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  1. Reunited with MF, Monday, April 13

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

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Hypoxic set:

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

    Kick Mountain:

    dolphin kick on back w/MF:

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

    100 EZ

    Speed sets:

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

    100 EZ

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

    100 EZ

    Total: 3950


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


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


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

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

    Swim Workouts
  2. Rest Weekend + Shoulder Paranoia

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

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

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

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

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

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

  3. Triple, Friday, April 10

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

    2 mile warm up run on treadmill


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

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

    10 minutes stretching


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    Aerobic Sets:

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

    50 EZ

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

    50 EZ

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

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

    50 EZ

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

    150 C/D

    Total: 3250


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

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

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

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

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

    by , April 9th, 2009 at 03:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    2 mile warm up run on treadmill

    15 minutes of RC exercises

    15 minutes of stretching


    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    10 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 easy)

    50 EZ

    8 x (50 backstroke AFAP + 50 easy) @ 3:00

    200 c/d

    Tota: 2250

    The speed/lactate set started off a bit rough. I was at least a second slower than usual on the first four 50s. Didn't know if it was due to the outdoor/shallow pool or the fact that my arms/shoulders were weary from weights. In any event, I was in the normal range on the last four. The last one was fastest at 25ish. Oddly, I felt like I could have kept going. Usually I'm dead after 6 AFAP efforts. Even though this workout was much less yardage than the one I did on Tuesday, I expect to be more tired from it later on.

    Off to Mt. Lemon now!

    Updated April 9th, 2009 at 08:03 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Running
  5. Weights + Ellipse, Wednesday, April 8

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


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

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

    V Squat on Hammer machine, 200 x 2 x 15

    alternating hammers, 20 x 2 x 20

    3 x 5 pull ups
    3 x 5 chin ups

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

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

    2 x 5 minute stretching

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


    30 minutes on ellipse.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    Main sets:

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

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

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

    50 EZ

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

    100 EZ

    Total: 3900


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

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


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


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic Sets:

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

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

    50 EZ

    Backstroke Kick Set:

    4 x through:

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

    Speed Set:

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

    150 EZ

    Total: 3700

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

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

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

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  8. Sunday, Apr. 4

    by , April 4th, 2009 at 05:23 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    5 mile trail run + several miles of hiking along the Potomac River.

    Meant to swim later, but ran out of time and decided packing was more important.

    Hoping for sunshine in Tucson. Though it was quite lovely here today.
  9. Friday, Apr. 3

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


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

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

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

    10 minutes stretching


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

    Warm up:

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

    Kick Endurance + Sprint Set:

    dolphin kick with monofin:

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

    100 EZ

    Swim Endurance + Sprint Set:

    used fins, shoulders very tired from all the pushing weights

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

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

    300 C/D

    Total: 3500



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

    SCM Meet:

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

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

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


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

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

    May 15-16: LC Derby at GMU

    May 24-25: VA St Champs at OakMarr

    June 13-14: Meet at GMU

    June 20-21: Meet at Takoma

    July 16-19: Junior & Senior Champs

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



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

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

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

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


    Building Strength:

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

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

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

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

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

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic sets:

    3 x 200 cruiser free w/snorkel

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

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

    50 EZ

    Speed work:

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

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

    50 EZ

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

    50 EZ

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

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

    100 EZ

    Total: 3400


    Nose clip:

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


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

    Shoulder Exercise:

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

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

    Weight Lifting Gloves:

    Tim mentioned that Harbinger gloves were very good.

    But which of these would be right?

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    5 minutes of stretching



    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

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

    50 EZ

    3 x (5 x 100 + 50 EZ)

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

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

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

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

    11-15 @ 2:30, done as:

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

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

    100 EZ

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

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

    200 C/D

    Total: 3700



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

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

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

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

    Warm up:

    9 x 100, S/K/D

    Main sets:

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

    50 EZ

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

    50 EZ

    20 x 25 @ :30, alternate fast and easy

    100 C/D

    Total: 4800

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

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

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


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    Kick sets:

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

    50 EZ

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

    50 EZ

    Modified Geek set:

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

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

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

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

    150 EZ

    Total: 3000


    More Cross Fit:

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

    1:00 intervals, 3x thru 6 stations:

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

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

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

    3 x thru

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

    5 x for time of:

    30 Glute-ham sit-ups
    25 Back extensions

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

    I think Hulk called these roman sit ups.


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

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

    Swim Workouts
  14. Sick, Sunday Mar. 28

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

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

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


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

    100 free
    50 breast
    50 back
    2 relays

    50 fly
    100 back
    200 medley relay

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

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

  15. Ack! Calluses, Friday, March 27

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

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

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

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

    goblet squats w/35 lb DB, 2 x 15

    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm

    3 x 10 chinups (up to 30! )

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

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

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

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

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

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


    PM Swim/SCM/Solo:

    700 variety warm up

    Aerobic-Speed Play Sets:

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

    100 EZ

    8 x 100 @ 2:00

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

    200 C/D

    Total: 2600 meters


    Hulky Bulky Report:

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

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

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

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


    Caffeine as Performance Enhancer:


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

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  16. "Airplane Shoes," Thursday, March 26

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

    Had the following conversation with a few kids:

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

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

    Kid: Why would someone wear shoes in the water?

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

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

    Me: People swim faster when they swim like dolphins.

    Kid: Why?

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

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

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



    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    Aerobic sets:

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

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

    10 x 50 @ 1:00

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

    50 EZ

    Speed Sets:

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

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

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

    100 EZ

    8 x (25 AFAP + 25 easy)

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

    200 C/D

    Total: 3000

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


    Weight questions:

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

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

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


    I'm pretty sore and tired from the weights and swim workouts. Really really glad I didn't opt to swim the 50 free at Sectionals this weekend. I'll be content to watch evilstroke.
    Swim Workouts
  17. 5 x 5 pull ups! Wed., March 25

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

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

    15 minutes of stretching

    AM Mini-run:

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

    PM Weights:

    Increased weight ... prepared to be sore tomorrow!

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

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

    2 x 15 push ups
    5 x 5 pullups

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

    10 minutes of stretching


    Pull ups:

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

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

    Looks rather hazardous on the joints?

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    3 x 100 single arm fly @ 1:45

    Hypoxic Backstroke:

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

    50 EZ

    Ouchie Tall Paul Set w/ Added Pull Outs:

    4 x 100 @ 3:00, done as:

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

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

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

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

    (Power kick = fast)

    100 EZ

    Aerobic Kick-Based Sets:

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

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

    100 EZ

    5 x 150 @ 3:00, done as:

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

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

    50 EZ

    Endurance Dolphin Kick Mountain w/MF & board:

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

    (Kinda bonked in the middle of this.)

    200 C/D

    Total: 4900


    Explosive Lifting:

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

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


    B70 Good Through 2010?

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

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

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

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

    5 mile trail run


    AM weights:

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

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

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

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

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

    PM Swim in SCM Gym Pool:

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

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Hypoxic/Aerobic Sets:

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

    50 EZ

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

    200 C/D

    Total: 2750 meters


    Post Meet Thoughts:

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

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

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


    Sprinter Periodization Cycles:

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

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

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



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


    NAG Record:

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

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

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

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

    Edit: Put in splits

    100 fly SCM, 1:09.80

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

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

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

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

    100 back SCM, 1:10.94

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Masters Swim Meets / Events