Blog Comments

  1. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Interesting article. I must be old school, because I just don't know how you can be quick all the time swimming. I get how you can maintain, but I have always been of the mind that big drops in time are based on longer programs that require more traditional methods. Also not sure how this will work with the distance events, where aerobic stress seems key to me.

    The workout looks great. This is the sort of workout we typically do on Fridays where it's a good distance but you change up the sets and throw in some speed, which adds even more challenge to the workout. It's definately not an aerobic distance workout but that's good.
  2. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__
    The nervous and musculoskeletal systems seem to not always be on the same schedule.
    Yes, neuro fatigue definitely operates differently. And then any life stress makes the mental part harder.
  3. __steve__'s Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress View Post
    You need to be really dialed in mentally to go true AFAP
    I'm starting to find the truth in this as I try to adapt. Sometimes I could be physically rested and charged (like following a day off from swimming and dryland with ample rest), but my reflexes can still feel dull and undercharged. This happens after a lot of AFAP stuff earlier in previous weeks. The nervous and musculoskeletal systems seem to not always be on the same schedule.
  4. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sojerz
    We moved in '65 from Bay Shore, LI, NY to West Hartford, Ct. when my Dad was transferred; "greasers" were it in Bay Shore at that time, and West Hartford, Ct was all "preppies." I had finished 9th and my younger sister was heading into 6th (I think). Quite a culture shock, plus losing all of our friends and teammates from many years of AG sports and other activities.

    For me sports was a saving grace, providing a place for a relatively shy kid to create a name for himself - yes new teammates in soccer, swimming, and track, but lots of opportunities to make new friends. Teams require cooperation, joint experience of success and adversity, and that generally leads to friendships. My sister bumped one of the long time favs off the vaulted 11-12 AAU girls fr and med relays, and she paid a bit of a price for that with a few of the catty types, but she made friends outside that group anyway. Sports can provide some level of acceleration in the relo adjustment and continuing to encourage her is a good idea. Glad to see her coaches saw it that way too - it certainly helps that it all doesn't have to come from mom.

    My sister stayed in touch with many of her old friends from LI for many years - thru HS, college and even after she got married (our LI swim coaches daughter). I stayed in touch with friends for a little while, but pretty much moved on within about a year or so; nonetheless, feeling homesick from time to time and not adjusting quickly to work at school. That worked itself out too. She'll have a chance to work through the relo before HS, where things count more, even though she doesn't know or see that.

    What are you thinking will be the goals for your Pitt Master's team and practices? After swimming in a shallow pool, I appreciate even the crappy deeper pool at the Y now. Keep spinning when you can't get into the water - I think your quads and calves will say thanks.
    I was faintly terrified of middle school too and moved around that time (though locally, out in the country). I hoped that XC would help, but right now she doesn't want to interact with the kids. She does grudgingly, but doesn't get any joy out of it. I am very glad there are a couple years until high school.

    Pitt Masters have traditionally done a distance day, stroke day with longer yardage and speed day (of sorts, not what I'd consider a speed workout). I'll probably work within those parameters. There are lots of triathletes and not that many of them compete.

    I may hop on the bike today. It's any easy way to squeeze in a workout at home.
  5. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by fdtotten
    I am glad that you were able to enjoy a good swim session in a great facility today, although it was just a temporary quiet moment from your devoted efforts to encourage and comfort your emerging teenager daughter immersed in a difficult swirl of awkward adjustment and discomfort with nearly a 99% different world as she knew it. There is really no simple way out. You will have to be patient and persevere as you have been doing. It will take time, but she will eventually adapt with the support of your family and hopefully new friends.

    I agree you will not have any real inner peace to focus on your swimming until your daughter appears to be making progress towards accepting your new life as it is. When we came to FL, both my daughter and son wanted to go back to their previous home and schools in GA for about the first 10 weeks of school, then over time they appreciated that we made the move, (our daughter continues to make occasional comparisons to the past). During our first several months in Florida, my wife and I were anxious and concerned, but we always told our kids they were doing great and will adjust. My daughter eventually made new friends, but that is easier for a younger child. Our son still maintains online friendships with previous elementary school classmates from Princeton-NJ, and previous middle school classmate from Augusta-GA, in addition to his current Fort Myers High School friends.

    Question regarding UW and SDK. As I have become better at kicking, I can go faster and farther under water than I could previously. Now in butterfly I have trouble timing the breakout because I am too deep on the first stroke, this will occur from push offs and more so from dives. Any tips?
    Yes, I'm pretty consumed with worry for Lil Fort. She can't seem to fall asleep at night either, partly from staying up in the summer. I'm not going to worry too much about my training right now, just do the best I can. The kids at the school seem very friendly. She is just not in the mood to make new friends right now. She can be shy at first. The online friendships make it simultaneously better (you don't lose your friends) and worse (you can't let of them and make new friends either). Our best friends whose daughter is Lil Fort's best friend are coming up for a visit (and a marathon race) next weekend.

    I find breakouts difficult in fly too. I'm usually too shallow on my breakouts and have gotten into the bad habit of lifting my head ever so slightly to see the water. Do you do a tight streamline with hands behind the head? This can make it slightly more difficult to feel the water. You just have to do them in practice and try to feel the water on your shoulders/back/arms. It helps to figure out what the ideal kick count is before breakout and stick to that. Of course, that can change depending on the depth of the dive, which for me never seems to be exactly the same.
  6. Sojerz's Avatar
    We moved in '65 from Bay Shore, LI, NY to West Hartford, Ct. when my Dad was transferred; "greasers" were it in Bay Shore at that time, and West Hartford, Ct was all "preppies." I had finished 9th and my younger sister was heading into 6th (I think). Quite a culture shock, plus losing all of our friends and teammates from many years of AG sports and other activities.

    For me sports was a saving grace, providing a place for a relatively shy kid to create a name for himself - yes new teammates in soccer, swimming, and track, but lots of opportunities to make new friends. Teams require cooperation, joint experience of success and adversity, and that generally leads to friendships. My sister bumped one of the long time favs off the vaulted 11-12 AAU girls fr and med relays, and she paid a bit of a price for that with a few of the catty types, but she made friends outside that group anyway. Sports can provide some level of acceleration in the relo adjustment and continuing to encourage her is a good idea. Glad to see her coaches saw it that way too - it certainly helps that it all doesn't have to come from mom.

    My sister stayed in touch with many of her old friends from LI for many years - thru HS, college and even after she got married (our LI swim coaches daughter). I stayed in touch with friends for a little while, but pretty much moved on within about a year or so; nonetheless, feeling homesick from time to time and not adjusting quickly to work at school. That worked itself out too. She'll have a chance to work through the relo before HS, where things count more, even though she doesn't know or see that.

    What are you thinking will be the goals for your Pitt Master's team and practices? After swimming in a shallow pool, I appreciate even the crappy deeper pool at the Y now. Keep spinning when you can't get into the water - I think your quads and calves will say thanks.
  7. fdtotten's Avatar
    I am glad that you were able to enjoy a good swim session in a great facility today, although it was just a temporary quiet moment from your devoted efforts to encourage and comfort your emerging teenager daughter immersed in a difficult swirl of awkward adjustment and discomfort with nearly a 99% different world as she knew it. There is really no simple way out. You will have to be patient and persevere as you have been doing. It will take time, but she will eventually adapt with the support of your family and hopefully new friends.

    I agree you will not have any real inner peace to focus on your swimming until your daughter appears to be making progress towards accepting your new life as it is. When we came to FL, both my daughter and son wanted to go back to their previous home and schools in GA for about the first 10 weeks of school, then over time they appreciated that we made the move, (our daughter continues to make occasional comparisons to the past). During our first several months in Florida, my wife and I were anxious and concerned, but we always told our kids they were doing great and will adjust. My daughter eventually made new friends, but that is easier for a younger child. Our son still maintains online friendships with previous elementary school classmates from Princeton-NJ, and previous middle school classmate from Augusta-GA, in addition to his current Fort Myers High School friends.

    Question regarding UW and SDK. As I have become better at kicking, I can go faster and farther under water than I could previously. Now in butterfly I have trouble timing the breakout because I am too deep on the first stroke, this will occur from push offs and more so from dives. Any tips?
  8. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tjrpatt
    you are right, shallow pools make for bad habits. My UW are horrible right now without access to a deep pool. That is a shame that your daughter isn't adjusting too well. It is hard to move to a different city at her age. Also, she left the DC area. That is depressing at any age.
    Yes, very convinced that shallow pools can create bad habits. One doesn't have to worry about breakouts in 3-4 feet of water.

    It's leaving her friends that has caused all the angst. She was in the same elementary school for 7 years, same soccer team for 7 years, same summer league team for 7 years. She's never had any real change, and tended to dislike any small change.
  9. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pwb
    Well, at least one Fortress female was happy today. So, I gather, as a Pitt Masters coach, you get easy/all-access (?) to the pool during lap swimming hours. If so, that's awesome.

    You know that moves are huge stressors on adults, but I have to believe that for kids, especially in middle school, it's even harder. Getting out there and racing, though, is going to help her. Glad you're happy with the coaches.
    It's a little vague. But the AD seemed to agree that I could have access during rec swim hours. It was never an issue before bc the am coach doesn't really swim anymore. Today, I was there anyway taking a water safety/CPR course. Tomorrow, I'm just going to swim after practice.

    The move has definitely been more stressful on me than I anticipated. A lot of that spinning was just because I didn't even want to leave the house and venture into the world. But, yes, middle school/puberty years are really poor times to move. We were just waiting for Teen Fort to go off to college.
  10. tjrpatt's Avatar
    you are right, shallow pools make for bad habits. My UW are horrible right now without access to a deep pool. That is a shame that your daughter isn't adjusting too well. It is hard to move to a different city at her age. Also, she left the DC area. That is depressing at any age.
  11. pwb's Avatar
    Well, at least one Fortress female was happy today. So, I gather, as a Pitt Masters coach, you get easy/all-access (?) to the pool during lap swimming hours. If so, that's awesome.

    You know that moves are huge stressors on adults, but I have to believe that for kids, especially in middle school, it's even harder. Getting out there and racing, though, is going to help her. Glad you're happy with the coaches.
  12. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jaadams1
    This looks like a good option for me, though it may be a bit much on the IM for me currently. I've been mainly doing all freestyle lately, but I could switch it up a bit today. I may have to try this and see how far I get, provided I have the lane space with the
    Looks like you did a good job on it! I may have to keep posting my stroke workouts here!
  13. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Iwannafly
    I say that if Jim can swim fast with that belly, he should grow it - perhaps it would make him faster? :-)

    Fort, this workout looks possible for me, especially with fins. The only pair of fins I have are long-ish (not those little zoomers). While I am not very adept at either backstroke or fly, I can swim them with ease while wearing fins. My point is that I should be able to swim significantly faster with my fins than I could an all-out 100. Can you tell me what my goal should be while doing the 50s with fins?
    Long fins good! If you are adept with the fins (can stay UW etc), I think your fin time for an AFAP 50 should be approx 5-6 seconds faster than your non-fin AFAP time.
  14. jaadams1's Avatar
    This looks like a good option for me, though it may be a bit much on the IM for me currently. I've been mainly doing all freestyle lately, but I could switch it up a bit today. I may have to try this and see how far I get, provided I have the lane space with the
  15. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by fdtotten
    Terrific "A Lane" workout with excellent organization, flexibility, and options that allows an array of adult masters swimmers with various stroke preferences to personalize the stroke and drill sets. I would think that any Masters 'swammer' or the advanced late starter would have enjoyed this workout.

    Many times over I have learned that there is nothing like swimming to get in shape for swimming! Of course dryland, PT, and various cross training activities are useful, but there is no substitute for water. I have also done spinning sessions, which are a great workout, particularly if one is an active Cyclist.

    As you get established in your daily activities and eventually find the best ways to do your dryland and swim sessions towards consistency, you will rebuild and redevelop yourself as the awesome fast swimmer that you are, and even more so!
    Thanks Frank. Your posts are always so thoughtful. Right now, getting my daughter settled is the most important thing on my mind. She's pretty miserable so far. Training seems relatively unimportant in comparison. But I hope to get in decent sprint shape by Dec. We will see!
  16. fdtotten's Avatar
    Terrific "A Lane" workout with excellent organization, flexibility, and options that allows an array of adult masters swimmers with various stroke preferences to personalize the stroke and drill sets. I would think that any Masters 'swammer' or the advanced late starter would have enjoyed this workout.

    Many times over I have learned that there is nothing like swimming to get in shape for swimming! Of course dryland, PT, and various cross training activities are useful, but there is no substitute for water. I have also done spinning sessions, which are a great workout, particularly if one is an active Cyclist.

    As you get established in your daily activities and eventually find the best ways to do your dryland and swim sessions towards consistency, you will rebuild and redevelop yourself as the awesome fast swimmer that you are, and even more so!
  17. The Fortress's Avatar
    Thanks guys! I got some curious looks about what SDK and AFAP were, but it seemed to go down fairly well. Definitely could be adapted for a pure animal workout.
  18. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    I like the workout It's got a nice mix of speed and distance. I may borrow this one for one of the public swim sessions I periodically have to do. If you reduced the interval on the 100s it would look a little bit like an animal lane work out.
  19. pwb's Avatar
    You are a very versatile coach, I'll have you know. That looks like a great stroke workout even if the yardage is a little high for my weakened state these days. I'm bookmarking it as I have to gte back to IM training after I do my OW race in La Jolla this weekend.
  20. Iwannafly's Avatar
    I say that if Jim can swim fast with that belly, he should grow it - perhaps it would make him faster? :-)

    Fort, this workout looks possible for me, especially with fins. The only pair of fins I have are long-ish (not those little zoomers). While I am not very adept at either backstroke or fly, I can swim them with ease while wearing fins. My point is that I should be able to swim significantly faster with my fins than I could an all-out 100. Can you tell me what my goal should be while doing the 50s with fins?