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  1. Sat 3/1/14

    It has been a month since my last post. Not much swimming going on. Too busy with work, our children's activities and getting over flu like symptoms. I think I am back now. This is just what I needed today. Trying to get my feel back.

    500 mix up
    200 swim
    200 pull
    100 kick

    8 x 50 @ 1:15 (15 sprint, 35 EZ)
    100 @ 2:00 (50 back, 50 free)
    3 x 300 pull @ base + 10 (100 fast, 50 EZ, repeat)
    3 x 200 swim @ base + 15 (150 free, 50 non free fast)
    8 x 50 @ 1:15 (15 sprint, 35 EZ)
    200 w/d


    I was glad coach didn't kill us today and like I said this was just what I needed. I actually felt pretty good. Hopefully my pool time will be more consistent.
  2. So Mad about Hotel Deception!

    by , March 1st, 2014 at 09:19 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I am sooo mad!!!

    I entered the South Central zone meet, then went to make my hotel reservation. I have stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, The Woodlands, many times and was all set to do so again. So I searched for it, and THOUGHT I went directly to their website. I booked an awesome rate ($107 plus fees, etc), and then realized upon getting the confirm that it was with some service called Reservation Counter, and not directly with the hotel! I swear, the website looked JUST like it! So a few hours later, I called the hotel directly to make sure they had my reservation. They did, but it still irks me! And the web address was so similar that you know they were trying to fool you!!!

    For those who want the finer points - remember your reservation is with the service, and not necessarily with the hotel itself. This service could just take your money and not make a booking. Or go out of business or file bankruptcy and not make your reservation. You would hope, but you aren't necessariy going to get your hotel room. And it cost a whopping $12 more for their stupid service vs. booking through the hotel itself, grrrr!!!!!!!

    In the end i'll be alright, worst case rarely happens, and plus I used my credit card, so if something does go wrong and I end up with no room, I don't have to pay it. But you just don't want that aggravation going into your big zone meet! I guess this also shows how being a bankruptcy trustee, you know the finer points of how these things can happen!

    In training news, i'm continuing my kick/IM/sprint days. I've gone back over Rich Abaraham's 2 articles from 2010 and 2011 on racing. The part i'm paying attention to is which zone you are in. I think of it as 3 zones - pure power zone (anaerobic; like powering through the 1st 15 meters of a race, or a 1/2 length blow out sprint), zone 2, which is racing zone; and zone 3, which is the "80% yardarage zone". And even though they aren't mutually exclusive, you have to train the appropriate amount of time in the right zone (zone 2), and not be stuck in zone 3 for me as a short sprinter (50/100's).

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center

    We did a set of IM -
    4 rounds
    4 x 25's 1 each stroke (.35)
    2 x 50 on 1:05 (fly/back and breast/free)
    1 x 100 IM fast on 2:30


    The first 2 rounds I did the set. But I found myself more in zone 3 than in zone 2. I was just trying to get through the IM at the end. So the next 2 sets I started to drop the IM bits and did easy free instead, to set myself up for a truly fast 100 IM. It worked! The 1:14 was my best 100 IM in practice!

    I'm glad I made that decision part way through the set to make it meaningful for me. I think it's a great set to do as proscribed if i'm building a base for the 400IM, or the 200IM. But this year it's all about the 100IM!
  3. April Is Adult Learn-To-Swim Month (March-April 2014)

    by , March 1st, 2014 at 12:00 AM (SWIMMER Editorials)
    My mother claimed that I learned to swim before I could walk. I was the first one in and the last one out of the pool in our backyard and the surf at Stinson Beach. I can’t ever remember not feeling completely comfortable and safe in my watery playground. Like many kids, I dreamed of being a mermaid or a dolphin, and I vowed to be the first gill transplant patient so I would never have to return to the surface and the big scary world of humans.

    My story isn’t unique; many of our nearly 60,000 members learned to swim as young children: lessons at the Y, summers at the lake, surfing, swim team, or just a lifelong love of playing in the water and parents or geography that made it possible.

    If you had the good fortune to enjoy opportunities to become safe, comfortable, and skilled in the water, you might never have considered what it would be like to learn right now, at your present age. Or what it would be like to know that if you fell in, you could become one of the 10 people who drown every day in the United States.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, 37 percent of American adults can’t swim the length of a 25-yard pool. And of the 10 people who drown every day, eight of them are adults or young adults.

    The Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, USMS’s charitable arm, wants to change these numbers. The foundation has declared the month of April Adult Learn-to- Swim Month, and has launched a nationwide campaign to promote the lifesaving benefits of swimming for adults. The governors of Indiana, Nebraska, and Washington have signed proclamations in support, and we’re working on getting more states onboard. You can learn more at

    Since 2012, the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation has provided more than $70,000 to programs that offer adult learn-to-swim lessons in their communities. Bill Meier, coach of the Simon’s Rock Pacemakers workout group of New England Masters, was teaching adults to swim even before his program became a Swimming Saves Lives partner. One of his favorite students is Chris Pompi of Adams, Mass.

    Pompi, a father of three, was 38 years old when he went to Meier for swim lessons. “When I had kids, I realized that I needed to be able to swim in case anything ever happened to them in the water. And, I didn’t want to be a hypocrite—making them take lessons but not knowing how to swim myself.” Yet he kept his lessons a secret from his family until he was competent in the water.

    “I just never learned as a kid,” Pompi says. He remembers hanging out at the Jersey Shore as a young adult, but not joining his friends in the water. “I stayed on the beach, soaking up the sun, and when we went out on a boat, I wore a lifejacket. All my friends and family could dive off the boat and have fun. I just watched in envy.”

    Now Pompi, a civil engineer, enjoys swimming with his three children and is grateful for all Meier has done for his family. “I think the world of him, and so do my kids.”

    The Swimming Saves Lives Foundation exists because of the generous donations from our members. There’s an opportunity to donate when you renew your USMS membership, or at anytime by visiting If you’re able to give, you can be part of the team that’s trying to change the truly big and scary numbers of adults drowning.

    Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:37 AM by Editor

    Staff Blogs
  4. Friday 2/28/14

    Friday 2/28

    PM only SCY

    400 swim
    4x25 @ :40 drill/under H2O kick w/ fins
    4x150 @ 1:50 pull w/ buoy + paddles + snorkel

    15M dive FAST/35 EZ

    mid-pool 25s w/ fast turns

    4x100 @ 1:40 kick last 25 under H2O w/ fins
    8x75 @ 1:20 D1-4, 5-8
    4x50 @ :50 @ 200 PACE (FL - 29.9, 29.9, 29.4, 30.3)

    400 EZ

    Total: 5300
    Swim Workouts
  5. Feb. 27-28

    by , February 28th, 2014 at 04:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)


    Did a mostly easy 1700 with Jimby at Sewickley

    Friday: Swim/SCY/Solo @ Sewickley (Pitt is closed)

    Warm up:

    600 various
    100 scull
    100 fly drills
    8 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :45
    50 EZ

    Main Sets:

    4 x 25 burst + cruise
    100 EZ

    4 x (fly/back kick/breast/free)
    3 x 50 @ 100 pace @ 1:00-1:30
    1 x 50 @ 100 pace
    1 x 50 EZ

    100 EZ

    20 x 25 kick 2/fins @ 100 pace @ :40
    -- It was difficult to tell my times on the analog clocks. Pretty sure I missed on #13 and skipped 14. The first few of these are so easy and then the quads start to burn.

    350 EZ

    Total: 3200


    Didn't kill it today; hoping to get a good workout in with one of my masters swimmers tomorrow at Pitt.

    Having just discussed the topic of viewing your workouts negatively or positively, I read this blog post with interest:

    And another article on HIT training: Small sample size but it does suggest that short bursts are better than longer efforts for endurance and that recovery is really important.

    Article on stretching, I really think I need to do more of this (especially for fly):
    Swim Workouts
  6. Friday, February 28, 2014 11:00-11:45am

    by , February 28th, 2014 at 03:39 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    Mostly a kicking day for me...

    200 Free warmup
    8 x 100 SDK on back @ 1:40 (held 1:10-1:15s)
    10 x 50 Flutter Kick w/ board @ 1:00 (:45s)
    300 worth of EZ 25s swim

    1800 yards :-)
  7. 2|28|14 LCM

    by , February 28th, 2014 at 02:25 PM (Blog)
    Did weights last night - chest, back, shoulders, thighs, abdominal, butt, and hips

    Plyometric activity also done

    500 fr, S

    • 9:10

    rest 1 min
    500 fr, S
    • 9:01

    rest 1 min
    500 fr, S
    • 8:35

    rest 3 min
    500 fr, S
    • 8:36

    500 Drill/Bk, F

    500 Drill, with and without S and F

    2 x 500 FK

    4K net

    Updated February 28th, 2014 at 02:34 PM by __steve__

  8. Sarasota YMCA Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout-03/03/2013

    by , February 28th, 2014 at 12:56 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 200 3:00 3:00
    3 X 100 1:40 1:30
    4 X 50 :50 :45
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 500 kick + 100 swim

    4 X 100 2:00
    4 X 75 1:30
    4 X 50 1:00
    4 X 25 fast :45
    Swim each group of 4--1of each IM order

    20 X 100 pull
    1-6: 1:30
    7-12: 1:20
    13-18: 1:15
    19-20: swim down 2:00

    Swim Workouts
  9. Week 74 - Friday

    by , February 28th, 2014 at 09:34 AM (After a long rest)
    I had a great night last night having Ethipian food for the first time for dinner and getting to bed at 8pm. I slept well and woke feeling good this morning. This mornings practice was short but did have some high intensity race pace work in it. Its always fun mixing it up and this was a mixup kind of workout for me. Longer rests than usual and much shorter sets, but fun none the less.

    Warm up
    200 swim
    200 kick
    200 pull
    200 drill

    Main sets
    12x25 kick on 25
    2x50 fast free on 45
    12x25 pull on 25
    2x50 fast free on 45
    12x50 on 45
    2x100 fast free on 2mins
    2x(25 ez, 50 fast, 75 ez, 100 fast, 100 ez, 75 fast, 50 ez, 25 fast) 15 seconds rest. First round free. Second round back.

    Warm down
    300 free ez

    Total 3400 scy

    Since I was visiting I did not have any equipment and much of these sets had instructions to use paddles and fins but I had to swim them without either. There was nothing majorly interesting about my times today but I did try pushing the 100s at race pace and held 53-54s. The water was much hotter than I am used to and I am sure today I was also like a raspberry. I neverr thought I would look forward to swimming in cool water like I usually do but I am. Todays bath temperature water made it tough to really get going. Some of the guys and girls I swam with are swimming a 1650 in the pool this weekend and they will cook.
    Swim Workouts
  10. Friday, Feb 28, 2014 - and it's 28F outside!

    by , February 28th, 2014 at 08:29 AM (Trying to Train Smarter, Not Just Harder)
    Mother Nature is playing tricks on us again. Nearly a full week of temps in the 70's, and she pulls a fast one last night and drops it to 28 degrees. Of course pool management decided that meant the pool had to be warmer, so we got to have 85 degree water. Fortunately the people from Premier were not allowed in their pool (if it's colder than 40 they won't open the pool) so I had this fast guy, Chuck, to spur me on [to greatness] hahaha. When I was doing 1:20's, he was doing them on the 1:15 and holding a 1:10. I comfort myself with the facts: a) he is a MAN, and b) he is only 45. Plus, I had done 2200 before he even got in, so I was more tired, right? (Why don't I feel better?)When I did my 200 easy at the end, he did one all out & did a :58 from a push. Most impressive.

    1000 warm-up (100 free, 25 back/breast repeat)
    3 x 300 Pull w/50 breast between each, first one no paddles
    2 x 100 easy
    400 kick
    100 easy
    100 kick @ 2:00
    2 x 100 "IM" @ 1:30
    3 x 100 @ 1:20
    4 x 100 back/free w/zoomers @ 1:25
    5 x 100 @ 1:20
    100 easy
    4 x 100 kick @ 2:00
    3 x 100 @ 1:20
    2 x 100 "IM" @ 1:30
    200 easy
    Total: 5200 SCY
  11. Long Course Friday....YEAH!

    by , February 28th, 2014 at 08:29 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Only had to share for a short time today. Did a good distance set.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers

    15x100@1:45 free w/strapless paddles & bouy holding 1:35's

    500 free kick w/zoomers seeing how many times I could lap the guy that joined me
    500 free EZ w/snorkle

    Total 3500 meters
    Swim Workouts
  12. 2|27|14 SCM

    by , February 27th, 2014 at 11:37 PM (Blog)
    500 fr with snorkel
    • 8:40

    rest 1 minute
    500 FK with snorkel
    • 11:58

    rest 2 minutes
    500 fr with snorkel
    • 8:48

    1000 drill
  13. Thursday 2/27/14

    Thursday 2/27

    PM only SCY

    300 swim
    8x50 @ 1:00 dr/sw by 25 I.M.O.
    4x75 @ 1:30 kick w/ fins 1st 25 under H2O

    15:00 of relay take-offs and finishes

    500 EZ

    Total: 2500
  14. Sunny morning workout

    I enjoyed a good team workout + bonus solo sets at the Panama City Beach pool this morning. Here’s how it went:

    500 lcm warmup (300 swim, 200 IM kick)

    10 x 50 FR pull w/paddles @ 1:00, counting strokes and decreasing by 1 on each 50 [I went from 41 to 34 on the first 8, descending my times as well from 46 to 42, then couldn’t get my stroke count any lower—it stayed the same or increased on the last 2, plus my times got slower. 34 was my sweet spot.]
    5 x 100 FR @ 2:00, desc. [1:32, 1:31, 1:28, 1:26, 1:27]

    100 easy

    10 x 50 BK @ 1:00, counting strokes and decreasing stroke count by 1 on each 50 [results were similar to FR—did my lowest stroke count and fastest time on #8 (39/:47)]
    5 x 100 BK @ 2:10, desc. [1:51>1:37]

    100 easy

    That was it for the team workout, but I liked this set enough that I decided to do another round. Since 1000 of either BR or FL seemed daunting, I combined them for the following:

    6 x 50 BR @ 1:15, decreasing stroke count each 50 [22>18]
    4 x 50 FL @ 1:15, holding stroke count at 16 but descending
    5 x 100 IM @ 2:10, desc. [1:51, 48, 45, 42, 39—After descending by 3 seconds on each of the first 4, I was really hoping to see that 39 on the last one to make this descend pretty, and was glad to get it. I love the pool’s new digital pace clocks!]

    100 easy

    6 x 200 FR @ 3:30, odds = pull with paddles concentrating on DPS, evens = no toys focusing on increased turnover

    2 x 200 K @ 5:00, odd IM, even RIM

    200 warmdown + play

    That was it! I was feeling pretty tired and tight in my upper back and neck after this, as well as chafed on my collarbones by my swim suit straps (polyester suits occasionally do that to me, even in pools). A midday yoga class fixed the first problem and distracted me from the second.
  15. Week 74 - Thursday

    by , February 27th, 2014 at 04:19 PM (After a long rest)
    I traveled to DC on Tuesday night and due to work conflicts was unable to get in the pool yesterday. I hate missing a workout and always feel guilty when I miss. In a sick way I am now afraid of feeling like I did when I first got back into the pool and despite knowing my logic makes no sense at all I seldom take any time off because of this fear of feeling crappy in the water.

    Today I swum with the Alexandria Masters team I have swum with several times previously when I visited DC. They are a super group who are very friendly and as I have written previously, I highly recommend them if you ever visit the DC area. Today my normal training partner Katie McWilliams(formerly Katie Gilmore) was coaching so I pretty much trained on my own which was more than fine. It felt good just being in the water. I had a good nights sleep and was excited to get in the pool today. My left shoulder is still a little sore in the pool but once I am done with my workout I have no lingering pain or discomfort so suspect it’s a pull rather than any tear or long term injury and will continue to ice.

    Warm up
    200 swim
    200 kick
    200 drill

    Main Sets
    8x(75 smooth on 1 min, 25 fast on 30)
    100 easy
    10x100 on 1.20 swum as (4x100 holding 1650 pace plus 2, 3x100 holding 1650 pace plus 1, 2x100 holding 1650 pace, 1x100 under 1650 pace)
    100 easy
    5x(50 on 40 swum at 500 pace, 100 on 1.10 swum at 500 pace, 50 on 40 swum at 500 pace, 50 on 45 easy)
    100 easy

    Warm down
    300 easy

    Total 4250scy

    I had a good practice today and held a high tempo throughout todays workout. The water was a little warmer than I am used to so I looked like a raspberry when I was done but felt pretty good. On the transition set of 100’s I held 46-48’s on the smooth 75s and 12-13s on the fast 25s. The 10x100s was a different sort of set to our normal 5,4,3,2,1 test set but felt somewhat similar in that the intensity increased as we went through the set, however what was nice today was that I did not get less rest as the set went on like our test set. I held 1.03’s on the 4x100s, 1.01’s and 1.02’s on 3x100s, 1min on the 2x100s and 58 on the last 100. I felt pretty good, although at this point I was pretty hot. On the next set I held 29’s on the 30’s and 1min on the 100s. I am back tomorrow for more Alexandria swimming and I am contemplating doing a 2hr workout but will see how my shoulder feels.

    I head home tomorrow night and I am looking forward to seeing my wife and kids(and of course swimming in my home pool).
    Swim Workouts
  16. Sarasota YMCA Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout-02/28/2013

    by , February 27th, 2014 at 01:27 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 200 3:00
    4 X 100 1:40
    8 X 50 kick 1:15
    4 X 100 1:30
    1 X 200 --

    1 X 200 IM 3:30
    4 X 50 1:00 #4 on 2:00
    Three rounds.
    50's: 1 of each IM order

    4 X 250 3:20
    4 X 150 2:00
    250's: negative split
    150's: 3rd 50 fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  17. Moving on

    by , February 27th, 2014 at 09:45 AM (Please tap on the glass)
    Well, it has been fun. But after years of procrastination, I've finally gone and built myself a new website.

    From now on, I'll be posting all sorts of fun stuff over at

    Not only will this summer's tales of 8 Bridges and my triumphant crossing of the Strait of Juan de Fuca be covered, but there will be random posts about swimming in Seattle on a more frequent basis. Plus, pictures and all sorts of rad custom illustrations. And, if you're lucky, illustrations of data. Kidding, of course there will be data!! All the charts, graphs, and maps that you can handle. I hope you come check it out.

    And if that isn't enough, there's always @andrewswims on Twitter where I post a lot of pictures of post-swim waffles-and-beer. Like, more than any one human should.

    Thank you USMS for providing this wonderful interim platform and allowing me to share so much with the world.


    Updated February 27th, 2014 at 11:33 AM by andrewmalinak

  18. descent effort today

    by , February 27th, 2014 at 07:34 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    This was a good day for me even with some minor back related issues at the onset of workout. As normal I was able to get progressively faster with each swim.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers

    3 times thru w/strapless paddles
    2x100@1:45 1/2 free/1/2 back went 1:34, 1:30, 1:30, 1:28, 1:27, 1:28
    200@3:30 1/2 free/1/2 back went 3:04, 3:00, 2:56

    500 free kick w/zoomers
    12x25@:40 fly went 25,25,24,24,24,24,25,24,24,23,23,23

    3x100@2:00 free EZ w/snorkle

    Total 3300 yards
    Swim Workouts
  19. Wednesday, February 26, 2014 5:40-7:00pm

    by , February 26th, 2014 at 11:45 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    First swim for me since the meet on Sunday, and I've decided to take things 'easy' on my shoulder for a while, and not do too much intensity on my swimming portions, no fly at all in practice, and lots of kicking with higher levels of intensity. Gotta try to get my shoulder back to normal soon.


    1500 Free
    I ended up feeling pretty good on the opening swim, so I just kept it going for 20 minutes or so.

    10 x 50 SDK on back w/ short fins @ :50 (:37-:40s)

    10 x 50 Flutter Kick w/ board @ 1:00 (held :50 and under)

    10 x 50 Free Cruise @ 1:00 (went :32-:33s)

    8 x 50 Flutter Kick w/ board @ 1:00
    6 x 50 Flutter Kick w/ board @ :55
    6 x 50 Flutter Kick w/ board @ :50

    300 Free cruise

    4300 Yards
  20. Wednesday 2/26/14

    Wednesday 2/26

    AM and PM SCY

    AM swim:

    300 swim
    300 pull w/ buoy + paddles + snorkel
    200 swim
    200 kick w/ board
    100 swim
    100 I.M. drill

    5x100 @ 1:15 AE
    8x25 @ :40 V.S.
    100 EZ


    20x25 @ :40 FR w/ strapless paddles + snorkel
    10 - drill (25 R arm/25 L arm)
    10 - swim

    8x25 @ :20 AE
    :20 rest
    50 @ 1:00 rest FAST w/ fins (BR - 26.0)
    6x25 @ :20 AE
    :20 rest
    75 @ 1:00 rest FAST w/ fins (BR - 41.1) (+25 EZ back to the starting end)
    4x25 @ :20 AE
    :20 rest
    100 @ 1:00 rest FAST w/ fins (BR - 56.1)
    100 EZ

    6x25 @ :15 rest scull w/ snorkel
    4x100 @ 1:10 pull w/ buoy + paddles breathe 4-3-2-1 by 25

    300 EZ

    Total: 4000

    PM swim:

    600 swim every 4th 25 scull
    8x50 @ 1:00 odd: k/dr, even: dr/sw
    5x100 @ 1:10 TIGHT D1-5 w/ paddles (1:03, 1:02, 1:01, 1:00, :59) <-- can't get any more tight than that!
    100 EZ
    8x25 @ :45 V.S.
    300 EZ

    100 BR broken :10 rest @ 50, :05 @ 75 - 28.4/14.9/14.3 for a 57.6
    450 EZ

    50 BR trying to simulate first 50 of 100 - 28.6 (not good, spun my wheels a little too much)

    400 swim EZ
    600 kick w/ fins + board EZ

    Total: 3800
    Swim Workouts