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  1. A mix of toys today

    by , January 3rd, 2014 at 07:17 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    It was long course today so I improvised.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    400 free pull w/paddles & bouy
    400 IM as drill fly/pull back/kick breast/swim free
    300 fly scull drill w/zoomers
    300 back kick w/zoomers
    200 fly as 50 rt arm/50 lt arm/50 kick/50 swim w/zoomers
    200 back pull w/paddles
    100 breast pull w/zoomers
    100 free

    Total 3000 meters
  2. Thursday, January 2, 2014 5:05-6:20pm

    by , January 2nd, 2014 at 10:23 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    Well, I just got my paycheck from work at Tree Top, and it was nice to see my holiday pay for the 2 days of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on it. The 401K matching and other additions are quite nice too. That means I finally made it past my 90th "work" (not calendar) day. So I'm full-time there getting rid of me "just because" now.

    Went for a workout after work today (have to work day shift for a couple days), and tried to hit it hard to get my body into shape for my meet in just over a week. I think I'm basically back in shape where I was before all my out of the water time. My physical job probably keeps my muscles where they need to be, and just a bit of time back in the water was all I needed for the feel to return.


    200 Free
    200 Kick w/ board
    150 Free
    150 Kick w/ board
    100 Free
    100 Kick w/ board
    50 Free
    50 Kick w/ board

    Broken Mile Pull w/ Catalyst Paddles:
    11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 lengths with :10 rest between each.
    Total time minus 2:30 for time.
    A few of the times I checked:
    275 went 3:15
    250 went 2:55
    150 went 1:40
    100 went 1:06
    75 went :49
    50 went :31
    Total time was 20:40 (minus 1:40) for roughly a 19:00 1650 time. It was pull w/ paddles of course, but still one heck of a set!

    350 EZ Free

    My first IM/stroke set in a while:
    3 x 100 IM @ 2:00
    1 x 100 Fly @ 1:15 (went 1:06)
    3 x 100 IM @ 2:00
    1 x 100 Fly @ 1:15 (went 1:08)
    2 x 100 IM @ 2:00
    That set was good. The fly's really weren't that bad though the 2nd one was a little tough to complete. Actually the first IM after each fly was the hardest part. Minimal rest then push off for more...UGH!!

    200 EZ cooldown

    4200 Yards

    Felt good after this swim. It's just what I needed, and gives me a little more confidence for my fly endurance at the meet.

    Updated January 3rd, 2014 at 12:06 AM by jaadams1

    Swim Workouts , Daily Practices
  3. First swim of 2014; seed times for first meet

    by , January 2nd, 2014 at 07:58 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Today I did my first swim of the year and thought I would have a little bit more left in the tank, but ended up slogging through... yuck. Even though the Y was closed yesterday, the interval snow shoveling we've been doing to dig out of the New Year blizzard meant that I really didn't get a full day of rest. At least that's the excuse Scotty and I are using. I'll get to the workout in a moment, but I wanted to post my entry for the first meet of our SCY season--this Sunday in Oconomowoc at the Pabst Farms YMCA. I did this meet last year--my first SCY meet--and it was a lot of fun, so I've been looking forward to it. Here are my events:

    Gender Distance Stroke Time Date
    3 Male 100 SCY Free 1:15.00 01/05/2014
    6 Male 100 SCY Fly 1:32.00 01/05/2014
    8 Male 100 SCY IM 1:29.00 01/05/2014
    15 Male 100 SCY Back 1:25.91 01/05/2014
    16 Male 100 SCY Breast 1:50.00 01/05/2014

    I decided on 100s; Scotty is not going to be at this meet, so he wants the next one to be our "sprint" meet--I'll probably do all the 50s and the 200 IM for that one... we're looking at the end of January. I'm not a big fan of the shorter distance 50s and 100s, but since I HAVE to do a meet with all 50s in a few weeks, I thought I might as well get all the 100s out of the way now and be well on my way to completing the check-off challenge for 2014. Also, I don't have recent 100 times for a lot of these events in SCY, so I'm interested to see exactly where I am. The 1:15 seed time is what I swam last year at this same meet and that's the last official 100 free I have a time for. 1:32 fly seems about right, that's what I'm hitting on a good day from push in practice now, so it's a conservative time. My SCY times from last spring were way slower than that, so I didn't use any of those splits in determining my seed time for 100 fly. 100 IM and Back seeds are my fastest times from last spring. I'm hoping to be able to at least match them here at the start of the season, we'll see! My last 100 breast in an SCY meet was 1:37, but I've been having so much trouble with that stroke and it comes at the end of the meet... I'll see what I have left to give it, but my focus is going to be on just trying to maintain a legal stroke.

    BACKSTROKE OVERHAUL: My focus since the last meet (SCM champs in December), in addition to just trying to lay a base for the season, has been to work on backstroke technique. And I've been all kinds of sore in places that don't normally feel sore as a result. I'm anxious to see what my 100 back time is with my new stroke. After a year of steady progress, I'm a little bit worried that I've been tinkering too much and that the times might suffer as a result. The change I've made is this: instead of sweeping my hand/arm straight through upon entry (engaging mostly the lats and shoulders for a strong pull), I'm now dropping my elbow on entry and whipping the bent arm into a quick pushing motion. I know this is much more efficient and it's less stress on the neck and some portions of the shoulder, but I'm not sure if it's actually faster... I feel like I get a much better hold on the water and generate more force from my lats when I use the straight arm. My regular training partners at the Y are assuring me that more power is going to come from the push and follow through generated by dropping the elbow first. This weekend's 100 will be a big test of that theory. Everyone says my backstroke looks great now, but my practice times seem a little slower than they were late fall, so we'll see!

    Todays main set was a repeat of one that I completely rocked out at the end of November... I decided to do it again to gauge my fitness in comparison to 6 weeks ago. OK, so it's the beginning of the season and not every workout is going to be great... this is how I'm consoling myself.

    WU (1000):
    400 EZ (free, pull, bk pull, bk by 100s) on 8:00
    4 x 100 IM on 2:00 (1:42, 1:37, 1:37, 1:37)
    4 x 50 alt pull/fr on 1:00 (:43, :40, :43, :39)

    MS (2000)
    8 x 50 on 1:00--400 IMO
    100 recovery
    4 x 100 on 2:00--400 IMO
    100 recovery
    4 x 100 on 2:00--400 IMO
    100 recovery
    8 x 50 on 1:00--400 IMO
    100 recovery

    CD (1000)
    100 breast kick w/ board
    100 pull
    100 fr
    100 breast kick w/ board
    100 br
    100 bk pull
    400 bk

    4000 SCY/~90 minutes

    The 100s fly were in 1:36-1:39; 100s back 1:41-44, 100s breast in 1:57-1:58, 100s free were around 1:32-35... yuck! Compared to the times I was swimming on November 21st in this workout, this does not look good. At that point I was swimming back and free in the high 1:20s and fly in the low 1:30s. Maybe I was just having a bad day. It's a good thing I'm not swimming the 400IM on Sunday!

    Also did:
    3500-meter/15:00 row on the cardio floor*
    20 minutes stretching

    *In the last few weeks I have been trying to incorporate more core work (rowing machine is awesome.... thanks for the tip, Swimmer mag!) and a lot more stretching/yoga to counteract the tightnesses that have developed over the last couple of years of swimming. The stretching has been invigorating and I'm really enjoying the rowing too... it's great for glutes, quads, and all the stabilizers in the trunk as well as lats and shoulders. The first day I got on the machine to try it out I did 1500m in about 8.5 minutes, then upped it to 2000m in around 9-10 minutes the next couple of times, then I did 2500 in 12:00, 3000 in 13:00 the last couple of times I've rowed. Today I was watching my pace and was averaging under 2:10/500m for the first 12:00 or so and used the last three minutes as a cool-down and easily brought in the 3.5K row under 15:00.

    I'll try to use the Blog to keep a running tally of how much rowing I do...

    Rowing YTD: 3.5K

    Updated January 2nd, 2014 at 08:03 PM by mcnair

  4. Cloudy morning swim

    This morning I had a good swim at the PCB Aquatic Center. I was hoping to swim in the rain, but it was mostly gray with just a few drops. At least the forecast thunderstorms didn’t show up! Here’s what I did:

    1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200IM K, 200p, 200IM d/s)

    4 x 150 (K/Build/easy), IM order
    8 x 200 @ 3:45, odds IM desc, evens FR < 3:20

    10 x 50 w/zoomers @ 1:05, odds K, evens K w/ arms

    100 easy

    6 x 100 FR/BK, desc. 1-3 and 4-6 @ 1:50

    100 easy

    3 x 200, odds pull w/ paddles, even FR/BK by 50s

    100 warmdown

    I had my own lane for all but the last 500 or so of this—when the visiting Sewanee team showed up I moved over to split a lane with another lap swimmer. The visiting college swimmers must envy the teams that actually go somewhere warm for their winter training trip—it’s been rainy and cool for most of their stay, and while the sun is coming back tomorrow, it will be chilly! I prefer this weather to tropical climes, but I think I’m in the minority on that!
  5. 01|02|13 SCM - it's technique review time again

    Warmed up with 500 easy free WFSP

    3 x 50 DFS free moderate + 50 drill
    • 34, 34, 32 on moderate sprints

    4 x 25 DFS free fast (with video to analyze)
    • 13 low's to high's

    Tried to get under 13 but thinking about it, it's gonna take another level of stroke form improvement and streamline to get there. The DFS's from this pool side really aren't much faster than from a push (side slopes up and only one foot grips properly, esp when wet), but it does simulate entry and SDK portions of block starts rather well. Though the angle is too gentile, I also feel starting from the side forces you to get into entry position quicker.

    Here is a front shot from under the very turbid water:

    Left arm naturally shaped for swimming
    Being accident prone, when I was a kid I seemed to break my arms quite often, as each arm had been broken twice before I was 11 yrs. On one occasion my left elbow broke rather severely deforming its range of motion. Surprisingly, 40 years later this would help me swim faster - lol.

    I also just recently realized this. Though this is the arm with the trick shoulder, I have always seemed to get a better feel and grip from the left side underwater pull - it just feels more natural. The shoulder related drawback however occurs during the left arm recovery (feels awkward, like it is in the danger zone in range) where I compensate with the right stroke and find difficulties maintaining solid rhythm, roll, and streamline. I may show a clip from above the water demonstrating this in another post.

    At least 15° off:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Updated January 2nd, 2014 at 06:00 PM by __steve__

  6. Started P90X3!!!

    by , January 2nd, 2014 at 03:11 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Long time no blog post!

    I got the flu right after the Christmas relay meet, started feeling bad on Saturday December 14th. I still don't feel 100%, but I can do modified workouts and manage my rest so I don't overdo it on my comeback.

    I started P90X3 and it's awesome! I must say, 30 minutes is really just right. There's no need to do more or longer which I think is just diminishing return at around the 45 minute mark. The hard part is doing any of these programs AND swimming at the same time.

    I've been workout out on my own because of the flu and then doing P90X3. I'd rather keep up the speed over yardage or reps, so here's a few of my main sets:

    New Years Eve:
    4 x 100's on 5 minutes, with TYR Burners, SCM
    1st straight 1:12
    2nd 50/10/50 1:08
    3rd 50/10/25/5/25 1:04
    4th 4 x 25, 5 secs 1:02

    Day after New Years (Today):
    4 x 50's from a dive, no interval, but around 3-4 mins.
    broken 25/5/25
    fly 32
    back 35
    breast 40
    free 28

    I was quite spent after those sets, but glad I did not waste my time with 200's and 100's of no real speed. That would have been garbage yardage for me. I just want to try to keep up my speed since I have no energy to spare, and i'm pretty tired with 2000 to 2500 total SCM.

    If I don't feel much better, i'll probably strictly adhere to 4 x 50's, the 100 IM, and 100/200 backstroke. Anything else just feels so terribly difficult. I've already swum a 100 fly this season, so I don't feel the pressure to have to swim it again if I don't feel up to it.

    I am also so woefully heavy - a whopping 143 lbs now - so I need to really watch the junk food for awhile, or at least moderate it to get back under 140. With P90X3, swimming consistently, and a bit of self-control, surely that is good for an "easy" first 5 lbs?
  7. Sarasota YMCA Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout-01/03/2013

    by , January 2nd, 2014 at 12:48 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    2 X 100 2:00
    4 X 150 2:45
    1 X 200 -

    4 X 200 3:20
    1 X 100 kick 2:30
    4 X 100 1:40
    1 X 100 kick 2:30
    8 X 50 1:00
    1 X 100 kick -
    Descend 100's and 200's 1-4.
    Swim the 50's--odd: easy even: fast

    Swim down
    Swim Workouts
  8. Week 66 - Thursday

    by , January 2nd, 2014 at 11:40 AM (After a long rest)
    I had another restless night of sleep last night. I dont know if it was the thought of work or sinus congestion but I kept waking up. The only good part about it was I was wide awake and ready to go to the pool. Todays workout was our 5,4,3,2,1 test set of descending 100's with some other quick 50s and 25 thrown in for good measure. Again I did not feel any easy speed, but overall I felt quite strong.

    Warm up
    10x100 on 1.20(should have been 1000 with snorkel, but my snorkel strap broke so I reverted to 10x100's instead)

    Main set
    12x50 kick on 55 build
    5x100 on 1.20
    4x100 on 1.15
    3x100 on 1.10
    2x100 on 1.05
    1x100 on 1min
    200 easy
    3x(4x50 on 1min fast, 4x25 AFAP on 50)

    Warm down
    300 breath 3,5,7 and work the walls

    Total 4500scy

    I felt pretty tired on the 1.20's and 1.15's but stuck with it and finally started to feel ok on the 1.10's. I made all of these although the last 100 I only did on 1min, but this is a great set for me. Last time I did this I went 1.01 on the last 100 so I was faster today. The 50 and 25 set was lactic hell but picked up my pace throughout the set. On round 1 I went 28,28,28,28 on the 50's and then 13,13,13,13 on the 25s. Round two I went 27,27,27,27 on the 50's and 12,13,13,13 on the 25's. The final round I went 26,26,27,26, on the 50's and 12,12,12,12 on the 25's. My legs were burning pretty bad and I felt quite out of breath at the end of the fast set.
    Swim Workouts
  9. Sinus pressure still causing issues so tried a bunch of 25's

    by , January 2nd, 2014 at 07:36 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Since sinus pressure was causing me issues I figured I would do a bunch of 25's but I found out the underwater kickouts and pull out for breast hurt just as much as a flip turn. Did I skimp on the pullouts and kickouts...YES!

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers

    1-20 fly held 25's
    21-40 back held 26's
    41-60 breast held 28's
    61-80 free held 21's

    300 free kick w/zoomers
    200 free EZ

    Total 3500 yards
    Swim Workouts
  10. Taper Plan

    by , January 1st, 2014 at 09:51 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    s m t w r f s s
    a b c
    d e f

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill w/u

    Do FOUR cycles of:
    - 50 kick on :55
    - 150 FR Pull on 2:00 with buoy

    Do TWO cycles of:
    - 50 DPS Bk
    - 75 DPS Bk, 25 FAST Bk

    50 EZ

    4 x 25 Burst and cruise FR
    1x 50 EZ
    4 x 25 Burst and cruise IMO

    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2100 yds/40 min)

    w/u: 200 FR/200 BK/200 IM drill

    3 x 200 FR on 2:45 pull with buoy
    4 x 75 kick on 1:30

    Fort Speed Set:
    Swim: Fins optional, pick your own interval for max rest or don't bother to look at the clock in between hard efforts

    1 x 25 AFAP
    1 x 50 EZ
    1 x 50 AFAP
    2 x 50 EZ
    1 x 75 AFAP
    3 x 50 EZ
    1 x 100 @ 90%
    4 x 50 EZ
    5 x 50 BK on 1:10
    - 1 thru 4 = Quarter's Strong
    - 5 = FAST (went 30.x)

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2700 yds/50 min)

    w/u 200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM Drill

    6 x 75 on 1:15
    - 1-4 = IM rotation strong
    - 5-6 = FR DPS

    1 x 50 EZ
    8 x 50 FR on 1:10
    - odds = DPS/EZ speed, evens = AFAP

    1 x 50 EZ
    8 x 50 BK on 1:10
    - odds = DPS/EZ speed, evens = AFAP

    1 x 50 EZ
    - Impromptu turn clinic for some swimmers
    (Hey, I'm tapering and have the time...)

    6 x 25 Burst and cruise on 1:00
    - IMO, then FR and BK to complete

    3 x 50 Active Recovery
    (Solo/Rec/2300 yds/55 min)

    w/u: 200 FR/200 BK/200 IM drill

    Go three times through:
    - 50 DPS, :10 SR
    - 25 AFAP right into 25 EZ into
    - 100 Kick
    (did FR/BK/FR)

    4 x 50 Burst and Cruise on 1:15 IMO

    4 x 25 AFAP followed by 25 EZ
    - IMO of fast, float on EZ

    100 even more EZ (if possible) and out
    (Solo/Rec/1700 yds/40 min)

    w/u: 200 FR/200 BK/200 IM drill

    Go two times through:
    - 25 EZ, 25 Build, 50 DPS
    - 25 AFAP, 75 EZ
    - 75 EZ, 25 AFAP
    (one fr, one back)

    4 x 25 Burst and Cruise on 1:15
    (fr, bk, fly, fr)

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1500 yds/35 min)

    meet warm up

    Updated December 5th, 2014 at 10:42 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts , Reference: workouts
  11. 01|01|14 Drylands + SCM

    500 Backstroke WF
    • 7:50

    10 x 50 Freestroke WFSP

    SET I
    10 x 50 on 1:00 free
    Turn pushoff + 4 SDK's done enthusiastically, everything else easy

    10 x 50 as 25 zipper with closed fist / 25 recovery Br

    10 x 25 on 1:00 as 12.5 of fast SDK and flutter kick / 12.5 easy kick on back

    Plan to make habit of holding tight streamline and aggressive SDK off every wall and turn when appropriate.

    Way under my GTD goal but I feel the average effort of my swimming was decent.

    Updated January 2nd, 2014 at 10:21 AM by __steve__

  12. Week 66 - Wednesday

    by , January 1st, 2014 at 06:53 PM (After a long rest)
    We did not have an official team practice today but I arranged with my coach to meet at the pool at 12.30pm for an unofficial practice and the first of 2014. Tom was working with a special needs child so he was open to me swimming while he was working.

    I had a very quiet New Year(just the way I like it) and as such I had no issues making the workout time today. In fact I even caught some of the the English Premier League games on TV before my workout. My team, Arsenal, are currently top of the English table but struggled to overcome a very stubborn Cardiff team, but managed to win 2-0 with two very late goals. It was a good game and fun to watch.

    I still don't feel any speed in the pool but once again felt quite strong and my endurance base is good. In particular, today's kick set was hard but once again my times were good and i feel my new leg strength is going to help on my mid distance events in a few weeks.

    Warm up
    6x200 free with snorkel on 2.40

    Main sets
    8x100 kick on 2min Best average
    12x50 drill swim by 25 on 50
    3x400 pull on 5mins descend 1-3
    9x50 build on 1min work the kick
    10x50 using the power rack on 1min

    Warm down
    250 easy

    Total 5000scy

    Not deliberately, but I was quicker in the warm up than usual and held between 2.10-2.15s on the 200s. The 8x100s kick were hard but I went 1.17,1.17,1.17,1.19,1.19,1.19,1.20,1.19 and although not substantially faster than my last set of these I was marginally quicker. The 50s drill swim I continued to focus on hand entry, turns and breakouts. The 400s I used my snorkel on the first two and descended nicely on all of these, going 4.22,4.15,4.08. The build 50s felt ok, but no easy speed. I put 60lbs in the barrels on the power rack and felt strong on these. Overall a good workout and nice not having to be dry today. Hopefully we will be backing off yardage this entire week and I should start to feel the affects.

    Updated January 1st, 2014 at 07:35 PM by StewartACarroll

    Swim Workouts
  13. 2013 in review

    by , January 1st, 2014 at 04:35 PM (Alex's swim journal)

    The number of miles I completed this year, still top 20 in age group for GTD, but a little less than I did last year (546). The drop off in the fall put me 20+ miles behind my goal of 550 for the year, but there will always be 2014 to crack the 550 mark!

    One thing I can truly delight in as I look back over 2013 is that my swimming was much more diverse. In 2012, probably 90% of my yards were freestyle. Since December of 2012, my first ever swim meet, I have become a complete convert to swimming all the strokes efficiently and testing myself in all the pool events. Which means I COMPLETED the CHECK-OFF challenge, swimming almost all the events in meets this year (I logged more than 30 meet results this year). I did the 800 IM and 200 fly (only events I didn't swim in a meet) several times in practices/time-trials and plan to make the 200 fly one of my focus events this spring.

    NEW FAVORITES: while I still love the long-distance freestyle events, especially open water, I have to say that I have really grown to love the 200s and 400s... 200 back and fly, 200 and 400 IM. These events are super challenging... and as I'm headed to the blocks for the start my mind goes to horrible places and curses me for signing up my body to do them. But something kicks in at the gun... despite all the pain, the feeling of completing these events, especially with a personal best, is truly addicting. My 200 back time in SCM this December was faster than my best SCY time last spring, and I'm poised to break the 3:00-mark. My 200 fly has been hovering around 3:20 and I'd love to make a run at 3:00 in that event this year. My first 400 IM SCY in a meet was over 7:00, now I'm looking to break 6:30 this spring.

    DISTANCE: with all the focus on learning fly and improving back this last year, my freestyle hasn't suffered much. I saw my best improvements last spring and this summer. I dropped 12 minutes off my 2.4-mile OW time on the same course (Iron man, Madison) I had swum in 2011. The 1650 was a good event for me in SCY last spring and I'm hoping to see the pace get a little faster as I work toward state. I've even toyed with some longer distances in fly and back... did 500 fly early this fall, before my training slipped due to time constraints, and have been doing sets geared toward improving my mile time in the backstroke (4 x 200 on 4:00, 5 x 100 2:00, 5 x 50 on 1:00).

    BREASTSTROKE IS STILL EVIL! Despite big improvements in fly, back, and free, my breaststroke is still holding me back in the IMs. Lots of kick sets and stretching in the hip region has gotten me a little closer to a "normal" stroke. The front end of my breast stroke has improved a lot, but my turnover is still very slow. Scotty, my training partner, claims that I'm 90% there (having started off somewhere around 60%). The times just aren't coming down as quickly (if at all) as with the other strokes, so it's frustrating. I'll keep working on it!

    VEGANISM HAS STUCK: After almost six months my weight looks like it has finally stabilized in the mid-160s, about 12 lbs lighter than my monthly average over the last two years. I'm convinced that I'm finally eating and weighing what I should have been all along. Now I feel awful if I eat anything processed (even if it is technically vegan), but mostly am completely psyched about how great I feel the rest of the time! Feels good to be doing my part for the planet too!

    This is my first blog post in almost a month... one of the reasons it's so long. But with a new year and some new workouts to record, I'll have to use the blog to track my progress more in the coming months. This last week has seen some of my best swimming in a while. Today: a break from swimming. Tomorrow: the journey of a new year in the water begins.

    Happy New Year!
  14. Happy New Year!

    by , January 1st, 2014 at 02:50 PM (Nobody Special)
    Well - here we go - another New Year. The few resolutions I have this year are in regards to mostly swimming. Last year I set a GTD goal for 415 miles - I finished at 449.95. This year I'm shooting for 500. Will see how it goes.

    Another goal is to try to keep up with this blog a little better. I'm shooting for 3 posts a week - and am hoping I can have some interaction with other swimmers around the country in the process.

    I'm hoping I can swim at least 3 Open Water (5k distance or greater) events this year.

    No team practice this morning but I swam on my own anyway -here is the workout:

    1000 warm up (hypoxic - 5x4 per 100 for500 then 4x3per 100 for 500)

    8x100 - kick/stroke/kick/strokex25 - 1:40int

    500 fast

    8x100 - pullbuoy and paddles - 1:40int

    500 fast

    8x50 - 50sint

    500 descend x 100

    500 warm down
  15. Becoming a Better SWIMMER (January-February 2014)

    by , January 1st, 2014 at 12:00 AM (SWIMMER Editorials)
    In April 2013, longtime SWIMMER contributor Elaine K. Howley joined the staff as our associate editor. It would take a lot more than this column to fully explain how important her work has been for the magazine, as well as our other publications: the STREAMLINES series and content on

    A list of the articles she’s written can be found at Her SWIMMER profiles of Marisa Churchill and Andrea Kremer both won first place in the annual Writer’s Digest writing competition, in the Magazine Feature Article category. A Triple Crown marathon and ice swimmer, Athleta-sponsored athlete and Chi blogger, and multitalented writer and editor, Elaine’s contributions have allowed us to take our publications to a new level.

    We read our mail, we study social media interactions with our members and potential members, and we talk to swimmers—lots of swimmers—about content, trying to find common threads that can be spun into new features or columns.

    One thing many of you ask for is more training and technique advice. We’re thrilled that Jim Thornton, Men’s Health feature writer and a frequent contributor to our discussion forums, will be penning a new column in the Training and Technique department called “Evidence-Based Swimming,” in which he takes a look at current trends and research in swimming science.

    Another topic in high demand is nutrition information for swimmers of all abilities. Sports nutritionist Sunny Blende will be taking the reins of the “Mastering Nutrition” column in The Healthy Swimmer department. Sunny is a Masters swimmer and runner who understands the nutritional needs of our sport.

    On the lighter side, we’ve added a new department in the front of the book titled “The Shallow End.” Here, Michael Gustafson, Tweeter Extraordinaire (@mikelgustafson), contributes a humor column, “The Hot Tub,” where he’ll write about the quirkier aspects of life as a swimmer in the 18-and-over crowd.

    Also in "The Shallow End," you'll see a new comic strip, "Coach," by Ed Colley, cartoonist and official caricaturist of our "Volunteer Profile" column; the strip depicts life in the sometimes not-so-fast lane of coaching Masters swimmers. And, since we seem to have developed an infestation of talented Haiku writers within the readership, we’ll feature a swimming Haiku in “5–7–5,” which is not only the pattern of syllables in traditional Haiku, but is also a freestyle breathing pattern coaches use to torture swimmers of all ages.

    The Letters department has been transformed into “Perspectives,” where we’ll have letter excerpts, social media quotes, and beautiful images from acclaimed swimming photographers, including Peter H. Bick, Mike Lewis, and others. We hope you enjoy the changes and, as always, we welcome your feedback.

    All the best to you and your loved ones in 2014.

    Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:34 AM by Editor

    Staff Blogs
  16. Tuesday, December 31, 2013 10:00-11:30am

    by , December 31st, 2013 at 07:03 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    I got to break away from the action on my house project since my dad needed to go back to his house to work on something, so he dropped me off at the pool on the way by, and took my kids to his house to play for a while too. Perfect timing....and just what I needed to relax, and freshen up on my water skillz.

    I ended up doing sort of a double descending distance workout today...which sort of just materialized after the first warmup and kick set. It was good.

    500 Free, build as I go

    20 x 50 Kick
    • 8 @ 1:00
    • 6 @ :55
    • 4 @ :50
    • 2 @ :45

    This worked great...I was holding :47s for the first 14, then dropped to under :45s, and blasted :42/:44 on the final 2. I must be tapered.

    400 Free stretchout

    3.5 times through: (did the 125 4x, and the 100 3x)
    • 125 Free Pull @ 1:30 (went 1:25/1:24/1:24/1:20)
    • 100 Free Pull @ 1:30 (cruised ~1:10s)


    300 Free stretchout

    8 x 75 @ 1:10
    • 2 x (25 Fly, 50 Free)
    • 2 x (25 Free/25 Fly/25 Free)
    • 2 x (50 Free/25 Fly)
    • 2 x (25 Fly/25 Free/25 Fly)


    200 Free stretchout

    8 x 50 SDK w/ short fins on back @ :50
    I started out good, then had to ease off a bit as my quads were starting to feel crampy

    100 Free stretchout

    8 x 25 @ :30 Odds - Sprint Fly, Evens - EZ Free

    4500 Yards


    As for my house rebuild, it is going well. If you want to see photos, and haven't yet seen them, they are on my facebook album here: 88007191&type=1
    If you're not my FB friend, and want to see photos, I guess you'll have to send me a friend request first.
  17. Tuesday 12/31/13

    Tuesday 12/31

    AM only LCM

    "happy new yAEr"
    - No breaks, straight through, only taking enough extra rest to change equipment.

    700 @ 9:20 swim w/ paddles + fins + snorkel
    4x50 @ :55 sidekick FR
    7x100 @ 1:20 AE

    600 @ 8:00 swim w/ paddles + fins + snorkel
    4x50 @ :55 sidekick FR
    6x100 @ 1:20 AE

    500 @ 6:40 swim w/ paddles + fins + snorkel
    4x50 @ :55 sidekick FR
    5x100 @ 1:20 AE

    400 @ 5:20 swim w/ paddles + fins + snorkel
    4x50 @ :55 sidekick FR
    4x100 @ 1:15 AE

    300 @ 4:00 swim w/ paddles + fins + snorkel
    4x50 @ :55 sidekick FR
    3x100 @ 1:15 AE

    200 @ 2:40 swim w/ paddles + fins + snorkel
    4x50 @ :55 sidekick FR
    2x100 @ 1:10 STRONG AE (1:07, 1:09)

    100 @ 1:20 swim w/ paddles + fins + snorkel
    4x50 @ :55 sidekick FR
    100 @ 1:10 STRONG AE (1:05)

    100 EZ

    Total: 7100

    7100 in one hour and fifty minutes...aerobic to the max on New Year's Eve!
  18. Monday, Dec. 31

    by , December 31st, 2013 at 02:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    After coaching my masters practice, I dragged myself to the Sewickley Y to swim with Jim and Bill. I feel sort of hungover from all the traveling, celebrating, lack of sleep and lifting. I just took it easy.


    100 EZ (I missed about 2000!)
    8 x 75 @ 1:15, I mixed in EZ free and kick
    8 x 50, 12.5 UW each length
    50 EZ
    8 x 50 free @ 200 ish pace
    100 EZ
    20 x 25, 12.5 AFAP + cruise @ 1:00
    -- I really didn't have any zip on these and did the last 4 EZ
    50 EZ

    Total: 2200
    Swim Workouts
  19. Back to the hot pool

    by , December 31st, 2013 at 12:42 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Swam at the Y to save on gas money today since I was not working today.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    5x100@1:30 free w/strapless paddles & bouy
    500 breast kick w/br fins
    5x200@4:00 fly as 50 rt arm/50 lt arm/50 kick/50 swim w/zoomers in 3:30, 3:25, 3:20, 3:15, 3:06
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    500 free w/snorkel maintain 6 beat kick

    total 4000 yards
    Swim Workouts
  20. Week 66 - Tuesday

    by , December 31st, 2013 at 08:49 AM (After a long rest)
    I had a restless nights sleep last night and woke up around 2am and the tossed and turned for another hour before finally deciding to just get up at around 3am. This mornings practice did not look that hard on paper but it was tough(I don't think the sleep made it any harder I just think it was tough).

    Warm up
    1000 with snorkel on 12.30min

    Main sets
    4x(4x50 free on 40, 100 AFAP on 2mins, 2x50 kick on 40, 50 easy on 1min)
    3x500 on 6 mins

    Warm down
    10x50 drill on 50(focus on hand entry)

    Total 4800scy

    The first round of the main set was tough but I loosened up and got going on round two. The kick 50s made this a very hard set for me. The AFAP 100s I went 57,56,56,54/55. The kick 50s I held 36s, which I was really pleased with. Considering a month ago I was only holding 1.22 on best average 100s kick set, to go this quick on the 50s was awesome. The 500s were swum aerobic and I held 5.25s. Tom noticed my left hand is once again entering pinky first and over the center line of my body, so I worked on this again during the drill set. I suspect this is a life time bad habit that will take a while to fix. At least my kick has improved and I feel like my streamline off the wall is getting better. again the great think about our sport is that there is always something to work on and always something or someone to motivate you.

    I entered my last GTD entry today and ended up at 775miles on the year. I have not been focused on the actual distance this year because of other goals and I was quite surprised I swam this far this year.

    My Go The Distance 2013 Progress
    775.76 miles swum (=1,365,342 yards, =1,248,469 meters).
    View my monthly progress | my milestones/awards | Go The Distance 2013 results.
    Most recent milestone achievement: 750 miles on 12/21.
    224.24 miles (= 394,658 yards, = 360,875 meters) to next milestone (1000 miles milestone)

    Updated December 31st, 2013 at 11:42 AM by StewartACarroll

    Swim Workouts