Last night I swam the late workout with my team. Here’s what we did:
10 x 50 @ 1:00: odds = 25 FL drill / 25 BR drill; evens = catchup FR
4 x 100 BR (50 2K/1P + 50 swim) @ 1:50
4 x 75 (50 FR hypoxic + 25 BR sprint) @ 1:20 [I don’t do hypoxic work much—I’ve had problems with dizziness and fainting in the past. In the spirit of doing something different, I usually substitute bilateral breathing on any sets that call for hypoxic stuff.]
2 x 100 FL (75 3-3-3 drill + 25 swim) @ 1:45
4 x 75 (50 FR hypoxic + 25 FL sprint) @ 1:15
4 x 50 BR Kick @ 1:05
4 x 25 @ :45: odds BR kick no board, evens BR sprint
2 x 50 FL kick @ 1:05
4 x 25 @ :35: odds FL kick, evens FL sprint
12 x 75 FR:
4 @ :55 [I did 3 @ :55ish + 1 x 25]
8 @ 1:00
[The lane leader took pity on me and changed this interval to one I could make after the first 4. I had actually suggested the :55 interval so that he would be semi-challenged!]
I was glad to get in some sprint BR and FL tonight in preparation for the meet on Sunday. My legs were pretty fatigued before this workout from ballet on Monday and rowing on Tuesday. This morning they are telling me they would appreciate an easy day!
It was a good practice--I got a couple of good pointers on my FR regarding my left arm entry. I had great lanemates, saw some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile, and enjoyed this swim.
This morning I worked out with my team. Pool temps are back to normal, but we were super crowded—6 per lane, and it would have been more had I stayed in my usual lane (no one else was willing to move down). I started out the workout in a fussy mood—I like having space around me when I swim, but that was not an option today--but I ended up getting in a decent workout, and was happier when I got out. Here’s what we did:
400 scy warmup
8 x 50 swim/kick @ 1:05: 2 of each stroke, IM order
4 x 25 FR @ :25
4 x 50 FR @ :45
4 x 75 FR @ 1:10
4 x 100 FR @ 1:30 [held 1:15s]
4 x 200 FR @ 3:00 [held 2:35s]
[I would usually do some combo of FR and BK when leading a slower lane on a set like this, so as not to lap anyone, but there was one other swimmer about the same speed as me who was going behind me, so that didn’t work. The last swimmer in the lane was being hyper-polite and/or nervous and stopping if we were anywhere near on the 200s to let us pass, which made me feel bad for him. I encouraged him not to stop (he could make the interval, but just barely, and not if he stopped for us), and told him that I would switch to BK or do a broken 200 if I caught up to him. (Passing on the straightaway would also have been an option, but that can freak people out on this team. I generally figure when I’m leading a lane that if there are passing issues, I have more options than the swimmer at the end of the lane who is struggling to make the interval, and so should assume more of the responsibility for making it possible for us to both get in a good workout). As it turned out, this last swimmer then ended up going super fast on the 200s where he didn’t stop, so there wasn’t even a question of lapping him!]
Stroke set—twice through, 1st time BK, 2nd time BR
4 x 25 @ :30
4 x 50 @ 1:05
4 x 75 @ 1:25
4 x 50 warmdown @ 1:00
Today’s crowding issues were due to one of our pools being closed—we usually have 2 Tuesday morning workouts, today just 1 with double the swimmers! I was glad I ended up with lane mates this morning who were all good sports about being sardined into the pool, and glad that I was able to get in some decent work. I definitely look forward to next week, when all our pools are back in action.
Today I swam with my team at John Jay College. I went despite email warnings that the pool temp was elevated (88) on Friday night—I figured if nothing else I could get in some start work and some BR drills. As it turned out, the water was swimmable—it was 84 and dropping when we arrived, so I ended up doing a regular workout, just with generous intervals. I had a great lanemate who led most of the workout, so it was a very calm and enjoyable morning. Here’s what we did:
400 scy warmup
6 x 75 FR @ 1:05
4 times through (FL, BK, BR, then choice):
4 x 25 @ :35
1 x 50 K/S @ 1:05
2 x 75: 1st is S/K/S @ 1:30, 2nd is all swim @ 1:20
[I chose to do BR again on my 4th set—my stroke felt much more together the second time through.]
100 FR K/S/K/S @ 1:45
100 FR S/K/S/K @ 1:45
1 x 100 FR @ 1:25
100 FR K/S/K/S @ 1:45
100 FR S/K/S/K @ 1:45
2 x 100 FR @ 1:25
100 FR K/S/K/S @ 1:45
100 FR S/K/S/K @ 1:45
3 x 100 FR @ 1:25
12 x 50 @ 1:00 [1 did 2 x (4 x 50 BK desc) then 4 x 50 FR warmdown—went 33 and 36 on my fast 50s]
100 extra warmdown
Today wasn’t a swim day, but I did manage to get in a pretty intense rowing machine workout with my husband at the gym. I first suggested a pyramid of timed hard rows separated by 2-minute easy rows (rowing workouts can be structured very like swim workouts), but Mr. Addict suggested modifying that plan a bit so that all the short pieces were at the end (3-4-5-4-3-2-2-1-1). That worked out well. Here’s what we did:
5 minute warmup w/ drills
3-minute piece (ie hard rowing) [averaged 2:24 per 500m]
2 min. rest (ie easy rowing or rest)
4-minute piece [2:18]
2 min. rest
5-minute piece [2:17]
2 min. rest
4-minute piece [2:13]
2 min. rest
3-minute piece [2:11]
2 min. rest
2-minute piece [2:09]
2 min. rest
2-minute piece [2:06]
2 min. rest
1-minute piece [1:59]
2 min. rest
5-minute piece [1:56]
5+ minute warmdown w/ drills
My goal was to descend the pace on all my pieces from the beginning of the workout through the end. I was pleased with my times on the 1-minute pieces—anytime I get the monitor to read under 2:00 is a good rowing day for me, no matter how short the piece.
We practically needed a rowboat to get back home--it's been pouring here all day. I did enjoy walking right through all the biggest puddles in my rain boots!
I just got an email from my team telling me that the pool I was planning on swimming at tomorrow was up to 88 degrees as of last night. Ugh! I might have to get up super-early (considering the time change) to make the 6:30 lap swimming time at Riverbank instead.
This morning I swam at the LCM session up at Riverbank. I swam mostly solo but joined in with some open water swimming buddies at the very end. Here’s what I did:
1000 warmup (200 FR, 200 ST, 200 Kick, 200 Pull, 200 Rev. IM drill/swim by 25)
6 x 50 swim w/ fins: 1-3 desc. @ 1:00, 4 slow @ 1:30, 5 sprint @ :40, 6 easy @ 1:50
100 easy w/o fins @ 3:00
[did FR on the first set; 31 on fastest 50, FL on the 2nd set; :34]
200 moderate kick, rev. IM order
8 x 200 @ 3:00 [I joined up with my friends in the next lane for this set. I skipped a 100 on the 4th one, and warmed down 100 instead of doing the last one, since the pool was about to close].
After I got out I learned that those 8 x 200 at the end were actually part of 35 x 200 that one swimmer was doing to celebrate his 35th birthday. Yowsers! What makes it even more impressive is that this pool is only open LC in the morning from 6:30 to 8:15, so there was not much leeway to take a break during the swim--that’s why they were doing these right up until the whistle blew for us to get out (They made it!)
I am totally in awe of anyone who can do 7000 lcm in 1h45. I was proud of myself for doing the few I did on that tough interval (which I guess makes me 6 ½ today.) I can’t imagine keeping that up for nearly 2 hours!
Btw, my standard birthday “set” is to see how many yards I can swim in my age in seconds from a dive. I try to go a little farther every year—my best is 74 yards. (I didn’t do it this past year when I turned 44, since I was at a scm meet and already swimming umpteen events that day.) This is part of my ultimate dream of being able to swim 100 yards in under my age—something not very many women have done. It’s going to be awhile before I’m anywhere near, but it’s nice to have long-term goals!
I felt sluggish all day yesterday and didn’t go to the pool until after dinner, when I suddenly got an urge do to my team’s late Wednesday night workout. On the way over to the pool I walked by a horse and a donkey on the sidewalk. They were by a horse trailer, but were neither loading nor unloading—each was just standing there with handlers who were keeping them calm. They were beautiful animals. This was behind Lincoln Center, so I guessed that they were probably waiting for their cue to be led onstage for an opera production or something. [I looked up the Metropolitan Opera’s schedule, and they were performing La Boheme last night—they still do Zeffirelli’s staging of it, so live horses sounds about right.]
When I got to the pool I met Coach Scott, who began coaching with us about a month ago. After my meet this past Sunday, I was trying to figure out ways to continue getting some good feedback on my strokes, particularly my BR and FL, which I have been reworking over the last month. Well, it turns out that Scott is really into technique work. Hurray! I asked him especially for some tips on my breaststroke during that part of the workout, and got some good pointers about my hand and head positions. It’s great when things seem to come along right when you’re looking for them.
The water was about 85 degrees, fine for the majority of the workout, which featured drills and long intervals. Here’s what we did:
12 x 50 FR drill @ 1:05: 1st 6 = 25 right arm + 25 left arm; 2nd 6 = catchup [focused on maintaining strong kick and snappy rotation]
8 x 75 BK (25 drill/50 swim) @ 1:30
8 x 75 BK kick @ :40
6 x 75 BR (25 drill/50 swim) @ 1:35 [Here I worked on bringing my hands closer to the surface on my recovery. It definitely seemed more powerful.]
6 x 25 BR kick @ :40
4 x 25 FL (25 drill/25 swim) @ 1:00
4 x 25 FL kick @ :40
8 x 100 FR/BK halfsies, 4 @ 1:25, 4 @ 1:30 [kept all at 1:15-1:20—this definitely got tough!]
I looked for the animals again on my way home, but they were gone. (Maybe they were back at the stable anxiously awaiting their reviews?) I’ll look for them again next week—I’m definitely going to this workout again!
Today I swam with my team at the John Jay College pool (scy). I was tempted not to go this morning because I was up late last night attending my husband’s choir’s concert. (It was terrific--well worth any lost sleep!) I was glad I did convince myself to get out of bed and go—the pool was not at all crowded (just 3 of us in my lane), the workout was well balanced, I had good lanemates, and I felt terrific when I got out of the water. Here’s what we did:
8 x half-pool 25s @ :25 (2 of each IM transition turn, 2 choice) [I wasn’t quite warmed up enough to do these at full speed, but did them at about ¾ speed and really focused on staying tight and in control]
12 x 100: 2 x (3 x IM @ 1:50, 1:40, 1:30, 3 x FR @ 1:40, 1:30, 1:20) [kept IMs around 1:25, FRs at or under 1:15]
4 x 125 Kick @ 2:40 (75FL/50BK, 75BK/50BR, 75BR/50FR, 75FR/50FL) [2:06, 2:14, 2:17, 2:07]
4 x 225 FR @ 3:20 [I kept these right around 1:20 pace—I did some back on the first 2, but switched to all FR on the last 2 and was really struggling with to keep them on pace. I was considering doing a 200 FR at my next meet, but this set reminded me of everything I don’t like about that event—I think it brought me back to my senses.]
20 x 25, odds @ :20, evens @ :40 [I did 2 fast FLs, 2 BK, 3 BR, and 3 FR. I was feeling really amazed at my times on these—I was bringing in the FLs on 13 and the BR on 16s and it was feeling easy—but then I realized that the clock at the far end of the pool was off by a few seconds. Oh well! It was a nice fantasy while it lasted!]
200 upside-down IM warmdown
Afterwards I went by the Y for weights and a good thorough stretch.
My next meet will be on March 21—I’ll be swimming 100 IM, 50 FR, 50 BR, and 100 BR I sent off my entry today.
Today I went up to Riverbank midday for a quick solo dip. I was glad to see one of my swim buddies there—we split a lane, but each did our own thing. Here’s what I did:
10 x 100 FR @ 1:45, moderate pace w/actual kick throughout
12 x 50 Kick @ 1:05, odds FR, evens 2 x (FL, BK, BR)
400 SKPS warmdown
It was a nice calm workout, without any difficult intervals or drama, just swimming out some of the soreness from yesterday’s meet. Afterwards, it was warm enough to stretch outdoors at my favorite spot at overlooking the Hudson.
Today was the Spring Fling Meet on Long Island. In honor of the meet’s moniker, I wore my flowery cap during warm-ups:
I decided to be a sprinter for this meet, swimming 100 FR plus 3 50s. Here’s how it went:
100 FR: 59.56 (28.94, 30.62)
I was so incredibly happy with this swim! I have long had a love-hate relationship with my 100 FR. Actually, maybe it would be better described as a bully-victim relationship: I would try to make a friendly overture; it would beat me up; I would whimper and retreat and avoid the event entirely for a year or so.
The last time I broke a minute for my 100 was in March 2004 (59.77), and I had almost despaired of ever doing it again. Until today, my 40-44 AG best was a 1:03 (and this is my 5th year in the age group!). For this race, I told myself that I would be happy with a 1:01-low or 1:00+, but secretly I hoped to go under that magical 60 seconds.
Since doing more sprint training in Florida, I had been envisioning swimming this race most days in practice. I imagined kicking really hard on the last 50, and putting my head down and not breathing during the last half lap. Then I imagined looking up at the board and seeing a 59 by my lane. That’s exactly how it happened today!
My masters best in this event is 58.07 (2002), and my lifetime best is 57.53 (1981). I wasn’t considering swimming this event again this season, but now it seems as if the first and maybe even the second of those numbers might be within reach if I were to swim this tapered and suited. On the other hand, today’s swim was a really good one—I hit all my turns, and executed exactly the way I wanted to. I don’t have any obvious ideas about how to swim it tons better, so maybe I should just stand pat with this time this season. It’s something to think about.
50 FL: 30.08
This was another age-group best (I had previously gone 30.25 in 2008). It’s less than .5 seconds off my masters best of 29.71 (2000). I was really pleased with the time—my most recent 50 FL swim was a scm 34.95 this past December, and this definitely beats that swim. I was also happy overall with my stroke—the changes I made to my fly in Florida have made it more powerful, and maybe over time they will become sustainable for longer distances.
I did glide into the wall on both my turn and my finish, so I see the potential for some improvement there. Also my breakout after my dive was not as well timed as it could have been—I think I need to work on that in practice while wearing the overcap I wear in meets, as that seems to alter the feel of surfacing a bit.
50 BK: 31.62
This was a little off both my age-group best (31.35, 2008) and my masters best (30.70, 2001). My start wasn’t very sharp, my turn was not as snappy as I had practiced this week, and I probably should have taken an extra stroke on the finish. I also think I need to get a little deeper on my catch. Still, this counts as a respectable 50 BK for me.
50 FR: 27.25
I had a fun race with my teammate in the next lane on this one--he had been trash talking me about our "death match" all meet long. My time was about .4 seconds off my 40-44 best (26.83, 2008), and well off my masters best of 25.99 (2002). Still, it was a better 50 than I have been swimming lately. I had a decent though not great turn, and while my kick felt strong, my turnover felt a bit sluggish. I’d like to swim this race again this season—maybe at the meet that’s coming up in 2 weeks. I’d love to get back under 27.
Other meet notes:
I was happy overall with this meet. Heck, after my 100, I still would have been happy if I'd swum 40-plus on all my 50s! This was the first meet in a while that I went into feeling completely healthy--no muscle twinginess or asthma symptoms or joints feeling iffy--and it was just a joy to get up the blocks repeatedly and blast some sprints as fast I as I could without worrying about anything going awry.
Everyone I saw during the warmup smiled at me (or at least at my cap), and that made me go into the meet feeling like the world was a happy and wonderful place. I think that helped me stay relaxed for my races.
For the meet I wore my Asics purple-flowers-and-pinstripes suit:
I still just can’t bring myself to squeeze back into my B70—it seems like such an ordeal! Maybe if I end up doing a taper meet this spring (not a sure thing) I will suck it up and wear it.
Clearly the coaching I got in Florida helped me in my races. I don't get the same level of feedback about my swimming here in New York. I need to figure out some way to get some stroke coaching and some feedback and advice on my meet swimming.
My next meet will be in 2 weeks—I have to decide what I want to swim, and get my entry in soon. I'm leaning towards 100 BK, 50 BR, 50 FR, and maybe 1 other event (although I need to check the entry form to make sure none of those are back-to-back).
Updated March 7th, 2010 at 05:54 PM by swimsuit addict
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This morning I went up to Riverbank State Park and had a little LCM day-before-the-meet swim. It felt good to stretch out in the long pool. It was a beautiful day here, and the views of the Hudson through the pool windows were inspiring. Here’s what I did:
1000 LCM warmup
10 x 100 @ 1:45, odds FR, evens FR/BK halfies [moderate pace, sharp turns w/ good streamline]
Extra 100 FR/BK halfsie [because my last one on the set above was interrupted, and I wanted to finish on a strong note]
After I got home I had a good long stretch. My calves are still a little tight from ballet (I went again on Thursday night), but otherwise everything feels good, and I’m excited about getting to swim in the meet tomorrow!
Today’s pool drama notes (there’s always something!): Midway through my set of 100s I had to deal with three lanemates who were swimming side-by-side lengths, using the whole width of the lane. (They were triathletes, so maybe they were practicing swimming at close quarters for their races.) This situation got resolved pretty quickly—the lifeguards up at Riverbank have gotten pretty proactive about enforcing good circle-swimming etiquette—but it got me to thinking about swim caps. Perhaps what I need is a really fierce looking one, maybe with rows of spikes on it, that would make other lap swimmers think twice about having a head-on collision.
Not real spikes, mind you—after all, I am a gentle swimmer of peace and nonviolence. Mostly. But those squishy spiky things that I’ve spotted on Halloween costume biker jackets and dog collars could work. They look quite scary, but are actually soft and lightweight. They seem to be made out of a similar material to Zura fins.
A quick internet search found this rubber Mohawk spike strip meant to go atop a motorcycle helmet. One of these (or a few rows of them!) on a black silicone cap would definitely be a look. If I had a cap like that, I”d definitely wear it for open-water swim starts!
But perhaps for the pool, a single spike right on the top of the cap would suffice. It might actually make you more streamlined, at least when your head was in the right position, and it would quickly alert you when your head position drifted too high. If the spike was long enough, it would help correct any cross-over tendencies. It would thus be good for technique, as well as defense.
So, I actually need two new swim caps—the “Narwhal” model, for the pool, and the “Spartacus” for open water. Anyone have any friends in high places at Speedo or Tyr?
Happy weekend, everyone!
I swam with my team at John Jay college this morning. Here’s what I did:
6 x 100 FR (50 fist drill, 50 swim) @ 1:25
6 x 100 FR @ 1:20 [I did FR/BK halfsies on the last 2]
6 x 100 IM @ 1:35
6 x 100 (25 underwater/25 flutter kick on back/50 build free) @ 1:45
6 x 100 BK @ 1:45 [1:22, 1:20, 1:20, 1:20, 1:22, 1:22]
6 x 100 (75 FR/:05 rest/25 sprint) @ 1:40
(It didn’t feel as repetitive as it looks on the page! I actually had fun on the underwaters set—I aimed to stay down long enough to push off the spot where the pool bottom angles sharply down towards the deep end, so that I could get an excellent push off there and spring up to the surface.)
Afterwards, I went by the Y to do weights and stretching, then had a massage mid-day. It had been 4 weeks since my last one instead of the usual 3, and some of my muscles were definitely feeling pretty tight and tender. Much better now!
Today I swam at the Y during early morning lap swim again, and it worked out well. I had my own lane for the first half of my workout, then circled with just one other swimmer for the rest. Plus, during a break between sets someone from a neighboring lane told me that I was “such a beautiful swimmer!” I think I really like this morning Y swim crowd!
Here’s what I did:
1000 scy warmup (400 swim/200 kick/200 pull/200 drillswim)
5 x 100 @ 1:30 FR -> BK pacman set
200 kick w/ fins (100 mod, 2 x 50 build)
6 x 50 w/ fins (25 + turn sprint, rest easy) @ long rest [I did 3 FR, 2 BK, and 1 FL]
5 x 100 w/o fins (25+turn sprint, rest easy) @ 2:15 [2 FR, 2 BK, 1 FL]
10 x 50 FR/BK halfsies @ :50 [all easy-mod pace, but worked on really snapping legs over on turns]
100 easy warmdown
Afterwards I stretched out in the warm, pretty pool, then headed upstairs for a short rowing workout. I had tried to go to the gym’s rowing class last night, but it has become very popular again and was already full when I arrived. (Rowing class is a bit like spin class on Concept 2 erg machines, an interval workout with everyone rowing in sync and an instructor calling out instructions and, often, narrating a rowing course or race for us. No disco music. It’s a great workout in 45 minutes) So I decided to do some rowing on my own today—I programmed the machine to do 2-minute pieces, with :30 rest in between. I warmed up on the first 2, then descended numbers 3-5 and 6-8, then warmed down the last two. (I went 2:19/2:14/2:08, 2:35 (was chatting with a fellow rower here)/2:12/2:07 on my descends. Those numbers are average 500m pace during the 2 minutes of rowing).
One cool thing about rowing on erg machines is all the information and feedback you get—after every stroke, the machine calculates your 500m pace time for that stroke, per-minute stroke rate, average pace for the piece, projected finish time or distance, etc. (It also does the standard workout-machine stuff like calories burned, wattage, and so forth, and will even give you a little pace boat picture to race if you tell it to do so). Seeing how small changes in rowing technique affect the numbers on each rowing stroke really helps me stay focused on maintaining good technique. Plus the rowing room has mirrors on the front and sides, so you can visually check your technique now and then.
I often think how great it would be to have all this info while swimming. Can you imagine swimming 200 descends in workouts and getting feedback each stroke cycle about your stroke rate, your dps, your current speed (measured as, say, your 100-pace), and your projected finish time? All this could be projected wirelessly into your goggles. Actually, figuring out how to do that for stroke rate should be doable (and has maybe already been done—I know Speedo used to sell a swim watch with metal sensors on the sides that calculated stroke rates by measuring changes in conductivity and using that to figure out how many times the watch, and thus the arm wearing it, had been dipped into and out of the water per minute. I’m not sure if they still make this, or if it was widely adopted by teams. I think the technology to take such stroke rate info and make it appear somehow in the field of vision of a person wearing goggles exists.) Measuring swimmers speeds at very frequent intervals would be trickier. Swimmetrics does it with tethering; you could possibly do it untethered in an endless pool, if you could get precise measurement of both the speed of the water current and the swimmer’s position relative to the back wall of the tank (and maybe, once you got that latter measurement, you could have the speed of the water current automatically adjust itself so that the swimmer stayed in roughly the same place no matter the swimming speed. Can endless pools already do this?) Maybe by the time I’m in the 85-59 age group all this will be old technology!
The heat sheets and timeline for this weekend’s swim meet on Long Island are up. It looks like it will be a short meet, starting at 9 and ending around 12:15, even with several 1000 heats in there. I’m swimming 100 FR, 50 FL, 50 BK, and 50 FR. (I know ahead of time I won’t be swimming any relays, since I’m the only woman from our team attending). It should be a fun event.
[I do realize that resuming 2 leg-intensive activities (I went to ballet class Monday night, plus the rowing today) is probably not optimal meet-week prep. But I figured getting back into my NYC routine took priority of being perfectly prepared. And it’s still early in the week, and I’m not too sore from the ballet, so I think things will be fine. I just have to remember how to do starts—I haven’t practiced those since my last meet in January!]
I had a nice swim at my local Y this morning. I had almost given up swimming here, even though it’s probably the most conveniently located pool I swim at. I had tended to go mid-morning or at noontime on days I didn’t practice with a team, and there always seemed to be a lot of cranky swimmers around who resisted circle swimming, got mad and defensive about being passed, and complained about any style/speed of swimming that created too many waves. (There used to even be signs up in the two fastest lanes that said “Crawl stroke only—no kicking.” Swimmers who wanted to kick or swim fly had to move over to the slowest lanes with the water joggers, where such activity was sure to cause major chaos and complaining.) I would be ultra-polite and cheerful in hopes that the positive energy would be contagious, but to no avail. Sometimes I would have my own lane, or find a cooperative lanemate or two, but too often not. I figured the early morning hours, before work, would be even more zoo-y, so I hadn’t even tried them in a long time.
But this morning I showed up at around 6, and there was actually an empty lane. One of my open-water friends was there starting a workout (she’s training to swim around Manhattan this summer), and soon another swimmer I know showed up. I ended up doing my own workout, but with people who were of similar speed who were experienced circle swimmers. (The pool had filled up a bit by 6:30, and was hopping by 7, but these morning swimmers were by and large focused on getting in their workouts, and willing to cooperate in order to do so). So early morning seems a good time to use this pool—while more crowded than at off-hours, it’s actually easier to use. Here’s what I ended up doing:
8 x 75 FR/BK/FR @ 1:10
5 x 100 IM K -> Swim pacman set
4 x 75 S/K/S @ 1:15
4 x 100 FR/BK/BR/FR @ varied intervals
2 x 50 (25 fast/25 easy)
I’ve been rethinking what my workout schedule will look like this spring, and I’m glad to know that early-morning swimming at the Y is a good option—especially since this is where I do my weight workouts and stretching. It’s nice to consolidate everything in one place. And although the pool is only 4 (narrow) lanes, it’s consistently a good temperature. And it’s a pretty pool, featuring elaborate blue-and-yellow decorative tiling that was a gift from the King of Spain in 1929. Pretty counts for something when choosing a pool.
There’s actually a second, smaller pool at the Y which is kept at about 90 degrees for kids lessons and water aerobics that has even more elaborate tilework and stained glass windows and dramatic arches—it looks like a temple to the water gods. (There’s actually a Neptune mosaic that is its central feature.) After doing my workout, I went to this pool to stretch out and bask a bit. It's not quite as great as swimming outdoors, but it's definitely something to look forward to at the end of my workout!
I had an easy trip back to NYC—I think I spent a total of about 10 minutes in the Atlanta airport, which has to be a PR. There’s scant evidence here of the snowstorms that hit the city on Thursday and Friday—the sidewalks are surprisingly clear, and it’s easy to get around. It feels good to be home.
I walked over to swim practice this morning at John Jay college. It was crowded—we were 6 in my lane—but full of good energy and camaraderie. Here’s the workout we did:
600 scy warmup
8 x 50 @ 1:05 : FL/BK, BK/BR, BR/FR, FR/FL twice through
2 x 50 @ :45
2 x 75 @ 1:15
2 x 100 @ 1:30
2 x 125 @ 1:55
2 x 150 @ 2:15
2 x 200 @ 3:00
2 x 250 @ 3:45
2 x 300 @ 4:30
[On this long set I did a mixture of FR and BK. There were 2 swimmers swimming heels-to-head-together ahead of me, and 3 others who swam pretty clumped up a ways behind me. I switched up strokes as necessary to stay in that sweet spot in between the two groups.]
4 x 50 Kick @ 1:05
12 x 75 @ 1:20: 1st 4 FL/BK/BR, 2nd 4 BK/BR/FL, 3rd 4 BR/FL/BK [I kicked all but the BR on the first 8 of these, and all of the last 4]
Today was my first day back circle swimming after a month of having my own lane most days down in Florida. It worked out well, and I was reminded of the advantages of swimming with so many others—having frequent coached practices, workout mates who are pretty exactly my speed, and the whole esprit de lane thing of encouraging each other on (and occasionally whining about the set). There’s also the fact that up here there are local meets, whereas my swim buddies in Florida generally have to travel overnight to compete. There are 3 nearby one-day meets coming up over the next 6 weeks, and I’m planning on swimming them all—on March 7, March 21, and April 11. At the first one I’m swimming 100 FR, 50 FL, 50 BK, and 50 FR. I’m still figuring out what I”ll do at the other two.
I spent most of the day driving to my mom’s house in Alabama (where I store my Florida stuff) and lugging said stuff to and from my car. This handy gadgetis my new BFF.
So when I finally got to the pool this afternoon I was pretty tired, and felt mostly like stretching out and just wiggling around in the water. Here’s the teensy workout I did:
5 x 100 FR -> BK pacmans @ 1:30
500 warmdown / scull / bask
Tomorrow’s a travel day, so probably no swimming. I’m just hoping Delta will get me home without any flight cancellations, or other major drama!
The good news today was that the pool was set up LCM this morning, even though the temp was in the low 30s. A bonus long-course day! Woohoo!
The bad news is why: One of the lifeguards told me that someone complained to the local health department about the pool operating while partly covered, and they’ve now been forbidden to do that. (I’ve no idea why the health department objects to the practice). So eventually the pool might change its policy on opening up a few lanes for lap swimmers on cold mornings, and not open at all. Tomorrow is supposed to be quite cold, and I was told to be sure to call before driving in, as they might well be closed.
I’m only here one more weekday morning before heading back up to NYC, so this whole business doesn’t really affect me much this year. I do hope they figure out how to operate with the health department’s blessings on cold mornings before next winter (and sooner than that for the sake of my morning swim buddies here!). I do feel lucky to have gotten in a couple months of outdoor swimming without any previous problems.
So this morning I resolved to enjoy the long-course swimming while it lasted. I had the pool almost to myself the whole morning, it was sunny with blue skies, and with no covers last night the pool temp had dropped to a pretty ideal 81 or so. Here’s the solo workout I did:
? x 100: odds are BK, with the interval starting at 2:00 and descending 5 seconds each time until reaching 1:45, then increasing :15 on each successive 100 until the end of the set; evens are FR and start at 1:45 then decrease :05 on each successive 100 until failure [So on the first 8 100s both BK and FR have intervals that descend by 5 seconds each time, then the BKS start getting a lot slower and the FRs a bit faster until you miss a FR interval. I made the 1:25, just made the 1:20, then missed the 1:15 completely, so I ended up doing 14 x 100 in all.]
4 x 150 K/D/S IM order @ :20 rest
400 FR/FL/FR/BK/FR/BR/FR/FR, working strokes + turns, frees easy
100 fly kick w/ fins, building each 50
8 x 50 w/ fins (30 Sprint, 20 easy) @ 1:30 [did 1st 4 FL, then 2 FR and 2 BK]
8 x 50 Kick w/o fins @ 1:15, rev. IM order twice through [The wind was really blowing at this point—it made about a 10 second difference compared to my regular kicking times! (It was blowing towards the starting end of the pool, so my FRs and BKs were slow, my BRs especially were unusually quick.) I might could have gone just as fast on the with-the-wind 50s if I had simply floated on my back and held up my kickboard like a sail.]
We’ll see how things go tomorrow. Even if I don’t get to swim in the morning, the pool should be open in the afternoon when the age-group team works out, so I don't think I'll have to go swimless.
My long-course bliss lasted for just one day. This morning it was back to a scy set-up—although at least the whole pool was uncovered. I had my choice of any of 20 lanes (there were about 8 of us swimming). There was a pretty sunrise during warmup, and good company to swim with, so no complaints, even with all those silly turns!
Our coach had to get to work early this morning, so one of my teammates and I made up our own workout. Here’s what we did:
6 x 100 FR @ 1:30 [This was supposed to be just 4, but I did an extra 2 while my workout partner took a quick trip to the locker room.]
6 x 75 FR/ST/FR @ 2:15 [I cycled through FL/BK/BR for the stroke part of these.]
8 x 50 K/S @ 1:00 [alternated FR and BK]
10 x 25 @ :30, done as 3⅓ x (1 EZ, 1 med, 1 sprint)
300 easy swim
There were turkey buzzards circling overhead during the last part of the workout, so I tried my best to look lively.
(That is at least preferable to the pool I swam at as a kid where bats would swoop down over the water at dusk while we were swimming!)
The policy for morning lap swim at my Florida pool is that if the overnight low is 44 or below, the pool will be set up short course (and just a few lanes will be uncovered for the handful of morning swimmers that show up when the weather is that cold). When it’s warmer, the pool is set up long course the night before, and it gets to sleep uncovered overnight.
In past Februarys, that means that the pool has been set up long course about 60 percent of the time. (Overnight lows are usually somewhere in the 40s.) This year has been different, though. Unusually cold temps have meant that the pool staff have only had to reconfig the lane lines once.
Until this morning. When I woke up, the temp here was about 44, so I on my drive to the pool I was in suspense--which way the lane lines would be? When I saw it was long course, I was so happy.
Here’s what I did—mostly on my own. The theme today was maintaining a constant kick while swimming long-axis strokes:
1000 LCM warmup
8 x 50 @ 1:15, odds K, evens swim w/ kick, alternating BK and FR
10 x 100 FR @ 1:40, odds pull, evens swim w/ kick [did 1-4 with paddles, 5-8 w/o paddles, 9-10 with snorkel]
200 Kick w/ fins
4 x 150 swim with fins @ :30 rest, moderate pace [did first one 50 FR / 25 FL / 25 BK / 50 FR; 2nd =50 FR / 25 BK / 25 BR w/ fly kick / 50 FR; 3rd and 4th = 50 FL / 50 BK / 25 BR w/ fl kick / 25 FR]
10 x 50, odds 30 all-out sprint + 20 easy, evens all easy [30-meter sprints might be my all-time favorite thing to do long course. I did 1-2 FL w/ fins, 3-4 BK w/ fins, 5-6 BR, 7-8 FR w/ fins, and 9-10 FR w/o fins, all on w.w.s.m.m. intervals (when the spirit moves me.)]
5 x 100 FR/BK halfsies @ 2:00, starting moderate pace and ascending to easy by 5th one
200 easy kick
200 easy swim w/ dolphin dives in shallow end
I love long course, and would swim and compete in it all year long if I had my druthers.
An intense lightning storm woke me up this morning at 4:30, about half an hour before my alarm was scheduled to wake me up for 6 am workout. I got up and watched lightning strikes over the gulf for a bit (it was pretty cool!), then turned off my alarm and went back to bed. Good call—it stormed all morning, and the pool was not open, so no workout.
By noon it was sunny and warm, though, so I made went to the now-open pool to swim a short workout on my own. Swim buddy Ray was at the pool (he’s always at the pool!) so we did the main set together.
1000 scy warmup
15 x 100: odds easy BK @ 1:45, evens FR starting at 1:45 and descending the interval by :05 on each one (down to 1:15) [I worked on keeping a constant kick on my FRs. A couple of times early in this set I got lost on my turns—I forgot whether I was in the middle of FR or BK (my mind must have been wandering bigtime). I had to look over at Ray to figure it out—he usually swims with a snorkel, but takes it off for backstroke. It’s weird that I can keep track of the intervals but forget completely what stroke I’m supposed to be swimming.]
500 moderate done as 25 Kick / 25 Swim / 50K / 50S / 75K / 75S / 100K / 100S
I think I managed to spend the only sunny part of the day in the pool. It’s now clouded over again and is threatening to turn into a dark and stormy evening.
Or at least I didn't have to.
This morning I was imagining singing “Such a perfect day” to the pool as I was swimming (I love that Gretchen Bleiler commercial that has been showing during the Olympics). Some days are like that—I just feel like I love love love the water and never want my time in the pool to end.
I was planning on doing a different workout, but enjoyed the initial 25s so much that I kept on doing them (I had planned on doing 12, not 40). Here’s the solo workout I did (scy):
10 x (4 x 25 @ :30): Each set of 4 is 3 descending + 1 easy [I did the first 6 sets FR, 3 BK, and the final one FL with fins]
200ish easy kick
200ish pull with paddles [I worked on hand placement when entering the water]
8 x 50 kick/swim @ :50, IM order twice through
200 easy warmdown