Finally made it to the lake today for my first OW swim of the year
1.12 miles in 36 minutes
61 = water temp
62 = air temp
Quite a few folks out fishing, but no lake traffic. Paran doesn't allow motor traffic, anyways. The water was refreshing and mostly clear as I started off from the boat launch towards the beach with some backstroke to get used to the temp and keep my breathing under control. I made my way to the eastern part of the lake and found some vegetation and fish in the shallower areas. The wind picked up as I headed back towards the beach, then I watched a guy videotaping a group of people on the beach. I met back up with my wife and then dried off in the sun as some of the folks fishing were asking what I was doing.
The group in the Berkshires have started their lake swims, so I hope to get down that way a few times this summer for the fellowship and meals afterwards. Williams is shut down for the summer for renovations, which means that nearby LCM is out. I also heard that the outdoor pool in Hoosick Falls is also staying dry, so my opportunity to getting outside will rest in OW adventures.
Knowledge, sometimes born from debate, is good for sports
I know next to nothing about sports other than swimming. I’m an anomaly in almost any crowd—my friends tease me for not knowing what a first down is or look aghast when I suggest that the stuff you endure at a live baseball game is manufactured to distract you from the low energy level (Hey! It’s time to stand up and sing now!).
Baseball, basketball, and football are so popular that many, many people know the rules of those games. Yes, there is controversy (betting, steroids, the NCAA, etc.), but the technical rules are generally understood (seemingly by everyone except me) and you can find lively, informed debate at watercoolers and in sports bars and broadcast booths around the country.
Swimming is pretty far behind the ball sports in terms of mainstream understanding, but intensive media coverage of the swimming events of the past two Olympics means your office mate—whose only previous definition of an IM was instant messaging in the 1990s—is now on a first-name basis with marquee swimmers: “Can’t wait to see Michael and Ryan go at it in the 400 IM!”
Not so much for open water, or more specifically, its lesser understood and gangly cousin, marathon swimming, which is currently experiencing growing pains thanks to the media coverage and subsequent controversy that surrounded Diana Nyad’s recent Cuba to Florida swim.
It didn’t take long for debate to brew around Nyad’s swim; within days of her staggering ashore in Florida, marathon swimming insiders began asking questions that touched off a lengthy, ongoing conversation about rules, transparency, and the very integrity of the sport. What bloomed online is a debate that most people don’t have any way of participating in because marathon swimming is not a watercooler topic in most places.
Still, most nonswimmers have heard of Nyad and her swim and comment frequently to us swimmers about it. It’s easy to see why her story has broad appeal: It touches on aging better, goal-setting, perseverance, and other inspirational themes that extend beyond the sport. And whether you know a lot or nothing about swimming, what she accomplished was impressive.
But marathon swimming is a sport with a rich history, traditions, and technical rules, just like other sports. The small but vocal group of experts—many of them accomplished marathon swimmers—who are asking questions about Nyad’s swim have the opportunity to educate journalists, so that journalists, in turn, can educate the public when they start asking questions around the watercooler: Are you allowed to touch the boat? What is the difference between a marathon swim and an exhibition swim? What is the difference between assisted and unassisted? When do we stand up and sing?
There will always be debate, and that’s a good thing, but knowledge is the key to informed debate. Let’s hope that Nyad’s swim and both its supporters and detractors bring a new level of understanding to a beautiful, sometimes brutal, sport that tests the limits of both physical and mental endurance in ways most people cannot imagine.
In this issue of SWIMMER, we’re excited to bring you profiles of two people who have been influential in helping us understand both marathon swimming and ball sports. Associate editor (and Triple Crown marathon swimmer) Elaine K. Howley writes about Michelle Macy’s amazing Ocean’s Seven feat in “Swimming Life” (Page 6) and frequent contributor Jim Harper writes about legendary sports journalist and Masters swimmer John Feinstein, who credits swimming with saving his life (Page 14). Reading his profile has made me want to read more about other sports. Feinstein is a gifted writer, and that’s something I can wrap my brain around, even if I don’t (yet) understand the seventh-inning stretch.
Updated July 1st, 2014 at 11:36 AM by Editor
Swim/SCY/Solo @ Pitt
3 x 50 scull w/paddles
4 x 25 shooters w/fins
4 x 25 burst SDK + cruise @ 1:00
50 @ 100 pace @ 1:00
50 EZ @ 1:30
8 x 75 done as
odds = 3 x 25 AFAP kick w/fins @ :30
evens = EZ
6 x 25 w/parachute & fins & paddles
I went to the pool with no workout in mind and feeling slothful and disengaged. With no meet in sight, I am apt to take up another sport! Still, I feel like I got some solid work in. Took a break from USRPT. I like it, but just can't do it every day. Plus, I still like HIT, though it is a more difficult way to train for 100s.
Swim/LCM/Solo @ Pitt
2 x (25 scull + 25 free) w/paddles
4 x (25 shooter + 25 EZ) w/fins @ 1:10
4:00 VDK: :15 AFAP in streamline + :45 EZ (counting it as 100)
-- VDK = vertical dolphin kick
8 x 25 burst + cruise @ :45-1:00
-- did 4 from mid-pool
5:00 straight VDK (count as 200)
2 x (50 AFAP + 150 EZ)
20 x 50 @ 1:10 w/fins done as 2 rounds of:
4 x 50 w/paddles @ 200 pace (R1 = free, R2 = back)
1 x 50 EZ
4 x 50 kick
odds = 100 pace
evens = EZ
1 x 50 EZ
extra 100 EZ
4 x (25 AFAP + 25 EZ) @ 1:15
Total: 3550 m
I had expected the pool to be set up SCY and had brought a SCY workout that I was psyched to do. I couldn't think of a main set I was up for, so did a little bit of everything. Still tired, long course is dead hard.
It's wonderful to have Fort Son home. I can't believe he is a rising senior ... where does the time go ... He told me that all seniors in his fraternity (he's President) get a fully paid spring break trip. Seems they get major funding from the CEO of Ebay, who was a member. Pretty cushy!
10 x 50 fr on 0:55
500 drill with short fins
7 x 25 fr 0n 0:40 hypoxic with short fins
missed 5th one
9 x 25 fr on 0:40 with short fins / snorkel
10 x 50 fr on 1:00 easy
1-5: 6-beat kick6-10: 2 - beat kick
3 x 50 FK with board on 1:30
LCM meet yesterday
50 free [28.97]
Except for not consciously kicking super hard and pulling forcefully (was more preoccupied with form and streamline), the first 35m was perfect. This was where I took my breath and my rhythm, form, and all perfection was lost. Not being familiar with this pool, and thinking I had more to go than I did, I took another breath 5m out from finish - lol. I ruined that event, but with what I did and the cost of these mistakes, I am sure I am fully capable of beating my .34 by some tenths.
Had 50 fr SR form filled out ready to go but the official's reaction to my request changed my mind as I didn't want to interrupt things. She said I would need timers sent to the other side and from the looks of the operation, number of timers, and tight schedule, I decided to just do a 50 split for time unrecorded by looking up at the touch and got a [28.91]. Almost didn't finish the remainder of the 100 as I was too out of breath. Did backstroke to get me to the wall. Was suffering so bad afterwards a few other swimmers were worried I was about to die - lol, but didn't. Had to take 3 breaths for this swim. Sometimes during the split blasters I don't have this symptom, but I account the episode to improper warm-down and warm-up leading to it.
Wasn't feeling well so I scratched the 200 fr and swam 1500 yds in the diving pool. Also swam in Strom Thurmond reservoir for 30 min on way home as a random drive in.
Maybe I can try again later this month for another LCM
Updated June 8th, 2014 at 06:13 PM by __steve__
Ended up at the drive-ins last night, and bed around 2am. Up for Lake Paran this am at 8, did 0.6 miles with Tim and Rebecca. Eazy, first OW of season for both.
Had brunch for Jinho and now at graduation party number 3 for the weekend. Church tonight, then Jinho flies home tomorrow.
The pool was on the hot side for me at around 82ish. When I am warm diving in I know it is not going to be good. Not only that but the rec pool was closed so everyone from there was trying to swim in the lap lanes.
I had one USA swimmer in with me but if I can lap him he is way out of shape and he also does not know how to circle swim and just goes down the center. Next time if I have my paddles on I will knock him around a bit till he learns to circle.
My whole goal today was just to do 3000 meters to reach the 250 mile mark for the year. Made that goal.
500 free kick w/zoomers
5x100@1:45 free w/strapless paddles
5x100 #1 fly, #2 back, #3 breast, #4 free, #5 IM no interval just went we I wouldn't cream everyone
500 free kick w/zoomers
500 free w/snorkle
Total 3000 meters
Slept in this morning, for some reason I just couldn't fall asleep last night. So when the alarm went off at 4:45, I decided pooh, my back has been hurting so bad anyway, why even bother? Got home from work early and went over to the pool around 4pm, swam just a steady pace, making sure my back was ok. Did pretty well! Got in 3100 as follows:
600 back/free, breast/free
3 x 200 pull
600 kick/free w/zoomers (no board - kicking on my back)
3 x 300 pull holding 1:30 pace(ish)
200 easier than all the above!
Pleasantly surprised by how well my back held up. I think with a Jeanie massage tonight and full nights sleep I should be back in the saddle by tomorrow, or Wednesday at the latest.
Enjoyed a great day yesterday, having a massage with Lena before meeting up with my brother and niece for dinner out for pizza. Like I said, a great day.
After doing some errands this morning I headed to the pool:
200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill
Kick Swim Pull (board/AP/buoy)
050 100 200
100 150 300
050 100 200
1 x 50 ez
4 x 50 on traffic (fast stroke IMO down, 25 easy back)
100 loosen and out
(Solo/Rec/2200 yds/45 min)
Busy day in the lane today: GregJS, Kevin and Renee were there as well as Mike visiting from PA. Then two to three others moved in and out during the hour. We made due.
Oh yeah, Happy Birthday to Greg!
The screech of that 4:45 a.m. alarm is rude. Very rude. But you comply, trying to forget about what awaits you at the pool. If it’s suitable for aggressive workout swimming, the water will feel chilly. Jumping in it is the second worst moment of the day. The moon is out, your teammates resemble a zombie horde, and if you’d stayed in bed dreaming, you’d still be gliding across a polished wooden floor with a tall, handsome stranger, kickin’ it with a fly Viennese waltz.
So what to do when you <gasp> no longer want to get out of bed before dawn and jump into a cold pool? Is taking a break an option?
Nonswimmers have no problem filing Masters Swimming Burnout under first-world problems. “Why would anyone want to get up that early anyway? Now you can ____________ (garden, join your homeowners association, take polka lessons),” they suggest helpfully.
But once you’ve invited swimming into your life, it’s hard to politely show it to the door like a distant relative, effuse about what fun you’ve had, and tell it you can’t wait to see it again next year.
Many swimmers demarcate their lives into BS (before swimming) and S (swimming). In this lifelong sport, I’ve yet to meet anyone who wants to consider the permanence of AS (after swimming), so that leaves BTS (between swimming).
So how does one behave in a BTS period? For starters, you might want to consider how you’ll be meeting the exercise need that your swimmer’s appetite demands. Super. That will be running and cycling, with a side dish of P90X and a giant slice of Zumba for dessert, please.
What about reducing the number of practices? Maybe if you swim three times per week, instead of five or six? If you’re a sprinter, no problem, you might even maintain your current 50 freestyle time for another season with that plan, although you will lose your spot on the B relay. If you’re a distance swimmer, your prospects are more dismal. You’ll enter the 800 free at nationals with good intentions and feel terrible the entire time, especially when you see the scoreboard.
Even with a reduced schedule, you’ll still want to stay in touch with your swimming friends, especially your lanemates. But is it proper etiquette to show up for the Saturday post-workout breakfast with dry hair? It happened once on our team a few years ago. We still speak of it only in hushed tones.
What is it about swimming that makes it so hard to have a BTS hiatus? Is it the feeling we get at that perfect moment, right about the 175-yard mark after first jumping in? The chill is ebbing and your skin and soul are crackling—you’re about to reach the nirvana of weightlessness, perfect technique, and that delicate balance between effortless gliding and the grind awaiting you when the warm-up ends. (If only you could fast-forward to breakfast at that point.)
But you stick it out, and as the practice is ending, the sun is rising, the ghoulish pallor of the zombie horde has magically transformed into a flushed, healthy glow and bright smiles, and that amazing sense of accomplishment and renewed vigor reminds you that you could have been sweating it out in a hot yoga studio or waiting for your turn on the leg press at the gym.
But you weren’t, because you’re a swimmer. And whether you’re in the thick of a BTS period or not, once a swimmer, always a swimmer. This lifelong sport sticks around like a houseguest that never leaves. And in all honesty, that’s just the way we want it, isn’t it?
Updated July 1st, 2014 at 11:33 AM by Editor
After a long day of coaching in the hot sun it was off to the pool.
500 free kick w/zoomers
5x100@2:00 as 50 free/50 back w/paddles & bouy
200 torque drill w/paddles
200 1 arm fly w/zoomers
500 free kick w/zoomers
4x100 from blocks 25 sprint 75 easy free odds free evens fly
Total 3000 meters
Alabama State Games
I've been training for the Alabama State games for the last month or so. This is a fun meet that I do mostly because I get to swim on the same team as my kids. The events are all fairly short 50, 100, 200 free +100s of each stroke and a 200 IM. It's not what I typically go for but the 200 free and 200 IM are worth trying without swimming a 1650 first. Training for this has been great. I've been shooting for a sub-2:00 in the 200 free for a while and it looked like I would get it this time around. A couple weeks ago, I swam a 2:10 in practice and had a 1:59 broken 200 free at the beginning of taper.
Sadly, I sabotaged all my efforts in several different ways. First, I officiated two late away meets last week and ended up spending way too much time on my feet. I didn't rest and it didn't help my taper any. Second, I agreed to apprentice stroke and turn judge at the games. They sanctioned this meet with USAS this year so I got an opportunity to squeeze in another session and get closer to full certification. I don't think it hurt much at the beginning of the meet but 4 hours standing up didn't help my later events. Third, I didn't warm up enough. That's partially because of a meeting for excuse #2. I really need a solid 1500 yards to get going and only did about 500 for this meet. Fourth, I gained too much weight. I typically gain a few pounds during taper topping out at around 188-190. Yesterday, I weighed 196. Fifth, I just didn't feel very good Saturday. A quick bathroom break before my 100 fly seemed to improve things for me but prior to that, I just didn't feel great before any of my races. Finally, I went on vacation just prior to taper. I did swim quite a bit on vacation but my intensity levels dropped and I wasn't focused on sprinting any.
With all my excuses out of the way, here's the bad, bad and ugly:
200 Free - Seed time: 2:03.04, Meet time: 2:05.67
Splits: 28.55, 31.49, 32.72, 32.91
No sugar coating this disaster. I was on pace after 100 yards but just fell apart. No energy left and I ended up coasting home.
50 Free - Seed time: 25.97, Meet time: 26.40
This really wasn't too terrible but I should be faster than that. During practice, I did a 26 unshaved.
200 IM - Seed time: 2:21.75, Meet time: 2:22.99
Splits: 30.53, 40.59, 39.97, 31.90
This wasn't too bad either and while it was slower than last year, it was faster than I swam earlier this year in Auburn. My breaststroke split was pretty bad for me though.
100 Breast - Seed time: 1:09.53. Meet time: 1:12.51
Splits: 34.75, 37.76
This swim felt great but it was way off my time from last year. When I touched the wall, I thought I might have set a personal best but the clock disagreed.
100 Fly - Seed time: 1:05.02, Meet time: 1:05.94
Splits: 30.61, 35.33
Looks like I went out a bit fast but overall this was one of my better races. And I really didn't train for it at all.
100 Free - Seed time: 56.89, Meet time: 59.31
Splits: 28.62, 30.69At this point, I was resigned to having a poor meet and I was so tired anything under 1:00 was going to be a "victory".
Since nobody else signed up in my age group this year all races were uncontested and I'm a repeating 6-time Alabama State Champion. Next year, I'll either take my taper a little more seriously and not officiate or just forget the taper and swim it tired. But I'm not going through the trouble of shaving just to stink it up again.
Next Month: Top ten watch... will my 1650 time make the preliminary listing this year? Or, will a missing pool measurement or unlisted event result knock me out? Stay tuned!
Updated June 23rd, 2014 at 01:25 PM by pmccoy
Disobeyed personal orders to stay dry (ear infection) for a brief workout.
400 warmup worth of free and drills
4 x 50 fr from block on 5:00 + 50 easy
30, 27, 27, 28
5 x 25 fr from block + flip on 3:00 + 25 easy
Breathing does not seem to slow me as much as before these days. So much less painfull when you breath more than 2 - 3 times per 50 sprints
Yesterday was a warm windy day in Dallas and later in the day we grilled burgers and sausages and hung out around our pool with the kids; it was great fun. We decided that last night was going to be a movie night and both my kids love James Bond so we decided to watch skyfall. The plan was for popcorn and the movie however after about 30 mins both kids said this was boring and decided to go and play video games in there rooms(and watching a movie is boring?) I ended up falling asleep in the chair and my wife woke me up and told me to go to bed. With all this I ended up going to bed early(even by my standards) and had a good nights sleep.
This morning was the first of our 11 swimming workouts during our training camp for worlds and I did not know what to expect. This is my third camp as a master and each of the prior two have been very different. On my first one where I was still getting back into swimming we did a lot of yardage swum aerobically, the last one was a lot of yardage but mixed in with lots of power tower sprint work. This morning was relative low yardage for the first workout with a high intensity main set. I am still quite sore from the past few weeks so I am not complaining about this mornings swim.
400 free with snorkel
6x50 catchup on :50
8x100 with snorkel on 1:25
12x50 kick on :50
4x(50 fast on :40, 50 easy on 1min, 100 fast on 1:10, 50 easy on 1min)
6x50 scull focused on catch with 10 seconds rest
6x50 finger tip drag drill on 1min
6x50 airplane drill on 1min
500 with snorkel working on hand entry and straight over turns
I did not have any pep this morning and everything felt like hard work. On the transition set of 8x100 I was holding 1:15s. On the kick I was holding :50s. On the 4 rounds of fast easy 50s and 100s I felt pretty bad, but my times were ok, going 31s on the fast 50s and 1:05s on the fast 100s. The rest of the workout we worked on hand entry and turns. My free is feeling pretty good technique wise.
We will be lifting everyday this week and the plan for today is to head back to the pool at noon and lift Followed by swimming for a couple of more hours. It was our coach, Tom's 30th birthday yesterday and he posted this afternoons workout already so I know we are doing 30x200s. Should be fun after lifting
Updated June 30th, 2014 at 10:25 AM by StewartACarroll
I just don't feel like I have recovered completely but then again I have not been good about stretching, using the muscle stimulator and the foam roller. All my own fault.
Today my fly felt good, but my attempt at sprinting is just not there yet. I have to add sprinting every day now or I won't be useful for relays.
I will be losing a swim day on Friday due to the pool being closed unless I can find someplace else to swim. Both the Y and Aquatic Center are closed.
500 free kick w/zoomers
100 free EZ
10x50@1:15 fly w/monofin holding 40's
200 free EZ
5x100@2 free 30m sprint - 15m into wall to 15m out of wall
200 free EZ w/snorkle
Total 2500 meters
Took it easy last week and ended up going for a run after church on Sunday evening, making it a tad over one mile without stopping. For not having run since Thanksgiving, I was pleased.
It was a very hot and humid day here in Vermont, so I took it easy during my day off. After grilling supper, I headed to Masters practice with our new expanded Tuesday time slot for the summer - 90 min! Found this Off the Beaten Path ...
I got in 200 before we started.
200 swim/100 kick/100 pull
4 x 25 Build
- 200 Pull on :30sr (2:30 with snorkel, 2:21 with AP, 2:25)
- 4 x 50 swim on :20sr (did IMO)
- 4 x 25 swim on :10 (did IMO)
- Masters Minute rest
6 x 50 on 1:15 (fast under the flags; I did IM transitions)
(I did 4 x 75 k/s/p on 1:15)
200 loosen and out
(Masters/Rec/3000 yds/80 min)
A good workout, and we were joined by a new swimmer, Jennifer. It's nice to have the extra 30 minutes and I am trying to spread the word so that our numbers will support the extra time.
I ended up signing up for the Baystate Games in a few weeks at Springfield College MA). My first ever LCM meet! I will only be going for one day and plan to swim 400 Fr, 400 IM, 100 back, 50 free. GregJS is also swimming, so we'll be able to root each other on.
Since I have to have blood work drawn this morning I know enough not to swim hard raising my blood sugar. A nice easy swim today.
500 free kick w/zoomers
200 free ez
500 free w/ snorkel maintain 6 beat kick
300 free kick w/zoomers
Total 3000 meters
First Weights, then a short swim. Felt kinda achy between the shoulders today, and kinda puny at weights. Was in a hurry, so I only did 2 rounds at each station, instead of three, and then at the pool, spent so much time talking I only went about 2500 LCM. Hurried over to the dentist for a cleaning then off to work. I have a lovely 55 minute drive, and the sky was lovely: sun shining, didn't see a cloud in the sky. 30 minutes after I get into work, the sky opens up & its suddenly pouring outside! Thunder - boom! Lightening! At this rate we'll lose power and all my charting will be paper - no EMR on these kinds of days, lol!
1000 warm-up with 400 of it drills
300 choice/warm down
I had a much better nights sleep last night and felt good in the water today. I still feel tired generally but feel good where I am relative to the taper.
400 free with snorkel
4x(2x100 on 1:20, 2x50 back on 1min)
6x100 kick on 2:15
12x50 with tempo trainer set to 16 seconds with the goal of holding 32 with one beep of rest
5x100 free on 1:40
The 100s on 1:20 were harder than they should have been. The kick I held 1:45s and felt pretty easy. The pace set was hard work. I held the tempo but it was a lot of hard work. The last two I picked up and finished with 30s on these. 18days to go.
Quick dip today, meet warm up of 1400 yards + a fast 50 back (~:30). Feeling pretty good ahead of the meet tomorrow.
Last night was the Midnight Madness event in our town, with the shops closing up around 4pm, then reopening from 7-12 with great sales, plus vendors on the sidewalks and specials at the local restaurants [pictures here: http://goo.gl/sQNr19]. After work, I met with my son at the chippie in our town for supper, then my wife for a little shopping before heading to a booth set up by my boss that highlighted deer ticks and lyme disease. They were very busy in the early evening with lots of questions, but as night fell the families went home and the tomfoolerly picked up. After the cops broke up something a bit down the street, my boss decided it was time to pack things up around 9:45. I then went with my daughter to get some new running sneakers and some shoes for work.
It's a fun time, although when I was a kid the streets would be closed off but some poor behavior has kept the streets open to traffic. We used to be able to go to the CB Sports factory for great deals on winter coats/snowpants, and while some of those opportunities have ceased it is still a wonderful community event.
Greg, you ready for tomorrow's 400 Free ???
Updated July 18th, 2014 at 04:00 PM by rxleakem