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  1. 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 ...
  2. 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
  3. 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

  4. 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
  5. "Airplane Shoes," Thursday, March 26

    by , March 26th, 2009 at 04:27 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Walked into the pool with my MF today. The MF seems to be a kid magnet.

    Had the following conversation with a few kids:

    Kid: Are those "airplane shoes"? What are you doing with airplane shoes?

    Me: No, they're shoes you use in the water.

    Kid: Why would someone wear shoes in the water?

    Me: Well, these shoes have a fin attached to help you swim faster and more like a dolphin.

    Kid: You want to be a dolphin? I thought you were a human.

    Me: People swim faster when they swim like dolphins.

    Kid: Why?

    Me: Dolphins move efficiently through the water. It's good to swim butterfly that way.

    Kid: I thought you wanted to be a dolphin, not a butterfly.

    Me: OK, gotta go swim with my airplane shoes now.



    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    Aerobic sets:

    10 x 50 backstroke w/nose clip @ 1:00

    12/10 SDks per 25
    (Was using the basic Speedo nose clip. Felt like it was going to fall off all the time. I like the silicon ones better.)

    10 x 50 @ 1:00

    1st 25: fly @ 100 pace
    2nd 25: easy

    50 EZ

    Speed Sets:

    5 x (50 AFAP dolphin kick on back w/MF + 50 EZ) @ 2:30

    Went: 23, 22, 22.5, 22, 22.5-23

    Seems a bit faster with the nose clip, as I can stay under slightly longer. Have to slow down a touch and stop a couple inches before the wall at the finish. I'm traveling so fast, I'm worried I'll jam my fingers on the wall otherwise.

    100 EZ

    8 x (25 AFAP + 25 easy)

    odds: 4 AFAP free, 4 AFAP backstroke kick (alternated them)
    evens: easy

    200 C/D

    Total: 3000

    Had planned to do a 500 fartlek dolphin kick, but ran out of time. May do that tomorrow.


    Weight questions:

    1. Are lat pulldowns duplicative of pull ups? Do you need to do both?

    2. Does it really matter whether you're using a wide or narrow grip on pull ups and chin ups? I guess the wide grip works the lats more?

    3. The rack pulls Jazz was doing the other day are very similar to deadlifts. Do they hit the upper back more? Is it a good thing to do both exercises or alternate them?


    I'm pretty sore and tired from the weights and swim workouts. Really really glad I didn't opt to swim the 50 free at Sectionals this weekend. I'll be content to watch evilstroke.
    Swim Workouts
  6. 5 x 5 pull ups! Wed., March 25

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

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

    15 minutes of stretching

    AM Mini-run:

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

    PM Weights:

    Increased weight ... prepared to be sore tomorrow!

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

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

    2 x 15 push ups
    5 x 5 pullups

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

    10 minutes of stretching


    Pull ups:

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

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

    Looks rather hazardous on the joints?

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



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

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

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

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

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

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Running , Spinning
  7. Hard Workout, Dead, Tuesday, Mar. 24

    by , March 24th, 2009 at 04:26 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Was sore after weights as expected, but not horrifically so. Did a longish workout today, actually did the most yards I've ever done at one practice ... Was focused on getting certain sets in and didn't realize it added up to so much ... I think all the kicking and SDK work will make me later for sure. Kicking can be very exhausting.


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    3 x 100 single arm fly @ 1:45

    Hypoxic Backstroke:

    10 x 50 backstroke w/nose clip @ 1:00
    1st 25 = 12 SDKs, 2nd 25 = 10 SDKs

    50 EZ

    Ouchie Tall Paul Set w/ Added Pull Outs:

    4 x 100 @ 3:00, done as:

    1st 25: power dolphin kick on belly to 15 meters, cruise to wall, 10 seconds of all out flutter kicking on wall, then right into ...

    2nd 25: backstroke start, power dolphin kick to 15 or so, cruise to wall

    3rd 25: V sit scull (this is the hardest scull, it recruits the core and really uses the forearm and hands)

    4th 25: power dolphin kick on belly to 15 meters, cruise in and then do 15 pull outs on the wall

    (Power kick = fast)

    100 EZ

    Aerobic Kick-Based Sets:

    6 x 75 speed play backstroke w/nose clip @ 1:30

    1-2: 50 cruise, 25 fast, SDK pattern: 9/9/11
    3-4: 25 cruise, 25 fast, 25 cruise, SDK pattern: 9/11/8
    5-6: 25 fast, 50 cruise, SDK pattern: 12/9/9

    100 EZ

    5 x 150 @ 3:00, done as:

    75 easy speed fly + 75 easy
    9 SDKs each length of fly + 5 strokes to the wall

    Trying to break out of my only 25 fly mode with this set.

    50 EZ

    Endurance Dolphin Kick Mountain w/MF & board:

    1 x 50 @ :45
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 150 @ 2:15
    1 x 200 @ 3:00
    1 x 300 (on back)
    1 x 200 @ 3:00
    1 x 150 @ 2:15
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 50 @ :45

    (Kinda bonked in the middle of this.)

    200 C/D

    Total: 4900


    Explosive Lifting:

    Had a chat with a very fast sprinter friend, who unfortunately doesn't read or comment on blogs much. His sprinting has been improving recently. In fact, he just went faster in a non-LZR 50 than he did in a LZR 50. (Jimby take note.) I asked what he had been doing differently. He had been doing the doggie paddle drill fast with fins to build hand speed. But he also had been doing "explosive lifting." He explained that he would do a regular set or two, then drop the weight by 1/3 and lift very quickly. I guess this is referred to as rep speed?

    This seemed to open a whole new can of lifting worms to me ... Anyone tried this or think it's effective? On a quick google, there looked like there was a ton of info on this topic.


    B70 Good Through 2010?

    B70 says it has passed Phase I testing, including a buoyancy test. So the suits should be good throughout 2010 as well as the rest of this year. They may have to make adjustments in phase II in 2011. This will no doubt put a damper on Jimby's pending psychological study on despair & disappointment.

    Updated March 24th, 2009 at 09:40 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  8. Sun. & Mon. March 22-23

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

    5 mile trail run


    AM weights:

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

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

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

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

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

    PM Swim in SCM Gym Pool:

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

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Hypoxic/Aerobic Sets:

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

    50 EZ

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

    200 C/D

    Total: 2750 meters


    Post Meet Thoughts:

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

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

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


    Sprinter Periodization Cycles:

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

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

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



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


    NAG Record:

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

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

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Running
  9. Albatross Results, March 21

    by , March 22nd, 2009 at 10:30 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Made it out to MAC for the annual Albatross SCM meet. I love this meet because it's local and in the afternoon. As Chris and Onefish noted, the water was a bit too warm. Swam two events, don't have official times or splits yet. Felt pretty good during warm up. My legs felt heavy/tight though. This just confirms my thought that the legs need a LOT of rest/tapering to be really ready to go fast. A mini taper is good, but just not enough rest.

    Edit: Put in splits

    100 fly SCM, 1:09.80

    As usual, thoughts of scratching filtered into my head. The 100 fly in meters is just so painful for me. Thankfully, it was the first event, so I didn't have to sit around for hours dwelling on it. I promised myself I could retire this event for 2009 if I swam it. Probably will do just that!

    Anyway, went 1:09.8. Previous best was 1:12.1 from the Albatross meet the year before. I hoped to improve my time since I had not swum the event in a year, but not by this much with only a mini-taper. Very happy with the time. As usual, I died on the last 25, but a 4.2 second difference per 50 in fly in meters is not that bad for me. Chris suggested that as I continue to swim more, this may be less of a problem. I certainly don't see any evidence of that! I think I'd have to do more than 25s and 50s in practice. I haven't even done many 50s lately.

    I did count my SDKs. I had planned or estimated that I would use a 9-7-7-7 pattern. I ended up using a 9-7-7 & 5-6ish pattern. I didn't push deep enough off my third turn, popped up prematurely, and had an awkward breakout.

    My prior time was swum in a Pro and done before I started lifting heavy. Jimby is already yanking my chain and saying the 2.3 second improvement is all B70 assist. lol Maybe so, but I'll take the time! Speedster Michelina totally made my day by telling me my fly was pretty.

    100 back SCM, 1:10.94

    Since I was bumped out of the Chris-Clay heat, I had a nice race with Lisa Van Pelt-Diller. I decided to use Jimby's strategy for racing the 100 free that he had posted on the discussion forum. I may have taken it out a bit too easy on the first 50, but it's hard to tell as I have no idea what my splits were. The strategy seemed to work well and it was slightly less painful.

    Edit: Got my splits. Yes, out too easy on the first 50. With my start, this race is effectively an even split for me. However, I really enjoyed swimming it this way and powering home the last 25.

    It was a fun race. I would pull ahead of Lisa on the start/underwaters and she would catch me on the surface. I tried to speed into the final turn and then really pick up the turnover. Had a good last 25, and beat her by about .8 or so maybe. I didn't take that many SDKs off my turns. No idea how many, as I was too busy racin' to count. (I did do 12 on the start.) But the fact that the ones I did were effective suggests to me that I should do more. Need to work on the nose clip angle. I was told I was "looking" too much.

    This was a PB as well. My previous best was a 1:11.7 last June in a B70 with a mini taper. So conditions were pretty equivalent. I swam the 1:11.7 at U of Md, which is a faster pool.

    On a funny note, someone (can't remember who now) told me my race with Lisa was very similar to Chris' race with Clay.

    Had to dash off without any warm down after the 100 back. Made it to my kid's meet with 15 minutes to spare in time to see her swim 2 PBs at finals. So a good swim day for the fam!

    Updated March 22nd, 2009 at 11:37 AM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  10. Friday, March 20

    by , March 20th, 2009 at 06:09 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Just a quick swim today:

    700 warm up

    8 x 25, alternate backstroke shooter with nose clip and easy

    50 easy

    Backstroke start, lost nose clip, couldn't find it on bottom of pool, not going to use it tomorrow

    10 x 25, alternate easy speed fly and easy

    50 easy

    4 x 25, alternate build free and easy

    4 x 25, alternate AFAP free and easy

    100 easy

    Total: 1600

    Felt crappy in the water today. Could be the effect of the unintended five day mini taper instead of the planned three day mini taper. Or maybe it's just the stressful week with kids with the flu and a hugely jam packed weekend, including JOs.

    Will just swim the 100 fly and 100 back tomorrow. 100 back starts at 4:55 and I have to be at finals at 6:15. On a happy note, Mini-Fort who has struggled as a 13-14, made her sectional/quad A cut in the evilstroke this am. So there is happiness instead of teenage angst.

    Hoping for a decent nights sleep.
  11. Thursday, March 19

    by , March 19th, 2009 at 03:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    750 variety warm up


    6 x 50 easy speed backstroke w/nose clip @ 1:15

    50 EZ

    4 backstroke starts
    first 2, lost nose clip (fortunately it's day glow orange, so I could spot it on the bottom of the pool)
    second 2, tightened nose clip and it stayed on,
    can't decide whether to try it this weekend. Leaning toward doing so.

    6 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 easy)

    50 EZ

    3 x (4 x 25)
    #1 AFAP free
    #2 easy
    #3 backstroke shooter
    #4 easy

    50 EZ

    50 backstroke w/fins AFAP (25.5ish)

    200 C/D

    Total: 2050

    B70 Quote of the Day:

    Paul Smith: "[T]he new suit technologies allow swimmers to swim extremally fast unrested...and to not always have a dramatic drop in times when they are rested."

    This belief is at odds with Jimby's analysis. :P


    Happily, I will avoid turbulence in my 100 back this weekend. Got bumped out of the last heat of the 100 back. Will probably wear my nose clip for the first time in this race. I am slightly worried about thinking more about my nose clip than the race ... Fortunately, since Chris is in my lane in the next heat, he probably won't be snapping photos.

    Allen and Bill posted this USMS seeding guideline on the forum:

    102.10.1 Seeding Principles for Masters Competition

    A All short course meters events, long course meters events and national
    championships shall be conducted on a timed-final basis. Other short
    course yards events may be conducted on a timed-final basis or other
    basis (e.g., trials/finals). In a trials/finals format, competitors shall be
    limited to three individual events per day.

    B Age groups, genders and events of the same distance 200 yards or longer
    may be combined so that no swimmer has to swim alone and lanes may
    be filled.

    C It is recommended that when swimmers are seeded by time and not by
    age groups, the fastest two swimmers in each age group should not be
    seeded into outside lanes. It is recommended that they be moved inward
    one lane or given the center lanes in the next slowest heat, whichever
    is the more appropriate placement.

    D Seeding at meets other than national championship meets may be either
    fast-to-slow or slow-to-fast. Seeding may differ for sprint and distance
    events (events 400 yards or longer) within a meet. Women’s and men’s
    heats may be alternated in the distance events. The meet information
    shall state the seeding for all events.

    E Heat and lane assignments for events of 200 meters or less shall be
    available to all competitors at least five minutes prior to the start of the

    I think this would be helpful for women in mixed gender meets. While some women don't seem to mind the turbulence, I know that myself and others would sometimes prefer not to swim in a heat with all men, especially if we're in a wall lane. In an excellent facility, it might not make much difference. (I swam the 50 fly at Auburn with all boys in lane 8. I noticed very little turbulence.) But, otherwise, it's not ideal. It's just not that fun for someone my size to swim next to someone the size of Hulk or Paul Smith or Ande. You'll get wave action, whether the guy is fast or slow.

    I sent this along to our PV registrar guru, who is extremely diligent, dedicated and helpful.


    Counting SDKs in Races:

    Ande asked me how many SDKs I was going to take in my 100 fly and 100 back this weekend. I had to confess I usually don't count SDKs or strokes when I'm racing. And now I am exposed as a rank amateur ... I think I take quite a few in the 100 fly -- perhaps 9-7-7-7 or more. I may try to count this weekend. As to backstroke, I know I take 10-12 on the start. I haven't SDK'd much on turns lately. Hopefully, I will do more with the nose clip. I no longer dread doing SDK shooters in practice with the nose clip.

    Random Thoughts:

    1. Is eating after practice as important when you're only doing 2000? Surely you can eat less?

    2. Does any master ever go into a meet feeling 100% -- no lingering illnesses or injuries, no little aches and pains, well rested, etc.?

    (Personally, I am feeling very fortunate to be showing no symptoms of full blown flu. Knock on wood.)

    Updated March 19th, 2009 at 06:35 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  12. Tues & Wed. Swims, Mar.18-19

    by , March 18th, 2009 at 03:52 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Tuesday, SCY, solo:

    Warm up:

    800 variety warm up

    Hypoxic backstroke set:

    10 x 50 @ 1:00 w/nose clip

    50 EZ

    Speed set:

    10 x 25, alternate easy speed fly/easy
    10 x 25, UW shooters, 4 belly, 6 back
    10 x 25, alternate AFAP free/easy

    150 C/D

    Total: 2250


    Wednesday, SCY/Solo:

    Warm up:

    800 variety warm up

    Hypoxic Backstroke set:

    10 x 50 @ 1:00 w/nose clip

    100 EZ

    Speed sets:

    6 x (6 x 25), done as:
    #1-2, UW backstroke shooter + easy
    #3-4, easy speed fly + easy
    #5-6, AFAP free + easy

    100 EZ

    Total: 2400


    Mike Bottom on Tapering Sprinters:

    Apparently, really hairy sprinters with big personalities need a lot of tapering. lol


    Anonymous Quote re: B70:

    Got this in a PM: "The suit has a much smaller effect for someone your size."


    Curse of the Wall Lane:

    Chris brought my attention to the Albatross psych sheet this am. As per usual, I'm in wall lanes for 2 out of 3 events, continuing my curse. I was also in wall lanes for 2 of my 3 seeded events at Rutgers (I scratched one). And I was in 2 out of 6 wall lanes at Auburn. Pretty darn high percentage!

    I'm only swimming the 100 fly/100 back/50 fly at Albatross. I thought I had signed up for 50 back, but I signed up for 50 free. I told Jeff Roddin I was scratching that event, as I have to leave the meet early. I may do a split request for a 50 in my 100 back. Not thrilled, to say the least, to be in the same heat as Chris and Clay in the diving well lane, so I may opt to minimize damage. This strategy may also prevent Chris from hopping out after crushing me and taking a nose clip photo.

    I'm not feeling so hot. Achey, sore and no energy the last couple days. Hoping it doesn't get worse.

    Updated March 18th, 2009 at 04:03 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  13. B70 Assist Analysis & Data

    by , March 17th, 2009 at 10:48 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Had two kids home with the flu yesterday, so didn't get a chance to workout. Will swim later today.

    I did, however, get a chance to compile the data to answer Jim's challenge on the "Ban the Tech Suit" thread. He has claimed/posted that much (not all) of my recent improvement is due to B70 use. I looked at events that I had swum 3+ times since 2006 or so. After looking at the times, I don't feel like I'm getting a "huge" assist from my B70s, though the suit definitely helps you swim fast(er) unrested. (Technically, I'm never completely unrested for meets, as I usually do a 3 day very mini taper.) There were only 4 of the 13 events where I had what I consider significant time drops after using a B70 (indicated with a * below) -- and in each race it was a brand new B70 suit. These events, swum at the IGLA meet last June (and one in Auburn after a 10 month hiatus), have other confounding factors that could account for the drops, although I concede the B70 accounts for a portion of the drop: (1) there was a 6 month time gap between the SCM swims; (2) I switched from an old recordbreaker Pro (6 meets + use) to a new B70; (3) I had just started lifting "heavy" to be "non-weak" and was about 5 weeks into this effort, and (4) I only swam 3 events at the IGLA meet instead of the 7 events I swam at NE Champs the preceding December. I think these 4 factors weight heavily in the analysis. Plus, Hulk said I looked much stronger in the water at IGLA. With respect to the 100 IM, I had been lifting heavy for almost 10 months before dropping significant time at Auburn last month. Plus, I've just been training more in the last 10 months.

    In any event, here is the time progression. It is mostly linear. I feel like my biggest drops were during serious (2 week) tapers, particularly at Austin in 2008 and Auburn in 2009 where I swam in very fast pools. I think fast pools make a difference. In Auburn, moreover, my drops were from previous B70 swims. I've tried to indicate meets that I did a 2 week taper for with a "T" below. However, I'm a little foggy on this as my first couple years I didn't really taper, just sort of rested up a bit a swam. I've also indicted which suit I was wearing, where I remember. I used an FSI and FSII fairly interchangeably for a period of time. If I can't remember which one I was wearing, I just wrote FS. Recordbreaker Pros are listed as R-Pro; Hi Neck Pro is listed as H-Pro. Times are listed in chronological order, of course.

    In the final analysis, it appears that unrested B70 swims are largely comparable to tapered non-B70 swims, but not always. Of course, this is significant. Without this factor, I would likely not have had a linear progression of times. But is not comparable to a claim that the B70 takes "huge chunks" of time off and gives you automatic lifetime bests. My sense (I recall Ande and Patrick agreed) is that the B70 helps more on longer events than sprints. Perhaps the buoyancy which helps counter fatigue is more significant in longer races. My fastest times, at least in SCY, were just done this Feb. after changing my taper. I had used a B70 in previous races, so don't feel that the improvements can be attributed to the B70.

    Any other analysis or commentary is welcome.

    Backstroke Events:

    50 Back SCY:

    31.17 (poly tank)(10/05)
    30.25 (FS II)(4/06)
    29.92 (FS II (Nats)(5/06)
    30.45 (FS II)(10/06)
    30.15 (FS II)(4/07)
    29.80 (R-Pro)(11/07)
    29.55 (H-Pro)(4/08)
    29.34 (H-Pro, Nats)(T)(5/08)
    29.16 (B70)(9/08)
    28.5 (B70)(T)(2/09)

    B70 Assist: less than .2

    100 Back SCY:

    1:06.5 (FS II, Nats)(5/06)
    2 year gap
    1:04.7 (H-Pro)(T)(5/08)
    1:04.7 (B70)(9/08)(Geek 9/27!)
    1:02.8 (B70)(T)(2/08)

    B70 Assist: No difference

    50 Back SCM:

    33.8 (FS II)(4/06)
    33.2 (R-Pro)(T)(12/07)
    31.7 (B70)(6/08)*

    B70 Assist, with caveats noted above: 1.5 seconds

    100 Back, SCM:

    1:15.1 (FS II)(4/06)
    1:13.9 (R-Pro)(T)(12/07)
    1:14.1 (R-Pro)(4/07)
    1:11.7 (B70)(6/08)*

    B70 Assist with caveats noted above, 2.4 seconds

    50 Back, LCM:

    34.88 (FS II)(8/06)(bad finish)(Worlds)
    34.80 (FS II)(7/06)
    34.17 (FS II)(7/07)
    33.48 (R-Pro)(T)(8/07)
    33.40 (B70)(T)(8/08)
    (Slipped on start. There is a funny video of me letting an f bomb go after this race. I'll try to post it.)

    B70 Assist: .08 second

    100 Back, LCM:

    1:17.0 (FS II)(8/06)(Worlds)
    1:14.1 (R-Pro)(T)(8/07)
    1:13.4 (B70)(7/08)

    B70 Assist: .7 second, 1 year later, same pool.

    Fly Events:

    50 fly, SCY:

    29.8 (poly tank)(10/05)
    29.5 (FS)(4/06)
    28.8 (FS II)(5/06)(Nats)
    29.3 (FS)(10/06)
    28.8 (FS)(4/07)
    28.8 (FS II)(10/07)
    28.4 (R-Pro)(4/08)
    27.6 (H-Pro)(T)(5/08)
    27.5 (B70)(9/08)
    27.3 (B70)(10/08)
    27.2 (B70)(T)(2/09)

    Side note: This progression definitely shows that my fly has improved relatively more than other strokes and possibly benefits more from heavy lifting.

    B70 assist: .1 second

    100 fly SCY:

    1:05.1 (R-Pro)(11/07)
    1:05.5 (R-Pro)(4/08)
    1:04.2 (H-Pro)(T)(10/08)
    1:04.5 (B70)(10/08)
    1:01.3 (B70)(T)(2/09)

    B70 Assist: None, went .3 slower with B70

    50 fly SCM:

    31.88 (FS II)(12/06)(only 1 event this day)
    32.6 (FS II)(3/07)
    31.37 (R-Pro)(T)(12/07)
    31.48 (R-Pro)(3/08)
    30.76 (B70)(6/08)*
    29.99 (B70)(some T)(12/08)

    B70 Assist: .6 second

    50 fly, LCM:

    32.24 (FS)(8/06)(Worlds)
    33.20 (FS II)(7/06)
    31.61 (R-Pro)(T)((7/07)
    31.71 (R-Pro)(8/07)
    31.13 (B70)(T)(8/08)

    B70 Assist: .58 (but this B70 assist came when I was tapered, not unrested)

    50 free, SCY:

    26.72 (poly tank)(10/05)
    26.35 (FS)(4/06)
    26.30 (FS)(10/06)
    25.57 (FS I)(4/07)
    26.58 (FS II)(4/08)
    25.99 (H-Pro)(T)(5/08)
    25.51 (B70)(10/08)
    24.97 (B70)(T)(2/09)

    B70 Assist: None, swam the same 25.5 in an FS I.

    50 free, SCM:

    29.2 (FS II)(3/07)
    28.7 (R-Pro)(T)(12/07)
    29.2 (R-Pro)(3/08)
    28.5 (B70)(12/08)

    B70 Assist: .2 seconds, one year later and in a faster pool.

    50 free, LCM:

    29.87 (FS)(7/06)
    29.71 (FS)(8/06)(Worlds)
    29.76 (FS)(T)(7/07)
    29.2 (R-Pro)(T)(8/07)
    29.3 (B70)(7/08)

    B70 Assist: None, faster in Pro.

    100 IM, SCY:

    1:08.6 (poly tank)(first race as master)(10/05)
    1:07.1 (FS)(4/06)
    1:07.7 (FS)(5/06)
    1:07.8 (FS)(10/06)
    1:07.5 (FS II tank)(4/07)
    1:07.0 (R-Pro)(10/07)
    1:06.8 (H-Pro)(5/08)
    1:04.1 (B70)(2/09)*

    I was stuck on 1:07 forever in this event ... made me dislike it. There's really been no improvement per se in the evilstroke leg. Splits are always 6-7 seconds apart, usually the latter.

    B70 Assist: Big drop here, 2.7 seconds, but it was after a 10 month hiatus in the event and after lifting heavy for 10 months)

    Updated March 17th, 2009 at 05:41 PM by The Fortress

  14. GMU Implodes

    by , March 15th, 2009 at 07:21 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Yikes! Was hoping to go to a "normal" masters workout on Sunday. But the plumbing went haywire at GMU last night. They had to cancel Senior Champs and our masters practice. The plumbing backed up and, er, flooded everywhere. I imagine suit disintegration will be in full force when they're done shocking the pool ...

    So, had to do another sprinty type practice. Perfectly fine, as I have a meet in 6 days. My shoulder was a little iffy from weights and tossing and turning last night, so I wore fins.

    SCY, solo:

    Warm up:

    800 variety warm up

    Aerobic Set:

    20 x 50 @ 1:00

    odds, easy speed backstroke working SDks w/nose clip, 1st 25 = 12 dolphin kicks, 2nd 25 = 10 or so.

    evens, tempo dolphin kick w/board

    Thought: SDKs are way easier w/the nose clip. There was little perceived effort in these 50s, yet I was coming in on 29.5-30. The only effort was holding my breath. If I really want to make progress in this area, I need to get more serious about CO2 tolerance at practice. I've been shirking it in backstroke for many months.

    50 EZ

    Speed sets:

    6 x 100 free @ 2:00

    #1 25 fast, 75 cruise
    #2 50 cruise, 25 fast, 25 cruise
    #3 25 cruise, 25 fast, 50 cruise
    #4 75 cruise, 25 fast
    #5 fast (:55ish)
    #6 easy

    This is harder than you might think. It's rather exhausting to switch gears mid swim than just doing a fast 25.

    100 EZ

    3 x (50 AFAP backstroke from push w/nose clip + 200 EZ)

    #1 went 25-25.5ish
    #2 went 26ish, trying to use hands/arms a bit
    #3 went 25.5ish trying to snap knees more on the SDK

    Moral of the story: Don't think, just swim. Or, possibly, the first one in an AFAP set may be the fastest.

    Total: 3300


    Random Thoughts:

    1. Was thinking about sports injuries a bit today. In general (many exceptions), it seems like women tend to get injuries from the waist up and men tend to get them from the waist down. Maybe cuz women are typically bigger on bottom and men are typically bigger on top?

    2. Was thinking that women should commence wearing briefs or jammers under their B70s like men. This would protect against embarassing suit malfunctions. It would also give women the benefit of something men who do this have had for a long time: increased compression through the butt/hip/thigh area. However, this thought is now wasted as FINA just rule that only one suit will be allowed, effective immediately. I wonder if masters who aren't aware of FINA ruling will nonetheless carry on with this? What happens if someone is wearing illegal suits at a masters meet?

    3. Who benefits the most from weights, a skinny swimmer or a mesomorphic swimmer?

    4. Had some oatmeal today, at Jazz's suggestion. I realize She Puff does this on a daily basis. It wasn't too bad. Seemed to have more staying power than my usual breakfast.


    Ugh. Fort Son has the flu ... If Mini-Fort catches it before her meet this weekend, I'll have to move out it will be so ugly in the house ...

    Updated March 15th, 2009 at 11:35 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  15. Double, Sat., March 14

    by , March 14th, 2009 at 05:52 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    After ditzing around & getting pounded on for 2 days, I finally got a decent double in. It actually felt like awhile since I had lifted. lol

    AM Weights/Core:

    standing lat pull down, 130 x 2 x 10
    bench press, 80 x 2 x 12
    narrow grip seated row, 110 x 2 x 10
    (think I'm using my back to much in this, so reduced weight a bit. probably should watch a video to make sure.)

    double crunch w/med ball, 2 x 25
    russian twist w/med ball, 2 x 50
    dead bug on bosu, 2 x 25
    V ups w/ med ball, 2 x 15
    (McTrusty is right -- these are fun!)
    double crunch on bench w/feet holding 10 lb weight, 2 x 25
    (adding weight makes these harder and it's harder to balance on the bench than the floor)

    10 chin ups
    2 x 5 pull ups

    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
    seated straight arm dip for RC, 60 x 2 x 25

    PM Swim:

    Went to the local rec center. Knew it would be crowded on a Sat afternoon. It was, but I somehow managed to have my own lane for the fly set.

    Warm up:

    850 variety warm up of swim, kick, drills


    10 x 75 @ 1:20, backstroke w/nose clip
    moderate pace, working on SDKs w/clip

    50 EZ

    15 x 50 @ 1:00
    25 easy speed fly, 25 easy DAB

    50 EZ

    3 x through:
    (Geekity set)

    2 x 25, 12.5 fast, 12.5 cruise
    50 EZ
    2 x 25 AFAP
    100 EZ

    150 EZ

    Total: 3000


    Hip feels better today. But no fast kicking/kick sets () and no deadlifts. I'm not used to swimming for a whole workout! Felt weird.
  16. Friday the 13th

    by , March 13th, 2009 at 06:43 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Blech, bad day. Woke up feeling sore from deep tissue massage and then my chiro beat me up some more. No fast kicking and no lower body work (run, elliptical, weights, etc) is now advised, though not mandated, for a bit. That leaves so much else ... lol My back is now adorned with bright blue kinesio tape. Guess I'll be more rested for my meet next weekend than I thought ... I had only contemplated a 3 day mini-taper ... Still, better now than at another time, I guess. Hoping to feel better tomorrow after all the body work.

    Was going to get a quick swim in, but decided to bag it until tomorrow in a rare fit of lack of motivation and bad mood-itis. This fit was initially brought on (aside from the soreness) by my kid. What 14 year old misses her heat of the 400 IM at Senior Champs? Yeesh! And I got up early for that ... Rest of the day was likewise frustrating, and I was stuck at the house for much of it. On the upside, I did purchase 3 new nose clips and hope that I can keep them more than 3 days.


    Other News:

    EC Matrix:

    I'm told this is a hot new supplement in sports medicine. It's a mechanism-specific formula designed to help maintain/reduce inflammation in the ligaments. It's apparently not like ibuprofen, which can impair secondary healing. Supposed to be superior to protrypsin or glucosamine.


    A couple weeks ago I posted an article from the NYT lauding plasma regeneration therapy as a new breakthrough in sports medicine. (That's the procedure I used for my labral tearing.) My chiro told me today that, since the article was published, my PRP/pain doc has been swamped and can't keep up with all the new clients. The orthos are apparently up in arms about it, as they feel their business is threatened. This is a bit hard to see as aging baby boomers continue taking up endurance sports though ...

    B70 Ban?:

    Mentioned this on a forum thread, but when I was in the local swim shop today, the owner told me unequivocally that the B70 would be banned "in May" and "flunked" the buoyancy test. This is news to me. I thought nothing would happen until 2010. Hoping I at least get some further use out of my new suit. I suspect there may be modifications forthcoming in future generations of B70s.

    I saw many LZRs and some B70s at Senior Champs today. My kid isn't swimming at finals tonight (scratched) as she's resting for a meet next week, but I'm now getting frequent text updates on how many of her friends have LZRs. The arms race is in full swing!

    Split Request

    Got confirmation today that my split request for the 100 back from Auburn was sent to the top ten recorder for southeastern masters.

    Updated March 13th, 2009 at 07:58 PM by The Fortress

  17. Thursday, March 12

    by , March 12th, 2009 at 03:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    No real workouts today. Had a deep tissue massage booked. Um, boy, did I need it! I was sore and tight everywhere. Massage therapist, like the chiro, didn't think my hip was really "injured" (no pulling, tearing, etc). Just thought I had over stretched/over contracted it and it was spasming some. Unfortunately, absent the complete rest Jimby was talking about, it could take awhile to resolve. I'll just stay away from lunges and maybe limit the fast kicking for a bit. On a funny note, she also asked how I can even run with my loose floppy ankles. lol (One other tidbit: If you're rehabbing an injured area, best to use a massage-chiro sequence rather than the other way around.)

    Afterward, swam an easy 1500 and sat in the hot tub.

    Tomorrow, I'll lift and do the workout Geek posted this am. Looked like a very nice and enjoyable speed workout.


    Here's something to chew on:



    1. When you're writing down your weight workout, does the amount of the weight come first?

    2. Is anyone doing plyometrics? If so, which exercises?

    3. Anyone have any other recommendations for good core exercises for variety? Anyone doing a wood chopper on the med ball? (That will make Jazz grind his teeth, I'm sure.)

    4. If you do pushups with a weight on your back, is this putting more of a load on your shoulders or your torso/back?

    5. Is anyone using resistance bands like Ande? Anyone have an opinion on them?

    6. How often are we supposed to use the foam roller? Every other day?

    Updated March 12th, 2009 at 03:27 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  18. Wednesday, Mar. 11

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

    Warm up:

    750 variety warm up

    Main sets:

    5 x 100 @ 1:45, single arm fly drill

    50 EZ

    8 x 75 kick w/MF, done as:
    25 AFAP belly shooter + 10 seconds rest + 50 tempo dolphin kick (odds on back, evens w/board
    (no real interval for the 75s)

    100 EZ

    5 x (4 x 50) @ 1:00

    #1 easy swim
    #2 easy kick
    #3 whatever I felt like
    #4 AFAP backstroke w/fins

    Went 26.5ish on the backstrokes. Choked on the 4th AFAP one big time. Had to take an extra 1:00 before starting the last 4 50s. Didn't beat myself up or feel the need to wear a hair shirt.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3100

    Not much yardage, but I got some fast 25s and 50s in.

    5 minutes hot tub



    1. Does it make that much difference in strength gain if you're an ADD lifter or a methodical lifter following a plan like Lezak's?

    2. Does anyone notice elbow or wrist pain when doing push ups? (I didn't yesterday as I didn't do that many, just asking.)

    3. Jazz thinks my Cavic fly exercise is "silly." lol. Not sure. Maybe it would be more beneficial if it was done on a machine like Cavic used at The Race Club. I recall that Dara Torres was doing a similar exercise on the yoga ball, except that it was freestyle specific. She would hold a 10 pound circular weight in each hand and simulate swimming freestyle while balancing her torso on the yoga ball. I tried this once a long time ago -- it was NOT easy. Mini-Fort saw me doing the Cavic exercise and thought it was cool, so she's tried it. She's under the impression that is it "helping" her fly. I think in her case it's pure placebo.

    4. Ahelee mentioned she knew of no elite masters yet who were doing Cross Fit training. I seem to recall Tall Paul telling me they were incorporating Cross Fit type exercises at The Race Club. Of course, its application to masters is much more problematic because of our propensity to injury and relative fragility. The Smiths are experimenting. Need to ask exactly what exercises they're doing!

    5. Anyone glance at the nutrition article on the Cross Fit website? The diet looks very Zone Plan-ish and low carb. I just don't think I could follow a diet like that. May account for how cut the chicks look though.



    Saw this article in an email from USMS:

    I've been a horrible sleeper since I turned 40, so I definitely agree with the point about our capacity for effective sleep diminishing. However, Mr. Miller then says the solution to this is more "restorative" sleep. Huh? How exactly does this happen if you can't sleep soundly and effectively? Maybe Chris can ask him to clarify this superficial analysis!

    Updated March 11th, 2009 at 06:02 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  19. Core + Run, Tuesday, Mar. 10

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

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

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

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


    5 mile trial run

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



    Saw my chiro today. Grilled him the whole time.

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

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

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

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

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


    Cross Fit:

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

    Here's one:

    5 x through:

    20 pull ups
    30 push ups
    40 sit ups
    50 squats

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

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

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

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

    200 IMs for time, done as:

    3 x through:

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

    (didn't indicate an interval)

    For Jazz:

    This is what Cross Fit says about squatting:

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

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

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

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

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


    Next meet: Albatross Open

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

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

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Running
  20. 2 Quickies + FINA

    by , March 9th, 2009 at 04:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Two quick workouts today thanks to the fact that our county elementary schools always close early on Monday. Hate that.


    standing lat press, 130 x 2 x 10
    narrow grip seated row, 120 x 2 x 10
    bench press, 80 x 2 x 12
    tricep press, 75 x 2 x 15 (I'm sure the weight was wrong on this cable machine)
    incline crunches, 2 x 25
    dead bug on bosu, 2 x 25
    quick stretch

    Swim, SCY, Solo:

    750 variety warm up
    4 x 25 build free

    10 x (25 AFAP w/fins + 25 easy) @ 2:00

    200 C/D

    Since I had so little time to swim today, I remembered Rich Abrahams posting that "sometimes it's fine to just step up and do 10 x 25 all out." Ideally, to optimize the speed element, I think these would be done on 3:00 with more recovery swimming in between. I've seen Jonathan Miller recommend that as well.

    Total: 1550

    5 minutes hot tub for hip


    Further thought on weights:

    I re-read the article Hulk posted earlier from on not bulking up. I noticed that there is quite a few caveats in this. Apart from genetic capacity to build muscle (which, like She Puff, I seem to have), to prevent hypertrophy, you've got to watch the calorie intake and keep the volume of sets low. Based on this and my recent fatigue level, I think Q is right that I should do fewer sets in the gym each time. Unclear whether you should always do the same exercise or mix it up ... Also, I think running would help prevent bulk.

    As to the fatigue, however, I've decided I have some low grade bug. I've been slightly nauseous and overly fatigued for about 4 days now. So I don't think it's the training, especially as I cut back last week and took an extra rest day.


    Comic Note:

    On a lighter note, when I complained about my hip issue to Fort Son last night, he said "take an ice bath." He has done this during cross country season. Decided to give it a try. Holy crap!!!!! That is difficult. I couldn't stay in it for 10 minutes at all. I did 2 x 5 min. and was bright red! Still, my hip felt markedly better later in the evening and today. Have a chiro appt. tomorrow.


    FINA Rankings:

    I saw Ian Smith posted the link for 2008 Top Ten FINA Rankings.
    [ame=""]2009 FINA Rankings - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]

    I did better than 2007, except in the 50 free. I was really pleased as I only did mini-tapers for my SCM swims and was really sick before LC Zones and swam very few events. This year, I'm going to try to taper more for SCM. Times in general seemed much faster this year, although I haven't looked at them very closely yet. Anyway, here's how I did:

    SCM TTs:

    #2 50 back
    #6 100 back
    #3/9 50 fly (my disallowed 29.99/official 30.76)
    #10 100 fly
    #6 100 IM
    #10 50 free

    (First time I've ever made FINA TTs in the 100 IM and 100 fly.

    LCM TTs:

    #3 50 back
    #4 100 back
    #6 50 fly

    Congrats to all forumites making the list and to fellow bloggers Chris, Ande, Patrick, Jimby and Kirk!

    Updated March 9th, 2009 at 06:25 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts