Swam w/ Dave, Dave, Dave, Roger, Aundrey, Meredith, Danny and Ray. Soccer was exhausting last night. We had a really light turnout despite perfect weather. Played 3 v 2 where the team that last got scored on got the extra player. Fewer players means more running, more touches on the ball and more aches and pains from falls. I really thought I'd have a rough morning in the pool but it wasn't bad at all. Made 5 x 300 IM on 4:30 with a drag suit. That's not something I thought I could do.
600 warm up
5 x 300 IM - 4:30 Made 4:20-4:25
5 x 200 - 3:00, Make 2:30 on first and descend
Aundrey led our lane but was having some knee trouble. I went 2:32 and 2:30 on the first 2 drafting Aundrey. On 3-5, I led the lane and made 2:25, 2:22 and 2:18.
5 x 100 - 1:30, 75 Kick/25 Free
10 x 50 - 1:00
* Odds hard fly (:37s)
* Evens easy pull
12 x 50 - :55
* 1-4 Pull, descended :35 to :30
* 5-8 IM
* 9-12 Kick, IM Order
200 Cool down
Updated October 29th, 2012 at 01:46 PM by pmccoy
(Mixed up some 2s and 5s)
Just did not have the energy this morning. I was not pleased with my efforts, nor my speed. I guess we all have those days.
4x(25 scull + 25 drill + 50 build)@:30RI did not feel like I was building at all
4x25@:45 kick descend went 41, 35, 30, 30 not too good here either
6x75@1:30 as 12.5 SDK+ 12.5 build free + 12.5 fist +12.5 fast + 25 smooth
50 free from push went :35
50 free kick went :56
3x(3x 25+50) R1+2 free R3 kick w/zoomers
25 fast + 50 @200 pace
Total 2750 yards
I added spinning this evening to get moving some. For some reason just swimming 6 days a week is not making a difference any more.
Tonight I went 20 minutes on the spin bike at ~16mph for a total of 5.36 miles. For a first time in months this was a good start.
Tomorrow will be sprint swim in the morning and my weightlifting leg circuit tomorrow evening.
Over the past week I have managed to lose 8 pounds so far this past week. Yes I got too big again, any time I hop over 200 is not good. Thank goodness I am not there now.
Fantastic time had as per usual at this fun meet. I had a first half bad/second half very good meet.
50 free split in 100 free, epic fail
The starter held us forever ... Had a poor breakout but then motored along ... until .. I only got half of one foot on the wall and lost all momentum. I just cruised the rest of the length and hopped out. I was disappointed as I wanted to crank a fast 50, but I've never been a huge fan of bulkhead turns (though I've never screwed up this badly). I also think the 50 free is not a great first event. I seem to swim it better after I've gotten the cobwebs out. Live and learn, and crap happens. No big deal.
50 breast split in 100, 33.6
Meh. I got off the blocks very fast, but didn't have my best underwater and had to float to the surface. Then I was so preoccupied with the next pullout that I forgot to keep my head down. So the second 25 was icky. I know I can go faster.
Teen Fort was in the same heat. She insisted on taking her 100 out in 32.9 to make sure I did not think I was an evil stroker. She will likely make TT in that event based on last years rankings.
100 IM, NS
I decided to pause and regroup and refuel at this point. It also seemed more fun to swim the 50 back later next to my speedy friend Susan. Masters perogative. There was a break around this point and I hopped in and did a couple backstroke starts as I hadn't done any in warm up. Jazz Hands, who hasn't swum at all lately, hopped in and did an AFAP 50 from a push in a brief. Teen Fort got him at 23.3. His low volume approach seems to work for him!
Also video'd Teen Fort winning the 50 breast, where she declared she had a "sexy start." I think many PV folk were entertained having a very extroverted 18 year old on deck.
50 back, 27.8
I was hoping, ideally, to crank a high 27 and so was very happy with the time. Last year at the Sprint Classic, I went a 28.2. I took 15 & 16 kicks by 25 pursuant to the race plan. I was told I was right at 15m on the start and a foot short on the second 25. Teen Fort video'd this race for me. I heard her scream "Go Mom" before the start, which really made me smile.
Here's the vid:
I could have taken one more SDK on the second 25!
Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters, 1st, cumulative time of 52.21
Getting a bit tired by this point. So I was really shocked that I pulled off my four fastest 25s EVER during 8 years of competing in this event including with tech suits. I needed to go faster this year too bc there were some fast times thrown down by the other female sprinter beasts. I felt like I had great blasto fast off the blocks starts with good distance. My plyometric focus seems to have transformed my forward starts in the last year or so. They were such a glaring weakness for a few years.
25 fly, 1st
Last year 13.30. This year 12.30. WTH?! I must have messed up last year? I had a great start here, but a subpar breakout. Still, seems very quick.
25 back, 1st
Last year, 13.45. This year, 13.06. I totally flat backed the start. But still got away quickly and took my usual 15 kicks and stuck the finish.
25 breast, 2nd behind Teen Fort of course
Last year, 15.79. This year, 15.24. I had maybe my best start of the meet in this race. Teen Fort had to come from behind to preserve her family evil stroke domination. My stroke felt much better than in the previous 50. I will have to chant head down before future breaststroke races.
25 free, 1st:
Last year, 12.25. This year, 11.61. Another great start, a little glidey at the finish. I think this bodes well for a fast 50 free in the future. Well, assuming I can execute a flip turn.
So all in all a pretty good meet despite some early technical difficulties. I'm pleased to have this much speed early in the season.
More fun and beers had at Speedo's after party. I think my shoulders will feel mashed up later from all the starts. I may beg Mr. Fort for a back rub.
Storm coming. 70 MPH winds expected. I really really hope we don't lose power, but it seems likely. School is already cancelled Monday and Tuesday much to the delight of my kids.
Updated October 28th, 2012 at 09:45 PM by The Fortress
Here in the city, waiting for the storm to arrive—seemed like the perfect time to catch up on my blog. So, here’s what I’ve been up to the last few weeks:
· Took some time off from the pool after the end of my open-water swim season
· Traveled to a couple of wonderful family celebrations—my mom’s 80th birthday in Alabama, and my husband’s cousin’s wedding in Philly. Decided that all my family should move from Alabama to Philly, as that travel was soooooooo much easier.
· Resumed diving practices upon the reopening of the Flushing Meadows pool, and discussed with Coach Croft what I would need to do to compete in diving at the Seattle IGLA meet next August
· Worked on some technique issues that need fixing on my freestyle—left-side breathing is getting better and feeling more natural
· Committed myself to attending a swim meet on November 18—events still to be determined, but leaning towards 4IM and some 200s stroke in a last-ditch attempt to make TT in something this year
· Spent a wonderful afternoon/evening exploring the wonders at Chelsea Piers with three friends, courtesy of the guest passes supplied by rxleakem—thanks Mike! This visit included a Friday night session with the Chelsea Piers masters team, a wonderfully friendly group of folks. I also came to the realization that it’s a very good thing I don’t normally work out at a pool with an adjacent hot tub—if I ask myself before every set whether I want to keep swimming or go lounge, the latter eventually wins.
· Swam my first super-loop of the season—just yesterday. Grimaldo’s chair to the east end of Manhattan Beach to the Coney Island pier then back, 5 miles in 59-degrees. It was completely wonderful, and made me hope it’s not the last super-loop of the season—we’ll see what this storm has done to the water temps and condition by next weekend . . .
· Celebrated a friend’s 40th birthday with 40 x 50 this morning at Riverbank: multiples of 3 = BR, multiples of 4 = BK, multiples of 7 = FL, earlier in IM trumps later in IM, plus all prime numbers = kick. (Yes, it was a little complicated.)
Here’s hoping Sandy doesn’t wreak too much havoc . . . hope all my fellow east coasters stay safe and that the power stays on for the next few days. Fingers crossed here in the city!
Updated October 29th, 2012 at 02:11 PM by swimsuit addict
Busy all week with work and other non-blogging stuff, heh heh. Here's a brief update on what I did:
When in doubt, it was probably easy swim, drill, or hanging on the wall telling the coach I was doing easy swim or drills instead of the main set.
SCM Main sets:
2 "fast" days Tue & Fri:
4 times through:
150 IM FAST 2:30 fly/back/br
100 easy swim 2:00
so essentially you are doing a fast 150 IM every 4:30
2:11 2:11 2:10 2:10
wow did these hurt like I haven't hurt in years. It's a big difference from 100 IMs or 75ims!!! the rest was short for all outtedness. i would rather have done 2 x 100 easy on 2:00 and gone fast every 6:30.
12 x 25's on :35 various
6 x 50 2 fast, 1 easy
I did them as fly/back and br/free
34/38 and 35/27 or 1:12 combined
1 x 75 all out
I did 75 IM fly/back/br :56
This was better. Lots of bursty sprints in there.
I have decided that an hour of P90X is just too long if I am also swimming and trying to have good speed days. Plyo X and a few others are very good to do exactly 1/2, since there are 2 rounds. Plus, I am done in about 45 minutes, with an 8 min warmup, about 20 min of meat workout, and then cooldown/misc stretches.
I still haven't decided on events for our local SCM meet. I do feel compelled to swim the 100 IM after so much IM'ing this fall. I may do the 200 back and 100 IM. The meet starts really early and I don't like to be swimming my first event at 8:15am. Yuck!
w/u: 200 Fr/200 Bk/300 kick-swim by 100 with snorkel
Read pwb's post (and JBS's, too) so I tried the [ame="http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=276852&postcount=575"]Thorpe Test Set[/ame] from Tall Paul:
Middle "D" & Sprint groups
"Thorpe Test set" (done every 4-6 weeks)
- 16 x 50's @ :50 every 4th @ 200 race pace
- 12 x 50's @ 1:00 every 3rd @ 200 race pace
- 8 x 50's @ 1:10 every other @ 200 race pace
- 4 x 50's @ 1:20 all @ 200 race pace
-- stroke/IM option is to swim all the recovery swims free and only the "fast" swims stroke.
I did a mixture of FR pull with buoy and Bk for the non-fast stuff, and logged the following for the FR (goal time = 1:54, or 28.50)
30.97, 29.43, 29.62, 28.69 = 1:58.7128.38, 28.13, 27.37, 28.56 = 1:52.4428.50, 28.50, 27.68, 29.00 = 1:53.6829.82, 28.12, 28.69, 27.75 = 1:54.38
200 float with snorkel and out
(Solo/Rec/2900 yds/60 min)
I have to admit that this workout kicked my backside pretty good, and it felt good. I read in Tall Paul's workout thread where That Guy gave it a go, and had stuck in my mind that after the second round the easy:fast swim ratio was less than positive, Knowing that I would have to squeeze this set in (Sat pm is dead at the pool), I did a less than normal workout and it showed during the first round. The last two wounds found me with a heart rate that would not slow down, causing my times to rise as well. That near Lactate kicker on the fourth round is a devious touch
Overall, I am happy with those times. I will add it to the Test Set Tracking page on the blog and revisit it in about a month or so. Had a great start to the day coaching the local Masters team and playing with the pace clock as mentioned in the June coaches newsletter. After we finished up, I walked downtown with my wife to check out Fallapalooza (the town shuts down Main Street and brings in vendors and hosts treating for the kids) - good times. After my swim this evening we grabbed takeout from the local chippie and I sill soon be heading for
Just not in the mood this morning to swim hard. The pool at the Y was hotter than the CCAC so that didn't help much.
I did a slightly different version of mondays workout cutting out the logner warm up and doing the main part of the set
8x25@:45 shooters w/zoomers
4x50 torque drill w/paddles
10x50@1:00 12.5y AFAP + cruise
8x50@1:00 15y AFAP + cruise
4x50@1:00 20y AFAP + cruise
2x50@1:00 25y AFAP + cruise
50 AFAP went :34
Total 2400 yards
This morning was rough...really rough. I awoke at 4:00am to get to work extra early to get a few things fixed on the line before my bosses cleanup group was going to do their annual cleaning of the room. This is a super-cleaning though, blowing out all the dust and debris from everywhere - the rafters, walls, machinery, everything. It's an all day dirty dirty job, and I didn't want to be in there inhaling that stuff in the air. It's pretty nasty, that's why I got in and out early.
Made it out with plenty of time before swimming, so I headed over to McD's for a nice sit down meal - Big Breakfast w/ Hot Cakes and an extra Hash Brown. This is the breakfast of champions, especially a 1/2 hour prior to a swim practice.
300 Flutter Kick w/ board
400 Free Pull (was a 300, but I did a 100 extra since the others were still finishing)
8 x 25 V-Sit Scull @ 1:15
Main Set (4 Lane Circuit Rotation):
8 x 100 Stroke @ 2:00 shoot for 180 HR
did Fly, went 1:05/1:06/1:07/1:07/1:07/1:08/1:10/1:07not sure about my HR, but it was up there. I was struggling around #6...(800/2000)
12 x 25 Bucket Pulling w/ buoy and paddles @ 1:30
standard issue 5 gallon Home Depot bucket with about ten 1/4" holes drilled in the bottomwent roughly :20-:22 on each one100% pure strength set - but I got bored with the rest interval These were fun, and I could've done them all day long, if not for the boredom interval.(300/2300)
12 x 100 SDK w/ fins @ 1:30 (ranged from 1:20-1:33ish)
16 x 50 Free @ 1:00 Odds EZ DPS, Evens Fast w/ overkicking
couldn't really get many of the fast one faster than :31 here...I was just beat(800/4300)
Whole Group together (including the younger kids from lanes 1&2)
4 x 25 AFAP Free @ 1:00 Rock 'n Roll Time
went fast (roughly :12s)
200 EZ and out
4600 Yards and now to
I'm dead tired...I'm sure the very limited sleep last night didn't allow my muscles to fully recover enough before adding more punishment today. I was given a choice which of the 4 circuit sets I wanted to start with of the 4 above. I'm glad I started with the stroke set, because that would've been hell at the end, but on the other hand, by doing it first I was wiped out for the remainder of the day too.
AM only SCY
400 IM k/sw/dr/sw
16x50 @ 1:00 IM order by sets of 4
3x100 @ 1:15 D1-3
4x50 @ 1:00 V.S.
400 @ 5:00 IM FAST
200 @ 3:00 EZ
Results: 4:49, 4:48, 4:48, 4:45
8x50 @ 1:00 odd: side kick, even: drill
Tonight was a very light practice, both in terms of yardage, and attendance by the kids. Not sure where everyone was, but that's fine, more lane space for those of us who came.
800 Free DPS (ended up building after the 500)
16 x 25 Kick w/ board (no fins) @ :45 (4 each stroke)
16 x 25 Pull w/ paddles @ :45 (4 of each stroke) Odds EZ, Evens Fast
6 x 200 IM @ 5:30!! - GO FOR IT - FAST
went 2:25, 2:25, 2:26, 2:25, 2:28 , finished 2:22.
I did a 50 EZ between each one
This was tiring, and I wasn't exactly ready to go fast today.
4 x 50 AFAP @ 1:30
#1-2 Stroke Choice - did Fly (:30/:29)
#3-4 Free (:28/:26)
We all got out early to go over to a local frozen yogurt place that was "taken over" by the swim team to operate from 4-10pm today with the proceeds and tips going to the swim team as a fundraiser. A bit high priced, but it was good.
w/u: 200 Fr/200 BK/200 IM drill
10 x 100 with snorkel
- odds DPS FR on 1:20
- evens kick on 1:50
5 x 200 on 3:00
- 1-4: first 50 hard IMO
- 5 = 200 IM drill
10 x 50 Fr done as:
1-4: Quarters Strong on :50 with snorkel
5: AFAP with snorkel (28.4) on :60
6-9: Quarters Strong on :50 (w/o)
10: AFAP (26.8) on :60
4 x 25 FAST IMO on :30
4 x 25 FAST on :30
- odds: back with start
- evens: DPS FR
250 loosen and out with snorkel
(Solo/Rec/3700 yds/70 min)
Another good swim today with a mix of volume transitioning into higher intensity. Alternating swim and kick with the first pre-set is getting easier, and I will try to drop the kick time down next week. Using the snorkel does seem to allow for better leg positioning with the kick, which I can translate into my fast swims. I like that. I tried to descend those swims, and went 1:10,:08:08,:07,:06).
I was going to repeat my little IM set from a few weeks ago, but the lane got crowded and I skipped the fast 200 IM on #5. I was pretty fried by that one, anyway. On the Quarters Strong, I wanted to see what difference the fast 50 would show with and without the snorkel. About two seconds, which I attribute mostly to lackluster turns with the snorkel (since it flops about a bit). That last 50 is a great practice time for me, especially at the end of that set. Then I tired to bust out some fast stroke stuff before warmdown.
I have full weekend ahead. I am coaching the local group tomorrow morning and plan to swim myself at some point. Our town has lots of events, including high school fall sports playoff games, Fallapalooza downtown tomorrow (shouldn't snow this year), and Sunday I will be helping at the Wicked Creepy Cyclocross race (registration in the morning, then I will be dressed as a pumpkin during the costumed ride at noon. I was going to enter an actual race, but they all last at least 30 minutes and I'm not that keen on breaking my neck (yet).
Have a great weekend, and be prepared for Frankenstorm all my east coast friends.
Now that I am starting off fresh as a masters swimmer, I know I should be changing my training from what it was a long time ago, yes the crazy days of mega yardage, but for some reason it did work for me in the past, so I plan on using some of the crazy sets of the past occasionally maybe once a week or every other week, to build my endurance while I continue with speed work.
This set is one from a training trip to Ft Lauderdale. 14x 1,000s. On the training trip this set was done in a long course pool, so obviously that will be different than now in a SCY pool. It wasnt as boring as a 10,000 for time, because it was broken up. There is lots of IM, 10x 100s kick, 1000 IM by 250, 1000 swim, 5x 200s, 10x 100 stroke etc. I actually need to look in my old log book to see what it was. Im going to change it to 10x 1000s now.
What sparked this desire to kick my own butt? Lets just say I am a little bit competitive and it drives me nuttttttttttttttts when I'm working hard but someone kicks my a** because I'm not working as hard as I should be. LOL. So.
Because of Hurricane Sandy, I will have to do it tomorrow or wait, possible a week depending on what happens. My husband will have the privilege of watching our daughter, because this will obviously take a few hours. He works for the power company so he is actually on call, and will be working crazy overtime as of Sunday so I guess I will have to do this set tomorrow if at all, otherwise in a week. So I will see if I can do it tomorrow, but I'll have to use this new pool/gym I just joined because there is an age group meet the whole weekend at my other pool. The pool is ok, small but it is cloudy as heck I felt like I was open water swimming, before every turn I had to lift my head to make sure where I was. Doing 10x 1000s in a cloudy pool might be craziness, but at the same time its a quiet place with non-swimmers so it might be pleasant.
Tonight in that pool, because I did a lot of speedwork yesterday, I did 4x 500s mixed: 500 free (4th lap back), 500 pull w bouy, 500 breastroke (50 double kick drill, 50 swim), and 500 pull w/ bouy.
Swam High School-NJ, NCAA I-CA (2ys), and USMS (PMS - SF Bay Area) OWS on/off from about 1981 to 1998. Swam in Shanghai, China as available, returning to Princeton NJ in September 2006. After job a 2008 relocation to Evans, GA started lap swimming in 2010 at the Augusta Aquatic Center, GA averaging 3-4K SCY/LCM as available 4-5 time weekly. Moved to Fort Myers, FL June 2011 continuing to swim laps at the Fort Myers Aquatic Center. Began interval training February 2012 at FGCU (Florida Gulf Coast University) with LCM/9 months of the year and access to an experienced coach.
Currently doing workouts towards 5K Open Water events, One Hour Swim, and 1650/1500 and/or 400 IM at a local pool meet. No specific goals at this time. So far I have participated in the 2012 USMS Master 5K at the Open Water Festival at Lake Miromar, Fort Myers.
I haven't done many workouts truly focused o speed; but, I did one today. Swam with Keith, Peter, Dave B, Dave M, Danny, Chris, and Meredith.
Didn't do as many yards; but swam hard and we did some sprint relays. I probably need more of this to improve my speed.
3x100 on 1:30
6x50 on :50
4x50 sprint with 15 seconds rest (time 3:02 less 45 seconds - 2:17 for 200)
5x200 on 3:00 (swam 2:35, 2:37; 2:37; 2:38; 2:35) - probably my best 200 set
10x100 Free on 1:30 (started at 1:16and trended down - 1:17, 1:17, 1:18 - last 2 were 1:25) - was pretty tired at this point
4x50 Relay Sprint - we split into teams of 3 and did 12 50's (4 each)
6x50 Relay Sprint - we split into 2 teams of 4 and went kick, pull, back, swim, swim, swim
SCY @FGCU Aquatic Center
Air temp of 79, pool at 78, 100% water clarity.
Cloudy dark gray possible rainy skies with humidity at 70%
Focus - Stroke Technique
1x400 FR Drills
Swam 5 rounds of:
200 EZ legs, smooth pull200 moderate 4k, stronger pull
200 BR Kick with Snorkel
200 BR 50 K/bk, 50 Swim
4x500 FR on 1min rest or HR=>11/6
Swam each as:
400 EZ legs, strong pull100 steady 4-6k, firm controlled pull
1x1000 FR w/paddles
Swam 5 rounds of:
150 EZ legs, strong pull50 steady 4-6k, firm controlled pull
Warm down: 100 EZ
Today is the best day of this week because my wife returns from two week business trip to Shanghai, China - we get to pick her up at RSW airport tonight. Hurray!Before getting in the water, I had planned to do some basic early season intervals: 400 cruise on 5min, 4x50s on :45 @33-34 pace, 2x100 on 1:30 @ 1:07-08 pace, 1x200 on 3:00 @ 2:16-18 pace, perhaps 3-4 rounds continuous.During the warmup - I felt like trash. The week of swim workouts along with wk #1 of weights & core work at night had taken more of a toll than expected. I will have to work up to it again, like I did last spring. Really - what was I thinking...Set 1: A basic cruise doing the best form and technique possible in a tired state. My coach said it would be good for me, so I did it.Set 2: A break from FreestyleSet 3: A broken version of Set 1, but to make sure there was sufficient recovery for maximum stroke focus.Set 4: This was actually fun. I like swimming with paddles (medium size, just slightly larger than hands) because it helps my feel of the water, reinforces stroke technique, and it is always good to swim faster, even with a little help.
8 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :40
5 x 50 fly drills @ something
4 x 25 burst + cruise
200 social kick
Met up with Pete for a pre-meet swim. I didn't feel as good as yesterday. I need to be less lazy and do some stretching. The trash talking has already started in my house. And according to the psycho sheet, I have some good races at the meet. I am going to decide which event to scratch (100 breast or 50 back) after I swim the 50 free. 3 events before the Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters is all I can manage. And I need to print out a split request form. Teen Fort asked me if you were allowed to scratch events in masters. I smiled and told her I do that practically every meet!
Exercise protects against brain shrinkage:
Updated October 26th, 2012 at 06:42 PM by The Fortress
Warm up: (1200)
200 swim - 200 kick - 200 drill - 200 scull/pull by 50's
2 x 100/1:40 build - free, around 1:25
4 x 50's/1:00
-- #1 = burst 1st 12.5 + 37.5 cruise
-- #2 = 12.5 EZ + 12.5 fast + 25 ez
-- #3 = 25 EZ + 12.5 fast + 12.5 ez
-- #4 = 37.5 EZ + 12.5 fast finish
- all free, around 40
Main Set: (1000)
20 x 50/1:00 Alternate 50 smooth - 50 (25 strong - 25 fast)
- all free, ave 42 on smooth ones, strong/fast ones were mostly 34 with #1&3 at 35 and #2 at 36
Back Drill/Pulls (400)
2 x the following set:
25 L arm scull
25 R arm scull
25 L arm swim
25 R arm swim
100 pull w/bouy
Total: 2800 yards
Swam w/ Roger, Dave, Dave, Dave, Chris, Meredith and Danny. Not much distance today but some good quality sets near race pace. My GTD stats are going to take a hit from low yardage today and the Nat being closed tomorrow. I'll have to catch up next week I guess.
600 Warm up
6 x 50 - :50
200 Free broken by 50s w/ :15s rest in between 50s
Made 1:59. No missed turns this time but I was fading on the last 50. Splits were :30, :29, :29, :31.
5 x 200 - 2:30, convert free to pull
Made all but the second (150 free, 50 Pull) on 2:20 or faster. On the second one, the 50 pull wasn't worth having to stop and put my paddles on. Made the last on 2:10.
10 x 100 - 1:30
* Odds IM (1:15-1:20, most around 1:16)
* Evens free (1:07-1:09, last one 1:05)
Started with 3 three team relays. We did a 3 x 200 relay broken into 50s. Made 6:00. I don't know what my splits were but I'm pretty sure I was around :26 to :27. After that, we did 2 four team relays (Keith had to leave). This one was more complicated. We started with 200 kick broken into 50s. The catch was that we had to tag off by handing our board to the next person in the relay. Continued directly into 200 pull. Same thing with some really awkward buoy transfers. Then we each did 200 backstroke. That was followed by each of us doing 3 rounds of our strongest (kick, pull, free or back). Each team member had to pick one... no duplicating what someone else was doing. I took the kick leg. Ended up racing against a teenage fly kicker. My breaststroke kick is pretty strong but this was no contest. I mostly saw fly wake.
225 Cool down
I finished my 3000 yd swim last night with a time of 55:47:44, not exactly world-beater time, but pretty significant for me.
Last year, I wasn't able to do the 3000 yd swim due to an injured left arm. I lost my balance going down a flight of stairs (one of my feet folded under me and I started to pitch forward) and had to hang on to the railing for dear life with my left hand while I righted myself. The result was a torn biceps muscle and a strained tendon that took the better part of four months of rest and PT to heal completely. I was able to do the hour swim in January, completing 3150 yards, which I felt was pretty good, all things considered.
But this year, I wanted to do more. My best result in the hour swim was 3220 yards, from 2010. My swimming has improved a lot since then, and it's frustraing that my results in the 2011 and 2012 hour swims didn't show it. This past year, once the left arm healed, I've noticed a definite improvement all the way around--not one huge breakthrough, but definitely improvements in all aspects of my swimming. My strokes feel cleaner and more efficient; I'm swimming further and faster with less effort; I've mastered butterfly well enough to cobble together a decent 100 IM. My flip turns are still touch and go (due in large part to sinus issues that cause a lot of disorientation when I somersault), but I've worked on tightening up my open turns. My feeling there is that if I'm going to get an extra breath at the wall, I damn well should be able to not breathe from the flags to the wall and from the wall to the flags. I've been working on a strong push-off, good streamlining (or as much streamlining as my tight desk-worker's shoulders will allow), at least 3 SDKs, and not breathing at least until the second or third stroke.
My standard interval on 100 yds of freestyle has been streadily dropping. It was about 1:55-ish when I first began master's swimming in the fall of 2007. At that point, I'd been lap swimming on my own for 20 years, and my technique was **horrible**. It's better now, somewhat, but back then it was really, really bad, and my coach has spent the past 5 years trying to help me undo my bad habits. The work has paid off: my SI dropped from 1:55 to 1:50 to 1:45, and in most classes now, I can hold a 1:40 pace pretty consistently. So my technique is better and my endurnace is better, too (I really feel like learning fly and doing IM sets has helped with the endurance).
So last night, it was incredibly gratifying to finally see some results in a long swim: not only did I beat my 2010 3000 yd swim time by a full minute, I also set a new personal best 3000 yd time (previous best was a 56:02 that I clocked during my hour swim in 2010)--by about 15 seconds.
I've discovered that there are other things I need to do to get ready for a long swim. I've learned these things over time via haphazard trial and error, but they do make a big difference. Namely:
1. Rest. This seems to be more important than anything. I typically have a looong day (2 hour commute, 8 hour workday, 2 hour commute), so taking a day off for the long swim means I'm fully rested, I've had enough sleep, I'm not dealing with job and commute-related stress. I usually try to complete the hour swim on MLK Day. Yesterday I had the day off for a medical appointment. Also, I find it helps not to do any kind of workout in the 24 hours before the swim--no weights, no swimming, nothing more strenuous than a 40-minute walk. The day of the swim, I try to stay off my feet as much as possible.
2. Eat enough, but not too much. In the past, I've eaten too much before the long swim, or eaten too close to the swim. I've learned that a small meal (one piece of baked chicken, about half a cup of pasta), about two hours before the swim, seems to be optimal. Also, I've found it helps to skip vegetables entirely the day of the swim, in order to avoid painful abdominal gas.
3. Hydrate. Yesterday, I kept drinking water, stopping about 45 minutes before the swim, limiting water intake to a few sips during the warmup to keep my mouth and throat wet. I brought Gatorade with me to drink AFTER the swim--it seems to coat my throat and make my mouth feel even more dry. This worked out incredibly well: I had much less of a problem with a dry, scratchy throat during the swim, but I also didn't spend the last 15 minutes of the swim desperately needing to pee.
4. Stretch. Before I left the house, I did some back/hip stretches recommended by my physical therapist. When I got to the pool, I ran through some of the shoulder stretches recommended for swimmers, and I stretched my hamstrings/ calves against the side of the pool. This made a HUGE difference in terms of not cramping up during the swim or swimming the last 15 minutes with my back killing me. I did have some issues midway through the swim with minor heart palpitations and near the end, some foot/calf cramps, but I was able to work through both problems and they didn't impact my time. Both are signs that I need more potassium, so I have a mental note to take an extra potassium supplement before the hour swim in January.
And last but not least
5. Count laps. This helps keep my mind focused and (as my coach says) keeps me from drifting out into la-la land. I think of the 3000 yd swim as a 6 x 500, so I count down from ten to one, six times. I must've gotten off count somewhere in there, because my timer yelled to me that I had 100 yds left when I thought I had more like 200 left (let me tell you, that was **awesome**).
I also found it incredibly useful to practice with some long sets, so in the last couple of months, I've been doing things like 4 x 500 with a minute of rest between each 500. Last weekend, I did 3 x 1000 in my Sunday workout. This gets me in the habit of counting laps, and more importantly, of swimming through discomfort--so that when I'm doing the actual event, I'm better able to deal with my dry mouth and throat, my tired arms and shoulders, my cramping feet, and the need to use the bathroom.
Hour swim, here I come!