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  1. Saturday, July 11

    by , July 11th, 2009 at 06:57 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Had 2 snappy workouts today. My weights session was interrupted by seeing an old friend. Had to catch up on life and her marathon training. My swim was cut short by a "hygiene accident" at my gym pool, forcing me to drive to another pool. My 3 kids have never closed down a pool; it's so frustrating when this happens. Anyhoo, here's what I got in in "less is more" fashion (which is probably good, as I'm still dragging some).


    tricep press, 50 x 3 x 10
    seated narrow grip row, 80 x 3 x 10
    leg press, 210 x 3 x 10
    deadlift, 80 x 2 x 10
    (trying to do these in explosive fashion)
    bent over rear delt fly w/12.5 DBs, 12.5 x 3 x 10
    elevated crunches on bench w/10 lb weight held by feet, 2 x 25
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    "chops" w/stomach on bosu w/3 lb weights, 3 x 2 x 25
    seated straight arm dips for RC, 2 x 25
    3 position arm extensions, 2 x 15


    600 variety warm up

    6 x 75 (50 back w/ 10 & 8 SDKs + 25 feet first scull)

    6 x 50 single arm fly @ 1:00

    6 x 50 breast @ 1:00
    (My daughter told me I need to squeeze my elbows together at the end of the pull. Never really focused on that. Duh. Had more DPS.)

    50 EZ

    6 x 25 shooters (3 dolphin, 3 flutter)

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP free or back + 25 EZ + 25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)

    100 EZ

    Total: 2600



    Breakfast: 2 slices of Ezekial bread w/peanut butter
    Lunch: Salad w/romaine, chicken, flax seeds, tomato, avocado, currants, peppers, blueberries
    Snack: StrawnanaBerry smoothie
    Snack: G2 & balance bar after weights, endurox after swim
    Dinner: Lobster, steak, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, french bread, key lime pie


    It's less than 4 weeks out from Nats. I'm not exactly feeling as beastly as planned (tired, naggy shoulder). Haven't quite decided on when to quit weights. I notice Q said 3 weeks out on Elise's blog. I'm worried, though, that that much time off my worsen the shoulder situation. So I may taper weights during week 3 and then drop weights (but not RC) for 2 weeks.

    Updated July 11th, 2009 at 10:19 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  2. Friday, July 10

    by , July 10th, 2009 at 08:08 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    As I anticipated, I only had time for a short am swim this morning:


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill


    10 x 25 shooters @ :35

    8 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins (no time to dally!) @ 1:30

    50 EZ

    8 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ + 25 scull)

    100 EZ

    Total: 2500

    Off to do some RC exercises!


    Breakfast: oatmeal w/apple, cinnamon & brown sugar
    Post workout snack: endura, cliff bar (which apparently had oatmeal and soy in eat -- didn't taste very good!)
    Lunch: cheese & chicken burrito; smoothie w/berries, papaya etc
    Snack: peach
    Dinner: Salmon, veggies sauteed in olive oil

    Updated July 10th, 2009 at 08:21 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  3. What a b*tch, Thursday, July 9

    by , July 9th, 2009 at 10:27 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Could barely act like a "wanna-bee" triathlete today! I actually had to do some lawyering. I try to do as little of that as possible these days because I have my priorities straight, but I find I can't escape it entirely. And the whole evening was shot to hell as well. Fluck! (I checked the rules and it appears this is permitted.) All I could manage to do today was 30 minutes of spinning and eat some good food. And, despite all this good food, I still feel fatigued. Getting up early this week apparently did not agree with me, and I am going to neglect my children and remedy this situation next week. Hopefully, this won't get me in trouble with Smith By Marriage. My arms are also pretty sore. Could this be from the explosive lifting even though the weight was less?

    I did manage to buy myself a SR birthday present today though instead of the usual replacement designer sunglasses.


    Breakfast: 2 slices of Ezekial bread w/peanut butter, blueberries
    Lunch: cheese and mushroom quesadilla
    Snack: smoothie of the day, this time with blackberries, blueberries and strawberries
    Snacks: plum, honey dew melon, apple
    Dinner: gazpacho, saffron coucous with red pepper and tomato

    I brought fruit to the meet with me this time, so I wasn't forced to down another hamburger. I foisted some off on my wee child who swam to a PB in the 25 free, proving that she is not completely a one stroke wonder. Up for tomorrow: Family Day at soccer camp (Is this really necessary?!) and Swim Team Movie Day: "Ice age, Dawn of the Dinosaurs."

    I did make 2 purchases at Whole Foods today: traumeel and coconut water. I have not imbibed it yet, but I am hoping for a reaction somewhat less strong than Jimby's. In general, I'm not a huge fan of coconut. I guess it could become a smoothie ingredient.
    Moving on to the chard now.

    Updated July 9th, 2009 at 11:44 PM by The Fortress

  4. Assorted BS, Wednesday, July 8

    by , July 8th, 2009 at 10:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    HS hi row, 140 x 3 x 10
    rear delt fly, 55 x 3 x 10
    HS bench press, 20 x 1 x 8, 60 x 2 x 8
    tricep press, 45 x 3 x 10
    box jumps w/hands on bench, 1 x 1:00
    dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
    back extensions w/10 lb weight, 2 x 25
    windshield wipers w/10 lb DBs, 3 x 10
    incline crunches w/10 lb weight, 2 x 25
    seated straight arm dips for RC, 60 x 2 x 25
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25
    internal & external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm


    Very short workout at the summer league pool before heading off the Divisional Relays.

    Warm up

    700 variety swim, kick, drill


    6 x 50 @ 1:15
    3 fly-back, 3 breast-free

    (Side note: My backstroke has felt appalling lately. I blame it on too much freestyle, the root of all evil. My coach did the mock shock thing when I walked in for the third consecutive Tuesday freestyle night. I had to reassure her that, no, I would not be going postal with some of my teammates on Sunday.)

    10 x 25 shooters
    odds, belly
    evens, backstroke (how on earth do the kids do backstroke in these 4 foot deep pools?!)

    10 x 25 easy speed fly

    50 EZ

    5 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)

    100 EZ

    Total: 1850 meters


    Assorted Ramblings:

    My shoulder is bothering me some again. I'm reasonably sure it's the damn planks I did yesterday. Smith will be relieved to know that I'm eliminating the wretched things from my dryland regimen, even though they're great for the core. I looked around for the ab roller today, but couldn't find it. I think that's a pretty good substitute exercise, and will switch to that regularly in the fall.

    Cut my weights by 30% today and did more explosive lifting. It occurred to me that I perhaps should have switched to explosive lifting right after Zones instead of recommencing regular strength training ... Next periodization cycle I'd like to start this sooner. (2 weeks doesn't seem like enough time?) I also think it would be better to incorporate more plyos throughout the season. (I couldn't really do that earlier this season since my hip was bothering me for awhile.) Don't think I'll have another taper meet until December, so I may formulate a plan (as opposed to just winging it) for the late-Aug-Nov time period. I'd also like to go back to a couple short runs per week in August after Nats.

    And, on the issue of swimming making me fat, which I joked about on the forums, I found this article in a quick search today. It reflects my experience. I look quite different than I did 4 years ago. YMMV

    I picked a tick off my littlest kid tonight after the swim meet out in the boonies. Really annoyed and hoping it wasn't one of the lyme disease carrying kind. I may live in a traffic infested area, but at least I don't live in a tick infested area. On an up note, Mini Fort looked slightly perkier for the first time in a long time and I think both of her 13-14 relays may sneak into All Star relays. We'll know tomorrow after all Divisions report times. Team Fastskin was, as expected, clad in tech suits. I told Mini that her team could raid our tech suit collection and suit up for the All Star meet if they make it. The kids were very enthusiastic about the idea. Haha. There needs to be a little fun for the mono kid. And I have yet to meet many age groupers who are purists. :P (Though most won't be seen in a tech suit at a non-champs meet.)

    For Geek: I saw a moment today when my 8 year old appeared to have "the hate" in her. I smiled at that.

    I'm not sure if I'll get in a workout tomorrow ... Might only get a chance to hop on the indoor cycle. Tomorrow night, my usual practice time, there is yet another summer league meet, boy vs. girl meet, points scored by swimming a PB. (It's good for the little kids I guess to get more racing practice.) This meet also features the Gutter Guppy Relays where parents are put into teams for the swimmers' "amusement." We do one legit relay, but then a bunch of made up crap. As I dimly recall in my advancing senility, last year, I had to push a beach ball with my nose and do reverse doggy paddle with a kick board on my ass. This year, I'm told, some relay will involve toy soldiers. Our social chair is a real peach.

    Our theme for our last Saturday home meet is caveman. We have a theme for every A meet. Not sure I have appropriate gear for this one ...


    Food log for Bob:

    Breakfast: omelet w/cheese, tomato & mushroom, strawberries
    G2 at gym
    Lunch: salad w/romaine, avocado, grilled chicken, currants, flax seeds and other stuff I forget
    Snack: smoothie w/mango, banana, strawberry, flax seed oil, L-glutamine and whey protein (no bee pollen for this "wanna-bee")
    Dinner: hamburger w/lettuce, tomato & onion. (I fear I may grow to hate hamburgers after all these summer league meets. On the upside, I seem to never have to cook dinner in the summer. I gave Fort Son cash for the next two nights and told him to knock himself out in my absence by inviting his friends over for pizza and swimming.)
    Snack: slice of quiche, blueberries

    I am contemplating doing a modified version of Patrick's detox after Nats. Don't really want to attempt one before.

    Updated July 8th, 2009 at 11:37 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  5. Tuesday, July 7

    by , July 7th, 2009 at 11:15 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    30 minutes of very relaxed un-triathlete-like spinning on my indoor cycle followed by some RC exercises.


    Warm up:

    3 x 200 (swim, kick, swim)
    200 IM drill
    3 x 300 swim

    (I think this was it. I was late and missed the first 600 or so.)

    6 x vertical kicking. Hands at shoulders for 20 seconds, arms in streamline for 10 seconds, squat jump off bottom of pool. 3 free, 3 fly

    Main sets:

    4 x (4 x 50) w/fins:

    #1 backstroke kick @ 1:10
    #2 dolphin kick @ 1:10
    #3 freestyle w/overkick @ 1:00
    #4 back or fly @ 1:00

    (These are so much harder in LCM than SCY!)

    100 EZ

    12 x 100 @ 1:30

    1-8 swim
    9-12 pull optional
    #10 = 89%
    #11 = 90%
    #12 = 100%

    I kicked the last 4. Went around 1:15-16 on the swims and 1:17s on the kicks. The kicks were vastly easier. The swims made me breathe harder.

    200 C/D

    Total (for me): 3200 meters



    There was some discussion about cramping today. Two of my teammates who dislike bananas are drinking coconut water every day. It is apparently a super potassium drink superior to bananas. FWIW.

    I'm still feeling fatigued, but am thinking my sore throat might be due to my recent ingestion of bee pollen. I have given some by a runner friend who swears by it to throw in smoothies or recovery drinks. I took a quick look at bee pollen on line today. Found an interesting website, and found this on bee pollen:

    Since I suffer from ragweed allergies, I think this may be the cause of my sore throat, not mono! lol


    Not sure when to stop weights/drylands again. I'm thinking of switching to lighter explosive weights until 2 weeks out.



    Breakfast: 2 slices of Ezekial bread w/peanut butter, blueberries
    Snack: G2
    Post spin Lunch: smoothie w/mango, peach, blackberries, vanilla yogurt, flax seed oil, L-Glutamine, bee pollen & whey protein, can't remember what else I ate ...
    Snack: banana, balance bar before practice -- no time for a real dinner
    Post swim food: G2 & balance bar in car, grilled cheese & tomato sandwich at home. 2 glasses of chard. Snacked on potato chips late at night.

    Updated July 8th, 2009 at 09:47 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Spinning
  6. Monday, July 6

    by , July 6th, 2009 at 09:56 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    bench press, 50 x 1 x 3, 70 x 1 x 3, 90 x 3 x 8
    standing lat pull down, 140 x 2 x 10
    goblet squat w/50 pound weight, 2 x 15
    bicycles on bosu, 2 x 50
    planks, 3 x 1:00
    internal and external rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    prone scapular scrunches w/elevated feet, 2 x 25
    arm extensions, 3 x 3 x 15
    windshield wipers, 2 x 10

    10 minutes stretching


    Couldn't get to the pool today. Still draggin' and have a sore throat. Really hoping it's not you know what, but it has crept into my mind. Hoping to go to my LC practice tomorrow night.

    Noticed that Jazz Hands was doing fast butterfly pulls with bands today. This is from Ande's tip, [ame=""]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Ande's Swimming Tips: Swimming Faster Faster[/ame]. I think I should incorporate these. It seems like a slightly different version of the Cavic fly drill. Jazz does them fast, so they are more of an explosive weight exercise.



    Breakfast: 2 slices of Ezekial bread toast w/peanut butter, blueberries
    Post weight snack: Smoothie w/banana, tuscan melon, blueberries, vanilla yogurt, L-Glutamine, bee pollen, flax seed oil and whey protein
    Late Lunch: 2 slices of quiche, raspberries
    Snack: apple
    Dinner: gyros at yet another summer league meet


    Got an email from the meet director of Junior Champs that I was entered in the meet. A whopping 2 events, but that's all I feel like swimming 2 weeks before Nats. Got this link via email today from USA Swimming re: RC:

    Updated July 6th, 2009 at 10:26 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  7. Sunday, July 5

    by , July 5th, 2009 at 06:08 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Took another day off yesterday. Feeling a bit under the weather. Mr. Fort was under the weather for awhile last week with fatigue, headache, fever, etc. So I think we both have/had a minor bout of flu or something. It is absolutely rampant in the area.

    Did go to the pool for a short swim today. Did stretch and do RC exercises yesterday.


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    Main sets:

    8 x 100 @ 1:50
    50 single arm fly drill + 50 backstroke kick

    20 x 25 UW shooters on back w/fins @ :35

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)

    100 EZ

    Total: 2450

    Swam another 400 or so with Lil Fort. She likes to dolphin kick.



    Yesterday (if I remember correctly)

    Breakfast: Ezekial toast w/peanut butter, blueberries
    Lunch: hamburger w/lettuce, tomato, onion
    (Hamburgers seems to be a staple of summer swim league and post meet outings)
    Snack: smoothie w/banana, strawberries, vanilla yogurt
    Dinner: grilled chicken, loads of veggies sauteed in olive oil
    Snack: blue corn chips & salsa


    Breakfast: omelet w/tomato, mushrooms & cheese, blueberries (while watching tennis)
    Lunch: salad w/veggies, mango
    Snack: smoothie w/mango, peach, blackberries and vanilla yogurt
    Dinner: steak, tomato & avocado salad, wine w/GF

    Smoothies: My kids are obsessed with smoothies lately. I find it a good excuse to serve up the fresh fruit with a dose of flax seed oil, whey protein, bee pollen and L-Glutamine mixed in.

    Updated July 5th, 2009 at 10:44 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  8. Sat on my ass all day, Saturday, June 3

    by , July 3rd, 2009 at 08:42 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Although I have no desire whatsoever to be a so-called "weekend warrior," I felt compelled to sit on my ass all day to rest the sore hammies. Well, I did technically stand for 3 hours (and, sadly, was forced to issue a couple backstroke turn DQs), but I did not seek to exercise in any way, shape or form. I went to a movie (Public Enemies -- not very good), drank beer and ate pizza with friends and failed to stretch.

    I was chatting with my sometime workout buddy Wally today at our local relay meet (he was exerting himself with a 25 breast). He informed me that we, in a lapse into the "it's just masters" mentality no doubt, had both missed the entry deadline for junior and senior champs. We were both sending out emails today to see if we could sneak into these meets.

    As I was doing this, I received the following email from my coach about all the events in the area:

    One local swim meet and lots of open water swims coming up. Feel free to enter:

    July 19 - DCRP LCM Meet - (outdoors!) Hains Point -Washington DC - (meetentries postmarked by July 10)

    July 11 - Swim for Life (1,2,3,4, or 5 miles) - Chestertown
    MD (hosted by DCAC)

    Jul 11 Captain Craig 1 mile swim - Ocean City, MD
    More info:

    Jul 11 1-3 Mile Open Water Championships (2 miles) -
    Canandaigua Lake, Canandaigua, NY

    Jul 11 Chris Greene Lake Cable Swim, Charlottesville VA -

    Jul 11 Swim for the Dolphins Wildwood Crs, NJ

    Jul 11 1st Annual East Hampton Ocean Rescue Ocean Swim -
    $35.00 day-of
    registration Registration begins at 7:00 A.M. at Kirk Park
    beach (next
    to IGA as one comes in to Montauk) Race time 8:00 A.M.
    Distances 2 mile, 1 mile, 1/2 mile swimming west to east
    along the
    bluffs of Montauk and ending at Ditch Plains Beach Shirts,
    caps provided
    All proceeds are going to the Montauk Playhouse Foundation
    and East
    Hampton Ocean Rescue Questions...e-mail John Ryan @ or call @ 631 324-2787

    Jul 18 Ocean City Masters Swim Ocean City, NJ

    Jul 18 Aquathlon: Stars & Stripes Swim 1.5 K / Run 5 K
    Riverside Park Tune Up Swim 1.5 K New York NY

    Jul 18 Greenwich Point 1 mile Swim; Greenwich, CT

    Jul 25 Swim Barnegat 1 Mile Swim Barnegat, NJ

    Aug 1 USMS 6+ Mile Open Water Championships (10 km) -
    Little Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan, Harbor Springs, MI

    Aug 8 - 2 mile Island Beach Swim - Greenwich, VA

    Aug 9 Grimaldo's Mile - Coney Island, NY -

    Aug 15 USMS 2009 2-Mile Cable Championships - Mirror Lake,
    Lake Placid, NY

    Aug 15 Against the Tide 1 Mile Swim Brewster, MA

    Aug 15 Save the Bay 1.7 mile Swim Newport, RI

    Aug 16 Pennock Island Challenge 8 miles Ketchikan Alaska

    Oct 18 - Bermuda Round the Sound 10K, 7.25K, 4K, 2K, or .8K
    Swim -

    Aug 22 Clean Harbor Swim Gloucester MA

    Sep 12 USMS 2009 3-6 Mile Open Water Championships (5 km) -
    Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL

    Sep 12 Brooklyn Bridge Swim 1K New York NY

    Sep 12 Swim for Life - Provincetown MA

    Sep 26 Little Red Lighthouse Swim 5.85 Mile New York NY

    Oct 18 - St. Croix 5 mile swim - St. Croix VI

    Seems a tad bit lopsided, no? I guess, if I don't get into my preferred meet, I could attend Hains Point. I just am not a fan of this pool or swimming backstroke outdoors.

    Someday, if I don't have a taper meet in the summer and am actually running more regularly (is that allowed for masters or did I just dream up the neurotic runners I know who wirelessly download their Garmin 405 workout stats?), I'd like to do the Stars & Stripes Aquathlon purely for fun. I guess this kind of low key fun is permissible, right?

    Updated July 4th, 2009 at 02:04 PM by The Fortress

  9. Thursday, July 2

    by , July 2nd, 2009 at 10:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    50 crunches, squats & lunges (My hamstrings were sore from my squats at the gym yesterday, so I skipped the squats and lunges.)

    400 swim
    300 kick
    200 swim
    100 scull

    Main sets:

    2 x 250 pull, breathe 3-5-3, 30 RI
    I ignored this and breathed every stroke. I loped and breathed to the left. Quite like this, I just have to remember to kick continuously if I lope.

    6 x

    75 fast kick @ 2:00
    75 ascending swim @ 1:30 (AFAP to slow by 25s) done as free/fly/free/back/free/breast

    This was quite odd. We literally stopped in the middle of the pool at the 75 and waited for the 2:00 sendoff. It's very difficult to go from a dead stop to AFAP and difficult to ascend in general ... Very tiring set.

    50 EZ

    10 x 100 @ 1:45
    odds = 75 free/25 back
    evens = 75 back/25 free

    (I just went fast free w/fins on the odds @ 1:11-12 and backstroke kick on the evens. Tired arms.)

    1 x 50 fast

    I was seriously not in the mood to do this. It's hard to sprint after 3500 meters or so for me. I like my sprinting earlier, throughout the workout or completely separate. My legs were shot and calves were crampy. Brad and I did push off fast 50s. Most others went from the blocks. I went a :28 in fly w/fins.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3650 meters


    Almost didn't make the trek to practice tonight. I was very tired. But I decided to take tomorrow off. Though I will be standing around for a good 3 hours stroking & turning tomorrow am at our relay meet.

    My teammate Mark Jones "complimented" me on the freestyle set from Tuesday. He said, given that I am a sprinter, he was "sure I would die," shocked when I didn't, and wondered how I had much aerobic conditioning when I train mostly solo. (He had been going second in our lane.) At least he didn't call me an f'in beech. That was someone else. He was just joking of course, giving me a hard time for joining THT for Nats. Still only two other GMUP people attending Nats though ...

    I sent in my entries for Nationals last night.

    50 fly
    200 back
    50 evil
    100 back
    50 free
    50 back

    Entered a 3:10 in the 200 back. The look up time feature is quite helpful. Much harder to sandbag that way.

    Was told I might do a 50 evil on a medley relay. Must be hard up!



    Breakfast: omelet w/cheese, p. mushrooms and tomatoes, papaya
    Lunch: tuna melt sandwich on Ezekial bread with cheese and tomatoes, peach slices, green grapes
    Snack: apple
    Dinner: Sent Mr. Fort and the kids off to a swim team BBQ at the pool and I had two cheese & ben burritos, blueberries
    Post swim snack: G2, balance bar, lemon bar (I had made them for the swim team dinner, couldn't resist.)

    Updated July 2nd, 2009 at 10:59 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  10. Wednesday, July 1

    by , July 1st, 2009 at 07:03 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    squats on machine, 140 x 1 x 4, 190 x 1 x 10, 200 x 1 x 10, 210 x 1 x 10
    tricep press, 65 x 2 x 10
    total ab machine, 130 x 1 x 15, 140 x 2 x 15
    body rows, 4 x 15
    back extensions w/25 lb weight, 3 x 15
    incline crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    bicycles on bosu, 3 x 25

    external rotators, 10 x 4 x 15, each arm
    prone scapular scrunches w/5 lb weights, 2 x 25
    seated straight arm dips for RC, 60 x 2 x 25

    (I'm sure I forgot something again. Can't remember a dang thing these days ...)


    30 minutes focusing on the shoulders. As expected, my left shoulder was sore from all the freestyle last night.

    Mike Heather posted this on a thread:

    "I was given several exercises to do to strengthen the small back shoulder muscles which get very little attention in the weight room (or anywhere else until the shoulder hurts too much). But the coup de grace for my pain was changing my recovery thusly: after finishing the free stroke, no matter how much body roll you use, the palm of the recovering hand should face the water's surface. If you watch a practice, you will notice that many swimmers tend to finish their stroke and continue the motion of the hand, resulting in a twisting motion that has the back of the hand turned toward the water until it (the hand) reaches shoulder level, at which time it turns around to prepare for entry and the beginning of the next stroke."

    I think I'm doing this with my left arm on freestyle. I need to take a lesson out of She Puff's book and shorten up my stroke and exit earlier when I'm not sprinting. Breathing on the left seems to help this somewhat.

    Does anyone know specific exercises/weights to target the small back muscles? My lats in particular are frequently sore. I know the internal/external rotators are good for his, but is there anything else? May have to research this issue some.


    40 minutes on indoor cycle. Went pretty easy, but still worked up a sweat


    Mini Fort reports that her swim friends at swim camp are doing a lot of running and squats. She didn't run at her camp, but then it didn't focus on conditioning. She did spend a lot of time using cords & racks.

    I really miss running. As some girl experienced, it is flat out the best exercise for weight control. I'm going to re-start after Nationals. I used to run 2x a week pretty regularly. I've pretty much cut that out over the last 8 months except for the occasional short run. This apparently has a very good effect on my swimming, but nothing else.


    Breakfast: blueberry muffin, blueberries
    Snack: banana, balance bar,
    Lunch: quiche, watermelon
    Snack: G2, strawberry banana smoothie (no time for a real lunch)
    Dinner: steak, shrimp, salad w/veggies

    So far, I haven't really noticed any significant impact from my "healthy substitution" plan. I've been cheating slightly more lately due to busy-ness.

    Updated July 1st, 2009 at 11:38 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Spinning
  11. Freestyler Invaded My Body Tonight, Tuesday, June 30

    by , June 30th, 2009 at 10:28 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drove out to Mason for freestyle night. I usually succeed in avoiding Tuesday practice. But have been attempting to get more LC practices in, so there I was. Rather than wimp out and do backstroke, I bucked up and did the main set all freestyle. To my shock, this was probably one of my best freestyle practices ever. I started out briskly, and, to my astonishment, didn't die. Perhaps because I didn't lift weights this am?

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    4 x 50 kick
    200 IM drill

    (I missed drylands -- bicycles, planks, and crunches -- and a 200 pull.)

    Main set:

    3 x through:

    1 x 300 free @ 4:30
    1 x 200 free @ 3:00
    1 x 100 free @ 1:30
    extra 30 seconds rest

    #1 & 2 = swim, fins optional
    #3 = pull

    I used fins, as I always do on freestyle sets. No pulling for me. I find freestyle confusing and difficult when I'm doing anything other than an AFAP 50. Lately, I've tried switching to a loping freestyle, breathing every stroke to the left. This tends to correct my over-reaching/crossing over issue with my left arm somewhat. I've also been concentrating on kicking. Went around 3:52-55s on the 300s, around 2:32ish on the 200s (Can't remember times on the 300s and 200s precisely; I was concentrating on beating fast boys with big paddles/fins and got much more rest than I thought I would.) and 1:13, 1:13, 1:11 on the 100s. This is fast for me LC.

    100 EZ

    Speed set:

    200 stroke (drill, scull, drill, swim)(I used all the 200s as recovery)
    2 x 50 stroke fast @ 1:30
    (did backstroke w/fins, went 30-31s)
    (cramped on this, hadn't done that in awhile ...)
    200 stroke (drill, scull, drill, swim)
    2 x 50 kick fast @ 1:30
    200 stroke (drill, scull, drill, swim)
    2 x 50 stroke fast w/fins
    (did 28 on fly & 30 on back)

    100 EZ

    Total: 3600 meters


    Feeling very at the moment. I won't swim tomorrow; I'll try to bike and lift, if I have time for both. I've found I can't have a very productive swim practice the afternoon after a hard LC practice at night. Now, I'm off to eat more food and ice my shoulder.

    Updated June 30th, 2009 at 10:42 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  12. Monday, June 29

    by , June 29th, 2009 at 04:30 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic sets:

    10 x 25 shooters @ :35

    10 x 50 @ :55
    odds, kick
    evens, backstroke

    50 EZ

    Speed set:

    8 x (50 backstroke w/fins AFAP + 100 EZ)

    Went 25-25.5 on all

    100 C/D

    Total: 2800


    Now getting ready for our 3 hour Monday night meet ... It will be interesting to see how many incorrect backstroke turn DQs there are.

    I need to get myself signed up for Nationals and Junior Champs. Trying to decide what to swim, and whether to attempt the 100 fly, at the latter.

    Updated June 29th, 2009 at 09:56 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  13. Sunday, June 28

    by , June 28th, 2009 at 06:17 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    bench press, 70 x 1 x 4, 80 x 3 x 8
    low row on machine, 100 x 1 x 10, 110 x 1 x 10, 120 x 1 x 10
    alternating hammers, 20 x 2 x 30
    ab machine, 100 x 1 x 15, 110 x 1 x 14, 120 x 1 x 15, 130 x 1 x 15, 140 x 1 x 10
    back extensions w/10 lb plate overhead, 2 x 15
    forward lunges w/20 lb weights, 2 x 20
    squat swing w/25 lb plate, 1 x 15 (this caused a twinge in the left scapular area, so I stopped)

    external rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    seated straight arm dips for RC, 60 x 2 x 25
    prone scapular scrunches w/hand weights and elevated feet, 2 x 25
    arm extensions, 3 x 3 x 15 (front, V, side)

    10 minutes stretching

    20 minutes on ellipse machine


    Very short swim. Really exhausted from lack of sleep and misadventures of last night (see below). Focused solely on technique, no energy for any hard sets or fast swimming on my own.

    Warm up:

    600 variety swim, kick, drill

    Technique set:

    32 x 25s, done as

    16 x 25, 2 x through:

    1-4 UW shooters (scraped bottom a few times)
    5-8 easy speed fly, focusing on DPS and breakouts
    9-12 backstroke, focusing on breakouts
    13-16 breaststroke, focusing on pullout and breakout

    100 C/D

    Total: 1500 meters


    Not such a great night. Shortly after 9:00 pm, Mr. Fort gashed his calf muscle on some broken glass and I had to rush him to the ER. No nerve damage or trip to the OR, but 20 stitches. He won't be able to do anything for 2 weeks and can't run for perhaps 2 months depending on how it heals (can bike sooner, however). He is worse than me; he may need anti-depressants to combat the exercise deprivation. We didn't get home from the ER until 3:00 am. That's the third night in a row of going to sleep in the wee hours for me. I've been in a bit of a sleep deprived daze. Nothing compared to Mr. Fort's plight, but enough to keep me from being able to do any hard aerobic conditioning or speed work. Hopefully, I can catch up on sleep this week.

    Still feel like I got in a decent week of training after my wasteful tapering: 5 swims (14,300 meters), 4 gym sessions, 3 bikes and a couple very short run/ellipse sessions.


    Food front had been pretty good the last few days. Eaten plenty of lean meat, fish, veggies, salads, fruit etc. I haven't eaten a proper breakfast in the last couple days, as I've had to dash out of the house. That is NOT a good thing.

    Kate Ziegler:

    Here's an article from yesterday's paper on Kate Ziegler revealing that she was "burned out" by the Olympics.

    I've heard a rumor that she may join another team. A couple of the faster guys she trains with on The Fish are heading to college next year and she might be without training partners ... Perhaps she could use a change of venue, much like Hoff did?

    Updated June 28th, 2009 at 07:29 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Ellipse Machine
  14. Saturday, June 27

    by , June 27th, 2009 at 07:29 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    2 mile warm up run on the treadmill.


    Hammer hi row, 140 x 1 x 4, 160 x 1 x 4, 180 x 3 x 8
    goblet squat, 60 x 2 x 15
    rear delt fly, 40 x 1 x 4, 55 x 1 x 4, 70 x 3 x 10
    leg press, 330 x 3 x 10
    elevated crunches w/med ball, 3 x 25
    push ups, 2 x 25
    dead bug on bosu, 2 x 25
    hanging ab crunches, 2 x 15
    3 position arm extensions, 3 x 2 x 15
    external rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm

    (I know I am forgetting something ...)


    Saw an unusual sight at a summer league meet today in the girls 8 & U 100 free relay. The girls swimming the first and second leg on our relay both took off at the gun and had a head on collision mid pool. Ouch! I felt really bad for the girl going second. Had I been stroke & turning there, I probably would have held her up or told her it wasn't her turn.

    On another note, my usually swimming averse Lil Fort uttered the words, "I love breaststroke." lol

    On the backstroke turn DQ front, there was small squabble about a child who turned onto his stomach but touched the wall first with his hand and then executed a flip turn. Under Wolfy's "the continuous turning action stops upon the touch at the wall," is this a DQ or not?

    Big week ahead -- summer league meets on Monday, Friday and Saturday. Friday is the Annual Vienna Relays where 8 of the swim teams in our town get together and duke it out with all kinds of relays -- free, medley, all the strokes, mixed boys and girls and mixed ages. Great fun.

    Updated June 28th, 2009 at 10:29 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Running
  15. Friday, June 26

    by , June 26th, 2009 at 03:29 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drove to Mason for a LC workout with my new monofin. Verdict: Still hate it. It's too long, seems to hit the quads most (instead of the glutes and core), and only feels natural underwater. Hate kicking at the surface with it. I'm hoping I can exchange it for the Finis Shooter MF, which I previously used.

    Didn't feel too hot today anyway. I got home from picking up Mini Fort at the airport at about 1:30 am -- late even for night owls. Had to get up early. After a triple yesterday, I needed more sleep. So just did the short workout below and called it a day.

    Got an email and voicemail from swimoutlet saying they would refund me entirely for the exploding LZR. I haven't tried the Sprinter suit yet, but I likely will send it back as it's supposed to be a 2010 suit. And who knows what 2010 will bring? I don't really know what to make of the suits (Adidas, Arena X-Glide, Jaked) that are supposed to work on the CNS. I wish FINA had just drawn a line with LZR and B70 for awhile and thought through the science of it all. I know line drawing can be difficult -- I believe Chris alluded to this on the DF -- but that's what most laws & regulations are.


    300 swim
    200 kick

    4 x 100 MF kick @ 1:45

    4 x 100 100 fly drill w/MF @ 2:00

    4 x 100 backstroke kick @ 2:00

    5 x (50 UW shooter w/MF + 50 EZ)

    100 C/D

    Total: 2300 meters


    Following the mention of the paleolithic diet, I found this on google, which lists the dos & don'ts:

    I'm not a huge fan of root vegetables myself ... It looks too difficult to follow and faddy to me. Never knew beans were so bad ...


    Swim camp breaststroke tip:

    To make sure your kick is correct, hop in the pool and go to the wall. Put your hips against the wall, and kick. Hips can't leave the wall. If they do or if your knees what to jut forward, you're doing it incorrectly.

    Updated June 26th, 2009 at 05:02 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  16. Triple, Thursday, June 25

    by , June 25th, 2009 at 10:23 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    AM Weights/Dryland:

    standing lat pull down, 140 x 3 x 10
    tricep press, 50 x 1 x 10, 55 x 1 x 10
    dead lift, 110 x 2 x 10
    goblet squat, 50 x 3 x 15
    squat-pulls on bosu, 40 x 3 x 15
    (I was doing these on the flat side of the bosu and a trainer stopped me to say that they no longer allow people to do this as it's "too dangerous." So I did the last rep on the squishy side -- much easier.)
    twists w/bosu on cable machine, 40 x 2 x 15, each side
    bicep curl w/BB, 40 x 2 x 10
    kneeling crunch on cable machine, 75 x 3 x 15
    incline crunch w/med ball overhead, 2 x 25
    external rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    seated straight arm dips for RC, 60 x 2 x 25
    prone scapular scrunch w/elevated feet and hand weights, 2 x 25
    arm extensions (front, V, side), 3 x 3 x 15


    30 minutes on bike


    Made it to another team practice tonight. Dragged Lil Fort along, as Fort Son had a date and Mr. Fort and Mini Fort were flying home from work/camp.

    Warm up:

    med ball throw w/partner for 1:00
    superman streamlines w/elevated feet, 2 x 25
    crunches, 1 x 25

    4 x through:

    100 swim
    50 kick
    100 swim
    50 drill

    med ball twist w/partner 1:00
    crunches w/med ball, 1 x 25

    Main sets:

    8 x 50 kick w/fins @ 1:00, middle 15 meters fast, 2 free + 2 other, repeat
    (I went pretty fast on all of them, between 31-33.)

    50 EZ

    6 x 250 done as:

    100 kick, 50 drill, 50 swim, 50 FAST
    4 IM order, 2 choice

    I used fins and led the lane. I can't do LC fly without fins, so I just kept them on so as not to upset the order in the lane. As a result, I took a break of 10-15 seconds after each 200 before I went my last fast 50. Aside from the first one, I did all the fast 50s backstroke. Went 32-33 on the first 4 and 31 on the last one. The 100 fly on the first 250 was dreadful. I don't have a slow gear in fly. Felt like I was drowning when I tried to go easy on the "50 swim" portion.

    50 EZ

    8 x 50 swim @ 1:20, done as:

    2 x through:

    #1 25 fast from dive, 25 EZ
    #2 25 EZ, 25 fast
    #3 50 fast from dive (We only had two lanes to dive from and were nowhere near the prescribed 1:20 interval.)
    #4 50 EZ

    I did #1, 2, 5, 6 fast 25 UW kicks + 25 EZ. I missed the first fast 50, as I had to talk to Lil Fort for a minute. Did the last one fly w/fins from a dive off the side and went a 27 or so.

    100 C/D

    Total: 3300 meters


    Irie's Backstroke Technique:

    I had been reading the recent posts in the Fun & Fast thread discussing Irie's backstroke technique with interest. Kirk Nelson described his slightly tucked head position and arched back as being like the bow of a boat. I tried this technique during warm up today. It does feel slightly faster, although unnatural to have the chin tucked in. I notice in the youtube video that Irie was wearing only a leg skin though. I wonder if arching your back would work as well with a full body suit? Most tech suits don't cling to your body and follow the arch as you arch; they tend to gap away from the lower back and absorb air and/or water. Something to think about ...



    Breakfast: omelet w/cheese, tomato & bacon, strawberries, raspberries
    Snack: G2, cherries
    Lunch: salad with arugula, basil, avocado, tomatoes, flax seeds, peppers, currants
    Dinner: salmon, veggies sauteed in olive oil and garlic
    Post swim: G2, balance bar, 1 pancake

    I think I ate something else ... can't remember. I also noticed today when I was checking on the veggy garden (deer recently killed half my tomato plants) that Mr. Fort planted spearmint. What does one do with spearmint?

    Now I'm off to make pancakes for the swim team breakfast and team pictures festivities tomorrow. No, I will not eat them! lol

    Updated June 25th, 2009 at 11:19 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Spinning
  17. Wednesday, June 24

    by , June 24th, 2009 at 10:35 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    10 x 25 shooters on back w/fins @ :30

    50 EZ

    Main set:

    3 x (1 x 200, 2 x 100, 4 x 50 + 50 EZ, 8 x 25), done as:


    1 x 200 dolphin kick w/fins @ 3:00
    2 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:30
    4 x 50 evil @ :55
    50 EZ
    8 x 25, odds = scull, evens = fast doggie paddle drill


    1 x 200 dolphin kick w/fins @ 3:00
    2 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:30
    4 x 50 backstroke w/fins, best average @ 1:00 (went 27s)
    50 EZ
    8 x 25, easy speed fly @ :30


    1 x 200 dolphin kick w/fins @ 3:00
    2 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:30
    4 x 50 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:00, best average, held 25s
    50 EZ
    8 x 25, odds = AFAP free, evens = EZ

    100 C/D

    Total: 3650


    40 minutes on indoor cycle


    I meant to go to the gym instead of bike, but just didn't have the time to get back and forth. I'm a little worried about my ability to get in my usual doubles of weights + swim with my kids out of school. I don't put my kids in camps much during the summer. They tend to hang out more with their friends at the house or at the summer league pool. I'm a believer in unstructured time. (Except for Fort Son -- who actually signed himself up to work on the gubernatorial political campaign.) But that means I don't have readily structured time to work out ... Hmm ...

    Mini Fort is having a blast at her "beast" summer swim camp, despite mono. She seems to be star struck at meeting Olympians and other elite swimmers. lol. She reports that she has done "nothing but 25s" with stroke analysis, video taping, drills, etc. (I purposefully sent her to a camp where conditioning and yardage were not emphasized.) She says she has lots to show me when she gets home. I can't wait!


    Had a good day until dinner, when I entirely fell off the wagon when I took my Lil Fort out to dinner and a movie.

    Breakfast: blueberries, raspberries, oatmeal w/medium apple & tbs whey protein
    Snack: cherries, blueberries, cheese
    Post swim snack: G2, balance bar
    Dinner: hamburger w/lettuce & tomato, some fries
    Dessert: cold stone creamery
    Swim Workouts , Spinning
  18. Endorphins Rock, Tuesday, June 23

    by , June 23rd, 2009 at 10:23 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    So glad not to be resting anymore! I feel like someone pulled a switch in my CNS.


    30 minutes of ART. Going to go more regularly the next month to keep the shoulders healthy and happy. ART doc agreed that I should not knock off RC exercises during taper. It can cause the humerus to move and lead to pain. He also mentioned that nutrition was more important the older you get. (Perhaps this is one reason why Dara is so committed to her amino acid regiment?)


    Hopped on my indoor cycle and biked for about 50 minutes during my little one's swim practice.

    10 minute stretch + RC

    LCM Swim at GMU:

    Went to my team practice tonight. Felt pretty good, despite the lack of aerobic work during taper.

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    6 x 50 kick @ 1:00
    200 IM drill

    Aerobic set:

    16 x 100, done as

    2 x through:

    2 x (25 scull + 75 build free) @ 1:45
    2 x 100 IM @ 1:45
    2 x 100 free @ 1:30
    2 x 100 kick @ 2:15

    (I used the kicks mostly as recovery cuz I was racing Wally on the other 100s. Coach said I was over-reaching with my left arm in free. Really focused on kicking during free.)

    50 EZ

    4 x 50 fly @ 1:30
    odds, 25 roll, 25 dolphin kick
    evens, 25 roll, 25 fly

    "roll" = 2 kicks on each side, then come up and 2 strokes of fly and repeat. I had trouble doing this drill, as I was nowhere near the surface after 8 kicks and didn't see the point in dolphin kicking close to the surface. So I did 16 kicks on the second odd "roll" and a 50 fly w/fins fast on the evens.

    50 EZ

    3 x (25 fast off the blocks + 25 EZ)

    I used these to work on my backstroke starts. I took 15 kicks to get to the 15 meter mark.

    Assigned: 600 pull
    Did: 5 x 100 dolphin kick w/fins @ 1:45, making sure to stay out of the way of my lanemates

    100 C/D

    Total: 3550 meters

    10 minutes hottub


    There was an article recently in the NY Times discussing the performance enhancing nature of increased sleep. It analyzed a small study done on runners. It seems like a no brainer to me that more sleep helps you recover faster and train/race better. I'm hopeful the rest of the summer I'll have a bit more sleep, as I do not have to wake up early to get kids off to school. (I've also been off the hook lately on the 4:40 am practices thanks to mono.) Now, if I could only sleep better during the night, I'd be set. Lately, I've been having trouble falling back to sleep after waking at 3:30-4:00 am.

    I discussed sleep with a teammate in the hottub tonight. He says he's been sleeping much better and has more energy during the day since banishing caffeine and alcohol from his diet. (This was difficult for him, as he's a foodie and wine connoiseur.) He believes that caffeine and alcohol interfere with melatonin and vitamin absorption. I only have coffee in morning, and typically have no other caffeine during the day except perhaps green tea, but I can't imagine giving up the morning java ...


    Breakfast: blueberries, plum
    Snack: yogurt
    Lunch: Salad with: romaine, steak, tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, peppers, flax seeds, pomegranate seeds
    Snack: cherries + G2
    Dinner: chickpea & lentil soup, banana
    Snack: Luna energy chews on way to practice
    Snack: balance bar & G2 (in car), slice of pizza

    Updated June 23rd, 2009 at 10:52 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Spinning , ART
  19. Back at it, Monday, June 22

    by , June 22nd, 2009 at 04:46 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Went for a 4 mile run around noon while my kid was in swim practice. Lordy, it's hot out. (melting emoticon).


    Decided to take Q's advice and re-start the weights a bit lighter this time.

    10 minute warm up on bike

    bench press on Hammer machine, 70 x 3 x 10
    standing lat pull down, 130 x 3 x 10
    overhead tricep press, 30 x 2 x 12
    goblet squat, 45 x 3 x 15
    back extensions, 2 x 25 w/10 lb weight
    incline crunches, 3 x 25 w/med ball
    decline crunches, 2 x 25
    dead bug on bosu, 1 x 25
    bird dog on bosu, 1 x 25
    held the plank, 2 x 1:00

    10 minutes stretching

    I'd like to re-start push ups and pull ups, but I don't want my right thumb/wrist area to start bothering me again. And I'm wondering why it's just my right wrist ...

    RC work:

    arm extensions (front, V, side), 3 x 2 x 15
    prone scapular scrunches w/3 lb weights and elevated feet, 2 x 25
    seated straight arm dips, 60 x 2 x 25
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm

    I also knocked off most of my RC work during my 10 day taper when I eliminated weights. I think this was a big mistake. My shoulder bothered me most of the taper. So, I plan to continue the RC work when I re-taper for Nats. Or at least do it every other day.
  20. Suit Problem, Sunday, June 21

    by , June 21st, 2009 at 02:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    50 back: N/S
    100 back: N/S
    50 fly: 30.75

    Things did not go as planned today. Just how it goes in sport, I guess; it was one of those sh*t happens days.

    Felt good during warm up. I found out, however, that there would not be electronic timing pads installed at the far end of the pool where the 50s took off. This meant two things: 50 backstroke starts on a slippery wall and no split requests. I was going for a fast 50 back, so had also considered getting a split request in the 100 if I needed one event to "warm up" and get the cobwebs out (often the case for me).

    After warm up, I put the new tech suit on. I was trying the LZR out only in the 50 back today, to get one swim in it before Indy. Unfortunately, two or three heats before the 50 back, the zipper just exploded in two places. Imspoiled gallantly tried to fix the zipper, but to no avail. So I couldn't swim the 50 back. And, frankly, I was too upset and pissed off to swim the 100 back (my next event), especially since I couldn't get a split. I did swim a rather half hearted 50 fly in lane 8 and felt sluggish (probably from sitting around for so long without racing). Had a terrible breakout, confirmed by Hulk, but still swam my best time of 30.75.

    Leads me to believe I would have swum a fast 50 back ... Oh well, there's always next time.
    I'm just frustrated at the moment because I did rest for 10 days for the meet. Tapering is a huge commitment for me, and very hard to effectuate. So I feel that I wasted the taper and wasted training time. I fully realize this happens all the time, and I've certainly been sick prior to taper meets, etc. I'm sure I'll shake it off and be over it tomorrow; I'm just disappointed at this moment.

    I also hope I can get a refund on my suit. I will be sending out an email today. This is the obvious reason why FINA should permit B70s. It's ridiculous to have to rely on fragile suits with frequently faulty zippers. I'm hopeful it will be back on the list tomorrow.

    Here's a chuckle: A couple people suggested I swim a 50 back time trial.

    Lesson from this meet: Don't ever rest for LC meets where you're swimming/targeting 50s without confirming that there will be electronic timing at both ends of the pool. I won't make this mistake again. It just had never occurred to me that there wouldn't be ... (Would have been no big deal had I not rested.)

    Now, I have friends coming over for dinner tonight. I fully plan to drink more than one glass of wine. I might even eat potato chips late at night.

    Updated June 21st, 2009 at 05:12 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events