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  1. Wed., March 4

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 05:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Not much time to work out today. Probably just as well. My legs/glutes are a bit sore from the squatting and lunging. And how often is one supposed to do these damn things anyway? Every time we lift?

    Swim, SCY, solo:

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    200 kick
    150 fly drills

    12 x 25 4 point shooters w/MF, working on amplitude/hands

    Main sets:

    3 x (4 x 50) @ 1:00, IM Order
    #1 fly/back
    #2 back/evilstroke
    #3 evilstroke/free
    #4 free/fly

    (It occurred to me after I completed this set that it would be a good set to emphasize "fast turns," the downfall of my 100 IM. Maybe next time.)

    50 EZ

    8 x 1:00 @ 1:50, last 25 fast
    odds backstroke, evens backstroke kick

    50 EZ

    10 x 50 @ :45, tempo dolphin kick w/MF & board

    100 EZ

    Total: 3100

    hot tub + 12 oz gatorade


    Backstroke SDKs:

    Still mulling over my issues with backstroke SDKs. It still feels unnatural to use my hands/arms on my back as opposed to on my belly. But the real issue is still breathing. It occurred to me today that perhaps I was exhaling through the nose too much on my turn and initial push off and thus "bleeding" air too quickly. When I tried just holding my breath more, I went farther. I can't do the Ande trick to prevent "bleeding." I think I could be a candidate for a nose plug on 100-200 back. Every time I've tried one, though, I can't keep it on my nose ... Anyone use one for backstroke? If so, how long did it take to acclimate to it?
  2. Leg Overload, Tuesday, Mar. 3

    by , March 3rd, 2009 at 05:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Dead Legs:

    Took yesterday off. Thought that would do the trick, but apparently not. I may have been a *bit* too manic/OCD last week on the training front. I get this way after tapers ... On the upside, upper body wasn't too sore yesterday after lifting Sunday. But my legs are thoroughly thrashed. The combo of run/spin/lower body weights last week and this am was deadly. Felt absolutely dreadful in the water today. I have a really really hard time doing lactate sets and fast swimming with dead legs or soreness from weights. It feels like torture; it's so much easier to just do aerobic work. Ah well, I won't be running this week as it's freaking freezing out again.

    I had planned on doing one of Paul's kick workouts, but knew during warm up that wasn't going to happen. Swiped a couple of his other sets, one that Ahelee used in a workout last week. Intended to do both, but had to modify the second set, as it was just too hard for this wimpy sprinter today.

    Unlike Hulk, I'm definitely not doing weights the week of the Albatross meet. Refuse to go into a meet feeling like this! lol

    Core/Dryland Work:

    decline reverse crunches, 2 x 25

    russian twists w/med ball, 2 x 25

    superman streamlines on bosu, hold streamline 5 seconds, 1 x 15

    front lunges w/ 12.5 weights, 2 x 15 each leg
    (saw someone doing this with the lead foot on a bosu. looked harder)

    squat presses w/yoga ball and med ball, raising med ball over head as you stand, 2 x 25 -- this is one of the cross fit exercises; Tall Paul recommends doing it w/ med ball

    cavic fly exercise w/3 lb weights, 2 x 25

    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm

    iron monkeys, 2 x 25

    dead bug on bosu, 2 x 15

    Here's the dead bug exercise, which a friend recommended. I did it on the bosu to make it harder.

    PM Swim:

    400 swim
    200 kick
    150 fly drills

    Main sets:

    4 x 200 back @ 3:30
    (Ahelee set)

    #1 fast first 50
    #2 fast turns
    #3 fast last 50
    #4 200 fast (mine wasn't really)

    100 EZ

    10 x 50 @ 1:00
    1st 25 = easy speed/fast fly, 2nd 25 = DAB

    50 EZ

    6 x 100 @ 2:00
    odds, backstroke kick w/fins AFAP
    evens, easy swim

    went :59. :58, 57.5 ish on the kicks. this was sheer torture. meant to do more. just couldn't force myself to.

    200 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)

    100 C/D

    Total: 3400


    Why are you immediately fatigued after a swim workout, but weight workouts tend to hit you the next day?

    I'm beginning to see why some of the guys taper so much longer than the women now. If you're lifting heavily, it seems your body needs a lot more rest.

    Updated March 3rd, 2009 at 08:34 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  3. Team Practice + Weights, Sunday, March 1

    by , March 1st, 2009 at 09:19 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    AM Swim at GMU:

    Warm up:

    6 x 100 swim + 50 kick
    reverse 200 IM drill

    Main sets:

    5 x 300 IM

    odd w/ 150 back @ 4:40
    evens w/ 150 breast @ 5:00

    50 EZ

    9 x 100 kick @ 2:00

    3 kick free, descend 1-3
    100 easy swim
    3 kick choice, descend 1-3

    50 EZ

    6 x 75 @ 1:30
    50 free + 25 AFAP

    6 x 25 UW shooters w/MF, did this w/teammate trying out a MF
    (For Jimby, MF = monofin)

    200 C/D

    Total: 4400

    (didn't seem like I did quite this much, maybe I got some of the warm up wrong)


    Spent some time discussing tech suits during practice and in hot tub. One of my teammates was trying out his new B70 in the water. Another teammate was planning on ordering the Renegade from AquaZone, hopefully to wear it for the Albatross SCM Meet, as B70s are on back order until April.


    Spent some time discussing kicking with a teammate. She wondered why/how my kicking had improved recently. I was mulling this over this afternoon (Ahelee's active mediation, no doubt). Don't think it's weights, as I've rarely done lower body weights (until now, thanks guys). I'm wondering if the increased speed is due to: (a) kick endurance sets, (b) the fast kicking, (c) the combo of both, or (d) the benefits of all of the above are just becoming more evident with time ... I have done more kick endurance sets recently, I think. So hard to know the causation for everything.

    (My coach very helpfully pointed out that she thought my actual swimming had improved relatively more than my kicking. Probably true.)

    PM Weights:

    Went with Mini-Fort to the gym, even though I was nauseous from that disgusting nasty Recover-Wrong from Hammer. Wanted to get weights in as school may be cancelled tomorrow due to snow. [Yes, it's cancelled.] We were running late, so I got out of yoga and just did weights. No sad face there! Left rear shoulder still a bit sore. Did mostly reps of 10 today. Like Jazz, didn't feel like wasting brain cells on counting. Only increased on a few things (deadlift, row, calf press).

    deadlift, 110 x 2 x 10
    seated lat pulldown, 90 x 2 x 10
    leg extensions, 80 x 2 x 10
    leg abductors (on the machine where your legs are straight), 110 x 2 x 10
    leg adductors (hate these), 70 x 2 x 10
    calf press, 110 x 3 x 15, 130 x 3 x 15, 150 x 3 x 15 (realized I was doing these on a ridiculously low weight before, so went up)
    seated narrow grip row, 110 x 2 x 10
    goblet squats w/25 lb weight, 2 x 15
    bench press*, 80 x 2 x 15
    overhead tricep press, 30 x 2 x 15**
    alternating hammers, 20 x 2 x 15 each side (dunno why, these felt hard today)
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side

    * This is the first real bench press I've done since college. lol I know it's very low weight, but I'm paranoid as that's how I had the RC blow out. Can't remember what I used to bench in college ... Think I maxed out at 150 on the nautilus machine.

    ** Mini-Fort saw me doing these and was horrified! She ran over and said, "Mom, you're going to trash your shoulder doing that." I appreciated her concern, but assured her it was very low weight.

    kneeling crunches, 85 x 2 x 10
    decline reverse crunches, 2 x 25
    crunches w/ med ball, 2 x 25
    incline crunches w/10 lb eight, 2 x 15

    5-10 minutes stretching
    10 minutes hot tub

    Weight Lifting Question:

    Why can the weight on one machine be completely different than the weights on others? Tried to do a tricep press at the weight I used last Thursday -- didn't feel like the cable was even moving.

    This is the link Jimby provided on Optimizing Strength Training:

    Updated March 2nd, 2009 at 11:38 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  4. Saturday, Feb. 28

    by , February 28th, 2009 at 06:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    5 mile trail run

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

    Weight lifting questions:

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

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

    Hoping to do a triple tomorrow -- team swim/weights & yoga with Mini-Fort.
  5. PM Workout, Friday, Feb. 27

    by , February 27th, 2009 at 11:32 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Didn't get a chance to run before it got dark. After dropping Mini-Fort at a party, I went back to the gym. Stayed away from any upper body work as I'm a *bit* sore still.

    Core work/Few Weights/RC:

    long arm crunches, 2 x 25
    iron monkeys (ball exchange), 2 x 25
    med ball crunches, 2 x 25
    russian twists w/ med ball, 2 x 25
    jack knifes, 2 x 15 on the yoga ball
    incline crunches, 2 x 15
    decline crunches, 2 x 15
    (hadn't done these on the bench before. much harder than on the floor. seems to recruit the back muscles a lot more.)
    goblet squats w/ 20 lb weight, 2 x 15
    leg abductors, 110 x 2 x 10
    leg extensions, 80 x 2 x 10
    (not sure why, but I just hate these things)
    Cavic fly exercise on yoga ball, 2 x 25
    seated straight arm dip for RC, 60 x 2 x 25
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
    arm raises w/ 3 lb weights, 3 x 2 x 15

    20 minute spin

    10 minutes of stretching

    15 minutes hot tub


    I considered pinot noir, but opted for chardonnay. Hope it's not cancer causing.

    More Questions:

    1. Is it good to be fully/mostly recovered from one weight workout to the next? If not, should you just press on?

    2. Seems so many people are going to pilates and cores classes. Do these provide a significant advantage over doing core work yourself? Is the main benefit of mat pilates classes core strength or flexibility?


    Going to be a pretty lazy weekend. Mr. Fort has decamped for the weekend with two of the Fort kids for a final ski trip at SnowShoe. Mini-Fort and I get mommy-daughter time this weekend. I've been informed I'm going to yoga on Sunday. I guess maybe it will be good for the flexibility ... I just can't seem to bring myself to meditate.

    Updated February 28th, 2009 at 05:15 PM by The Fortress

    Spinning , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  6. Dolphin Day, Friday, Feb. 27

    by , February 27th, 2009 at 04:47 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    As expected, despite Recoverite/hot tub/ice, etc., I woke up pretty darn sore. Maybe not quite as sore as Tuesday though. Knew immediately that a recovery/technique workout was the only thing happening. That's OK, I've put in over 14,000 since Monday and plan to swim with my team on Sunday. Went to my gym. Egads, the pool (usually 85) was 86.8.

    Decided to play around with DPK on dolphin kick again, and spent most of the "workout" underwater. Clydesdale just started a thread on this topic. I think it will take some time to find the "sweet spot." But a bit more emphasis on undulation could benefit my 100 back/fly and definitely my 200 back. I have the impression that, when I use my arms/hands some, I kick more from the sternum and have more DPK. 50s -- I'm staying with the fast low amplitude power kick.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Nothin' But 25s:

    60 x 25:

    1. 10 x 25 UW dolphin kick on belly w/MF
    2. 10 x backstroke, moderate pace, kicking off walls on right side
    3. 10 x 25 UW dolphin kick on right side w/MF
    4. 10 x 25, alternate easy speed fly and DAB
    5. 10 x 25 UW dolphin kick on left side w/MF
    6. 10 x 25, alternate easy speed fly and DAB

    Worked on:

    1. undulation/DPK
    2. kicking on side/DPS
    3. undulation/DPK -- I'm much worse on my side than on my belly. Was taking 3-4 more KPL than on my belly unless I really concentrated
    4. DPS/ floating entry with hands
    5. undulation/DPK -- Surprisingly, I have fewer KPL on my left side than my right. Maybe it was just more practice.
    6. DPS/ floating entry with hands. Caught myself lifting my head up too high to breath a couple times.

    100 C/D

    Total: 2300 meters

    May go for a short run later, if I can squeeze it in.


    Weight Lifting Questions of the Day:

    1. Does added muscle effect your flexibility?

    2. Do chin ups and pull ups reflect upper body strength or your power to weight ratio?

    3. I keep hearing I should be doing 3 sets. I see that's what Ande, Paul, Chris, et al, do. I know Jazz doesn't, and Q does 2 sets. What is the rationale for doing 3 sets? Does the fact that one is a sprinter or distance swimmer make a difference in the ideal # of sets?


    Paul/Clydesdale, who is a very helpful guy, sent me a link to some other weightlifing articles showing strong chicks in action:

    The muscle ups look rather hazardous for shoulders ...

    Is that a good way to do squats? Fast like that?

    Is anyone doing this?

    Updated February 28th, 2009 at 01:40 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  7. She-Beasty, Thursday, Feb. 26

    by , February 26th, 2009 at 05:45 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    No work/school events/carpooling (except for the 4:10 am shift) today, so I got to concentrate on being She-Beasty.

    AM: Weights

    60-65 minutes at the gym. Went up 5-10 pounds on most things. Did the following, did supersets with some of the weights/core work:

    deadlift, 90 x 2 x 10
    tricep press, 85 x 2 x 12
    straight arm cable lat pulldown, 120 x 2 x 10
    standing ab crunch, 85 x 2 x 12, each side
    seated narrow grip row, 110 x 2 x 10
    leg press, 330 x 2 x 10
    calf press for ankles, 110 x 3 x 15
    standing push ups on double cable free motion machine, 35 x 2 x 10, each arm
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
    arm raises for RC, 3 x 3 x 15

    back extensions w/15 lb weight, 2 x 25
    crunches w/ med ball, 2 x 25
    crunches on incline bench, 2 x 25
    reverse sit ups w/yoga ball, 2 x 25
    long arm crunches, 2 x 25
    prone scapular scrunches w/ 5 lb weights, 2 x 25
    held the plank for 1:15
    hip exercise (no idea what to call this, a trainer showed me it one day): put shoulders on yoga ball, body horizontal with feet on ground. lift one leg straight out. lower your body until ass almost touches the ground and back up, 2 x 12 on each leg (these are hard suckers!)

    AND, 2 x 10 chin ups.

    These weren't nearly as hard as I thought they'd be. I wasn't straining until the last one or so. If you'd asked me last week if I could do a pull up or chin up, I'd have said maybe 1. lol

    5 minutes stretching

    Weight lifting question of the day:

    Does it make a huge difference which of the myriad attachments you use on the cable machines? (Aside from obvious ones like the narrow grip one for the row.)


    PM: Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    3 x 100 single arm fly drill @ 1:50

    Aerobic Conditioning Set:

    Swiped and modified this set from Chris' blog from a couple weeks ago. Unlike the workout monster, I did it as an aerobic conditioning set. I'm doing mostly aerobic work for a couple weeks after Auburn. Didn't emphasize SDKs much; my legs were feeling a bit thrashed from the spin/run/weights. Did not feel real fast.

    3 x 200 free @ 3:00 (swim-kick-swim)
    4 x 50 easy speed fly @ 1:00
    50 EZ
    3 x 150 free @ 2:15 (S-K-S)
    4 x 50 back @ 200 pace @ 1:00
    (these were more like 300 pace)
    3 x 100 free @ 1:30 (S-K-S)
    4 x 50 breast @ 1:00
    3 x 50 free @ :50 (S-K-S)
    4 x 50 IM order @ 1:00

    150 EZ

    Speed set:

    8 x (25 AFAP free w/fins + 25 EZ)

    200 C/D

    15 minutes hot tub

    Total: 4100


    Went home and found that the Recoverite had arrived, so I tried some. Preparing to feel like a mack truck hit me tomorrow.

    Updated February 27th, 2009 at 11:04 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  8. Wed., Feb 25

    by , February 25th, 2009 at 07:03 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Hectic day ...

    AM: 30 minutes on my indoor cycle between bursts of work this am.

    (I've done my usual canvassing and been told that cycling does not aggravate hips unless your heel "floats" on the pedals. Geek says he's had no issues in his spin classes.)

    PM: 4 mile run

    (Didn't bother my hip as much as last week. )

    Going to force myself to do my RC exercises while watching Lost tonight. Lifting and swimming tomorrow. Need to steal a workout.


    Ugh, just found out I have to get up at 4:00 am tomorrow to take my kid to morning practice. They're doing lactate testing. Hate early morning practice. Makes me secretly wish my kid would quit swimming. lol


    I'm also wondering how people know so much about lifting ... Did you go to weight lifting school? Where do you learn this stuff?

    Updated February 25th, 2009 at 07:37 PM by The Fortress

  9. Tuesday, Feb 24

    by , February 24th, 2009 at 04:44 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim, solo, SCY:

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic Conditioning Set:
    (this set was swiped from Chris' morning workout and modified)

    1 x 200 backstroke kick @ 3:20
    2 x 100 IM @ 1:45
    3 x 50 fly @ 1:00
    1 x 200 backstroke kick @ 3:20
    2 x 100 IM @ 1:45
    3 x 50 back @ 50
    1 x 200 backstroke kick @ 3:20
    2 x 100 IM @ 1:45
    3 x 40 breast @ 1:00

    50 EZ

    Endurance Kick Set:

    20 x 50 dolphin kick w/MF @ :45
    5 on back, 5 w/board, 5 on back, 5 w/board
    (worked on kicking on my side on the ones on my back)

    100 EZ

    Speed Set:
    (didn't really feel like doing these, but forced myself to. my free actually felt pretty fast and strong.)

    8 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)

    150 C/D

    Total: 4050


    I am really from weights yesterday. Not in a scary shoulder pain kind of way, just a sore way. I'm sure it's from my experiments with assisted and unassisted pull ups yesterday and the increased weight. I'm worried I'll still be sore tomorrow when I was going to lift. I'm wondering if it's better to take 2 days off between weight sessions if you're lifting heavier? Thoughts on this?


    Here's the Order of Events for Colonies Zones on April 25-26: I'm trying to figure out what events to swim. Any thoughts? I'll probably rest some for this meet and keep resting for a SCM meet in NY in early May. Jimby suggested the 400 IM and 500 free, but that is just not in the cards! Think I'll do 100 free though. Haven't swum it in 2 years in SCY. Wolf Girl thinks I've never swum it, but actually I'm a "Zonesman" in this event.


    100 free
    200 back
    400 mixed free relay
    200 mixed medley relay
    50 breast
    200 IM
    500 free
    100 fly
    200 breast
    50 back
    400 medley relay
    200 free relay


    200 free
    100 IM
    800 free relay
    400 mixed medley relay
    200 mixed free relay
    50 fly
    100 breast
    400 IM
    100 back
    200 fly
    50 free
    400 free relay
    200 medley relay

    I'll probably swim the two relays at the end of each day and the 200 mixed medley relay early in the day on Sat.

    Updated February 25th, 2009 at 10:22 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  10. Weights + Swim, Feb 23

    by , February 23rd, 2009 at 02:17 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Traveled to Williamsburg with family and friends this weekend for Mr. Fort's half marathon. As expected, there was no time to get in exercise. First time I've gone two days without working out since ... dunno, maybe last July or August when I was really sick ... lol. As a result, though, I felt fairly perky in the weight room today. I took Jazzy's advice and bumped the weights up and did fewer reps. Pretty sure I've been under achieving in the weight room due to shoulder paranoia and weight aversion. I'm going swimming this afternoon and will update the blog later, but here's what I did in the weight room in about 45 minutes as best I can recall: (I did supersets on some of these this time.

    calf press, 110 x 2 x 15 (toes pointed out, in and straight)
    seated narrow grip lat pulldown, 90 x 2 x 12
    total ab machine, 120 x 2 x 15
    dead lift, 80 x 2 x 10
    pull ups w/30 pounds of assist, 2 x 10
    sits up on incline bench, 3 x 25
    reverse straight leg sit ups on bench, 2 x 15
    tricep press, 80 x 2 x 10
    adductor machine, 100 x 2 x 10 (didn't work these too hard, hip still sore, especially after 6 hours of driving)
    standing crunches, 80 x 2 x 15
    narrow grip seated row, 100 x 2 x 10
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, on each arm
    standing "push ups" on double cable free motion machine, 35 x 2 x 10
    med ball crunches, 2 x 25
    DB bench press, 20 x 2 x 10

    AND 6 pull ups!! Didn't think I could do these at all. Decided to give it a whirl. Surprised myself. Hopefully, my shoulder won't complain later. (I thought I was doing chin ups, but my son told me I was doing pull ups. Doh)

    What are you supposed to do with your legs on pull ups by the way? Let them hang or use them for momentum.

    5 minutes of stretching


    Shameless sharing:

    Mr. Fort ran pretty well on a very hilly course. Went 1:34:45 or so, averaging a 7:06 mile pace. He was a bit taken aback to see his age listed as 50 ... (it's like meters). Had a chuckle at that. He should be on track to qualify for Boston, although he has a nagging hip/hamstring issue. Frequently a fight for ice in my house ...

    Fort Son (my HS sophomore) is having his first crew practice on the water today. The head coach told him that, although he's a novice rower, he'll probably make the varsity lightweight team. They won states last year, so he's pretty stoked. I can see that these regattas are going to take up a boatload of weekend time ...


    PM Swim at Gym:

    400 swim
    200 kick
    100 fly drills

    12 x 25 shooters w/MF
    4 belly, 4 left, 4 right

    Main sets:

    5 x 200 IM w/fins @ 3:30, cruised them

    2 x (6 x 100 kick)
    2 backstroke kick @ 2:00, 2 dolphin kick w/board & MF @ 1:40, 2 dolphin kick on back w/MF @ 1:40

    50 EZ

    10 x 50 back @ 1:00

    100 C/D

    Total: 3850 meters

    15 minutes hot tub

    Updated February 23rd, 2009 at 11:36 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  11. 2 Swims + New Technique

    by , February 20th, 2009 at 05:15 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim #1

    Swam last night with my team after the afternoon weights. The pool heater isn't working very well. It was 78-79 degrees, which is a bit brisk for my taste. I was cold for portions of the practice. Worst of all, the hot tub wasn't working that well either! Anyway, it wasn't that hard of a practice, but I felt pretty dead afterward -- probably because it was my first real workout after taper.

    Warm up:

    300 swim
    2 x 150 (50 back, 50 breast, 50 free)
    2 x 200 kick (by 50s, IM order)
    4 x 100 (25 kick, 50 drill, 25 swim, one of each stroke)


    8 x vertical kick @ :45
    20 seconds w/ hands at shoulders, 10 second with arms in streamline position, then squat jump off the bottom of the pool into a streamline. Wally was cheating and doing BR kick, so he was given a med ball.

    50 EZ

    6 x 150 @ 2:30 with fins, 100 kick + 50 fast stroke

    I worked the kicks and went medium-fast on the stroke portion. Didn't feel like going super fast on the swim, was too sore from weights and not mentally ready to go fast yet. Did 3 back/3 fly. I demolished the fast/strong boys on this set. Dunno why. Maybe Geek's right and guys don't like to kick. Or maybe they were loafing with their fins. I don't see the point in kicking with fins if you're just cruising. If you want to cruise, do a tempo endurance kick set.

    100 EZ

    400 free paddles, breathe 3-5-3-5 by 100s

    I swam free and ignored the breathing pattern, as I don't believe in hypoxic breathing for distance free. Heck, I don't even believe in distance free.

    4 x 100 @ 1:40, IM or stroke

    I did IMs. My lane mate and I decided to go on 1:40 instead of 1:30 as we just weren't up for a tight interval.

    400 free paddles, breathe 3-5-3-5 by 100s

    I used this as a warm down and skipped the 200 warm down, as I was tuckered out.

    Total: 4000

    Swim #2

    Pure technique workout. I've decided to try something new with my SDKs. Thus far, I've been SDK-ing keeping my upper body still ala Phelps and Ande. I've decided to try using my entire body more while SDK-ing, more like Misty Hyman in this youtube video:

    [ame=""]YouTube - Dolphin Kicking - Misty Hyman[/ame]

    Watch how much she uses her hands!

    Paul Smith has been experimenting with this himself. He reports feeling more powerful while kicking on his back, but not on his belly. After working on this the whole practice I had the opposite reaction: I felt more natural SDK-ing on my belly or side to me. Also, I definitely seemed to be getting more DPK, which is key. I think this is probably a one size doesn't fit all kind of technique issue. But, since I'm done tapering, I'm going to focus on doing this in practice and attempt to try it out at my next meet.

    Any SDK-ers have thoughts on this? Chris?

    Anyway, here's what I did:

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Undulation/SDK work:

    20 x 25 shooters w/MF
    5 on belly, 5 on left side, 5 on right side, 5 on back, 5 on belly

    50 EZ

    3 x 100 single arm fly @ 2:00, working undulation off the walls

    3 x 100 backstroke @ 2:00, working undulation off walls

    50 EZ

    10 x 25 shooters w/MF on belly

    100 EZ

    Total: 2250


    Note: I also think I need to start kicking on my side more off the wall on my backstroke turns. This may be faster for me. Haven't tried this in a meet yet.

    Funny note: A triathlete stopped me and asked if I wanted to train with him in the afternoons because he "has trouble pushing himself." I was thinking WTF? I mean, our workouts are utterly antagonistic ...

    I also sent in my entries for the Albatross Open SCM meet on March 21 today. Signed up for 100 fly, 100 back, 50 fly and 50 free. We'll see if I have time to swim the 50s.

    Updated February 20th, 2009 at 05:56 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  12. Weights + Swim Later

    by , February 19th, 2009 at 05:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Did 50 minutes of weights/core work at the gym today. Going to my team practice tonight and will update later. Wanted to write it down before I forgot (in random order):

    pull ups w/50 pound assist, 12 x 3
    standing lat pull down, 110 x 10 x 3
    standing tricep press, 70 x 12 x 3
    standing cable crunch, 65 x 12 x 2
    kneeling cable crunch, 75 x 12 x 2
    laying pull down cable crunch, 80 x 10 x 2
    (made up name)
    standing overhead barbell tricep extension, 20 x 12 x 2 (first time I ever did this)
    standing barbell bicep curl, 30 x 12 x 2
    seated dip machine, 60 x 25 x 2 (I do these without bending my elbow to work the RC)
    med ball crunches, 25 x 2
    reverse straight leg sit ups on bench, lifting ass up off bench (need a name for these), 15 x 2
    total ab machine, 100 x 25 x 2
    prone scapular scrunches w/5 pound weights, hands at side, 25 x 2
    iron monkeys, 25 x 2

    5 minutes of stretching

    Oh, Tim, I held the plank for 1 minute! Felt OK. 30 seconds was too easy.

    Probably won't get back to the weight room until next week, so tried to get quite a few things in today.

    Ordered some Hammer Recoverite today to see if it helps me recovery after hard swim workouts or "doubles."

    Updated February 20th, 2009 at 05:18 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  13. Wednesday, Feb 18

    by , February 18th, 2009 at 05:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Still haven't recovered from the meet. Usually takes me about 3 days or so to recover from a 2 day meet. Not doing anything intense this week. I'm going to Richmond this weekend to watch Mr. Fort and friends run a half marathon there. I may just take the weekend off. BUT since I don't want to lose even more of the strength I've tortured myself to get, I went to the gym today.

    45 minutes of weights and core work. I may start trying to keep track of this better (although it takes a fair bit of mental effort and I don't know many of the technical names.). I just did a mix of things today to get the lifting jump-started again. I've definitely lost some strength, so I started light.

    30 minutes on the ellipse machine

    15 minutes hot tub


    From what I can recall, this is what I did:
    (Looks like I'm supposed to put the weight first, not last. I seriously know nothing about lifting. lol)

    external rotators on free motion machine, 2 x 15 with each arm

    ankle presses on the leg press machine (I do these to strengthen my wobbly ankles for running.) 1 x 15 x 110 with toes pointed in, out and straight

    leg press, 2 x 10 x 310

    alternating hammer, 2 x 30 x 15

    seated row, narrow grip, 2 x 12 x 80

    dead lift, 2 x 12 x 70

    standing "push ups" on the double cable free motion machine, 2 x 12 x 40

    sit ups on the incline bench, 2 x 25

    crunches with the med ball (don't know what these are called. I only keep my butt on the ground when I do these and bring the med ball over my head), 2 x 25

    jackknifes with the yoga ball, 2 x 15

    reverse sit ups on the funky reverse V shaped bench type thing, 2 x 25 with a 10 lb weight. I just held the weight to my chest. Sometimes, I try to do it with the weight held out over my head with straight arms. This is much harder, and I was too tired today.

    Used the pec fly/rear delt machine today, did 2 x 15 of each, can't remember the weight.

    Still pondering planks. I generally agree with JMiller that they hurt my shoulders, but I'm going to look at the Mens Health article that Tim posted and see what the variations are. I may start doing the ab barbell rollout instead.

    Updated February 18th, 2009 at 05:12 PM by The Fortress

  14. PRP in the NYT

    by , February 17th, 2009 at 11:51 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I've mentioned previously on the forum that I underwent PRP for several months in the first half of 2008 to rehab some labral tearing and a SLAP lesion on my left shoulder. Most forumites or other people I discuss shoulders with usually give me a blank look/reaction when I mention PRP. I decided on this treatment when PT and ART did not provide relief from chronic shoulder pain. Well, they wouldn't really. It was wear and tear, which, unlike tendonitis, is not terribly responsive to conventional treatments. (See, e.g., a post of Eric Hochstein on one of the recent shoulder threads making this same comment regarding tearing.)

    In any event, Dr. Jaegermeister sent me this article today from the NYT, which makes PRP sound very promising for athletes. Glad I tried it, as I believe my shoulder is significantly better as a result and I am no longer in chronic pain. (Not to say I still don't get occasional pain -- but it can be managed with RC exercises, fins and ART and I don't feel the urge to quit swimming or skip practices due to pain.)
  15. Tuesday, Feb 17

    by , February 17th, 2009 at 02:50 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Yesterday afternoon, I swam an easy 1200 meters or so and sat in the hot tub for 20 minutes. Hoping to get some lactic acid out.

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

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

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

    Updated February 17th, 2009 at 03:02 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Running
  16. Auburn, Day 2

    by , February 16th, 2009 at 12:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Despite being totally sleep deprived, my body was still sufficiently rested, tapered, pampered, massaged etc. to swim fast. I feel like I really nailed the taper with significant time drops. Swam faster than I though I would. In fact, I should probably just retire from SCY now, as I doubt I'll ever swim faster. lol All time drops are "taper drops" because I've swum every event except the 100 IM in B70s. (I note this because Jimby thinks all my recent improvements are due to B70 use.)

    100 fly: 1:01.33

    Previous PB was 1:04.2 (swam that at Austin in a Pro and at the Sprint Classic in a B70). I swam this in heat 1 by myself. Had the same reaction as the 50 free. I just could not believe my time. I was hoping to go a 1:03. Shocked and super happy. My splits were 28.46/32.87. Rigor mortis set in, as usual, with about 10 yards to go. Mini-Fort says I just have to chop off one second to make sectionals. I tried to explain that this was a once in a lifetime taper kind of thing and I wasn't going to hop in and do this next month. Yeesh!

    50 back: 28.52

    Previous best was a 29.1 in September, and I was secretly hoping for a 28.9. Didn't have the best turn and was on the lane line for a bit of the second length. Still very very happy with the time.

    100 back: 1:02.84

    Previous best was 1:04.7 (did this in a Pro in Austin and in a B70 in September) and I was hoping for a high 1:03 or so. Did this as a split request in the 200 back. (The officials checked the rules and found the split request form.) I didn't have much time to recover after the 50 back. Maybe 35 minutes. I would really have preferred an hour or even 2 hours. That's the one disadvantage of tapering for a regional meet as opposed to Nats -- you just don't get the same amount of rest between events. This event hurt the most of all my races, probably because I was very very tired. Splits were 30.24/32.60. Forumite Karlene was kind enough to give me my splits and times right when I hopped (er, dragged myself) out of the pool.

    I consider this race a moral victory. I've been wanting to beat my 12 year old time of 1:04.0 for awhile. So now I'm faster than when I was 12. lol


    Taper Reflections/Thoughts:

    1. Did 6 PBs at this meet. I've done this before at a taper meet, but I think some of the PBs were just natural improvement, increased racing experience, or just not much experience in a given course. But I've never dropped this much time across every event before. I have to conclude that this means I really hit my taper right. The biggest change I made was in week 1 of the taper. I followed Chris' advice to keep yardage up (reduce only a bit), cut aerobic work and cut speed work. In prior tapers, I've increased speed work in week 1 and reduced yardage. I also got much more rest/sleep than usual during taper (took a lot of "morning naps"). This may have factored into the results as well.

    2. The Auburn pool was very fast. It was a double bulkhead pool. Didn't seem to bother me. I did have to peek to spot the wall in the 50 free though.

    3. I'm still struggling on my backstroke turns in yards. This meet, I took 3 strokes before flipping over instead of the 2 from my last meet. I guess it worked, but I felt like I had to take short strokes and was tentative on the turns. Also, I notice with my B70, I'm not getting as deep on my starts and turns and popping up sooner. Ande tells me I need to affirmatively try to go deeper and use the "suit surge." I'm definitely not doing that right now.

    3. The SCY season is in the books for me. I'm only going to swim a few events at Zones for fun. Hopefully, my times will hold up decently with those to be posted at Clovis. I'm just going to focus on SCM and LCM now, which I vastly prefer anyway. Whenever I swim backstroke in yards, I just think "another damn wall?!" Walls upset my rhythm and help tall people more than us shorter types.

    4. I have to say that I really enjoyed tapering at an unconventional time. I'm not a winter person and it gave me something to keep me occupied and focused on over these dreary months. Now, I'm really ready to turn back to some cross training and running outdoors. This is really not a bad way to go!

    5. Tapering is hard work. It requires a lot of commitment to getting enough rest, sleep, etc. I'm really looking forward to going back to not worrying about whether I feel tired or sore and doing whatever I want to do. I always feel like I've gotten a "get out of jail free" card when taper time is over.

    6. A couple people have asked me what I think accounts for the significant time drops I've had since Austin. In a nutshell, I think it's more intense training. I've generally been swimming 5x a week. When in the pool, I've done more aerobic work and more intense kick sets. And I've just done more weights/drylands, though I can still improve in this area. So, as I said recently on the SFF thread, "more is more" seems to have worked for me.

    7. Sandbagging seems to agree with me. I swam all my 100s completely by myself with no one to "race." Didn't seem to matter. In general, I prefer just swimming my own race. I don't think having someone right next to me makes all that much difference.

    8. 100 fly thoughts: One reason I was so surprised with my time is that I have not been training for the 100 fly. If you've read my blog, you'll know that I've mostly just been doing 25s with some 50s and fly in IMs thrown in. Last October, I tried to do longer fly sets to improve my endurance in the 100 fly, but suffered immediate shoulder pain. So I went back to 25s and 50s. Didn't seem to hurt me that much. Also, for the fin critics out there, I will note that I NEVER swim fly without fins. So pfffftttt. Works for me and keeps my shoulders healthy! I'm glad I've marched to my own drummer on this issue and not accepted conventional wisdom.

    Oh, and no matter how much Puff bugs me, I will never swim a 200 fly.

    Here are the complete results:

    Updated February 17th, 2009 at 01:12 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  17. Auburn, Day 1

    by , February 14th, 2009 at 11:22 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Blogging from my iPhone, which usually means typos, as it has a mind of it's own.

    The highlight of my day was the event I least expected to bust out a time in: 50 free. Just goes to show you, you never know what event will be "on" especially with unpredictable 50s.


    100 IM: 1:04.1

    Previous best was 1:06.8 in Austin. This was about what I expected to go based on my time from Rutgers. Had completely lopsided splits as usual. Out in 28.7. My heels kept popping out of the water in the evilstroke. Turns were slow as usual. Without remedial evilstroke help, this might be as fast as I can go. Everyone faster than me in this event can rock a 50 evilstroke. Still very happy as it's 2.7 seconds faster than my previous best.

    50 free: 24.94

    I was thrilled!!!! Previous best was 25.5 from the Sprint Classic in a B70; went a 25.99 in Austin. So this was a big drop. Had a sub par turn, but turnover felt good. This seems like a pretty big breakthrough for me. I was so shell shocked when I looked at the scoreboard, I had to ask the timers what my time was.

    50 fly: 27.2

    Meh. Wanted to go 26.9. Did everything wrong: two bad breakouts, bad turn, and too close to the lane line. Friend thought I might have nicked it. Not sure what happened on the turn. Didn't have my feet set well and got a bad push off/streamline. Or, who knows, maybe I was hungry from skipping lunch. 50s are tough, you have to execute perfectly, especially in SCY. Since I rarely go off a block, this is a problem. This is why I vastly prefer meters to yards. No big deal, though, I'll give it another whirl at Zones. Right now, it's a PB with correctable mistakes. I think I have good fitness and raw speed, it's the technical aspects of my races that need work.

    Not sure about the officiating at the meet. I asked about getting a split request in my 200 back. They looked at me as if I was from Mars, didn't know anything about forms and didn't know the rules. I had thought this was commonplace based on all the people I see getting official times from split requests ... Doesn't inspire confidence in me, especially after the 50 fly fiasco. Why do so few officials know the USMS rules?

    In any event, I may not get to swim it. I hadn't focused on the fact there is a time change between here and Atlanta when I booked my flight. I may have to scratch this event to catch my flight. Really bad planning on my part. May try to squeeze it in, but it will be close. Will play it by ear.

    Had my usual meet insomnia last night. Would really like to go to sleep before 3:00 am. Got a lot of sleep the last two weeks, so that may have to suffice.

    Updated February 15th, 2009 at 11:53 PM by The Fortress

  18. Friday, Feb. 13

    by , February 13th, 2009 at 11:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Flew to Atlanta and drove down to Auburn. All went very smoothly, except hip sore from all the sitting. Drove out to the Aquatic Center. Did about 700 yards to loosen up and took a hot shower for about 20 minutes. Facility flaw: no whirlpool. Pool looks fast. Was told the competition pool opened at 6:00. It didn't, had to leave I will meet the bulkhead for the first time tomorrow in the 50 free. Good thing that's my "6th event." I observed widespread fin use by the mens and Womens college team. The senior age groupers who practiced after were doing timed swims with fins from the blocks.

    Had dinner with friends. Will sleep in and go early to warm up since I'm in Event one, Heat one.
  19. 1000 + SCM Thursday, Feb. 12

    by , February 12th, 2009 at 12:56 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Last day of ditzing around in the pool like a noodler:

    700 warm up
    2 x 25 build
    2 x 25 easy speed fly
    200 easy


    Taper News:

    No real hypochondriasis at the moment. Shoulders are a bit sore from tossing and turning last night. Still holding at just congestion! Speaking of hypochondriasis, this will be my first big meet in awhile without my blogger buddies Jimby and SwimStud. Is Jimby my good luck charm or does he encourage hypochondriasis? He is always a good source of Jolt Gum ...

    The timeline for the meet is out. There are 1650 entries -- quite a lot for a regional meet.
    I should have enough time between my first and seconds events each day, thanks to my sandbagging of the first event. I'm a bit worried about warm up on Saturday, since I'm in heat 1 of event 1 and have to budget ample time for struggling/wiggling/wrenching myself into the new tech suit. I've been very spoiled by my stretched out B70. I was down to about 3 mintues to get into it. Now, I'm back to 30 minutes. lol.

    Will probably go early and warm up in the warm up pool on Saturday morning. (By early, I mean about 11:00 am.) May try to get to the competition pool late Friday afternoon if my flight is on time and I don't get stuck in traffic. I've been told the bulkhead is tricky, so this is probably a good idea.

    Looking forward to meeting Heather Reitz, Swimcat, Karlene, Glider & others and seeing Elise again. I'm counting on Elise to get me from the hotel to the pool as I am always getting lost. Why is it so confusing to find the damn pool on a college campus?!

    SCM Times:

    Preliminary SCM rankings are out.

    Did better than last year. I find it somewhat comical that my worst ranking was 50 fly. I even did better in 100 fly than 50 fly. A first! Biggest improvement is in the 100 IM. I swam in 3 SCM meets this year (Albatross, IGLA and one day at Rutgers). I did 3 day mini tapers for the first two and rested a week for Rutgers. The week of IGLA, I lifted and ran, so think I could have gone faster in the backstroke events and 50 fly. (Wait, I did in the 50 fly .... lol) It'd be nice to do a 2 week taper one year for a SCM meet. I wish there was a bit more competition for the top spots in my age group. Right now, they're completely dominated by KPN.

    Updated February 12th, 2009 at 04:12 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  20. Gettin' Twitchy Wed., Feb 11

    by , February 11th, 2009 at 04:45 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    SCM, solo:

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    200 kick
    150 fly drills

    Rest of Warm up:

    2 x (2 x 25 build free + 25 easy)

    2 x (2 x 25 easy speed fly + 25 easy)

    50 EZ

    2 x (2 x 25 AFAP + 50 EZ)

    100 EZ

    Total: 1250 meters


    Taper News:

    Was trying to do sort of a meet warm up. Meet warm ups confuse me. Sometimes I feel stale/haven't got the cobwebs out on my first event and sometimes I'm fine without too much warm up. Never sure how much to do. Glad I'm starting my meet out with 100s each day though.

    I'm guardedly optimistic about the hip. It feels better, though still sore. Dr. Jimby is right that these things take a long time to heal.

    Still holding at congestion only, haven't lapsed into the sinusitis/bronchitis malaise I've been so prone to in the past.

    Felt pretty good in the water today. Decent DPS, fly felt good.

    After no running or spinning for almost 3 weeks, I'm starting to feel like a gooey Pillsbury Dough Boy.

    Haven't really set any time goals. Unlike many, I don't usually set specific goals, although I may have general goals (do PBs) or reach goals (like to bust out another good 100 IM time) in mind. Of course, I wouldn't mind seeing a .99 a couple times. I do plan to take my 100 back and 100 fly out a bit faster. If I die like the drop dead sprinter that I am, that's OK.

    Updated February 12th, 2009 at 04:12 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events