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  1. Week 146 - Saturday

    by , July 18th, 2015 at 10:10 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a good night of sleep and was not as tired as earlier in the week. The pool was setup scy today due to a USAS meet at the pool.

    Warm up
    600 free with snorkel
    12x50 on :45 odds dps, evens build

    Main set
    3x200 IM on 3mins
    12x100 on 2:15 best average

    Warm down
    400 easy

    I felt long and strong on the warmup. Our water temperature and air temperature in the pool were hotter than normal and I struggled as I started to ramp up the effort staying cool. On the 12x100s I was holding :56/57s which is good but I felt hideous. Towards the end Tom reminded me I am starting to taper and it is ok to adjust based on how I feel. For a first days taper workout this felt awful, but at least the yardage was down.

    Tomorrow is a rest day!
    Swim Workouts
  2. long one today

    by , July 18th, 2015 at 06:05 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    After 4 hours at an outdoor kids meet coaching in the hot sun, after only 2 packs of peanut butter crackers and coffee it was time to go off to the CCAC for a swim.

    I admit I have become a distance swimmer with the first one from a dive and slower than the second which was from a push.

    2x1500@30:00 free #1 in 26:41 and #2 in 26:05

    500 free Easy

    Total 3500 meters
    Swim Workouts
  3. 07/17/15: noon

    by , July 17th, 2015 at 10:15 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Lena is in Boston for the weekend, meeting with our German exchange student Lina, who flew in yesterday to spend the coming week with us. Preston and I are flying solo, with strict orders not to create any messes. We're doing ok so far...

    Today I hopped in for a lunch swim. Busy day at the pool, but I was able to get in a good workout between the traffic:

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    400 shark swim
    500 Noah's Ark with snorkel
    100 easy
    8 x 50 as 25 easy, 25 FAST IMO
    100 easy
    6 x 50 on 1:00 free, descend in pairs
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2500 yds/50 min)

    Ran into Matt and Kevin, along with Emily at the pool. The water was nice (~84) and I worked on blowing bubble circles.

    Preston and I visited with my grandmother today, sitting along the river behind her place drinking iced tea and munching on Milano cookies as we talked about family, politics, and life in general. Her vision is very poor, so we are going to look for a phone that will store one-touch dialing for her frequent called numbers. I was also thinking that printing her numbers on a black background with white letters might make them easier to see. Here is a picture of Nana, just 93 years young:

    Took one of my niece and nephew to a collegiate baseball game in North Adams with Preston tonight. Fun time and a great way to get them out of the house. First time witnessing the ump having to leave the game: took a foul ball off the right arm in the 2nd, then what seemed like a direct hit from a wild pitch off the left wrist. Poor guy.
    Swim Workouts
  4. Week 146 - Friday

    by , July 17th, 2015 at 07:22 PM (After a long rest)
    I went to bed early last night and I felt a little less tired today. Today was setup LCM.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on 1min

    Main sets
    12x50 kick on 1min
    8x100 on 1:30 descend 1-4 with snorkel
    4x(50 on 1:15 done as 25 fast 25 easy,100 on 2mins done as 25 easy, 50 fast, 25 easy,50 on 1:15 done as 25 easy 25 fast
    12x50 kick on 1min
    10 backstroke starts working pull-up and arch off blocks.

    Warm down
    100 easy

    I felt pretty decent in the water today and was able to really crank on the 50,100,50 set. We worked some back starts at the end and through video I see a lot of areas to improve. I noticed I look like a hunched up old man when I pull-up on the block as opposed to a big strong backstroker. The video showed what I suspected which was I don't pull up and launch out of the water but rather push through the water like a water break. I am excited I took a look and already have a few things I am going to work on. My underwaters have improved a lot this year but still have a long way to go.

    We swim scy tomorrow due to a meet at the pool which sucks.
    Swim Workouts
  5. Taper day 3--More, or less?

    Shared a lane this morning with Larry; attendance was light for a Fast Friday, but many of our swimmers are on vacation. Whitney coached.

    This was not a stellar workout for me, but my times were comparable to last summer when I was tapering for Zones and the summer before that when I was tapering for Mission, and I swam PRs at both meets. So to answer the question, at this point I believe I need more rest, not less.

    Warm up:


    Main set, three times through:

    1 x 100 fast (100%) @ 3:00
    1 x 100 easy @ 2:00
    2 x 50 fast (100%) @ 1:30
    1 x 100 easy @ 2:00
    1 x 200 fast (100%) @ 5:00
    1 x 100 easy @ 2:00

    I swam only two rounds to finish with 3000 meters for the day. Went 1:14/:36/:36/2:37 (1:15/1:22) in round one and felt tight. We were supposed to use fins on round two, but I swam it instead and went 1:14/:35/:34/2:36 (1:15/1:21).
  6. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/20/2015

    by , July 17th, 2015 at 03:56 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    Taper/Rest workout

    WARM UP:
    4 X 100 2:00 1:45
    2 X 150 2:45 2:30
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 x 100 kick 2:40
    6 X 50 kick 1:20
    50's: 25 fast/25 easy

    10 X 100 2:30--choice
    #1: easy
    #2-6: 50 fast and turn/50 easy
    #7-10: 25 sprint/75 easy

    Swim Workouts
  7. Back to Being the Cat! 07/17/2015

    by , July 17th, 2015 at 01:52 PM (Trying to Train Smarter, Not Just Harder)
    So this one of those weeks where I can see that Biorhythms really meant something - at least in my swimming performance. My physical was absolutely bottomed out on Monday & I felt like dog meat in the pool. Tuesday morning I was hammered from having been up late working the ER (AWESOME night!!) so I slept in - which of course, I later regretted. Wednesday I finally got back into the weight room after a week off - that felt nice, until Thursday morning, lol! Ouch, my shoulders were so tight!!! But I pushed through it, and we did a 4500 that morning, which was awesome, cuz I could stay as long as I wanted, having a dental cleaning at 8:50, which meant going in to work later.
    Today I was definitely back to being myself.

    1000 warm-up 75 free/25 stroke
    8 x 50 kick w/zoomers - plenty of rest on the 1:15, but Marci doesn't wear, zoomers, so.....
    4 x 300 pull, alt w/& w/out paddles (here is where I suddenly became the CAT! - you take away Marci's kick and paddles, and hoo boy! I suddenly have a chance! But the fourth 300 we were wearing paddles, and I got to win that one anyway. She's tired.)
    200 free
    2 x 150 IM twitch
    3 x 100 @ 1:35, holding ~1:28's going just a moderate speed, not really pushing, cuz I was tired after the dumb 300's
    4 x 50 kick @ 1:10
    8 x 50 hard/easy on 1:00
    100 cool down
    TOTAL: 4100 LCM

    Updated July 19th, 2015 at 02:36 PM by Celestial

  8. Tough one but kept up

    by , July 17th, 2015 at 07:57 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    This was a challenge on the 100's today.

    100 free
    4x100@1:45 free w/paddles & bouy
    300 free w/paddles & bouy
    200 free
    100 free

    12x50@1:00 free as 25 drill/25 swim
    8x100@1:50 free as 25 rt arm/25 lt arm/ 50 swim w/paddles & bouy this was hard to make the interval
    12x25@:30 free
    200 free EZ

    Total 3000 meters
    Swim Workouts
  9. Fostering a Culture of Learning Through Team Training

    by , July 16th, 2015 at 09:47 PM (From the Executive Director: U.S. Masters Swimming's Journey)
    Each July, the USMS Board of Directors meets face-to-face for our summer meeting. The week leading into the board meeting, our National Office staff meets for its annual retreat. The retreat is an opportunity for our contractors, remote staff, and Sarasota staff to come together in one location, review the past year, plan for the next year, and continue preparations for our annual meeting.

    Within retreat week, we set aside a day when all the staff goes offsite for team learning. Last year, we visited IMG Academy in Bradenton and learned from a renowned sports psychologist how great athletes overcome adversity. We also participated in an improv roleplaying exercise that pushed our comfort zones and required us to show vulnerability and trust in each other.

    This year, a communications expert educated us on the concept of “emotional hijacking” and how we can help to prevent it. Emotional hijacking occurs as a result of an event, such as another driver cutting us off in traffic, and our perception of it. The perception we have or story we tell ourselves about the event can create an emotional hijack situation when our reaction—positive, negative, or neutral—may result in an undesirable consequence.

    Learning is a promoted value in the USMS Strategic Plan. Our employees are encouraged to seek out professional learning opportunities. For example, CFO Susan Kuhlman is a member of the Sarasota CFO Network and participated this year in a 15-week Leadership Sarasota program. Marketing Director Kyle Deery has attended Sports Business Journal Marketing and TEAMS Conferences. Our IT team of Jeff Perout, Jim Kryka, Nancy Kryka and IT Director Jim Matysek last fall attended a PHP technology conference in Washington, D.C., where they were able to network with like-minded IT professionals and learn about industry trends. Communications and Publications Director Laura Hamel has attended workshops and developed meaningful relationships with the faculty of the Poynter Institute, the global leader in journalism education. At our annual meeting, our staff members are encouraged to seek out their peers from the other aquatic disciplines so relationships and opportunities for collaboration can be developed.

    Our values are meaningless if we don’t support them. Providing opportunities for learning fosters a positive culture where employees want to work and are appreciated. We budget for professional learning activities, and I encourage our staffers to participate in them because they're valuable and necessary for individual and professional growth. Employees return from these learning experiences with an appreciative attitude and have enjoyed sharing these experiences with their colleagues.

    One of the biggest rewards of having a staff that is learning and positive is better service to and relationships with our constituency of 63,000+ members, hundreds of engaged volunteers, and numerous other partners and supporters.

    Updated August 13th, 2015 at 05:06 PM by Editor

    Staff Blogs
  10. Week 146 - Thursday

    by , July 16th, 2015 at 09:10 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a decent night of sleep but was unbelievably tired this morning. I am continuing to take Allegra and wonder if it is behind my tiredness. I also was pretty sore today in the upper body. My back and shoulders in particular. I have not taken a day off for a couple weeks and likely need a rest day.

    5x(vasa swim trainer done as 1:30 on the machine, :30 rest)
    2xshoulder bands and light weights focused on rotator cuff on left shoulder joint.
    4x(flutter kick with arms extended(like back kick), oblique v sits, leg lift, one leg knee to nose planks, 90/45/15 leg lifts done as :45 seconds of exercise, :15 seconds rest). And 1min rest between rounds

    Swimming LCM
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :50
    2x(6x50 open,close, easy, fast, kick, kick, on 1min with fins)
    200 easy

    i was on my own again this morning and it was hard being tired doing all of these abs. Somehow I got through it and by the end was soaking wet as usual.

    My parents have been visiting for just over a month now but unfortunately they head home next week. We have had a lot of fun and the older I get the more I appreciate what my parents have done for me. They are two of my best friends and I love them dearly. It's awesome to see my kids and wife having fun with there grandparents and in-law's. I am a very lucky guy to have such a great family.
    Swim Workouts
  11. Taper day 2

    Shared a lane with Katy, David, and Mariah, next to Larry on one side and Ben on the other. Whitney coached. Lately there has been more of an emphasis on speed work on Thursdays. I believe that I am the only one tapering right now, but today's workout was perfect.

    Warm up:

    3 x (3:00 swim/2:00 swim/1:00 swim); we swam 200s/100s/50s

    Main set, twice through:

    1 x 50, 200 race pace, @ 1:00/1 x 50 easy @ 2:00
    2 x 50, 200 race pace, @ 1:00/1 x 50 easy @ 2:00
    3 x 50, 200 race pace, @ 1:00/1 x 50 easy @ 2:00
    4 x 50, 200 race pace, @ 1:00/1 x 50 easy @ 2:00
    1 x 400 recovery a@ 8:00

    Averaged :35-:36 on these; on the last four I went :34/:35/:35/:34 (2:18)

    3000 meters
  12. Wed-Thur, July 15-16

    by , July 16th, 2015 at 04:43 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Went to heated power yoga for 75 minutes and did a 3 mile jog. Yoga was a bit of a struggle. I'm used to much colder weather now.

    Thursday: Swim/SCY/Solo @ Pitt

    Warm up:

    500 various
    100 scull
    3 x w/fins
    4 x 25 shooters @ :45
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:00

    Main sets:

    3 x
    4 x 25 burst SDK + cruise @ 1:00
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:00
    extra 50 EZ at end of set

    Then I modified (to make much easier) a set that I gave my team last night:

    4 x 25 smooth fly w/fins @ :30
    :30 rest
    4 x 50 dolphin kick, descend to 200 pace @ 1:10
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:30
    4 x 25 smooth back
    :30 rest
    4 x 50 back kick, descend 1-4 to 200 pace @ 1:10
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:30
    4 x 25 breast @ :35
    :30 rest
    4 x 50 dolphin kick on back, descend 1-4 @ 1:10 (didn't feel like doing breast kick)
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:30
    4 x 25 smooth free
    :30 rest
    4 x 50 flutter kick @ 1:10, descend 1-4 to 200 pace
    1 x 100 EZ

    5 x 50 smooth free w/paddles @ 1:00
    50 EZ

    Total: 3300


    Yikes, I am really suffering from jet lag. I have little trouble flying east, but really struggle flying west. I know that is the opposite of most people, but so it is. Between jet lag and being very out of shape, even my easy workout was a bit of a challenge. I've heard/read that as you get older, it takes longer to get back in shape after a layoff. So I am prepared to be patient. I wasn't exactly lazy on vacation though. According to my iPhone app, I was walking between 7-14 miles per day. I actually lost a few pounds, which typically happens when I stop my regular training. Now I need to get back to the gym!

    Updated July 17th, 2015 at 10:35 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Running , Yoga
  13. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/17/2015

    by , July 16th, 2015 at 12:21 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    We begin our taper for Summer Nationals today!

    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 2:00 1:45
    1 X 200 3:30 --
    Two rounds. Round 1 interval left, 2 right.

    8 x 50 kick 1:20
    Build #5-8 to fast

    8 X 100 2:30
    odd: easy
    even: @ 85/90%--strong

    10 X 50 1:15
    #3-6-9 @ 100%--choice


    3 X 200 3:00
    4 X 100 1:30
    6 X 50 1:00
    Pull. 50's: descend 1-3/4-6

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy
    Swim Workouts
  14. Week 146 - Wednesday

    by , July 15th, 2015 at 09:04 PM (After a long rest)
    I have meaning to blog this mornings workout all day but had a busy work day and lunch with my wife, kids and parents and then got side tracked.

    I had had a good night of sleep last night and felt good today. The pool was setup LCM. Stephanie Stone who normally trains in Plano, swam with us this morning and it's always fun when she is there. We did our 50s at 200 race pace today and as usual it hurt really bad but I felt better and performed better than I have in a few weeks.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on 1min

    main sets
    2x(100 kick on 1:45, 100 kick on 1:55, 100 kick on 2:05, 100 kick on 2:15 with goal being to hold the same time throughout)
    4x100 free with snorkel build on 1:30
    16x50 at 200 race pace on 1min
    200 easy
    4x50 DPS free on 1min

    warm down
    100 easy

    on the kick I started out at 1:35 but managed to hold 1:40s consistently throughout the rest. This was a great kick set for me. I have not been close to this previously. The free my held 1:15s and tried recovering my legs ahead of the race pace set. On the 16x50s I held :31s until the last one where I dropped to :29/30. I was whooped but I was also pleased with holding my goal time. I start tapering tomorrow. I believe I have one more trip before Nationals and hopefully I will have an uneventful taper.
    Swim Workouts
  15. Summer 2015 Taper, Day 1

    Shared a lane in the main pool at the Texas Swim Center with Katy, Mariah, Taylor, Stacy, and Sharon. Yes, I was the only guy in that lane, but we all have to make sacrifices at times; there have been days when we have had to walk around the UT women's team stretching on deck. Whitney coached.

    Warm up:

    200 fingertip drag
    100 fly kick/drill/swim
    200 fist drill
    100 back kick/drill/swim
    200 catch up
    100 breast kick/drill/swim

    Main set:

    4 x 50 fly, swim/drill, @ 1:05; the swim repeats were supposed to be strong
    3 x 50 back, swim/drill
    2 x 50 breast, swim/drill
    1 x 50 free, swim/drill
    1 x 800 with fins as 200 IM/200 kick
    4 x 100 free, swim/drill, @ 2:00; I swam these as 50 @ 400 race pace/50 drill and held :37 feet to feet
    3 x 100 breast, swim/drill
    2 x 100 back, swim/drill
    1 x 100 fly, swim/drill
    1 x 800 pull, negative split; I used a buoy and pulled a 400 moderate, splitting it 2:45/2:44 (5:29). Felt strong and smooth.
    100 easy

    3500 meters
  16. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/16/2015

    by , July 15th, 2015 at 12:48 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 2:00
    1 X 150 2:45
    3 X 100 1:45
    1 X 250 --

    4 X 150 2:45
    Build last 50

    1 X 400 kick
    1 X 50 easy swim

    4 X 50 @ 85/90% 1:15
    4 X 50 easy 1:00 #4 on 1:30
    Two rounds--choice

    4 X 50 build 1:00 #4 on 1:30
    1 X 100 @ 85/90% 2:30
    Three rounds--choice

    WARM DOWN: 4 x 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  17. Still managing the distance

    by , July 15th, 2015 at 07:26 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Still managing to do a lot of distance work. Tomorrow may be a long swim again but I'll play it by ear.

    300 free
    6x50@1 free
    3x100@1:45 free w/paddles & bouy
    12x25@:30 free

    500 free w/paddles & bouy
    5x100@1:45 free w/paddles & bouy
    10x50@1 free

    4x50@1 free 11 strokes fast then easy
    4x100@1:45 free w/paddles & bouy
    200 free EZ

    Total 3500 meters
    Swim Workouts
  18. Charging a fee to swim in your Masters program

    by , July 15th, 2015 at 12:00 AM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: I help organize a swim practice for a group of adult swimmers during lap swim at our pool. I recently registered our group as a club with USMS so we could swim on relays together in a local swim meet. As we grow and become more organized, I foresee the need to begin charging a monthly program fee. How do I transition our group to paying a fee when lap swimming is free?

    A: Many Masters programs have evolved over the years from a small group of lap swimmers enjoying each other's company to an officially registered USMS program. Often, the most skilled or dynamic swimmer gets elected the quasi-coach and leader. As more swimmers join the group, more lane space is needed. For the aquatic or facility director, this can be both a positive and challenging metamorphosis. Those swimmers who are participating with the group are happy--which means increased membership and retention rates at the facility--but more often than not, the remaining lap swimmers who may not feel included in the structured workouts can become disgruntled about diminished lane space at critical and convenient workout times.

    At this point, establishing a defined USMS registered Masters program gives validity and direction for your adult swim program and the aquatic facility. The key to success will be how open and welcoming your program is to swimmers of all abilities who come to the pool with a variety of goals and motivations. The aquatic facility management likely will not view exclusion practices kindly.

    Program fees are a usual and customary expense of participating in an organized Masters practice. The fee you charge should be determined by the expenses the program incurs and the benefits the program provides to its members. While lap swimming is a benefit provided by your facility, is it really free? Countless times I've visited aquatic facilities when lap swimmers are in the pool while many are waiting on the pool deck for a lane to clear. Rarely, if at all, do lap swimmers share a lane with more than one other swimmer. Clearly this waiting for a lane is a waste of time. More importantly, if this wasted time happens too often, it becomes a deterrent for the swimmer returning to the pool.

    Sharing a lane with another lap swimmer can have its costs as well. It may not be a monetary cost, but a mental or even physical cost. Sharing a lane with a lap "swimmer" who has no concept of lane etiquette can be extremely frustrating and even dangerous. I generously use the term "swimmer" when referring to the lap lane occupants. On several occasions, I've witnessed more people positioned vertically than horizontally while inhabiting space in the lap lanes. Although many lap swimmers welcome the opportunity to make the lane they share safer and more enjoyable, some may not be willing to take the suggestions offered to practice basic lane etiquette. Swimmers participating in an organized Masters practice with a coach on deck are less likely to incur these lap-swimming costs.

    If your adult swimmers have been swimming as a group during lap swim and are now being asked to pay a program fee, make sure they understand the benefits of your program. You may need to increase the benefits the swimmers currently enjoy to justify the program fee. Most adults are willing to pay a fee equal to the benefits they receive. Knowing what's important to your customer/swimmer will help you determine which benefits to provide. These benefits may include:

    • Paid professional Masters coach on deck
    • Preferential workout times at the aquatic facility
    • Increased lane space
    • Lane space in the competition pool (80 degrees F) verses the recreation pool (much hotter!)
    • Additional practice times and facilities
    • Access to open water venues
    • Additional or upgraded pool and workout equipment
    • Digital pace clock
    • Dryland training program
    • Yoga instruction
    • Seminars with professional nutritionists, physical therapists, and sports medicine physicians
    • Swim clinics
    • Videotaped stroke analysis
    • Organized team travel to swim meets, open water events, and other team identified outings
    • Team website
    • Team e-newsletter
    • Team logo and merchandise
    • Sponsor discounts
    • Organized cross training opportunities with local triathlon, cycling, and running clubs
    • Volunteer opportunities
    • Recognition and awards

    Once you've established your fee, give your current swimmers a reasonable amount of time before the fee goes into effect. I recommend at least 30 days. You may choose to offer new swimmers a free trial period. After the 30 days or trial period is over and a swimmer decides against paying the program fee, politely point them in the direction of the lap swimmers.
  19. Workout 07/14/15: OW

    by , July 14th, 2015 at 09:41 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The rain held off so I was able to get my double in. I rode over to Wilmington with Melissa and Tim, meeting Greg there. The sky was a mix of overcast clouds interspersed with bright blue patches and the sun trying to shine through. We did a one mile loop in about 40 minutes, and after finishing enjoyed some raspberries that I picked from my backyard. Another delightful evening for a mid summer swim!

    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  20. Back from Vaca

    by , July 14th, 2015 at 07:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Finally got back from our long vacation. I'm feeling fairy dazed and jet lagged. Had a lot to do today, but managed to get to LA Fitness for 2200 easy. After almost three weeks, I'm seriously out of swimming shape (though my shoulders feel great!). But I have 3 months until my next meet to reverse that situation. And I've done it before. Next year, I told Mr. For that I'm opting out of a long summer vacation since it's my age up year. But, happily, I will go to the Olympic Trials for a week with Teen (Now 20) Fort. Very excited about that!

    The vacation got off to an abdominal start -- delayed flights, missed connection to Copenhagen, torrential rain, iPhone breakage, distraught teen etc. But it was worth the horrendous start. Norway is just stunningly beautiful (fjords, mountains, lakes) and we had great weather there. Iceland was fabulous to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. It is simultaneously a frigid craggy moonscape and a lupine-covered green mountain landscape. It reminded me of both Mordor and the Shire. It was light until 11:00 pm most nights in northern Europe, and Mr. Fort and his buddy went on a few late night runs. The Orkney Islands in northern Scotland were also lovely. We ended with a few days in London, which was packed with tourists. We were in a great location on Park Lane, having pricelined rooms. The morning before we left Mr. Fort and Lil Fort ran in the London 10K with 28,000 other people. I think Lil Fort liked being in such a big race in a foreign country. And today she went to her first high school cross country practice.

    Swim Workouts