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  1. Saturday at the Y

    by , January 17th, 2015 at 07:00 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Very hot today at the pool. Managed a little bit of swimming.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    5x100@1:30 free w/paddles & bouy
    500 drills w/snorkel
    500 free kick w/zoomers

    Total 2500 yards
  2. 4000; found a rhythm finally

    by , January 17th, 2015 at 04:08 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Today was distance day, but I was a little concerned about how off I've felt lately, how slow my turnover, etc. So I got a lane where I could see the pace clocks really well in the last two or three strokes before each wall. I worked the hip rotation and hand entry into a rhythm to make sure I was going at a stroke per second. The times dropped immediately. Wow, I guess I'd let myself slow into a slide and glide mode lately that was lengthening my stroke but making my stroke rate really low. When I focused on rate instead of length today I found my SL didn't suffer that much, but it was much easier to maintain the faster speeds.

    Here's how the workout went:

    10 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:29-1:33)
    100 bk EZ
    :30 rest
    10 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:25-1:30)
    100 bk EZ
    :30 rest
    10 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:27-1:33)
    100 bk EZ
    :30 rest
    5 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:29-1:36)
    200 bk EZ

    4000 SCY/71 mins

    Found a really good rhythm and was able to hold form particularly well in the second set of 10 x 100 and in the first 6-8 reps of the third set before things (the form) started to fall apart. That's probably close to a mile at an SR around 16-18 per length and 100 pace averaging 1:27-1:28/100. I did lots of counting today, which helped distract me too as the lactic acid started building up.

    So the endurance still needs some work, but I feel very encouraged by today's performance!
  3. 2015 Greater a Southwest Invitational USAS meet

    by , January 17th, 2015 at 02:22 PM (After a long rest)
    This was my taper meet last January where as this year I am just swimming it and other than an easy weights session on Thursday have not backed off at all for this meet this year.

    When signing up for the meet this year I tried aligning my swimming schedule with my daughters and assumed her 200 back would be on the same day as my 200 back. As it turned out her only qualifier is the 200 back and she is scheduled to swim tomorrow where as my 200free and 200back were today. It's sort of weird that the 11-12 events are on different days to the 13-14 and 15&Over. I guess it is what it is.

    I had little to no expectations for the meet and even had some second thoughts about swimming yesterday when my daughter was still feeling sick. She has been sick on and off for the past 6 weeks which sucks. I decided to swim and put all the negative thoughts to one side and told myself I would go for it today.

    This is particular meet is a really fast meet with many teams from around the country in attendance including, Phoenix, King Aquatics, Kansas, etc. I was entered on my taper time from early December and with circle seeding was in the final heat. I felt pretty good on the race and other than a slow 3rd 50 had a great race coming in at 1:48.94, with splits of 25.48, 27.69, 28.25, 27.52. I placed 13th and made the B final tonight. This is my best time in season by about 2 seconds and I felt good. I had about 45 minutes between the free and my back and tried to get a loosen up but the lanes in the warm down pool were crazy busy. I ended spending most of the 45 minutes just swimming gently.

    I was feeling tired before the 200 back and noticed that the sun was really strong in the lane I was in. On the heat before mine I noticed the kid swam in the middle of the lane and had the sun in his eyes the whole way but noticed that there was a strip next to lane where the sun was not as strong and decided to hug the lane line to avoid the sun. My method sort of worked but as I got tired On the last 100 I had a few moments where I drifted and was dazzled by the sun. No big deal. I ended up going 2:02.00 with splits of 28.77, 30.58, 31.41, 31.24 which is a masters best for me. I was really tired after this one but again qualified for finals in 11th place.

    I am off home to get some food and a short sleep before eating again and heading back to the pool for finals.


    i took a great nap between heats and finals but woke feeling like I had been run over by a pickup truck(several times). I guess I did not warm down enough after heats.

    I had a good warmup in the finals session and loosened up pretty well. On the 200 free final I was out quicker than this morning by almost a second and felt it really badly on the third 50 and by the 4th was hurting really bad. I ended up going 1:50.39 which I was upset with. I need to work on picking up my race time so I can be quicker on the first 100 and need to be able to hold it. I plan on working on picking up my race pace time by .5 second per 50 in practice. Obviously this is easier said than done.

    Between the free and back I did a much longer warm down and actually felt a little better by the time to swim the back. Despite being about a second slower than this morning I got into a race with kid next to me and won the B final in 2:03.05. I was again disappointed with the time but it was fun to get into a race and come out in the right side of the finish. One of my team mates was in the the lane to my left and he congratulated with well done Stewart and I reached over to the kid on the right to congratulate him and he shook my hand and said "great swim sir". 😄 The B finalist winner gets an armadillo cuddly toy which I gave to the young kid and he was grinning from ear to ear. He dropped 5 seconds from his entry time to his final time and he deserved it.

    Despite not swimming as fast as I had hoped tonight I had a lot of fun and it's nights like tonight that reinforce what I love about swimming; even the bad swims are awesome fun. I love this sport!

    Updated January 18th, 2015 at 08:39 AM by StewartACarroll

    Swim Workouts
  4. Friday, Jan 16

    by , January 17th, 2015 at 11:27 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo @ Pitt

    Warm up:

    500 various
    100 scull
    4 x 25 shooters w/fins
    50 EZ
    4 x 25 torque drill w/paddles
    50 EZ

    Main sets:

    4 x (10 x 25 @ 100 pace @ :45 + 150 EZ)
    R1 = SDK to 15 m @ 100 pace then cruise
    R2 = fly w/fins
    R3 = fly w/fins
    R4 = breast
    extra 100 EZ

    2 x (25 AFAP belly shooter from the blocks + 25 EZ)
    -- these didn't go so well, I was too tired from the prior set
    50 EZ

    5 x (25 scull + 25 DPS free w/paddles)
    50 EZ

    Total: 3050


    I was somewhat tired from yesterday's effort, so decided to do 100 pace work. Will hit the gym today.
    Swim Workouts
  5. 3000 with a broken 1650

    by , January 16th, 2015 at 11:05 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Again, I felt like I was swimming in jello today... just real lethargic, low energy, couldn't speed up my turnover. I did 3000 and decided to do a broken 1650 to get a baseline. Wow, have I lost a ton of fitness since last year! I think I ended up around 27:15 after subtracting the :10 rests. I was flirting with 25:00 the last couple of years for my 1650s in the middle of spring, so this seems like a huge step back (even from last week).

    Here's the whole thing:

    400 EZ on 8:00
    4 x 100 fr on 2:00 (1:29-1:33)
    4 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:42-:44)
    4 x 25 fr on :30
    100 bk

    MS (broken 1650)
    400 + :10
    300 + :10
    200 + :10
    150 + :10
    100 + :10
    50 + :10
    100 + :10
    150 + :10
    = 28:35 (-1:20 = 27:15)

    CD: 150 bk

    This total time was slower than my LCM 1500 in June; even slower than my SCM 1500 in my first meet ever, just over two years ago... after making so much progress, it's sad to see it all vanish in a matter of months; hopefully it won't take too long to get back into the swing of things.
  6. Workout 01/16/15: noon

    by , January 16th, 2015 at 01:44 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Quick lunchtime dip ...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    400 free with AP
    400 shark swim
    4 x 50 on traffic (25 easy, 25 IMO fast)
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1700 yds/35 min)

    Feeling a bit better and took advantage of sleeping in again this morning. Felt a little sluggish in the water, but that could have been helped by the warm water.

    I am off with the boys to a youth retreat this weekend with others from their school. My first time going and I am looking forward to seeing how God will work through the kids (and adults) through the speakers and time of getting to know each other better.
    Swim Workouts
  7. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 01/19/2015

    by , January 16th, 2015 at 11:24 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    4 X 150 2:30
    1 X 200 KICK 5:00
    4 X 150--50 free/50 stroke/50 free 2:45

    8 X 50 kick 1:10

    2 X 100 strong 1:45
    1 X 200 fast 4:00
    Three rounds, pull or swim
    Negative split 200's

    1 X 200 IM 3:30
    4 X 50 1:05 #4 on 1:30
    Three rounds.
    50's: choice/no free

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  8. holding pattern...

    by , January 16th, 2015 at 09:27 AM (Alex's swim journal)
    I was only able to get in two swims this week, so I'm really looking forward to getting in today around noon. Waiting for the refrigerator delivery now! Tuesdays and Thursdays have been really busy, but especially so this week, so no swim. Monday and Wednesday I managed about 2000 each day. My Wednesday swim felt extremely slow, even though I'd had a day of rest... thought it should have felt faster. Here's what I did:

    400 EZ fr on 7:00
    4 x 100 fr on 1:45
    4 x 50 fr on 1:00
    4 x 50 bk on 1:00
    4 x 100 bk on 2:00
    200 bk on 4:00
    200 EZ fr

    Felt so lethargic, which was disappointing on a short workout... felt much better in the 3500+ workouts this weekend. Could be the late evening time (I'm pretty tired after 7:30 or 8P), but I think it's the lack of sleep this first week with the students back on campus and me scrambling to put classes together while scheduling already for next fall. Crazy time!

    After briefly inching ahead of my GTD goal, I'm now almost three miles behind again! Catch-up on the weekends; fall behind during the week.
  9. Week 120 - Friday

    by , January 16th, 2015 at 08:51 AM (After a long rest)
    Tom keeps telling me feeling in the pool is overrated and today was a prime example. I felt like complete dodo but actually was swimming quick. I have a little chest congestion which never helps. Luckily it's a loose congestion and just catches me every once in a while when you feel something move and you have to cough(enough on that because we all know how gross chest hacking can be). Today the pool was really crowded. First the pool is setup for the meet today with 2x25yd pools with a couple of extra warm down lanes between the bulkheads plus the baby pool. As such there were less lanes than normal. The meet this weekend is going to be huge and is also heats and finals so there are no normal kids workouts today or tomorrow. As such some of the kids not swimming this weekend in the faster groups swam from 5-7am. Add in the two high school groups of kids who normally swim later this morning at 5:30am and then masters and it was really crowded. I know relative to other masters programs we are totally spoilt with lane space but I t's the first time I have had to share a lane in months. Most of the masters lanes had 4 or 5 swimmers and my lane had just two of us and as such I definitely can't complain. The lanes are really wide when setup for the meet but with all the swimmers it was pretty choppy again by our standards.

    Today was was a mix of aerobic, fast aerobic and race pace.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :45

    Main sets
    6x100 kick on 1:45
    500 with paddles no bouy on 1:20 base
    2x250 with paddles no bouy on 1:20 base
    5x100 with paddles no bouy on 1:20 base
    descend by round
    20x25 on :30 with a turn swum at 100 race pace
    6x50 on 1min swum as 25 fast counting strokes, 25 easy with 3 less strokes than first 25

    Warm down
    200 easy

    I held 1:22-1:23 on the kick set but felt pretty awful; tiredness and sore quads. On the 500 with paddles I went 5:11 which I was really surprised at because I felt pretty easy. It helped having someone fast in my lane as my rabbit to catch. On the 2:50s I went 2:35,2:33 which again I felt awful on. I was having a hard time hitting my turns at the bulkhead end for some reason which throw everything off each 50; like I was starting from stationary each time. The 100s I was holding 59s and had the same feeling of being just urgh. On the race pace 25s I gave it my all and held 13s with a turn which in reality may have been a little quicker due to sighting challenges with the clock. So really I am swimming ok but just feel pretty crappy. Maybe Tom is right on feel being overrated. On the last set I was doing 11-12 strokes at speed and the 9 coming back which almost felt like I was swimming in glue. I get why we are working on stroke count but i think my problem at times is tempo and lengthening just slows my tempo down considerably.

    I think I need to talk to Tom a little about my workouts again. I think we are doing some good stuff but our yardage is inching up again and I am tired. I wanted to do some base building at the beginning of this cycle but want to make sure we don't loose sight of what worked before Christmas, less quantity and more quality.
    Swim Workouts
  10. Another good distance set

    by , January 16th, 2015 at 07:18 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I love long swims.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    1650 free w/paddles & bouy broken as 11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1@:10RI final time after subtracting 1:40 was 22:13
    350 free w/snorkel ez

    Total 3000 yards
  11. Week 120 - Thursday

    by , January 15th, 2015 at 08:57 PM (After a long rest)
    Today was a weird day. I was tired when I woke up and have been feeling tired all day. At some point during my work day I tried setting up a meeting with someone for Friday which in the context of our conversation sounded like a few days away and someone gave me a funny look and asked, "you do know that Friday is tomorrow right", to which without even thinking I asked what day was it. For some reason I had it in my head that today was Tuesday and that I was planning a meeting at the end of the week, which somehow in my head was three days away. I don't know why ,but somehow this week has just got away from me. I have a lot going on at work right now and I think it's playing into my tiredness.

    This is morning I did swim bench and abs and then did a very easy swim.

    10 mins vasa swim trainer
    10 mins of abs done as 2x(flutter kick, crunches, leg extension, planks, flutter kick) 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off

    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :45
    4x100 kick on 2mins
    6x100 free on 1:30
    300 easy
    Swim Workouts
  12. Thursday, Jan 15

    by , January 15th, 2015 at 04:32 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo @ Pitt

    Warm up:

    850 various

    Main sets:

    6 x 25 burst SDK + cruise @ 1:00
    50 EZ

    5 x (25 AFAP from the blocks + 75 EZ)
    2 x free (11s), back (12), fly (12 flatfish), breast (14)
    100 EZ

    8 x 50
    odds = fly w/fins @ 100 pace @ 1:00
    evens = EZ @ 1:30
    100 EZ

    8 x 50
    odds = back @ 100 pace w/fins @ 1:00
    evens = EZ @ 1:30

    4 x 25 back, work on wider entry
    4 x 25 chest press fly
    50 EZ

    stretch cordz swim out to resistance and then ... (calling it 200)
    2 x :20 fast backstroke kick
    2 x free w/paddles, 15 fast strokes
    2 x breast, 10 strong strokes
    100 EZ

    Total: 3300


    Today, the Pitt head coach was there early and he gave me a few technique tips. Backstroke -- I'm very smooth and moving through the water nicely but am overreaching, need a wider entry. Fly -- hips are too low, need more of a chest press on that 100 pace. Starts were too flat -- I knew this while I was doing them. Probably rusty from not doing them in awhile when Pitt was closed or so long.
    Swim Workouts
  13. 1|15|15 LCM

    by , January 15th, 2015 at 03:51 PM (Blog)
    400 drill with fins
    600 back with fins
    3 x 150 fr on 3:00 as 50 fast / 100 easy, with fins and snorkel (30, 29, 28)
    2 x 150 head-up fly-kick free on 3:00 as 50 dr/100 easy fr, with fins and snorkel (34, 35)
    1 x 150 fr on 3:00 as 50 fast / 100 easy, with fins and snorkel (30)
    10 x 50 fr as 15m / 35m (sprint / easy) free on 1:00 with fins and snorkel
    104 fr in 13m area with fins and snorkel
    260 fr in 13m area with snorkel
    260 fr in 13m area with fins and snorkel
    100 flutter kick fast (1:54)
    200 flutter kick easy

    Did drylands mon, tue, and wed
  14. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 01/16/2015

    by , January 15th, 2015 at 11:39 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    6 X 100 1:50 1:40
    1 X 200 kick 5:00 --
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right

    12 X 50 1:10
    odd: easy even: fast--choice

    1 X 150 cruise 2:30
    1 X 100 fast 2:30
    Four times through

    4 X 250 pull 4:15
    1/2: last 50 fast
    3/4: last 100 fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  15. A little back stroke

    by , January 15th, 2015 at 07:18 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Just a little back stroke, but not enough to agrevate my elbows.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    5x100@2:00 back w/paddles held 1:40's
    5x100@1:45 free w/snorkle went 1:35, 1:33, 1:31, 1:30, 1:30
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    200 free EZ

    Total 2700 yards
    Swim Workouts
  16. Integrating a slower swimmer into the swim practice

    by , January 15th, 2015 at 12:00 AM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: Do you have any tips on integrating a slower swimmer into the swim practice?

    A: Integrating a slower swimmer has its challenges, especially when practices have fewer lanes and more swimmers per lane. Adding a slower swimmer to a lane of teammates who are substantially faster can create frustration and safety concerns for everyone involved. Many swimmers may improve with enhanced stroke technique and a commitment to training; however, this takes time and is not an immediate remedy.

    As a Masters coach, it's important for you to manage slower swimmers' expectations and help them understand the lane dynamics of swimming with faster swimmers. If you educate every swimmer--both fast and slow--where and when to pass each other and where a slower swimmer should stop on the wall, you will give all the swimmers the best chance for a safe and enjoyable practice.

    Slower swimmers and swimmers who lack endurance can be managed by:

    • Increasing their speed. Adding training aids such as fins, a snorkel, or a pull buoy will, in many cases, add speed and correct stroke and kicking deficiencies. While these aids may help with the initial problem, I hesitate to recommend the continued use of these aids for the entire practice. Being able to swim without these aids should remain a goal.
    • Decreasing the distance. Trimming the amount of yardage for repeats allows the slower swimmer to train the same amount of time as their lane mates. Depending on the speed of everyone in the lane and the number of swimmers in the lane, most repeats of 75 yards or less reduce the problem of slowing the faster swimmers down. Remember, what's important is not the amount of yards any swimmer swims, it's the quality of the yards that are swum. Reducing the number of repeats for the slower swimmer may also be beneficial.
    • Improving stroke technique. Have the slower swimmer work on stroke mechanics 25 yards at a time while staying clear of the other swimmers in the lane. Many novice swimmers welcome the opportunity to work on technique as a form of active recovery.

    An important trait of a good Masters coach is to be flexible and create a positive environment for all swimmers in a practice. Celebrate each swimmer's accomplishment every day, no matter how small. Be creative in managing the deck, have fun, and smile often.

    Updated March 18th, 2015 at 10:56 AM by Bill Brenner

  17. Surgical Glove During Competition?

    by , January 15th, 2015 at 12:00 AM (Rules Committee Blog)
    The Coach Asks: One of my swimmers cut his hand and had to have stitches. He still plans to swim at a meet this weekend and wants to know if he can wear a surgical glove to protect the stitches. What are the rules for this situation?

    Answer: The meet referee has the authority to decide whether or not to let the swimmer wear the surgical glove in competition. Such a glove is not regarded as part of a swimsuit (102.12.1B, last sentence), so a request for a medical exemption for swimwear is not required in this specific situation. It is more similar to tape and bandages (bandages usually include tape), both of which are left to the referee for a decision (102.12.1E and 102.13.9). The swimmer should contact the meet referee or meet director prior to the meet about the request to wear a surgical glove to protect stitches. A meet referee may ask for a doctor's note and after a conversation with the swimmer, will decide if it is reasonable and safe for the swimmer to wear a surgical glove in competition and determine whether or not it would provide a competitive advantage. Be aware that a referee's decision at one meet does not set precedent for subsequent meets (103.6.9), so the swimmer must repeat the request process with the meet referee at each meet.

    Kathy Casey
  18. Week 120 - Wednesday

    by , January 14th, 2015 at 08:42 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a good night of sleep last night and a decent workout but was a little tired on the race pace set today. We did the race pace set towards the end of the workout and did more faster mid distance work before the set than usual.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :45

    main sets
    4x200 free with snorkel descend 1-4 on 3mins
    3x(2x100 kick on 1:50, 200 stroke(back) on 3mins
    100 easy
    16x50 free on :50 swum at 200 race pace with a turn at 50

    warm down
    5x100 free perfect stroke on 1:30

    On the descending 200s I started out on 2:12 and dropped about 3 seconds per 200 and finished on 2:03. This is definitely not slow but felt a lot harder than last weeks descending set. On the kick and back set I was holding 1:25s on the kick and then went 2:10s on the 200 backs. Tom said I was out in 1:04s and back in 1:06s. I did not feel too bad on these and these times are quick for me but I was tired. On the 50s at 200 race pace I was out on :27 on the first 2 but then was 27/28s to my feet on the remainder of the set. I just could not get on pace today. Based on how we swim this set strictly I should have stopped after I missed my first 50 but kept going. I really tried picking up the 50s a smidge to hit my pace but my stroke count went up as I got further into the set and just did not have it today.

    I have a kids meet this Saturday(the Greater Southwest Invitational - this is the meet I tapered for last year) and I am swimming the 200 free and the 200 back. My daughter(11) is swimming on Sunday somi get to compete and also be Dad this weekend. I am going to back off on weights tomorrow and instead will do more of a loosen up swim.
    Swim Workouts
  19. Wed., Jan. 14

    by , January 14th, 2015 at 07:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    rehab ex
    deadlift, 75 x 4 x 8
    face pulls, indeterminate weight (#5) x 3 x 25
    seated leg curls, 90 x 4 x 8
    back extensions, 150 x 4 x 8
    plate loaded rows, 80 x 4 x 8
    altitude drops, 10
    extreme angle iso squat, 2:30
    ab work: streamline crunches, med ball crunches, yoga ball roll outs

    Stretching, 15 min


    500 various
    100 scull
    4 x 25 shooters w/fins
    50 EZ
    4 x 100 DPS back w/fins & paddles, focus on technique @ 2:00
    100 EZ
    4 x 100 DPS free w/fins & paddles, focus on technique @ 1:50
    100 EZ
    4 x 50 breast w/fins & paddles @ 1:15
    50 EZ
    3 x (25 shooter + 25 breast kick on back)
    50 EZ

    Total: 2200


    I decided to lift at Pitt today. This was a good call because then I could get in an EZ technique type swim afterward.

    I was very excited to hear that the Albatross meet will be held on March 21, so I will rest some for that. I will either swim 50 back/50 breast, 50 fly or 50 back/100 back/50 fly. Those are the lineups I've swum the last 8 years. And, since they never change the order of events, I won't either! Note to Jazz: 50 free is out because it is 10 minutes after 50 fly.

    Mr. Fort and I were pondering the fate of aging for masters athletes last night. The go to trainer here in Pitt says that the 50s is the decade where athletic performance declines the most and injuries are most likely to rear their ugly head. We have certainly had the most injuries then. In the last four years, I've had a labral tear, elbow tear and RC tear. Mr. Fort has had quite a few injuries too. One of mine was sheer stupidity, but the others were probably age and fragile shoulders.
  20. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 01/15/2015

    by , January 14th, 2015 at 11:27 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    Until further notice we will be swimming LCM on M-W-F and SCY on T-T

    WARM UP:
    2 X 150 2:30 2:15
    3 X 100 1:40 1:30
    3 X 100 kick 2:15 2:15
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 75 1:30
    1 X 50 1:00
    4 X 25 fast :45 #4 on 1:15
    Four rounds, 1 round of each stroke IM order.

    16 X 100 pull
    4 on 1:30
    4 on 1:25
    4 on 1:20
    4 on 1:15

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts