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swimsuit addict

  1. Oh what a beautiful morning!

    The spring weather has returned, the trees are beginning to flower, and it was a glorious sunny morning. All that and a LC workout too! I swam with AG masters this morning, and this is what we did:

    600 LCM warmup

    8 x 100 (50 drill/25 moderate/25 controlled breathing)

    12 x 50 K @ 1:20: 4 FR, 4 FL, 4 UDK [this was a fin set, but I did it barefoot, because I didn’t have my Zuras with me and I’m picky about what fins I will wear]

    4 x 400 FR @ 8:00: 2 easy, 1 mod. 1 fast [I alternated 50 FR/50 BK on all these; and practiced my back-to-breast flippy turns on the BK/FR transitions on the first 2. On all of them, I concentrated on FR hand entry angle and kicking; went 6:16 on last one]

    400 warmdown + turn practice

    I was really happy to get some good tips from Coach Marko on my transition turn (throw head back, then tuck tighter). I’ve decided that for the time being when doing back-to-breast turns in practice I’ll do an open turn whenever the timing works out to touch with my right (good) hand, and a flippy turn when I hit with my left. I next swim IMs in competition a week from Sunday, so that will be a good incentive to be diligent about working to make this turn better. I’m not sure if it will ultimately be faster for me, especially considering the extra breath-holding it entails, but it’s worth testing it out (plus I’ve always wanted to be able to do one of these—I think they look cool!)

    Tomorrow is time trials! I’m looking forward to them.
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  2. Froggy IMs

    Today I swam on my own at the Y. I was inspired by the butterfrog debate in the latest issue of Swimmer magazine to do the following workout:

    1000 warmup (400 S, 200 K, 200 P, 200 S)

    10 x 100 IM @ 1:45: odds = all-breaststroke-kick IM (25 butterfrog, 25 elementary backstroke, 25 BR, 25 FR w/ breaststroke kick); evens = regular IM [luckily I had my own lane for this set!]

    4 x 25 FL sprint @ 1:00 [because I always try to do a bit of fast fly when I am blessed with my own lane]

    400 warmdown

    Then weights and stretching upstairs. It was a relaxing swim and felt good after the hard rowing last night.

    I’ve decided that I’ll swim 200 FR, 100 FL, and 100 BK at the time trial this Saturday. It should be fun!
    Tags: ims
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  3. Wednesday swim/row double

    I went to the noontime workout at AG today. (Noon is a very civilized time to have a coached workout—I’m liking this Asphalt Green program more and more!). It was my first workout with Coach Craig, who took over this program last fall, and I liked it and him and had fun. Here’s what we did:

    400 warmup

    4 x 150 (25 kick, 50 drill, 75 swim), rev. IM order, @ :15 rest

    8 x 50 Kick (25 easy flutter on back, 25 fly kick on side underwater as far as possible)

    15 x 100 (50 easy, 50 FL kick on side underwater afarap + fast FR) @ 1:45

    50 swimdown

    (I had been wanting to experiment with using a nose clip again, and brought it today hoping I would have a chance to play with it. My wish was very much granted. Still not sold on it, but we’re getting to be better friends.)

    I also discovered some good news at the workout: Asphalt Green will be hosting scy time trials this Saturday afternoon. I’ll definitely go—even though I’m not swimming nationals and so don’t need to swim official quali times (which is what the tt was designed for, I think), it will be a good chance to practice some racing skills. I might swim a few off events, like 200 FR and 100 FL, since the event is at such short notice, and I don’t want to give up any training time this week in order to rest up a bit for it. I might even do the Sat. am workout before, since it’s LC and I hate to give up a LC workout! Alternately, I could practice for my events at the meet on Sunday the 11th.

    I got a second piece of good news when I got home. I found out I was one of the top 5 fundraisers in my team’s OHS, and will be getting a gift certificate to Kastaway Swim for my efforts. Woohoo! The suit shopping will begin soon!

    This evening I did a rowing workout with Mr. Addict. Since rowing class is very crowded these days, we’ve been trying to go to the gym at non-class times and do workouts together. Here’s what we did tonight:

    6 min warmup w/ drills
    2 min rest
    6 min desc.
    2 min rest
    4 x (:30 sprint, 2:00 rest) [This is what I really wanted to work on tonight. My goal was to get the meter down under 1:50 on my hardest strokes. On the first 2 sprints I got to 1:50 and stayed there the rest of the piece. On the last 2 I got down to 1:49 and 1:48 respectively.]
    6:00 medium piece / recovery
    2:00 rest
    2 x (2:00 hard, 2:00 rest)
    6:00 rowdown

    Stretching
    Tags: rowing, teams
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  4. Gentle workout on a rainy Monday morning

    Today I swam morning workout with the AG masters. I started the workout feeling a little sad because I left one of my favorite umbrellas in the taxi I took to practice. I realized it about 15 seconds after I got out, but the taxi was already gone. Oh well—I am sure someone will appreciate finding a bonus umbrella today, so maybe it will find a good home.

    Here’s the workout I did:

    750 scy warmup (400 FR, 300 IM, 50 kick)

    10 x 50, odds 25 K on side/ 25 thumb-drag drill, evens bilat breathing, @ 1:00

    7 x 200 @ 3:10-3:15 [I did odds FR and evens FR/BK halfsies, and brought them all in around 2:45-2:50. I got to practice some of the FR tips I had gotten on Saturday here.]

    10 x 50 choice stroke, easy between flags, fast anywhere near walls [Bingo! I’d been wanting to practice my back-to-breast transition turns, so I did all of these 25 BK/ 25 BR.]

    300 warmdown

    Thoughts on my back-to-breast transition turns: I do these as open turns, and have had trouble when my strokes work out so that I touch with my left hand. I figured out today that the reason the left hand feels awkward is that I don’t rotate as much to my side when touching with that hand—I’m still largely on my back, and always feel a bit surprised by the wall and not in a good position to turn. I worked on getting more rotation when touching with the left hand, and that felt quicker and more natural.

    BUT: I also discovered that the reason the turn w/ the right hand feels so easy is that I tend to give myself quite a bit of time to fully rotate to my side by gliding into the wall. So I need to think about gliding less, and rotating quicker, on both hands.

    I also experimented during the warmdown with a flippy transition turn [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Iqowr4TlYY&feature=PlayList&p=F933C433F83 ED218&index=19"]YouTube- IM - Back-breast-turn2[/nomedia]rather than an open one. (Mine does NOT look like the one in the video yet). I think I need to get a coach to watch all my turn variations and give me some advice. I really should have asked today, but I was feeling shy as I didn’t know the coach well. I’ll have to be braver on Wednesday.

    By the time I left I felt tranquil and ready to face the rain even without my dear departed umbrella. But the rain had mostly stopped, and the commute back across town was easy, with plenty of seats for everyone on the bus. It looks like a good day after all.
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  5. If I raced those fast college guys . . .

    Today was just an easy recovery day. I went over to the Y and rowed a little bit with the folks who are pounding meters for the Rowing Challenge, then took my time stretching afterwards. Ahhhh! Then back home to root for my Spartans in the NCAA tournament.

    I’ve been watching the NCAA men’s swimming results. Those times are so fast that they practically make no sense to me. The winning time for the 800 FR relay caught my eye. It was 6:12, which is just a second slower than the 500 yard time I swam in January. So if I were swimming in the same pool as these guys, I could have just held them off . . . from lapping me the sixth time. (The NCAA-record holders from last year would have gotten that sixth pass, with a 6:10).

    Sometimes during lap times other swimmers will ask me whether I swam in the Olympics, or whether I’m a “professional swimmer” (LOL—this does really happen!) Regular people have no idea how fast real swimmers actually are. For the record, I would enjoy watching NCAAs more if they swam LC—swimmers this fast practically make a SCY tank look like a bathtub.

    My swimming goal this week: Improving my back-to-breast turn on my off arm. Any ideas how to practice this?
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  6. If the daffodils are not complaining about this cold weather

    then I guess I shouldn't either.

    I swam the morning workout with AG masters. It was a fun and calm workout, with cheerful lanemates. We were only 5 in a LC lane, which felt luxuriously spacious to me. (Funny how that would have seemed horribly crowded when I was down in Florida, where everyone routinely had their own lane.) Here’s what we did:

    1000 LCM warmup

    4 x 50 FR desc. @ 1:00

    3 x thru (ST = FL on round 1, BK on 2nd round, BR on 3rd round)
    250 FR
    50 ST
    2 x 100 IM
    2 x 100 ST

    10 x 80m @ 2:00 (start at flags, swim to flags at far end and flip turn w/o wall, sprint back to flags, then vertical kick w/ arms out of water until start of next 80) [this was fun but hard, especially with tired legs from the previous stroke set]

    4 x 100 kick alt. 25 easy/25 fast @ 3:00

    200 warmdown

    I got some good FR stroke tips from Coach Marco. I worked on relaxing my hands and wrists more on my FR recovery. I also experimented with ending my pull a bit earlier—this seemed to not only make the recovery easier, but also make doing a 6-beat kick feel more natural.

    In the late morning I did a rowing workout with my husband. He wanted me to look at his form and give him some pointers before the next rowing class, so I did. Here’s what we rowed:

    4 minutes rowing drills

    2 min. easy row / recovery

    10 min. warmup row [descended this to about 2:15 pace for last minute]

    2 min. easy row

    5-minute piece [avg. 2:15 pace]

    2 min. easy row

    3 x (2-minute piece, 2-min easy row), desc. [2:12, 2:11, 2:08]

    2 min. easy row

    3 x (1-minute piece, 2-min easy row), desc. [2:04, 2:03, 1:58]

    4 min. warmdown


    I wasn’t sure how I would feel doing the rowing workout so soon after the swimming, but it was ok. My times were not as fast as last week when I went into the workout fresh, but I got in some good work and was pleased.
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  7. It was worth getting up at 4:30

    This morning I swam with the Asphalt Green masters. I had been feeling frustrated lately about water quality and temperature issues at my team’s regular pool, and this week I finally decided that I’d had enough of swimming in hot and/or opaque water. I’ve swum with the AG team in the past, and decided to add them back into my workout rotation for at least the next few months, and probably through the end of the summer. They swim in by far the best facility in Manhattan; the drawback is that it’s less convenient for me to get to, and their morning workouts are awfully early (starting at 5:45). But I decided to suck it up and journey across town before sunrise anyway, and was glad I did—it was just heavenly to swim in clear, cool water in an all-deep, LCM pool! Plus I got to see some buddies from that team that I’ve not swum with for a long time, and I worked way harder than I would have on my own.

    Here’s the workout we did:

    600 LCM warmup

    6 x 150 FR [mixed in some BK, not sure what interval we did as I was just following and feeling giddy about swimming in the nice pool]

    8 x 50 FR @ 1:05

    Test set:
    7 x 100 FR @ 5:00, striving for best average time and remembering fastest time and average time [went 1:19, 20, 19, 18, 19, 18, 19; fastest = 1:18, average = 1:18 6/7. I did an easy 100 after each one.]

    5 x 100 CH @ 2:00 warmdown

    (I'm already wanting to do that test set again so I can try to go faster!)

    Good luck to everyone swimming meets this weekend!

    Updated March 26th, 2010 at 12:00 PM by swimsuit addict

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  8. Tuesday swim and row

    I swam at my team’s workout this morning. The water was very hot (again!), so the workout featured lots of drills and big intervals. Here’s what we did:

    400 scy warmup

    12 x 25 @ :30: Odds FR, evens BK, both with extended UDK off wall

    Twice thru (1st time FR, 2nd time BR):
    4 x 50 K @ 1:10
    2 x 74 K/D/S @ 1:45
    4 x 50 Drill @ 1:00
    2 x 100 Swim @ 1:45, concentrating on DPS

    4 x 50 FR desc. @ 1:15
    4 x 50 BK desc. @ 1:10
    4 x 50 FR desc. @ 1:05
    4 x 50 BK desc. @ 1:00
    4 x 50 FR desc. @ :55

    200 warmdown

    Then this evening I went to the Y and did arm weights and rowing. Lots of people in my rowing class are doing the World Rowing Challenge , which is kind of like a month-long GTD competition for rowing clubs. Since these folks really wanted to maximize their meters, we did less of an interval workout than usual and more just straight rowing with a few time-based pickups. I managed a bit over 8000 meters (and also received a nifty card that will remember all my workouts and splits and total lifetime meters forever and ever after today, as long as I remember to insert it into my rowing machine’s monitor each time I row.)

    So between my 2 workouts today I got in a good mixture of different types of work. Tonight I should sleep well.
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  9. Meet report

    Today I swam a meet at C.W. Post campus of Long Island University. I’d never swum in this pool before, and I was happy to find such it such a pretty and comfortable facility. The meet was fairly small, very well run, and over very quickly.

    I’d been feeling a bit under the weather, and had only swum once since Wednesday, and then just 1000 easy. This morning I woke up feeling good, though, so decided to go out to the meet after all. I didn’t feel very sharp, and none of my times were great, but I got in some decent practice racing. Here’s what I swam and how I did:

    100 IM: 1:09.54 (32.19, 37.35)
    Good dive, rhythm on FL felt good, backstroke felt a bit forced, world’s slowest BK/BR transition turn (have to practice this turn on my off arm!), feet slipping a bit on BR kick, brought it home strong. This time is a little over a second faster than I swam my 1IM in January, and is an age-group PR. It was far from a perfect race though. To go faster I need to practice my transitions at race speed more.

    50 FR: 28.11
    I was still fatigued from the IM when I swam this, and didn’t get into good sprinting mode until my 2nd 25. My start angle was a little odd too. I felt like my kick was strong though. This time is off the 27.25 I swam 2 weeks ago. I think I need to stop signing up for 50 FRs at spots in meets where I know I won’t have much rest before them—I always think I should be able to swim a decent 50 even if I’m still dripping from a previous race, but the evidence indicates not.

    50 BR: 35.52
    This was a decent swim. My technique felt smooth, and I kept my head looking down (my main key going into the race). I think this is also an age-group best time.

    100 BR: 1:19.74 (38.18, 41.56)
    The first 50 of this race felt sluggish, but things felt better as I went along. The time is a couple of seconds off my age-group best time.

    My next meet will be April 11 in Queens—I’ll be swimming 200 IM, 100 BK, 100 IM, and 50 BR.
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  10. Wednesday night swim with team

    Last night I swam the late workout with my team. Here’s what we did:

    400 warmup

    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!]

    200 warmdown

    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.
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  11. Crazy crowded workout with team

    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
    :30 rest
    4 x 50 FR @ :45
    :30 rest
    4 x 75 FR @ 1:10
    :30 rest
    4 x 100 FR @ 1:30 [held 1:15s]
    1:00 rest
    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!]

    50 easy

    Stroke set—twice through, 1st time BK, 2nd time BR
    4 x 25 @ :30
    :30 rest
    4 x 50 @ 1:05
    :30 rest
    4 x 75 @ 1:25
    1:00 rest

    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.
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  12. Sunday swim with team

    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
    :30 rest
    [I chose to do BR again on my 4th set—my stroke felt much more together the second time through.]

    50 easy

    100 FR K/S/K/S @ 1:45
    100 FR S/K/S/K @ 1:45
    1 x 100 FR @ 1:25
    :30 rest
    100 FR K/S/K/S @ 1:45
    100 FR S/K/S/K @ 1:45
    2 x 100 FR @ 1:25
    :30 rest
    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
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  13. Rowing on a rainy day

    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.
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  14. Birthday sets

    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)

    Twice through:
    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].

    100 warmdown

    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!
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  15. I Should Have Asked for an Autograph

    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:

    450 warmup

    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!]

    150 warmdown

    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!
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  16. Sometimes the clock does lie

    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:

    800 warmup

    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]

    100 easy

    4 x 125 Kick @ 2:40 (75FL/50BK, 75BK/50BR, 75BR/50FR, 75FR/50FL) [2:06, 2:14, 2:17, 2:07]

    100 easy

    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.]

    100 easy

    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.
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  17. Mellow Monday

    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:

    1000 warmup

    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.
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  18. 59.56!

    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 04:54 PM by swimsuit addict (font was too big)

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  19. I need a new swim cap!

    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]

    400 warmdown

    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!

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  20. Six of one, half a dozen of the other

    I swam with my team at John Jay college this morning. Here’s what I did:

    500 warmup

    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

    200 warmdown

    (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!
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