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  1. Ouch!! my back..

    While still trying to strength train and swim, my back is somewhat kinda letting up.. Last week I had helped my brother move into his new home and I had felt just fine afterward. Well, so I thought. Monday August 31st I woke up feeling a little sore and started my day as usual, dog walkies, work, and in the evening went to do my dryland w/o. It was then when I realized as I was picking up the 145#bar for deadlift that I had pulled something in my mid upper back. My masseuse says its the Latissimus Dorsi muscle. I continued my strength with slight pain, stepped into the Jacuzzi for a short while and went for my massage. Tuesday took it easy. Wednesday had my dryland strength and sent the video to Chris (my trainer) and he also told me to take some time off. I can't.. but I am working around that part of my back. I feel I am almost at the top of my game and don't want to loose progress.. I will dryland today with the exception of certain exercises Chris told me I could do and not do the exercises that would aggravate that part of my back .. I feel ok today, and will w/o with caution..

    Thursday swim;
    200 extremely easy
    1650 free with pull buoy
    : (
    Swim Workouts
  2. First Practice w/ new Masters team...

    by , September 4th, 2015 at 09:25 AM (Alex's swim journal)
    ...well, new for me. It was fun, only two other guys and the coach today. Nice to swim with someone else for a change, and we seemed all to be swimming in the same time ranges. Here's what we did:

    300 fr EZ (coach calls this DPS, I'm not really awake at this point so it's EZ)
    200 fly drill
    300 br (negative split--I was happy just to finish this!)
    200 bk hard (this felt pretty strong)

    Set 1:
    8 x 25 fly on :40
    8 x 25 bk on :40
    12 x 75 fr on 1:15 (these were consistently at 1:02)

    Set 2:
    Straight 1000, swum as:
    400 fr (negative split--probably went 2:59, 2:58)
    300 pull (negative split, I swam harder in the back half, but didn't catch the times)
    200 kick (negative split... uh...)
    100 fr

    Last set (this also served as my cool-down, since I had to get out a little early to get my youngest off to school):
    5 x 75 IM (no free) on 1:40
    25 EZ fr and out... (set was actually supposed to be 8 x 75 IM on 1:40, but coach said this last set we could leave whenever we needed to)

    3700 SCY

    Coach said my stroke looks good and he was happy with the workout we did, so yay! Seems like a good group, I liked the variety in the workout (left to my own devices I default to all free maybe a little back).
  3. 9|3|15 SCY and drylands

    by , September 3rd, 2015 at 09:36 PM (Blog)
    500 kick on back, arms back, with fins

    50 kick on back, arms back

    2 x 25 fr hypoxic on 1:00

    2 x 25 fr hypoxic on 2:00

    12 x 50 fr on 3:00, broken on 0:30 as 25 hypoxic - 50 pace / 25 - 200 pace
    • 15's down to 13's on the fasts

    2 x 50 flutter kick on 2:00, broken @ 25 on 0:30

    4 x 0:10 violent vertical dolphin kicking on 0:30

    10 x 0:30 sprint on 1:00
    0.5 mi easy running
    leg presses
    back extensions
    leg lifts
    butt exercises
    standing calf raises

    Getting over the last moments of the crud I picked up. Yesterday was the worst.

    Joel filmed our 1st place relay (2 wks ago) - it was the Mixed 18+ 200 freestyle relay. We were well over 150 yrs combined - LOL. Anyhow, I was the leadoff but there unfortunately wasn't any timing pads. So I clipped the video in GoPro, frame by frame, to begin video on the frame just prior to the start horn, and stopped when our second leg swimmer left the block. It turned out to be exactly 25.0.

    My head seemed to be up, my turn was crooked and my breakout from it was unstreamlined as I tried to straighten back

    Not an official time, but just an indicator a sub 25 this winter can easily happen. Nerves were the reason I didn't swim one under 25 on the 50 fr, though I think I was physically able to. I think I did a 25.53, I went way too deep.

    Did you know the start horn's sound travels at 340 m / s? So it takes about 0.08 seconds longer for the swimmer on the far lane from the horn to hear it. Unless multiple horns are used.

    Updated September 4th, 2015 at 09:51 AM by __steve__

  4. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 09/04/2015

    by , September 3rd, 2015 at 12:31 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 1:40
    1 X 300 4:30
    4 X 100 1:30
    1 X 400 neg split

    1 X 100 kick 2:15
    8 X 50 kick 1:00

    1 X 100 2:00
    1 X 75 1:20
    1 X 50 1:00
    5 X 25 --sprint-- :40 #5 on 1:20
    Three rounds. Round 1 fly, 2 back, 3 breast

    6 x 250 pull 3:45
    150 cruise/100 fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  5. Tues-Wed, Sept 1-2

    by , September 3rd, 2015 at 11:08 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Tuesday: Swim/SCY/Solo @ Sewy

    Warm up:

    500 various
    100 scull
    3 rounds:
    10 x 25, UW 15-18 m, then cruise @ :30
    1 x 50 EZ
    extra 100 EZ at end

    Main sets:

    20 x 25 fly w/fins @ 100 pace @ :45
    200 EZ

    20 x 25 breast w/fins @ 100 pace @ ;40
    250 EZ

    1 x 100 backstroke kick pretty fast
    1 x 100 EZ

    Total: 3250

    Wednesday: Drylands, 60 min

    rehab ex
    straight arm dips, 90 x 3 x 15
    deadlifts, 85 x 4 x 5
    good mornings, 85 x 4 x 5
    explosive fly pulls on cable machine, 20 x 4 x 5
    seated row negatives, 90 x 4 x 5
    twists w/plate on incline bench, 25 x 3 x 25
    explosive leg extensions, 120 x 4 x 5
    kneeling ab crunches, 160 x 4 x 7-8
    DB row, 40 x 4 x 5 each side
    overhead squat, 45 x 1 x 8


    I dragged myself to Sewy to swim on Tuesday, and was rewarded with an hour drive on the way home ... Yesterday, I only had time to do drylands as Lil Fort had an XC race downtown near Pitt. I am sending in my letter of resignation to Team Pitt today. Sad day.

    Not sure if I'll do anything today. I haven't been sleeping well and am very tired and not up to much. I dislike change, and am now faced with re-inventing my swimming life. Again.

    Updated September 3rd, 2015 at 11:43 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  6. Week 153 - Thursday

    by , September 3rd, 2015 at 08:41 AM (After a long rest)
    This week has flown by. Last night was my night off coaching and spent the evening helping with my sons pre AP algebra homework and my daughters social studies and math homework. My son is on ADD medicine and struggles as it wears off towards the end of the day. His ability to concentrate is noticeably challenging and he can get emotional. Yesterday we had a meltdown but I am proud of him because he caught himself and asked for 10 minutes to collect himself and then he worked with me on his algebra. I am still able to help but I think I am going to arrange a once a week session with a tutor who does this stiuff everyday. I suspect as this ramps up I will have to do a lot of figuring out which I am willing to do, but with upcoming travel this may not be a practical solution. We have a friend who is a Phd mathematician who provides tutoring and is a great communicator so I think she will help my son. My daughter is a lot like me and is quite impatient. Mix in her mothers perfection and attention to detail and she is quite demanding and challenging to work with. Oh well, at least I can help my kids and most important they still want my help. I am a lucky man despite the challenges that go along with this.

    Today was was a dry land day and I was pooped this morning. I had a restless night of sleep and woke quite tired.

    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.
    5x(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

    My plan to use some medicine balls will still have to wait a while, as my back is still quite stiff, although much better than Tuesday.

    Swimming LCM
    400 free with snorkel
    12x25 open,close, easy, fast on :40 with fins
    300 easy

    We had no lanes today due to water polo last night and the open, close, easy, fast was quite choppy. In the end we had fun with the chop with us moving closer together so that we were all swimming in each other's wake. One of my training partners swam these fly and he in particular was surfing in the wake; he laughed continuously and we had fun with it.
    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 09/02/15: OW

    by , September 2nd, 2015 at 09:32 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Summer doldrums, especially with the Rec closed. Last weekend Lena and I took a quick overnight to Connecticut for some beach therapy (I only did a ten minute swim) and then we stayed overnight with my Aunt and Uncle. Bonus...fresh CT peaches!

    Went for a dip at Paran tonight solo, 3/4 of a mile as the sun set.
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  8. Shoots & Ladders 09/02/15

    by , September 2nd, 2015 at 01:09 PM (Workout Swimmer)
    So startled to realize it is September!
    Decided to up my ante to 5000 per day until I get my parents settled, on every day that I am allowed to swim. My birthday swim on the 16th was 5600, so I'm going with that "theme" I suppose.
    600 w/up
    Up & Down the ladder by 25's - (25/50/75/100/100/75/50/25 repeat) Pull on mod interval (Shoot, thought I could go faster than I'm going today!)
    8 x 50 kick
    6 x 150, alt IM twitch & free on 2:30 & 2:15
    2 x 100 pull no bouy (while I think up the 2nd half of workout, lol)
    Shoot - everyone else got out of the pool, including the kids, and now being inundated by the sidestrokers & noodlers - which pushed me into a ladder lane, making it ever so easy to flip ON the dumb ladder. (Shoot! that hurt!)
    600 steady state
    3 x 200 pull
    6 x 100 IM
    100 easy
    Total: 5000
    Water was COLD today.
  9. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 09/03/2015

    by , September 2nd, 2015 at 01:00 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    Good to be back home!

    WARM UP:
    1 X 250 4:00 3:45
    2 X 100 1:40 1:30
    4 X 50 descend 1:00 :50
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 200 kick 4:30
    1 X 100 kick 2:15
    1 X 100 swim 2:00
    Two rounds

    1 x 200 free 3:00
    4 X 50 strong 1:10 #4 on 1:30
    Three rounds. 50's are choice.

    4 X 300 pull 4:00

    WARM DOWN: 4 x 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  10. Week 153 - Wednesday

    by , September 2nd, 2015 at 08:24 AM (After a long rest)
    I coached last night and was a little late getting home so ate late but managed to get to bed before 9pm. I slept pretty well but woke before my alarm. The coaching is going well and the 11/12 year olds are great. I am having a lot of fun! We worked the kids pretty hard yesterday and one of the little girls who seemed to struggle got out at the end with a smile from ear to ear and said she had fun; it made my day.

    Todays practice ice was low yardage and high intensity.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    8x50 catchup on :45

    Main sets
    6x100 IM on 1:25
    100 easy
    16x(50 at race pace straight into streamline vertical dolphin kick until the clock read 1:30 followed by :30 seconds rest)

    Warm down
    300 easy

    I think allergens are high today because I was a little winded at the end of warmup. We had a lot of people at practice today which was good but it did seem more challenging for Tom so I did extra while we waited for him. The IMs I held 1:08-1:10s and tried swimming them smooth. My fly felt a little off today. I believe I swim fly best when I am already warmed up and I was not feeling this today. Times were fine, but the fly seemed harder than usual. The race pace set was interesting. On one hand more rest than usual but the vertical dolphin kick was hard especially when Tom was standing over us(no getting away with lazy kick ). I was able to hold :25/:26 on the 50s and felt pretty good considering.
    Swim Workouts
  11. Week 153 - Tuesday

    by , September 2nd, 2015 at 08:16 AM (After a long rest)
    Another really busy day yesterday so I am playing catchup.

    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.
    5x(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

    My plan to use some medicine balls will have to wait a while, I woke up with a really stiff back and did not want to overdo it today. As the abs went on my back felt looser and looser which was what I hoped would happen. I think I slept wrong.

    Swimming LCM
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :50
    8x50 kick on 1min
    8x25 open,close, easy, fast on :40 with fins
    200 easy

    i felt good on the kicks today and was able to hold :38/:39s throughout. My fins ripped even more and this is the week I get new fins for sure.
    Swim Workouts
  12. Speed set w/o dryland

    Wish I had more time post.. I enjoy exploring through the usms site, I feel more connected to what I love to do the most in life. I've been researching looking for a person swim coach that can get me in gear to compete spring season 2016. My coach referred me to a one on one coach but, only offers 2 sessions a month ($300) with 4 additional individual w/o.. may as well just stay with the large group I currently swim with.. my work schedule is what keeps me from meeting with my coach and his w/o sessions.. I'll figure something out!!
    On the other hand my strength training is going well. And I can most definitely feel the power of my strength in the pool, just wish I knew how to utilize every ounce of energy and strength simultaneously..

    Deadlifts 145#8x2sets slow
    Swing KB 30#12x2sets FAST
    Asst Pull ups 10x2sets slow
    Slam MedBall 15#6x2sets FAST
    Back Sqt Barbell 55#6x2sets slow
    Sqt Jump 5x2sets FAST
    Overhead Press Barbell 45#5x2sets slow
    Push Press 20#5x2sets FAST
    Half Turkish getup 10#3x2sets slow
    Kneeling sidethrow Medball 15#5x2sets FAST

    Still swimming strong and coach tells me I'm ready for competition.. I need more training..
  13. I did the 5k postal ....

    with Aquatics T2 members. I think the lanes were all full some sharing a lane so, about 10 people? Two people did the 10k.

    I had my husband agree to do my splits, which was his first time with the watch. He did a good job.

    I can’t find my split sheet ugh, but my time was 1:49.5 something. My last race and training was around 2010. The good news is that the last 100 meters leg of the race my split was a few second faster than my very first 100 meter lap. I still had umph!!!! I tend to like short course, but swimming in the Gulf has made me consider other length races.

    Today I was on the water, not in the water. We put the mast up on out Rocket 22 boat. It is a very touchy sailboat boat. We are still getting to know it. Today was just a motor- 8 miles from the boat ramp to the cove where we will keep the boat.Looking forward to sailing and racing her!
  14. 9|1|15 SCY today, drylands yesterday

    by , September 1st, 2015 at 04:10 PM (Blog)
    1200 worth of drills
    3 x 500 worth of drills

    Didn't exert myself physically in the pool today. One drill accomplished today I feel will be very beneficial is the one arm free, fisted drill, breathing bilaterally every 2nd (one arm) stroke keeping one goggle lens under water.

    Yesterday I had a sore throat. Today I have a sore throat with mild flu symptoms. I feel somewhat lethargic. On a good note my physical injuries all seem to be fading.

    Ran to gym at my lunch hour, from parking lot at work (0.6 mi in just over 4 min)

    4 x Dips / Pullups superset
    • Dips - 8 reps with added bands resistance
    • Pullups - 5 reps done as 12 second negative resistance reps (mild hop up to top of rep then slowly extend down)

    RC and shoulder joint exercises

    Ran back to work place (0.6 mi in 4.5 min)

    Updated September 1st, 2015 at 08:34 PM by __steve__

  15. Sh*tty Day, Monday, Aug. 31

    by , September 1st, 2015 at 11:15 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo @ Pitt

    Warm up:

    500 various
    100 scull
    8 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :45
    100 EZ

    Main sets:

    8 x 25 burst SDK + cruise @ 1:00
    100 EZ

    8 x (25 AFAP + 75 EZ) @ 3:00-3:30
    -- extra 50 EZ after #4
    200 EZ at end

    8 x 50
    odds = free w/Lochte turn @ 1:00
    evens = EZ @ 1:30

    10 x 25 dolphin kick w/board & fins, hold best average
    100 EZ

    Total: 3000


    I got pretty devastating news yesterday after I swam at Pitt, probably for the last time. Pursuant to their new security policies, I no longer have access to Pitt during rec swim hours. I think it is really overly bureaucratic rule mongering. I had warned them that this would likely cause me to quit coaching as access was a condition of my job. But they don't really care about masters. So I have nowhere decent to swim. There are no public pools in Pittsburgh. I only have access to Sewy Y, which is 3 feet deep in one end and 40 minutes away. Oh, and LA Fitness, 22 yards and 3 feet. I can't train indefinitely in pools like that. Hard for freestylers to understand, I know, but my training is SDK-based. Right now, my options are:

    1. Quit masters swimming bc I live in Pittsburgh, land of sh*tty pools. This is a serious option. Swimming has been pretty difficult for me since moving here, and I'm tired of banging my head against a wall all the time.
    2. Quit coaching and go to the Pitt practices, tho those workouts are not designed for sprinters to say the least. And the lanes are very crowded.
    3. Keep coaching and try to swim at 7 pm when workout is done (if I'm not thrown out due to new policy). However, this option is particularly awful for me bc I would not see Lil Fort 3x a week as she has XC after school. And it is not fair to her.
    4. Muddle through for the next few months and try to take a class at Pitt or CMU next semester. I don't even really know if part time adult students even have access to the pool. This doesn't appeal to me either, and I couldn't do that and coach and train.

    I guess I'll think about it for a couple days. Right now, I am very upset. I live in a major city and can't find even one lane that is 6-7 feet deep. Who would have thought?!

    Updated September 2nd, 2015 at 10:51 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  16. 9-1-15 stretch out swim

    Had just enough time to loosen up a little before work. Hoping to get in a quick jog this evening.

    1000 swim
    --500 slow pace, 500 gentle build
    200 kick
    200 back at about 85-90%
    200 easy swim

    1600 scy

    Nothing exciting here
  17. Survey Says ... (September-October 2015)

    by , September 1st, 2015 at 12:00 AM (SWIMMER Editorials)
    In the August issue of STREAMLINES, we posted a survey link with 20 questions about your SWIMMER reading habits. We wanted to know which departments and columns you read regularly to help us determine which ones might need to be updated or discontinued.

    Actually, we wanted to know lots of things, such as: Do you like historical articles? Do you like profiles about members who swim fast or ones who have interesting lives outside the pool, or both, or neither? Do you prefer reading SWIMMER online or on paper? (Overwhelmingly, the latter.) How does SWIMMER compare to other magazines you read? (Seventy-five percent say as good as or better.)

    Nearly 84 percent of you responded that you read every issue and nearly 12 percent read most issues. About 80 percent of you agree that SWIMMER strengthens your connection to swimming. Technique, training, and science and health features are the most read and most desired articles.

    Near the end of the survey, we asked some open-ended questions about your likes and dislikes, as well as what you’d like to see changed—this was your chance to sound off on anything and everything about the magazine.

    Some of the findings were expected; some were a surprise. All the data will be used to help us plan future issues. As a group, your range of interests and goals means that meeting everyone’s desires in every issue is unlikely, but it’s a challenge we relish and commit to every day.

    The majority of the responses were positive—When asked what you’d like to see changed, many of you answered “nothing” or “12 issues instead of six!” That answer triggered gasps from our small but dedicated magazine staff, but we felt an immense sense of gratitude and honor that we’re able to produce something that our readers want more of.

    But not everyone is happy with the magazine, and we appreciate the constructive criticism we received. It will help us become a better publication. To our relief, only a tiny few of the responses would be appropriate for the “Mean Tweets” skit on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

    Thanks to all of you who took the time to share your thoughts and suggestions. Thank you for your ongoing support and for helping us to continue making improvements to SWIMMER—this is your magazine and we want you to love it as much as we love working on it.

    As always, you can contact me directly with your feedback at

    Updated September 21st, 2015 at 08:31 AM by Editor

    Staff Blogs
  18. Monday 8/31/15

    Weights along with a little bit of stretching before work.

    Fast swimming tonight with lots rest. Small showing once again.

    200 free
    200 kick
    300 mix up
    -went 25 back/25 breast working on the turn

    2 x through w/fins (round one back, round two free) all fast
    3 x 25 kick @ 35
    50 swim @ 60
    3 x 25 kick @ 30
    2 x 50 swim @ 60 faster than #1
    3 x 25 kick @ 25
    3 x 50 swim @ 60 faster than last two

    100 easy

    5 x (100 @ 1:20 neg split/ 50 mod @ 45/ 100 @ 1:20 net split)
    --rest 60 between each swim (there's the rest)
    4 x (50 sprint @ 40 / 75 mod free @ 60/ 50 back strong @ 50)
    --rest 60 between each swim
    2 x (50 breast sprint @ 50/ 25 mod breast @ 30/ 50 free cruise @50)
    --rest 60 between each swim

    200 w/d

    4250 scy

    i had a great practice tonight. My shoulders and lats started to feel the pain towards the end but I am sure the weights this morning had something to do with that.
  19. Week 153 - Monday

    by , August 31st, 2015 at 09:17 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a very restless night of sleep last night. When I went to the dentist last week they asked lots of questions about my sleep; I guess I grind my teeth and they are wanting me to get a night guard. I had one many years ago but could not get on with it so I am reluctant to get another. They asked about night sweats to which I told them I never had them, but last night I woke up twice covered in sweat. I did not feel sick and surprisingly was not tired this morning so who knows what's going on. Showering and changing PJs at night is not fun. I hope this is a one off!

    I had a really good workout this morning and felt really strong on the longer sets.

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

    Main sets
    4x400 pull on 5mins
    3x300 back kick with fins
    2x200 IMs on 3mins
    100 free afap

    Warm down
    400 easy

    I felt great on the warm up and this feeling carried into the main set. On the 400s pull I descended the set going 4:08, 4:06, 4:04, 4:01. I was hopeful of going under 4mins on the last one and was a little disappointed I missed it. This was a great set for me! On the kick with fins I went 3:05,3:05,3:03 and again felt great. My right fin is split and the split is growing pretty badly and I suspect I will have to buy new fins this week. I struggled with the transition to IMs but felt smooth after the fly and went 2:23, 2:19. The second one felt much better on the fly. We took a few extra minutes of rest after the IMs and then did a fast 100 free from a push. I went :53 which was fast especially after all the other swims this morning.
    Swim Workouts
  20. Enduring (08/31/2015)

    by , August 31st, 2015 at 05:31 PM (Workout Swimmer)
    to the end isn't all that exciting. Wonder what the elderly did to entertain themselves before TV? Geez, I'm tired of sitting on my keister all day. Got in a measly 4200 this morning, had to hurry home before the caregiver left at 8am, and had to get V-8 and more Depends for my dad too. I was planning on swimming 5000/day For the rest of my time here in Houston, especially since I have no idea whether I'll be able to swim in Springfield (VA) or not - depends on my brother-in-law & his willingness to help, since my sister will still be in Houston getting my parents stuff loaded on the moving van and the house turned over to the realtor for sale.

    Originally planned on 10 x 500, alternating 500 straight with 5 x 100, ended up with something entirely different:

    500 - 75 free/25 back
    500 kick w/zoomers
    500 pull no paddles
    5 x 200 IM with no fins!
    5 x 200 pull, alternating breathing by 7 & 5 each 50
    4 x 150 swim/kick/swim by 50
    100 easy
    Total: 4200 SCY

    Now I think I'll troll the workouts on here for good ideas for the rest of the week.