Hammer Strength machine, 90 x 2 x 8
    deadlift, 110 x 2 x 10
    squat-row on cable machine standing on flat side of bosu, 30 x 2 x 15
    kneeling cable ab crunch, 70 x 2 x 10
    2 x 10 chin ups

    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
    seated straight arm dips for RC, 60 x 2 x 25
    arm extensions, 3 x 2 x 15 (forward, V, side)

    decline reverse crunch, 2 x 25
    elevated crunch w/10 lb DB held by feet, 2 x 25
    V Ups w/med ball, 3 x 15
    pushups on flat side of bosu, 3 x 15 (these are harder than regular push ups and work the core more)

    10 minutes stretching


    Swiped Chris' workout from earlier today and modified it to add some sprinting.

    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up
    200 ballerina sculling -- unlike Tall Paul, no tutu needed!

    Kick Endurance + Sprint Set:

    dolphin kick with monofin:

    1 x 200 @ 3:00
    2 x 100 @ 1:30 (went 1:05s)
    4 x 50 @ :45 (went 29-30)
    100 EZ
    8 x (25 AFAP dolpin kick w/board & MF + 25 recovery kick) @ 100

    100 EZ

    Swim Endurance + Sprint Set:

    used fins, shoulders very tired from all the pushing weights

    1 x 200 backstroke @ 3:00 (6 SDKs off walls)
    2 x 100 backstroke @ 1:30 (8 SDKs off walls)
    4 x 50 backstroke @ :45 (10 + 6 SDKs off walls -- couldn't stay under longer b/c of short rest intervals)
    100 EZ
    8 x (25 AFAP + 25 easy) @ 1:30
    (AFAP = 4 fly, 4 free)

    No idea why, but it's harder for me to recover from an AFAP swim than an AFAP kick. I also do all AFAP 25s as no breathers.

    300 C/D

    Total: 3500



    Sent my entries in for Zones this am. Just entered 100 free, 50 breast, 50 back, 50 fly and 100 back.

    SCM Meet:

    Had been planning on going to a SCM meet in NY:

    But the order of events is absolutely ghastly. All the 200s are first and all the sprints are after. I hate this kind of lineup. It seems like a social engineering effort to mandate that people swim a 200. If I'm concerned about my 50 times, I certainly won't be doing a 200 before. What sprinter would? I may still go up. Not sure what to swim, if I do ...

    This meet is, at least, driveable. There are no SCM meets in PV the rest of the year.


    There is likewise only 1 LCM masters meets in PV, with the possible exception of Zones in mid to late August. I'm not going to Zones, as I'll be on vacation after Indy. I won't go to Hains Point either as it's a rather nasty pool (hairballs anyone?) and outside.

    I checked out the kids' schedule and there are quite a good selection of close LC meets:

    May 15-16: LC Derby at GMU

    May 24-25: VA St Champs at OakMarr

    June 13-14: Meet at GMU

    June 20-21: Meet at Takoma

    July 16-19: Junior & Senior Champs

    Not sure which ones my kids' team will do. I may swim one day at a couple of the meets. I'l probably opt for the afternoon ones. I know the LC Derby and Junior Champs are afternoon meets. Despite my deplorable 100 LCM fly at Zones last year where I almost DQ'd, I may nonetheless try this event again at a kids' meet since I won't be swimming it at Indy. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment. I'd also like to do a 200 back LCM this summer.



    1. I didn't mind doing bench press and incline press on the Hammer machine. Is this a better machine than the Nautilus machine? It seemed much harder. Maybe cuz you're not supine?

    2. What's the difference between a bench press and incline press really? Does it make any difference which one we do?

    3. I think I've been doing harder core work the last 6 months than I was previously doing. Seem to be using more weights and benches. Hope it's helping.

    4. I ordered weight lifting gloves, ab slings and more nose clips last night. (Yes, Ahelee, I am going to master the damn thing for my 100 back!) My son was very happy about the ab slings since, as he reminds me, we have a pull up bar on the rafter in our garage.


    Building Strength:

    Had a conversation with Jimby last night about the new article he's writing on masters swimming. He's busy interviewing exercise physiologists and the like. A prominent one (can't remember who) told him that he's not convinced weights help swimmers become stronger in the water. That swimming helps swimmers become stronger in the water. This reminded me of something Jazz mentioned on his blog the other day: "Using swimming as specific strength training ... There's some evidence that fatigue in training can enhance strength. By introducing fatigue into my swimming, I may be increasing my strength in the water."

    Jim did say that the physiologist agreed that doing "power swims" in the water, much like I do, is the best way to build strength in the water.

    But does this really mean that weights don't help sprinters? Hard for me to believe, as all the elite sprinters do them. If you're becoming stronger, and assuming you have good technique, don't you almost necessarily go faster? This is what Ande has referred to as "free speed." Jim was sort of disputing that this phenomenon even exists. Hmmmm ...
  15. Thursday, April 2

    by , April 2nd, 2009 at 03:43 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    PM Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Did a variation of a workout JMiller recently posted. Sprint workouts are sometimes very time consuming with the mega rest intervals and slow recovery swimming ... Still coughing, colds always make me feel like I have no lung capacity.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic sets:

    3 x 200 cruiser free w/snorkel

    Took me awhile to get used to the dorkel, but I could eventually flip with it. Can't streamline with the darn thing though.

    12 x 50 @ 1:00
    rolling IM order by 25s

    50 EZ

    Speed work:

    6 x (25 AFAP flutter kick w/fins + 50 EZ)

    Tried the first 2 25s with the snorkel. It actually made me slower. I was freaked out by the ability to breath on a 25, so I took it off.

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP free w/fins + 50 EZ)

    50 EZ

    2 x (50 AFAP backstroke w/ nose clip + 100 EZ)

    Went 25-25.5ish. Went past the 15 meter mark with the nose clip on.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3400


    Nose clip:

    Did anyone notice that Tyler Clary wore a nose clip in his 200 back at the NCAAs? Ahelee and I were thinking it looked like a real "clamp." Wish I knew what kind he was wearing. Mine stayed put today, but I didn't do any backstroke starts. I just can't seem to get them tight enough. I'm going to order some more of the speedo and tyr competition ones. I might take a wrench to one of them and see what happens. lol


    I'm a little worried about weights next week as I'll be in Tucson away from my gym. My mother has a bowflex machine. Never used one. Are they any good? Can you do a variety of exercises on them? Not sure about the Y near her house either.

    Shoulder Exercise:

    A friend passed along an RC exercise I thought I'd share:

    Lie on a yoga ball facing the floor. Pull your shoulder blades together and extend your arms to the side. While keeping the shoulder blades squeezed, turn hands so that thumbs face up and make small chopping motions seven times while moving towards hips and then 7 times back towards head. Turn hands flat and do 7 reps down and back and then turn hands so that thumbs face down and do 7 more reps down and back. Do 5 sets of these. The hard part is keeping those shoulder blades together but it's great for building up those little muscle that keep your shoulder working correctly.

    Weight Lifting Gloves:

    Tim mentioned that Harbinger gloves were very good.

    But which of these would be right?

    Updated April 2nd, 2009 at 04:47 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  16. Actual Workout, Wed., April 1

    by , April 1st, 2009 at 06:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    OK, I didn't do descending 500s or 25s on the :30 this am. But I did get up at 4:45 am ... just went back to sleep later.

    Still a bit lacking in energy, but managed to get in back-to-back weights and swim session.


    standing lat pull down, 140 x 2 x 8
    tricep press, 50 x 2 x 10
    back squat w/50 lb BB, 50 x 2 x 15
    alternating hammers, 20 x 2 x 10, each arm
    external rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each side
    10 chinups
    twisting balance cable rotation, 40 x 2 x 15

    (This is a Dara exercise. I used to do it frequently and then sort of forgot about it. You do it this way: Using the cable machine, hold a small sized balance ball in left arm at stomach and reach around the ball with right hand to grab the cable then rotate from the middle to the right and the left, working the obliques. Each side.)

    squats on flat side of bosu w/10 lb DBs, 20 x 2 x 15

    (A Dara balance exercise, except she uses 40 pound DBs. This was the first time I'd tried this, so started low.)

    burpee + airsquat, 2 x 10 (I must be too fatigued still to do these. Otherwise, I am simply unfit or they are very hard.)
    decline reverse crunches, 2 x 25
    V Ups w/med ball, 2 x 15
    crunches w/med ball between knees, feet off floor, 2 x 25
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25
    elevated reverse ab crunch w/10 DB between feet, 2 x 15
    (I was in some "machine" for this where your forearms are supported. Don't now what you call it. lol)

    Saw a studly chick doing hanging reverse ab crunches this way. She also did reverse crunches twisting to each side. Looked very cool and a nice core exercise:

    Note for Jazz & Q: This is not a "shiny" new exercise. lol. This is just a variation on the crunch. I like a constantly changing core workout. Or at least periodically substituting in exercises that are harder.

    5 minutes of stretching



    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

    20 x 25 UW shooters on back w/MF and nose clip @ :30
    (did an interval to keep myself honest. kept losing the nose clip again. argh. )

    50 EZ

    3 x (5 x 100 + 50 EZ)

    1-5, 100 dolphin kick w/ MF on back @ 1:45, descend

    Went 1:10, 1:05 1:02, :59, :49
    (was surprised by the :49, the nose clip helps me stay under longer & go faster)

    6-10, 75 cruise free, 25 fast fly @ 1:45

    (I'm trying to do more fly at the end of 100s instead of just in stand alone 25s)

    11-15 @ 2:30, done as:

    25 AFAP doggie paddle speed drill, 25 easy DAB, 25 feet first backstroke scull, 25 easy speed fly

    (Uh, the doggie paddle speed drill is a bear on the forearms!)

    100 EZ

    10 x 50 @ 1:10
    odds, dolphin kick w/MF & board @ 80%
    evens, single arm fly drill w/MF

    after each 50, 10 pullouts/press ups (not sure which is the right terminology, heard both)

    200 C/D

    Total: 3700



    Tried back squats instead of goblet squats today using just a 50 pound barbell. They were pretty easy. However, I don't like using the barbell. I can see where if the weight was heavier it would be hard to handle without a spotter. I'm always working out solo, and don't really want to depend on squatters. Since that's the case, is it better to do goblet squats with DBs or BB squats with light weight or shift to the Smith machine?

    Updated April 1st, 2009 at 06:19 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  17. Wed., April 1

    by , April 1st, 2009 at 10:25 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Hadn't been to my team practice in ages. Had to get up early to put my kid on the Zones bus, so I dragged myself to the 4:45 am practice.

    Warm up:

    9 x 100, S/K/D

    Main sets:

    4 x 500 w/paddles & pull buoy,
    descend @ 7:00

    50 EZ

    12 x 100
    1-4 @ 1:25
    5-8 @ 1:20
    9-12 @ 1:15

    50 EZ

    20 x 25 @ :30, alternate fast and easy

    100 C/D

    Total: 4800

    Weights later today ...
  18. Ambulatory but no AFAP, Tuesday, March 31

    by , March 31st, 2009 at 04:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Well, it's been a rough 3 days with this cold/flu bug. Was supine most of the time. This is the first time I've gone 3 days without exercise in a loooong time. I usually rush back too quickly and possibly end up extending the illness. This time, I decided to try more rest. Feel better today, but still have a cough, some wheezing and no energy. Certainly throws a wrench in my "train like crazy for 3 weeks" plan. I think it'll take me a couple more days to fully recover. I despise being sick -- very common reaction, I'm sure. Upper back soreness is gone, but my shoulder feels twingey -- too much laying around!

    Went to the pool for a short workout today. Oddly, when I'm under the weather, it's easier for me to kick than swim, so I did a lot of kicking.


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    Kick sets:

    20 x 25 UW back shooters w/nose clip + MF,
    alternate pretty fast & easy speed

    50 EZ

    10 x 50 dolphin kick w/board
    alternate pretty fast (:28ish) & easy

    50 EZ

    Modified Geek set:

    3 x (3 x 50 @ 200 pace + 10 pullouts @ 1:10 + 2 x 50 EZ @ 1:10)

    1-3, backstroke
    4-6, IM order by 25s
    7-9, backstroke kick
    90 pull outs

    Couldn't really do these at 200 pace. Not enough zip.

    300 fartlek dolphin kick w/MF with 10-15 meter bursts (wanted to do more, but packed it in)

    150 EZ

    Total: 3000


    More Cross Fit:

    Heard reports of other swimmers trying Cross Fit workouts and feeling "dead" after. Here's a couple:

    1:00 intervals, 3x thru 6 stations:

    #1 rowing machine
    #2 heavy bag*
    #3 sit up station #1 with crunches & bicycles
    #4 burpees
    #5 bungee cord alternating fly/free pulls
    #6 sit up station #2 with double leg lifts, single leg lifts and scissors

    * Quick posted a Race Club thread last week, which noted that TRC does many boxing drills to help increase turnover in freestyle.

    I wonder what the bungee cord is that is being used for station #5? Same as Ande's resistance bands or something else?

    3 x thru

    400 meter run
    5 push ups, 10 sit ups, 15 squats

    5 x for time of:

    30 Glute-ham sit-ups
    25 Back extensions

    Not sure what a glute-ham sit up is ... Edit: Here it is: [ame=""]YouTube - Glute ham sit ups[/ame].

    I think Hulk called these roman sit ups.


    I notice a lot of people doing "chops" as part of their dryland/weight routine. Are these worth adding?

    Updated March 31st, 2009 at 09:59 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  19. Sick, Sunday Mar. 28

    by , March 29th, 2009 at 12:22 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Well, I finally succumbed to the petri dish of germs that has been my house lately. Started feeling sick on Friday night, woke up feeling like I got hit with a sledgehammer. Nasty cold, cough, fever, etc. Spent yesterday on the couch not moving. Will likely do much of the same today. Just hoping it doesn't morph into sinusitis/bronchitis, which I've been so prone to in the past (especially in the Spring).

    On the bright side, I was due for a rest day yesterday anyway. Hadn't had one in awhile. And it's not the end of the world to have the weekend off and let my body rest. My team pool is also closed this weekend for a swim meet.

    My upper back is really sore -- I'm assuming from the rack pulls. One day, it'd be nice to have sore abs instead of sore upper body ...


    Still haven't sent in my Zone entries. Probably going to swim:

    100 free
    50 breast
    50 back
    2 relays

    50 fly
    100 back
    200 medley relay

    Don't want to enter a lot of individual events. I'll be zonked enough from a 2 day meet. Plan on resting the 5 days after the meet for a SCM meet on May 3. Not sure I can recover in time, but we'll see. I've never swum meets on two weekends in a row before.

    Updated March 29th, 2009 at 12:47 PM by The Fortress

  20. Ack! Calluses, Friday, March 27

    by , March 27th, 2009 at 04:44 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    PM Weights:

    bench press w/DBs, 60 x 2 x 10, 70 x 1 x 7
    (The 70 pounds felt pretty heavy, but mostly I just felt very unstable, so I stopped. I think you have to get used to DB bench press.)

    rack pull, 150 x 1 x 10, 160 x 1 x 10
    (I think I had these set up right ... They do seem easier to execute than full deadlifts.)

    overhead tricep press w/BB, 30 x 2 x 15

    goblet squats w/35 lb DB, 2 x 15

    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm

    3 x 10 chinups (up to 30! )

    15 burpees + 10 (burpees + airsquat)
    (One of the trainers told me I was being too lazy just doing regular burpees and that I had to do it burpee + air squat, so I switched. I was near the end of the workout, though, and these seemed pretty exhausting.)

    decline reverse crunches, 2 x 25
    incline crunches w/10 lb weight, 2 x 15
    elevated crunches w/10 lb weight held by feet, 2 x 25
    crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    elevated hip lift/leg raises, 2 x 15
    russian twists w/med ball, 2 x 50
    V ups w/med ball, 2 x 15
    back extensions w/25 lb weight, 2 x 25
    (I used to do these with a 10 pound weight, and it never occurred to me to increase the weight until recently. It's a lot harder. lol)

    Tried to do this Bruce Lee core exercise, which Chris posted on a blog thread a couple days ago:

    [nomedia=""]YouTube - Greg Wolbert Doing Bruce Lee Sit Ups[/nomedia]

    I could only do the downsweep, not the upsweep. I think to work up to these you might have to practice just going down to 45 degree angle and then back up for awhile. I'm wondering if Chris can do them ...

    Getting calluses from the weights and probably mostly from the pulling and chinning. Since I have to cling to some girly girl facade, I am going to get weight lifting gloves. Ate a balance bar and went to the hot gym pool for a quick swim. I was pretty tired from the weights, so the second 8 x 100 speed play set hurt.


    PM Swim/SCM/Solo:

    700 variety warm up

    Aerobic-Speed Play Sets:

    8 x 100 @ 2:00
    75 cruise, 25 fast
    odds = backstroke kick
    evens = backstroke

    100 EZ

    8 x 100 @ 2:00

    1-2: 25 easy speed fly, 25 backstroke kick, 25 fast shooter, 25 easy
    3-4: 25 fast fly, 25 backstroke kick, 25 easy speed shooter, 25 easy
    5-6: 75 cruise free, 25 fast fly
    7-8: 25 backstroke kick, 25 fast backstroke kick, 25 easy, 25 easy speed fly

    200 C/D

    Total: 2600 meters


    Hulky Bulky Report:

    Elise and I were chatting about body composition last night. (As she said on her blog, she is undertaking to become a "lean mean fighting machine." I was telling her that I am ALWAYS hungry now. I feel I've been eating a lot, but my "swimmer" jeans feel a bit loose. I think I've lost a 1/2 inch or so in the hips and lower ab area. (I don't usually take my measurements, lol, I just did a couple months ago to give a fellow swimming chick guidance on B70 sizing.) We were wondering if perhaps the weight lifting/building lean muscle had given my metabolism a boost. I was not terribly amused when I woke up at 6:00 starving ... Sheesh!

    However, the upper arms look pretty buff. And Mr. Fort says the back muscles are more defined now.

    Elise also shared this study of college athletes with me, which confirms my/her theory that swimming encourages fat:

    In one study, there was a comparison done between college female swimmers and college female runners. The swimmers burned many more calories supposedly and ate only 400 calories more a day than the runner. Many times the swimmers were in negative energy balance yet their body fat was higher by a good bit than the runners.


    Caffeine as Performance Enhancer:


    Updated March 27th, 2009 at 07:54 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts