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Swim Workouts

  1. Riverbank workout

    I had a good swim this morning at Riverbank. It was a crowded pool today—it seems like the Columbia U. pool is closed, and RB is getting some spillover this week of young swimmers. But Hannah, John, and I found space in one of the fast lanes, and I got in the following workout:

    900 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 100 d/s)

    2 x 200 IM

    10 x 100 @ 1:45: odds FR/BK fast, evens easy FR

    600 kick (br/bk/fl, 4x through)

    Sprint interlude: 4 x (20m sprint + 30m easy), 1-3 FR, 4 FL

    4 x 200 FR > IM pacman

    200 warmdown

    It was too cold and drizzly to stretch on the playground this morning, but I got in some good stretching after weights this afternoon at the Y. My body feels just the right amount of exercised today!
    Swim Workouts
  2. Multi-sport Sunday

    I enjoyed a good swim at Riverbank this morning. I didn’t have any workout buddies per se, but the pool was full of familiar faces, some of them former teammates whom I hadn’t seen in a while, so I felt like I was swimming with friends even though I did a solo workout. Today’s sets were of the spur of the moment as-my-mood-dictates sort which sometimes leaves me unmotivated and aimless, but today I stayed focused and felt like I got in some good work on some technique areas that needed addressing. Here’s what I did:

    1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 4 x 50 drill/swim RIMO)

    8 x 50, 2 of each stroke IM order, odds = kick 25 fast / 25 easy, evens = swim build

    100 FR pull with paddles, 3-stroke breathing, working on good catch on non-breathing side
    50 fast FR swim with paddles (strong kick), focusing on early hip rotation
    50 FR kickboard-as-buoy pull with paddles, focusing on hip rotation

    8 x 50 kick, 25 fast + 25 easy, 1-4 rev IM order, 5-8 IM order

    100 FR pull with paddles, 3-stroke breathing, working on good catch on non-breathing side
    2 x 50 FR fast swim with paddles and strong kick, focusing on early hip rotation

    8 x 50, #s 1,4,6,8 fast kick, reverse IM order, #s 2,3,5,7 easy swim (order manipulated for kickboard-at-the-right-end-of-pool purposes)

    100 FR pull with paddles, 3-stroke breathing, working on good catch on non-breathing side
    2 x 50 FR fast swim with paddles and strong kick, focusing on early hip rotation
    2 x 50 FR kickboard-as-buoy pull with paddles, focusing on hip rotation
    2 x 50 FR with strong kick, working on all of the above

    100 warmdown

    I was really enjoying kicking long course today. My fastest 50 kicks were right at :50 (FR and FL), but my BR kick was slow and seemed like a stranger to me today. I’ll have to start spending more time with it so that we will become friends again.

    After my early swim I stretched, had a little nap, enjoyed a diner brunch, then headed out to Brooklyn for diving practice. This wasn’t our regular TNYA workout, but one with a small group of masters divers at St. Francis College. Two of their divers had visited my team’s workout this past Thursday, and had invited me to come to their Sunday afternoon practice. I took them up on it, and was glad I did—I enjoyed a good hour of going off the boards, working on my front approach. With just 4 divers and 2 boards, I got plenty of reps in, and plenty of good feedback. When I started diving my coach said that the approach and takeoff were the hardest part of diving, and the one that takes the longest to master—and that all that flipping and twisting in the air afterwards is simple by comparison. I’m beginning to see his point. I did hit a few good approaches today and could clearly feel the difference—now I need to work on doing that consistently instead of by chance

    The Saint Francis pool is super easy to get to—it’s about a half-hour door-to-door from my apartment. And now I have dived, swum a workout, and played in a polo tournament there! The coach was not sure yet what the summer schedule for diving would be out there, but I hope it’s at a time when I can go, and which doesn’t conflict with TNYA’s workouts—it would be great to get in 3 diving practices a week!
    Swim Workouts
  3. Meet report

    I had a really great time at the Commissioner’s Cup meet on Sunday. It was a well attended event, with around 175 swimmers, but with 10 lanes things went pretty quickly and the meet took maybe 3.5 hours total. The 500 at the end and the 200s grouped all at the beginning accounted for a big chunk of that, so after the opening relay my 4 individual events (all 50s) came and went quickly. The 25y competition course was set up starting in the shallower end of the pool, which, with the adjustable floor lowered all the way, was about 2m deep. One odd thing—the adjustable part of the pool bottom ended about 15y out, and at the end of it there was a white plastic scalloped border—I assume this serves to cushion the adjustable floor when it meets up with the permanent tiling. But besides being functional the scallops were cute too—it looked like the pool was wearing a frilly lace garter across its middle, and swimming across it made me smile every time.

    The meet was deck seeded, but psych sheets were distributed so that we could check that our entries were correct. I dutifully flipped through it to make sure I was in the events I’d entered—yep, there was my name in the 50 fly list—but wait! There was a 28.39 by my name. That wasn’t right at all—I’ve broken 30 once or twice, but not recently, and I had padded my seed times pretty well for this meet. I flipped to the 50 free--25.37? That was faster than I’d ever gone too--I knew I hadn’t put that down. My other seed times were equally off. As I went up to the computer table to straighten things out I was trying to puzzle out what had happened—things weren’t off just by a digit, or even two.

    As it turned out, everyone’s seed times had been treated as though they were meters times, then converted to yards by mistake. So swimmers would end up seeded where they should be, just the times would be off. There’s always something quirky with the heat sheets or seeding at this meet; this year’s glitch turned out to be pretty innocuous.

    That mystery solved, I warmed up, went off the block s a few times, and gathered with my team to get relay assignments for the meet’s big event—the Commisionner’s Trophy Relay. The parks department goes all out for this, bringing in huge trophies for the top 6 teams (1 for each swimmer), plus t-shirts and a big photo session for each relay team. It’s not an official masters events, so any 4 swimmers who meet the criteria (2 men, 2 women, total ages equaling 160 or more) can enter, regardless of official team affiliation. And since it’s deck entries, there’s always last-minute finagling during warm-ups to try to pull together teams, with women over 40 being in high demand. This year I was very glad to be affiliated with TNYA, and have a coach on-deck taking care of all the relay decisions and entries so that I wasn’t part of that zooiness.

    I had heard that one of my open-water buddies was putting a team together to go after the event record, a 1:40-mid. I knew we didn’t have a shot at them, so I was rooting for them to get the record. They didn’t disappoint, swimming a 1:40-low, the class of the field by far. My team came in third (1:49) with a strong finish from our anchor swimmer, who passed one team in the final 5 yards and came very close to catching another. They didn’t post individual splits, so I have no idea what I went, but I enjoyed swimming with my teammates and cheering them on in a close race—gotta love relays!

    The rest of the meet was individual events, and I spent most of my time behind the blocks waiting to swim, or in the warmup pool. I had about 10 minutes between my first two 50s, then a 40-minute gap, then about 5 minutes between my last 2. My times were relatively slow (in IM order: 33.03, 33.48, 38.00, and 29.01), and if I had been really focusing on doing everything I could to swim fast at this meet I would have been disappointed by these results. But since I’ve kind of been taking an extended break from working very hard in the water, these seemed about right. And I was reminded how very much I enjoy just getting up on the blocks and racing, no matter the result—the experience was just plain fun.

    So while I swam times in yards that would once have been good metric times for me (and no, they didn’t give the results the same treatment they gave the seeds times), I actually ended up feeling better about swimming after this meet than I have in a while. It confirmed to me that pool racing is something that I find worth doing, and that I would like to be better at. It also made me feel more connected to the pool swimming community again—it was gratifying to see so many familiar faces and chat with so many meet buddies from over the years. The one thing I regretted about the meet going so fast is that I didn’t get to watch more of other people’s races.

    As for my events, what kept me from going faster on Sunday? A little bit of everything. I expected to tie up at the end of my 50s, as the little sprinting I’d done in practices had been just 25s or less. But that only happened in fly, where my arms had a hard time getting out of the water those last 15 yards. On the other strokes I felt almost good at the finish. I think that means I need to work on those lactate-production type sprinty sets more so that I can generate enough energy in the first place to put myself into some distress by the end. I could feel that my turnover in breast and back wasn’t as fast as it should be for 50s. And my execution on starts/turns/breakouts will be sharper the more race-pace stuff I do. So basically—there’s a lot of room for improvement here.

    One of the things I had forgotten that I like so much about meet swimming—or maybe I never realized it before I became so immersed in open water stuff—is the sense of order and predictability. I just feel a certain competence when I’m at meets, because I know exactly what I’m supposed to be doing at any given moment. From the basics of being behind the blocks when I’m supposed to be and following starting commands to more complicated things like swimming races the way I’ve planned or getting in a good warmup in a crowded pool, the script has pretty much already been written. The challenge comes from executing mostly-predictable and replicable things well, rather than trying to figure out what I should be doing at any given moment. That I’m drawn to (rather than bored by) that sort of challenge is the kind of personality quirk that has made being a newbie diver a much more comfortable experience than being a newbie polo-player ever was. And it’s one of my perennial challenges in open-water. As many of those events as I did over the past couple of years, I never got to the point where I was confident that I was doing things "right,” or always knew what that might mean—which says both something about the nature of ow swimming and about my own insecurities and need for predictability. At Sunday’s meet I felt I had found my way home again, and was reassured to find it familiar and comforting after what seemed like a long absence.

    (That said, I’m not giving up on open-water, just trying to understand some of my reactions to it a little better. In fact, I just signed up for my first open-water event of the season, the 2 Bridges 5K swim on June 1. I’m willing to give up some predictability, sometimes, for the joys of swimming without walls in beautiful locales.)

    I thought I would take a rest day after the meet, but I woke up this morning early, and felt excited about going to the pool, so I headed up to Riverbank. I was lucky to find one of my swim buddies there to share a set with. Here’s what I did:

    1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 IM d/s by 25)

    6 x 150: 3 @ 3:00, 3 @ 2:50, 3 @ 2:40, 3 @ 2:30, descending each set of 3 [I did fr/bk/fr sandwiches for the first 3, then FR for the rest. My fastest 150 was 2:10 (on the 3rd set), the last set of 3 were 2:20-2:20-2:18.]

    400 IM, kick/swim by 50, easy and stretched out

    400 warmdown + play

    Afterwards I had a nice stretching session on the playground overlooking the GWB. I’m looking forward to doing that more often now that the weather is warming up.
  4. Refreshing morning swim

    Last night I went to my first (indoor) rowing class since summer. I had been wanting to resume these workouts ever since I returned to the city in early March, but I had to wait a bit while a foot injury healed sufficiently that the pushoff from the pedals wasn’t aggravating it. (It’s an old injury, to the joint connecting my big toe to my foot, and I had hurt it again at a trampoline session in late January.) My goal last night was simply to reacquaint myself with rowing form and make it through 45 minutes of class, and I did that. After some warm-up and half- and quarter-rows for form work, we did some power tens (series of 10 strokes fast—my fastest got down to 1:55), then the following set:

    5 x (2 minutes fast, 1 minute easy) [descended these from 2:27 to 2:11)

    2 minute rest / stretch
    At this point I thought the workout was about done. We had 6 minutes left, and we usually spend the last few minutes of class warming down and stretching. But, nope, the instructor decided he wanted to do the above set again. Since we had time for only 2 rounds, we did 3:

    3 x (2 minutes fast, 1 minute easy) [descended from 2:28 to 2:11)

    It was nice to be back rowing—I’m hoping to add this to my weekly schedule on a regular basis.

    This morning I swam at the Y with a friend. The pool was crowded when I got there, and we had to get the duo swimming in the fast lane to agree to circle with us. (Who takes “Would you mind circling?” as an actual question, anyway?) They left after a few laps, though, and we had the lane to ourselves for most of the workout. Here’s what I did:

    750 warmup (400s, 200k, 200 pull)

    4 x 75 FR k/d/s @ 1:30
    4 x 150 FR/BK/FR desc. @ 2:30 [2:15 > 1:58]

    5 x 500s with traveling backstroke
    1st 500 = FR except 1st and 10th 50s are back
    2nd 500 = FR except 2nd and 9th 50s are back
    3rd 500 = FR except 3rd and 8th 50s are back

    250 warmdown + play

    The pool was a good temp this morning—I even got a bit chilled when I was swimming at warmdown pace. Luckily there’s a sauna and steam room at this pool, and I made good use of them post-swim today. Weights this afternoon and ballet class tonight made for a full day of exercise. I'm definitely looking forward to a massage tomorrow!
  5. Riverbank morning

    Today I swam at Riverbank with 3 friends. I arrived a little before the doors opened, so went to the adjacent playground for a nice pre-swim stretch. I’m looking forward to warmer weather so that I can resume my longer post-swim stretches there. Today’s goal in the pool was to get in some aerobic work/yardage and focus on my breathing timing on freestyle. Here’s what I did:

    600 lcm warmup (400s, 200k) [found a pearl earring in our lane!]

    400 IM
    400 FR
    300 IM
    300 FR pull
    200 IM
    200 FR pull
    4 x 200 build-an-IM (50 FL/150 FR, 50 FL/50 BK/100 FR, 2 x 200 IM)
    5 x 100 kick
    [There is some pattern-logic to this set--the first 6 swim corresponded more or less to the 1 x 500, 2 x 400, 3 x 300 that my freestyle-focused swim buddies were doing (and from which the 4 2’s and 5 1’s naturally followed). Doing some IMs (and getting more rest) suited me better.]

    100 warmdown + play
    Swim Workouts
  6. In my Easter bonnet

    This morning I enjoyed a short solo swim at the Y. The pool seemed to have more than its share of grumpy clueless lap swimmers today—there were several mild arguments, and once I looked over to see some woman wagging her finger at the lifeguard, who was trying to restore order to the slow lane. But happily the fast lane was a model of friendly cooperation for the duration of my swim, with the two guys I shared with (one during warmup, the other during warmdown) being competent and willing circlers. Here’s what I did:

    1000 warmup (400s, 200 rev. IM kick, 200 pull, 200 IM drill/swim by 25)

    8 x 75 (25 kick, 25 build, 25 AFAP) @ :45 RI, 2 of each stroke

    400 warmdown + play

    Sprints felt good.

    Afterwards I went upstairs for weights and stretching. I’m stoked to be seeing some progress in the weight room--here’s where I am on my currently (all the sets of less than 6 were done until failure, except for bench press where I’m aiming for 10/8/6):

    Military press 1 set of 12 @ 15-lbs, 1 set of 6 @ 17.5 pounds
    Butterfly 1 set of 12 @ 12.5, 1 set of 7 @ 15
    Bicep curls, 1 set of 12 @ 15, 1 set of 5 (right) / 6 (left) @ 15
    Single arm rows: 2 sets of 12 @ 17.5
    Forward/sidewards/rear deltoid raises: 2 sets of 12 @ 7.5 lbs
    Lat pull-downs (on machine): 2 sets of 12 @ 65
    Bench press: 12 @ 45 (warmup + form check), 10 @ 55, 8 @ 60, 5 @ 65

    Bench press stabilization: 2 sets of 30 @ 30 lbs
    Lat/scapular stabilization: 2 sets of 40 @ 40 lbs
    Wrist curlicues: with 3-lb weights

    . . . because if not today, when?
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  7. Easy morning swim

    This morning I swam an easy 5k workout at the Y with a friend. We had a lane to ourselves for all but the first 100 or so of warmup. In contrast to Monday, today the long set seemed easy and gentle on my body. Here’s how it went:

    1000 scy warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 IM d/s)

    IM-is-initially-outnumbered-but-perseveres-and-outlasts-the-FR set
    1000 (4 x (200 fr + 50 stroke), stroke IM order)
    800 (4 x (150 fr + 50 stroke), stroke IM order)
    600 (4 x (100 fr + 50 stroke), stroke IM order)
    400 (4 x (50 fr + 50 stroke), stroke IM order)
    200 IM (4 x (0 fr + 50 stroke), stroke IM order)
    [We took about :30 to 1:00 rest between swims.]

    1000 pull with paddles

    50 dolphin-dive warmdown

    The IM set was very calm and relaxing—I’m often annoyed by all the turns when swimming scy, but today they seemed to put me in a pleasant trance. I had to remind myself to count every now and again.

    Afterwards I went upstairs for weights and stretching. I’m still a little sore in my triceps and upper arms from the diving, but it’s much much better. The bruises are fading too.

    My legs and abs seem completely recovered, just in time for tonight’s diving practice. A few months ago some videographers came to one of our practices in order to get some footage of adults diving to include in a music video. This week we finally saw the result: I didn’t make it to the final cut, but there are a few cool shots of some of my teammates going off the boards and breaking through the water. I may not be on Splash, but I definitely dive with stars!
    Swim Workouts
  8. A struggly day

    Some days at the pool are all-fun-all-the-time, some turn out great once you drag yourself there, and some just seem a struggle from beginning to end. I had one of the last kind this morning. Besides still being painfully sore from Saturday’s 3-hour diving clinic, I had woken up way too early this morning, which gave me ample time to eat breakfast, get some work done, and get sleepy again just as it was time to head out the door. On the upside, I had an friend to share the workout with, and the pool was a decent temperature. This is what I managed:

    800 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p)

    2.5 times thru:
    300 FR swim
    300 FR pull with paddles
    300 FR swim
    200 kick
    [The interval for these was 5:00 mostly, which wasn’t easy today. Somehow my triceps ended up being the sorest part of my body, and it took some willpower to find technique keys to focus on during the swims and pulls instead of simply saying “ow, ow, ow, ow” to myself on every stroke. (Plus I had done that during most of warmup, and it got old). I could just hear the voice of my ballet teacher, who likes to ask towards the end of excruciating barre excercises “You’re not feeling sorry for yourselves are you?” I decided to minimize the self-pity and find some good in this set by focusing on my head position when breathing and on using my legs during the swims.]

    400 warmdown + play

    I would have given a lot for a post-practice hot tub this morning. Alas, that’s not among Riverbank’s amenities yet.
    Swim Workouts
  9. Short solo workout

    This morning I did weights and a short swim at the Y. This is my third week back doing weights; I used the initial 2 weeks as an easy getting-back-into-this period where I started very easy and lifted progressively more weight, doing 2 sets of 15 reps of each exercise. Now I am aiming to do 2 x 12 reps at each new weight for two sessions in a row. Once I am able to do that, I’ll increase the weight on the second round and lift until failure or 12 reps, whichever comes first. Once I can do one round of 12, I try to do two at the next session, and so on and so forth. (There are a few exceptions, like the scapular stabilization stuff, where my goal is to do lots of reps of little weight, and bench press, where I do fewer reps of bigger weights.) My plan right now is to do this for 3 weeks, have a week where I do something lighter or different, then repeat.

    I have a routine that I’m pretty happy with for the arm weights; for legs, I’m still figuring out what I want to do. Diving and ballet already leave me sore for several days each week, and I mostly do just lunges on days when I’m at the gym and don’t have one of those activities scheduled. Today I saw no need to pre-sore my legs before tonight’s diving session, so I just stuck to arms. Here’s what I did—all exercises are with dumbbells unless indicated:

    Military press 2 sets of 12 @ 15-lbs

    Butterfly 2 sets of 12 @ 12.5 (increase weight next session)

    Bicep curls, 1 set of 12 @ 12.5, 1 set of 10 @ 15

    Single arm rows: 2 sets of 12 @ 15 (increase weight next session)

    Forward/sidewards/rear deltoid raises: 2 sets of 12 @ 6 lbs (increase next session)

    Wrist curlicues: with 3-lb weights, rotating wrists (both direction) until current song on sound system stops or I get completely bored

    Lat pull-downs (on Nautilus-era machine): 2 sets of 12 @ 60 (increase next session)

    Lat scapular stabilization (basically the first part of the lat pull-down, keeping arms straight and drawing shoulder blades together—weights move about 3 inches): 2 sets of 40 @ 40 lbs

    Bench press: 12 @ 45 (warmup + form check); 10 @ 50, 8 @ 55, 6 @ 60

    Bench press stabilization (pushing bar up as far as it will go with straight arms, bar moves just a few inches): 2 sets of 20 @ 45 lbs [probably should hunt me up a bar that weighs less for these, or just use individual dummbbells—goal is 2 sets of 40]

    Afterwards I skipped the abs—we’ll do plenty of drylands tonight—and did a quick 10-minute stretch before hopping in the pool for the following:

    1000 scy warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200d/s)

    Pie of IM
    8 x 25 @ :30, 2 of each stroke IM order, odds pretty, evens sprint
    7 x 50 kick IM pieces @ 1:00 (FL, FL/BK, BK, BK/BR, BR, BR/FR)
    6 x 75 IM pieces @ 1:25, done build/fast/easy by 25s (fl/fl/bk, fl/bk/bk, bk/bk/br, bk/br/br, br/br/fr, br/fr/fr)
    5 x 100 IM pieces @ 1:45, steady pace throughout

    200 warmdown + play

    That was it!

    My main key at diving tonight is to keep my eyes open longer and learn to visually spot my entrances. I have long had a fear of opening my eyes underwater—I think as a kid it was drilled into me that if I lost a contact while swimming I would bring financial ruin upon my family, not that I had ever been that keen on putting my face in the water anyway. (There was a reason I stuck to backstroke!) It took me several years of playing polo as an adult to discover that water could get into my eyes with absolutely no ill effects (ok, some blurriness and redness, but the contacts stayed in and my eyeballs didn’t explode). Last week, I realized that despite my coaches’ instructions about what visual cues to use to time particular movements during dives, I was shutting my eyes tight as soon as I went off the board and just relying on hope and my internal gyroscope to make things end up ok. That worked well enough until I tried doing a simple twist—rotating in two directions took away my sense of where I was in the air. So tonight—eyes wide open, until just before I enter the water!
  10. Welcome spring!

    We had a full house in our lane at Riverbank this morning—I had four friends to swim and celebrate spring with today. We repeated the same main set we did last Wednesday, only with more people. Here’s what I did:

    600 lcm warmup (400s, 200k)

    500 FR, negative split
    400 IM fast
    100 easy
    400 FR, negative split
    300 IM fast
    100 easy
    300 FR, negative split
    200 IM fast
    100 easy
    200 FR negative split
    100 IM fast
    100 easy
    100 FR negative split
    0 IM fast
    100 easy

    300 pull with paddles

    200 play

    At this point an odd thing happened. We were all basically done with our workouts, and were lingering at the end of the pool waiting for the guards to blow the whistle indicating that lap swim was over, as were the swimmers in the adjacent lanes . . . as if we couldn’t get out of the pool without a signal. Everyone seemed to be having these "Why haven't they blown the whitle yet" conversations when finally someone hypothesized that maybe the pool was closing at 8:30 today rather than 8:15, because of spring break. (Why RB has lap lanes for 15 minutes extra on holidays is yet another question). I confirmed this with the guard, and it was true. Woohoo—extra play time! We did a little 4-person synchro circle in our lane, then several of us moved over to one of the empty-by-now lanes to practice more synchro and backwards swimming and kicking.

    50m ballet legs with sculling, oysters, twirls, backwards freestyle, backwards FR, BR, and FL kicking, etc

    50m backwards (feet-first) IM for time [2:00, which is 7 seconds slower than my PR. Clearly this needs more practice.]

    Then it was truly time to get out.
    Swim Workouts
  11. Happy to be part of a busy pool

    It was a beautiful day at the PCBAC pool—mid-40s, with sun-kissed clouds striping the sky. The pool was rocking, too—between the kids team, masters/lap swimmers, and the Aqua Zumba class, I think all 20 lanes were occupied (although the masters and lappers were all swimming one per lane, per local custom). If anyone is wondering what the difference is between Aqua Zumba and plain old water aerobics, I couldn’t tell any. But the competing boomboxes from that class and the kids workout (my lane was about at the midpoint between the two) did keep me amused and dancing during the rest intervals of the following, which I swam with Mark and Paul:

    650 warmup (400s, 200k, 50p)

    3 x 100 (50k/50s) @ 2:00

    5 x 200 @ 3:20: 3 desc., 1 easy, 1 fast [2:50, 2:39, 2:31, ez, 2:28]

    6 x 75 k/scull/drill @ 1:45

    5 x 50 fast @ 1:10, FL/BK/BR/BK/FL [I worked FL and BR, took it easy on BK: 36, x, 41, x, 35]

    200 warmdown + play

    That was it!

    I’m in Swimmer magazine this month, along with some of the other Riverbank morning crew. Check it out online here (if you're a USMS member). We’re on page 9, illustrating an article about pool tourist’s 40 pools blog:

    Despite my moniker, I think I have the least interesting suit of the bunch. I'll have to work on that.
    Swim Workouts
  12. Under cloudy skies

    Today I enjoyed a mid-morning solo swim at the Panama City Beach pool. The sky was full of layers of different types of clouds passing quickly overhead, which lifted by the end of my workout. Here’s what I did:

    1000 scy warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 IM d/s by 25)

    12 x 25 @ :30, 3 each stroke, IM order, desc. within each 3

    200 IM: scattered, smothered, and covered*
    1 x 50 fly fast @ :50
    1 x 200 IM @ 3:30
    2 x 50 back, desc., @ :50
    1 x 200 IM @ 3:30
    3 x 50 breast, desc., @ :55
    1 x 200 IM @ 3:30
    4 x 50 free, desc., @ :50
    1 x 200 IM @ 3:30
    [This set doesn’t lack for 200 IMs, but the one that matters is the broken one comprised of the four fast 50s stroke. Today I went 37-36-41-34, for a 2:28 total.]

    100 easy

    8 x 50 kick @ 1:00, 1-4 RIMO, 5-8 IMO

    500 warmdown + drills + play

    *Another reason I love my pool: Driving home from it takes me by not one but two Waffle Houses!
    Swim Workouts
  13. Mid-day swim

    I had a pleasant mid-afternoon swim today—mostly solo, but I got to share the first part with Paul, who was the very first masters swimmer I met down here. He remains a favorite seasonal swim buddy, so it was a treat to get to swim with him some today. Here’s what I did:

    1000 scy warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 IM d/s by 25)

    10 x 50 FR:

    • 3 long and relaxed @ :55
    • 3 moderate @ :50
    • 3 fast @ :45 [held 35s]
    • 1 easy

    Pace set—goal was to swim FRs < 1:20 pace
    100 FR @ 1:30
    100 IM easy @ 2:00
    200 FR @ 3:00
    100 IM easy @ 2:00
    300 FR @ 4:00
    100 IM easy @ 2:00
    400 FR @ 5:20
    100 IM easy

    Kick set
    8 x 50 kick @ 1:00, odds IM order, evens RIMO

    300 warmdown plus play

    Today was overcast, but last night was gloriously clear. We went out for a beach walk after the full moon was up, and marveled at how bright the beach was. I wasn’t sure if I was seeing bioluminescence in the water, or just the moon’s light reflecting in the breaking waves, but it was beautiful whatever it was.

    I got a nice compliment at the grocery store today, from the check-out clerk: “I think that’s the healthiest buggy I’ve seen all week long!” (Grocery carts are called buggies down here.)
    Swim Workouts
  14. Sunrise 7K

    I had a delightful sunrise LCM swim this morning at the Panama City Beach outdoor pool. The air was a windy 33 degrees, but the water was perfect, right around 80—the steam coming off the pool as I drove up in the dark this morning was a beautiful sight. Since the reduced winter hours and holiday closings made this the only LC opportunity of the week, I was determined to make the most of it. Here’s what I did:

    First, with the PCST masters group (all two of us):

    500 LCM warmup

    12 x 50 @ :10 RI, odds drill, evens build to sprint [I alternated twosomes of FR with twosomes of BK BR and FL]

    2x thru
    300 FR @ 5:00, neg. split
    4 x 50 kick IM order @ 1:15, build within each 50
    3 x 100 FR fast @ 1:40 [held 1:24s on 1st round, 1:25-6s on 2nd]

    4 x 200 pull w/ bilat breathing

    5 x 100 warmdown with increasing rest intervals

    That was it. But I wasn’t ready to get out! (It wasn’t warm enough yet to leave the pool, for one thing. Plus I was having too much fun swimming.) So I stayed in and did the following hodgepodge on my own:

    7 x 150 stroke sandwiches (FR/ST/FR, with ST = FL BK BR FR BR BK FL) @ :15 RI, all at basic aerobic pace

    50 easy

    8 x 100: odds BK fast @ 2:00, 1:50, 1:40, 1:30, evens FR easy @ 2:00 [Made it! 1:28 on fastest BK]

    5 x 200 pacman IM kick > FR swim, with kick at a mod-fast pace, swimming easy

    100 extra warmdown + play [to round it off to 7k for the morning—woohoo!]
    Swim Workouts
  15. Pie of IM

    We had some wild and wooly weather here the last few days—we managed to dodge the tornados on the Christmas drive to and from Alabama, although there were spottings both near here and at our destination. I’m not sure if the surf ever reached the 7-9 feet that was predicted today—that’s a lot for this stretch of beach, which is quite shallow for a long ways out—but I heeded the broadcast warnings that the waves and currents “WILL BE LIFE THREATENING TO ANYONE ENTERING THE WATER” and didn’t go in. Meanwhile, the temperature is supposed to drop from today’s high (at 12:01 am) of 71 down to below freezing tonight. Tomorrow morning’s 6 am practice will be chilly.

    But today I had a nice relaxing solo swim at the pool. When I arrived in the early afternoon just one of the 20 lanes was being used, by a visiting age grouper whose mom was sitting in a deck chair at the end of her lane reading a book. (It was in the low 50s, and very windy out, so I can’t imagine that was much fun.) I chose a lane at the other end of the pool to do the following:

    1000 scy warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 d/s by 50)

    IM set—I didn’t have time for my full Pieces of IM set, so I just did the first half
    8 x 25 @ :30, 2 each stroke, IM order, odds pretty, evens fast

    7 x 50 IM pieces (FL/FL, FL/BK, BK/BK, BK/BR, etc) @ :55
    6 x 75 IM pieces, odds K/S/K, evens S/K/S, @ 1:20
    5 x 100 IM pieces @ 1:40 [avg 1:24]

    300 warmdown + play

    That was it! It was fun swimming in the deep end and diving all the way down to the bottom of the pool during my warmdown. The age-group team was doing drylands all during my workout, which gave me something amusing to watch (and be glad I wasn’t doing) during my rest intervals.
    Swim Workouts