View RSS Feed

All Blog Entries

  1. Garbagio Lessons

    by , March 7th, 2012 at 01:39 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Preamble: Sorry for how long this is. I wanted to jot down a few thoughts I have had on this season so far, and it has gotten a bit extended, verbiage wise, even for me. To leaven the mood, I will put a few pictures in here and there of me playing with Ciara's pony tail.



    Ciara's wonderful father and my father figure/swimming coach, Bill White, perches like a better angel atop my right shoulder.
    *

    We last left our cliff hanger on the eve of my 1650 swim at Carnegie Mellon University, Feb. 26th, 2011.

    At the time, if memory serves, I suggested that if I swam reasonably well, there would be no need for me to quote extensively from Sartre's Nausea. I am happy to report that this has, indeed, proven the case, and there is no reason whatsoever to ruminate for so much as a split second on :


    • "Ma pensée, c'est moi: voilà pourquoi je ne peux pas m'arrêter. J'existe parce que je pense … et je ne peux pas m'empêcher de penser"
    • "Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness and dies by chance"
    • "I know. I know that I shall never again meet anything or anybody who will inspire me with passion. You know, it's quite a job starting to love somebody. You have to have energy, generosity, blindness. There is even a moment, in the very beginning, when you have to jump across a precipice: if you think about it you don't do it. I know I'll never jump again."

    These, and many more existential bon mots just as depressing have absolutely no relevance to today's vlog!



    Ciara and I attempt a mind meld of the sort popularized by those bluish people on Avatar.

    Instead, I would like to take the opportunity to offer something ever so rare in my episodic entries to date: potentially actionable swimming advice that might help my fellow middle distance freestylers approaching their Twilight years (in the non-vampire old-fashioned sense of the term.)

    Data
    One reason for the delay in posting my results is that I keep hoping for the Hyteck Meet Manager results to actually make their way a) onto the Internet, and b) into the "event rankings" section of USMS as was promised by my LMSC. But as is the case with many such promises, this hasn't happened yet, and I am slowly bracing myself for the thought that yet another of my swims in recent years won't count for possible TT consideration.

    So instead, here is the hand-written sheet from my CMU backup timer, who posted the splits from the electronic scoreboard:



    Historical Context

    JIM THORNTON 59 1650 Free 19:38.20

    JIM THORNTON 58 1650 Free 20:03.90

    JIM THORNTON 57 1650Free 19:34.18

    JIM THORNTON 56 1650Free 19:54.24

    JIM THORNTON 55 1650Free 19:47.91

    JIM THORNTON 54 1650Free didn't swim it
    JIM THORNTON 53 1650Free didn't swim it

    JIM THORNTON 52 1650Free 20:41.65

    JIM THORNTON 51 1650Free 18:59.22

    JIM THORNTON 50 1650Free 18:53.69

    JIM THORNTON 49 1650Free 19:27.75

    JIM THORNTON 48 1650Free 20:34.05

    JIM THORNTON 47 1650Free 21:10.00

    JIM THORNTON 46 1650Free didn't swim it
    JIM THORNTON 45 1650Free didn't swim it

    JIM THORNTON 44 1650Free 21:40.54

    JIM THORNTON 43 to 0 1650Free didn't swim it (though my mother might beg to differ--how many laps in a shared placenta is a 1650?)

    As you can see, my times have bounced around a bit over the past 15 years. My lifetime best performance was at age 50, a time when my coach Bill White helped me get into the best distance swimming shape of my life. I remember that year we did the following practice:

    10 x 100 on 1:25 warm up
    2 min rest

    10 x 200 on 2:30

    2 min rest
    10 x 200 on 2:30

    cool down


    To this day, making this practice remains by far my proudest moment as a practice swimmer!

    You will also notice that before age 49, I never broke 20 minutes. I was not swimming particularly hard at this point in my masters career, the body suits had not come out, and these times were all done at practice, not a meet.

    Two other conspicuous 20 min+ outliers include the 20:41 done at age 52, which can be explained by broken ribs; and the 20:03 at age 58 (last year), which was the first year the body suits were banned, plus I had suffered a detached retina that January, which put me out of the water for nearly three weeks.



    I have always thought I look good with that flouncy pony tail out the ball cap look! Now I can prove it!

    Analysis of Recent "Comparables"

    For an apples-to-apples comparison, let us look at my recent swim at 59 (19:38.20) and my swim at 57 two years earlier (19:34.18).

    On the surface, it appears that I have slowed down by 4.02 seconds over the past two years. My pace per 100 has deteriorated from 1:11.41 to 1:11.16, or a quarter of a second per hundred in two years. On an annual basis, it would seem that I am slowing down by approximately one eighth of a second per hundred.

    There are, however, several fudge factors that make this "apples-to-apples" comparison more of a "Granny Smith vs. Red Delicious" situation.

    First, suit differences.

    At 57, I swam the 1650 in my "floatie" body suit, the B70. At 59, I swam shaved an in a LSR elite jammer given to me a couple years ago. Did the suit change make a huge difference in my times?

    It definitely did in some events. At 57, for instance, I swam my lifetime best 200 SCY freestyle in the B70, breaking in the 1:54's for the first and only time in my life. Since then, my fastest 200s have been high 1:57s. My 50s and 100s have also shown clear deterioration thanks to the suit change.

    But for some reason, distance events of 500 and over don't seem to have shown as much of change. It seems like they should--with the B70 on, I took 1-2 less strokes per length swimming exactly the same way as always; moreover, I regularly gained at least a couple feet further on pushoffs and dives.

    You would think such things would prove especially additive over longer distances, but so far that hasn't been the case. Perhaps the inability of body heat to escape the body suit as easily might muddle its impact on my own distance performances.

    Conclusion: replacement of the B70 with a jammer probably hurt my time, but I cannot absolutely prove this.



    In this corner, Red
    vs.


    In this corner, Granny

    Even apples-to-apples comparisons are difficult to make sense of in the post-Body Suit Era!
    Second, accumulated yardage leading
    up to the 1650.


    This year's 1650 was preceded by 423.44 miles in all of 2011; 41.79 miles in January, '12; and 60.60 miles in February, '12.

    The B70 1650 two years earlier was preceded by 330.53 miles in all of 2009; 38.76 miles in January, '10; and 28.62 miles in February, '10.


    Conclusion: swimming significantly greater distance probably helped my performance, though the suit change variable makes this also difficult to prove.



    Is a Jim Clemmons-style mustache the key to time drops in swimming?

    Third, a more
    intelligent pacing
    strategy for me.

    Before this year's swim, I solicited advice from Ande.

    Some selected excerpts from my questions and his always great counsel:
    _________________________________________
    Originally Posted by jim thornton
    Ande, did you post something on swimming the 1650?

    I'd like to do a good time this year, but I am wary of going out too fast and becoming cooked. Once I cross over to that "cooked" stage, it's agonizing to keep on going. But if I go too slow to avoid premature baking, it's hard to make it up on the other end. Any advice?
    Swim by feel, assuming you will probably feel too good at the beginning and thus should consciously slow down?
    _________________________________________
    Hey Jim,

    Great to hear from you. So you want to have a great 1650 & you want to split it correctly, swim it "just right" instead of being over cooked by going too hard up front or under cooked by going too easy.

    "just right" is the trick and it's tricky.
    Your 1st 100 needs to feel EASY.
    You need to cruise it, going too hard on your first few 50's is usually way worse than going too easy.

    BE VERY WELL CONDITIONED.

    Do a great job warming up before your race.

    Know your pace.

    Do some longer swims in practice, some faster than your 1650 pace, some at & some below. Know what that effort feels like.

    Ideally you want to hold the same exact pace the whole way, but diving in and excitement, makes some people rabbit the first few 50's.

    You can only do what you can do. Swimming above pace up front is very likely to be detrimental. Settle into a sustainable pace and hold it.

    Your pace an differ based on water temp. The warmer the pool is the worse your pace might be.

    the best thing to prepare for the 1650 is consistent hard longer training and some speed work.
    _________________________________________
    Originally Posted by jim thornton

    Ande, thanks so much for a very detailed and helpful reply.

    I was starting to feel pretty confident, but last night we had a practice which started off with 8 x 100 on 1:25 warm up, then some 50s kick, then 2 x 500 on 6:15.
    To break 20 on the 1650, I know I have to average around 6:00 per 500. But on the first 500 in practice, I did a 6:01, and the second one I just squeaked in at 6:14.

    It was demoralizing.

    But I usually try to negative split distance stuff, and I probably swam that first 500 faster than was comfortable. Plus the water was hot, I'd swum a meet the day before, and I was pretty tuckered out from swimming every day, without stop, since Jan. 28th.
    So...who knows?

    I am definitely going to take it out easy because by the end of last night's second 500, I was definitely not feeling ready to do another 650!

    Today, I just went in and swam a slow 1650; I will probably take it easy at Wed. and Fri. practices, and just stretch out on the days in between.

    I will take your post with me and try to ingrain your advice.

    Thanks again!


    _________________________________________
    Hey Jim,

    You're welcome for my reply, happy to

    don't let your performance in a particular practice crush your spirit
    just keep showing up & do the best you can
    how many times a week are you training?
    how far per practice?
    if possible, before you taper, attempt to increase your
    x/wk, yds per practice, & pace.
    do it by just being determined to swim faster in practice.

    so you want to break 20:00 on your 1650
    20 x 60 = 1200
    1200 / 33 = 36.363
    so you need to ave 36.36 per 50
    that should be easy and very doable for you

    ingrain my advice & come up with a
    training plan and a
    race plan

    holding 1:12's should be very easy for you
    I bet you can hold under 1:10's
    _________________________________________

    Right before my B70 1650 at age 57, I solicited the advice of an on deck coach, who told me to go out smooth but strong on the first 500, then pick up each 500 thereafter.

    Here are my splits from that race: 1 1-5 Thornton, Jim 57 TPIT-AM 19:50.00 19:34.18
    30.96 1:05.54 (34.58) 1:40.03 (34.49) 2:14.52 (34.49)
    2:49.55 (35.03) 3:24.78 (35.23) 3:59.96 (35.18) 4:34.94 (34.98)
    5:10.07 (35.13) 5:45.07 (35.00) 6:20.07 (35.00) 6:55.36 (35.29)
    7:30.52 (35.16) 8:06.58 (36.06) 8:42.46 (35.88) 9:18.37 (35.91)
    9:54.37 (36.00) 10:30.72 (36.35) 11:07.09 (36.37) 11:43.09 (36.00)
    12:20.04 (36.95) 12:57.12 (37.08) 13:33.82 (36.70) 14:10.80 (36.98)
    14:47.27 (36.47) 15:24.20 (36.93) 16:00.74 (36.54) 16:37.19 (36.45)
    17:13.84 (36.65) 17:50.36 (36.52) 18:26.61 (36.25) 19:02.29 (35.68)
    19:34.18 (31.89)

    I started out following the coach's advice, and I did feel strong and smooth--for a while. My first 500 was a 5:45.07. By the 1000 mark, I was starting to hurt, realizing too late that what feels good early on is not necessarily as easy as you think. My 1000 split was 11:43.09. The final 500 of the race was 6:00.36.

    Compare this "start strong and decay" approach with the strategy I adopted, thanks to Ande's advice, this year. The second strategy is perhaps better described as "baby and coddle yourself beyond belief, and pick it up as you start to feel more comfortable."

    I took the first 500 out in 6:10.38, more than 25 seconds slower than the previous race. The guy on my left and the guy on my right quickly disappeared into the gloaming in front of me, but I reminded myself of Ande's wisdom to ignore the rabbits and realize going out too fast is usually a much bigger mistake than going out too slow.

    At the 1000 mark, I was at 12:10.91, now 27 seconds slower than my time in 2010. To an outside observer, it no doubt looked like I was setting myself up for total disaster. Note: to break 20 minutes, you have hold just a smidge over a 1:12 pace, and I was far from doing this.

    But somewhere around this point, I caught up with both rabbits. I felt good, I felt strong--precisely the opposite of how I had felt two years earlier after going out much more quickly.

    My final 500 was a 5:40.27, which was (at that point of the year) my fastest 500 of the season.

    My final 200 was 2:10.11; my final 100 1:02.91; and my final 50 a 30.01.

    Granted, overall I was still 4 seconds slower than when I swam it the "hurty" way, but when I got out of the pool at the conclusion of this year's race, I didn't feel the need to glance around to make sure the facility had an AED on hand. I felt pretty good, actually--and extremely happy that I had broken 20 minutes.

    Conclusion: each swimmer must know his or her body and design a race strategy that works best for the energy systems and musculature therein. My friend and coach Bill has been a long time advocate of the "go out fast and try to hang on" approach.

    For me, however, I have found that husbanding my energies, especially in longer races, seems to be the way to go. Not only does it hurt less, but I have come to believe that I just do better this way. Don't get me wrong: I am a big believer in pain and suffering. But I am not a believer of stupid pain and suffering, the kind that comes from misplaced Calvinism. If I tip over into what we used to call the lactic acid bath too soon in a distance race, I just tie up and can't finish strong.

    What I am trying to do now is to figure out exactly where the line is (and the line shifts over the course of a race), swim as close as possible to this line without crossing it, and at the end, when I know I can cross the line and still finish the race, only then do I give it my all.

    Final note:
    Strategic Application
    to Other Events


    This past weekend, there was the last regular season AMYMSA meet before our championships. This meet, held at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, was again supposed to count for USMS purposes. The first event was the 500, and given that I did my season's best time in this event at the end of the 1650, I was hoping to match last year's best mid-season time of 5:33.

    I used the same basic strategy of the 1650, but because the distance is so much shorter, I didn't coddle myself quite so much at the beginning, I did, however, remind myself to keep things smooth and under control.

    Here are my splits:

    AGE GROUP: 55-59
    1 JIM THORNTON 59 M SEWY 5:28.81

    30.82
    33.36
    33.53
    33.63
    33.39
    33.58
    33.07
    32.88
    33.41
    31.14

    Later, I did a pathetic 50 freestyle, thrashing impotently like a maniac. My time here, 25.69, was so dispiriting that I figured I would never be able to do a decent 100 again and should concentrate from now on only on 200s and longer.

    The last event of the 3 and a half hour mudhole meet was the 100, and Bill told me he thought I should scratch because my time would likely be demoralizing. I didn't want to do this because the Albatross SCM meet is coming up soon, and I signed up for a bunch of events and wanted to gauge how my current conditioning would allow me to perform in multiple freestyle races in close proximity.

    Bill said that he thought I would be lucky to swim in the 56s, and that I should brace myself for doing a 57 in the 100.

    So I decided to just swim the 100, not worry about my time, and try the "out easy" strategy here, too.

    Here's how I typically judge the best possible time you can do for a 100:

    take your 50 time (25.69) and add 1 second to it (26.69)to determine how fast you should take out your first 50 in the 100. Then take this time (26.69) and add 1.5 seconds to it to get the time you can do on the second 50, which doesn't include a dive (28.19).

    Thus my fastest theoretical 100 would be 26.69 plus 28.19 = 54.88.

    Here are my actual splits from the 100 on Sunday:

    AGE GROUP: 55-59
    1 JIM THORNTON 59 M SEWY 55.11

    27.00
    28.11


    What makes this even more unusual from my perspective is that I misjudged the flip turn at the 50 mark, and had one of those foot-only push offs that gives you virtually no momentum off the wall. If I had had a decent push off, it's possible I could have had my first negative split 100 ever!

    The strategy, it would appear, even works on 100s!

    I will have to try it out on the 50 next!

    Note to self: No matter how much it itches, do not forget to shave!

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  2. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -03/08/12

    by , March 7th, 2012 at 01:20 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    SCY
    WARM UP:
    4 X 100 1:40 1:30
    1 X 250 4:20 3:45
    Three rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2&3 right.

    1 X 200 kick 4:15
    8 X 25-half blast kick/half swim- :45
    1 X 100 swim

    6 X {4 X 50 1:10
    Rounds 1-3-5: 1 of each stroke
    Round 2: fly 4: back 6: breast

    14 X 100 free
    4 on 1:20
    10 on 1:15

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    5250Y
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  3. 03.07.12 - Wednesday workout

    by , March 7th, 2012 at 01:00 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave x 2. Pool temp 84-85. Wore my Speedo brief.

    Workout called for free on all the sets today. I felt IMey so I substituted a lot of stroke/IM. Not everywhere though... I'm not making 400 IMs on 5:15 yet.

    SCY

    500 Warm up

    400 IM - 6:00 (5:40 ish)
    400 - 5:45 (100 Free/100 Back/100 Br/100 Free)
    400 - 5:30 (200 Free/100 Br/100 Free)
    400 - 5:15 (4:55 ish)
    50 Easy

    16 x 75 - 1:10 (50 Stroke/25 Free)
    50 Easy

    400 free Timed (4:41) Felt pretty good overall. Had a couple rough patches (missed a wall) on the third 100.

    16 x 50 Pull - :50 2 Easy/2 Hard

    200 Cool down

    (4800 Total)

    Updated March 7th, 2012 at 01:27 PM by pmccoy

    Tags: 400, free, timed
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  4. Wednesday Wipe Out 3/7/12

    by , March 7th, 2012 at 11:22 AM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    So this one was a killer. Maybe I'm still feeling a bit icky-dar from the Chinese buffet at the weekend. I think my body can no longer tolerate that amount of MSG/Junk anymore. I don't think it was "bad" just that I can't do the 3 plate "buffet binge" nowadays...my body is a temple, and the Gods were not pleased at my desecration of it!

    Warm up/Transition:


    500 choice
    8 x 25 shooter w/fins @ :35/:40
    VK w/dive brick or med ball, 10 x (:20 tempo, :10 AFAP, :30 rest) OUCH! Glad I didn't quit...I always look at those military shows where they are virtually torturing the new recruits into breaking and think "I could do that"...so I remembered how tough I think I am and didn't let myself quit...still not sure I could be a combat diver though. I wasn't sure if this was meant to be with fins or not. Fins would make this fairly easy...but then you could hold the brick aloft...
    50 EZ
    10 x 25 streamline glide as far as possible from a dive or side of the pool
    50 EZ

    Speed Sets:

    10 x (25 + 25 EZ) w/fins @ 1:30
    -- 1st 25 = breakout + 4-5 strokes fast free, then kick fast to the wall with arms in streamline, do not slow down feet!
    -- 2nd 25 = EZ
    100 EZ

    1 x 50 AFAP @ 1:00
    200 EZ @ 5:00

    2 x (5 x 37.5 fast + 12.5 EZ) @ 3:00
    -- 100 EZ after each round
    -- one round with fins & one without
    -- perfect breakouts, work turns
    I did mine on 2:00 as it was using up a lot of time. 3:00 would have been nicer but I still made a lot of effort on these.

    6 x 25 free w/parachute & paddles @ 1:15-1:30
    This just plain sucked monkey-butt after all the previous stuff...

    100 EZ

    Total: 2800 + VK
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  5. Focus focus focus 03/07/12

    by , March 7th, 2012 at 08:37 AM (Workout Swimmer)
    Whooo - still tired from yesterday, I guess! Plus, I stayed up late watching the election returns - go Romney!
    Got there late (I stepped on my kitty's paw just as I was leaving & she ran off - I had to chase her down under the trees in the front yard & apologize!) & only got in the first 100 of the 500 back/free so, did back/breast free during the next 500 "pull"
    10 x 50 kick on 1:00 w/zoomers
    50 easy (1/2 way down & then back)
    10 x 50 on :50 3 @ 70%, 3 @ 80% 4 @ 90% -- getting faster - my last 4 were all 1-2 sec faster than I've been going -
    100 easy
    2 x 300 breast/free by 50's
    100 easy
    4 x 200 pull on 3:00 (descend 1-3, hold 4 in theory - in actuality, descended 1-3 & relaxed on #4 - was just too tired!! - but I did very well on #3)
    200 easy
    Total: 3500LCM

    It's nice to see myself improving on the sprint type stuff - even if I was rather tired on the last 200. Wish I knew my time, but Terry had moved the digital clock inside & I have no idea where I came in. Noticed today a technical issue with my hands underwater that I am working on fixing. I have a tendency to pull through the water & allow my hand to rotate so that instead of pushing with my palm, I am slicing through the water with the lateral aspect of my hand - this may be key to improving my speed if I can correct this consistently. I don't know how I got in this bad habit, but fortuntately I know a few drills that I can do to help correct it, and now that I am aware of it, I will be focusing on it more - just like I am focusing on not breathing as soon as I exit my turn, but instead taking least 2 underwater dolphins off each wall & one armstroke. My breath control stinks - I noticed this during my 200 breast at the Auburn meet - boy those underwater pull outs got worse & worse - especially around the 125 - so I've been making myself do underwater pull outs with an extra kick off the wall, and when going from free to breast (I usually forgo the underwater pull out on those) I also force myself to do a pull out. Maybe I won't be so pathetic at the St.Pete meet this way! Looking forward to it - my last meet before surgery!
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  6. good swim this morning

    by , March 7th, 2012 at 07:33 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I can feel my abs and legs hurting from yesterday but it is the good type of hurting. Managed a decent workout this morning.

    500 free
    8x25@:45 shooter w/zoomers. VK at the end my bag was on :30 tempo, :15 AFAP, :15 rest
    50 EZ
    10x25@:45 streamline glide from pushoff
    50 EZ

    10x(25 + 25EZ w/zoomers)@1:30 fast breakout + 4-6 fast strokes then fast kick to wall
    100 EZ
    50 AFAP from pushoff went :33
    200 EZ
    5x37.5 fast +12.5 EZ@2:00 had to cut interval from 3 to 2 due to time left to get done by
    200 EZ

    Total 2350 yards
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  7. Just thought I'd drop in

    by , March 7th, 2012 at 02:48 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Insanity is defined, as the cliche goes, doing something the same way every-time, and expecting different results. If I put my workout routine up against this argument, then I'm insane.
    I was born to be tall and skinny, I lack the muscling required to be a great swimmer, yet I dive in, hoping the clock will reflect progress and some magic will happen in my power.
    Although I didn't compete in 2011 I did manage to get certified in scuba and restored a 1965 Venture 21 sailboat.
    So, my coach and I talked about my stroke, which is about as good as I can get it, but like I've blogged before, I lack the muscle mass and strength. So we plotted out a plan that includes morning planks, bur-pees and pull-ups, among other things. Right now I struggle with even 2 or 3 pull-ups.

    I attended the Strawberry Canyon Aquatic Masters meet at Cal Berkeley and my times were nothing to brag about.
    200IM DQ (the lady judge said I touched one hand on the BR/FR transition...really?) But that was good, cause my time was 10 seconds over.
    100 FR - 1:02
    100 Bk -1:20 (I swam 1:17 a year ago)
    100 IM - 1:15 (no change in 2 years)

    I've been training 200IM, 100 FR, 100BK and 100 IM. This year has been the first for completing a 400IM without stopping and doing more than 2 100 Fly's in training, so I'm making progress somewhere. albeit slow.
    And slow it is, as I settle with 50, I continue to swim, eat organic, (for the most part) exercise and try to engage with more aquatic activities to have more fun with growing older.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  8. As if on cue...

    by , March 6th, 2012 at 10:13 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    As if on cue... after several days of cold and gloomy weather; a couple of sunny days and warmer weather. High of 60 tomorrow?!?!

    Missed my swim yesterday, but managed to get in 3500 SCY today on the way home from work.

    400 free wm-up
    20 x 50 on 1:00 (first 3-4 in :36-:37; probably averaged :40)
    3 x 300 on 5:00 (4:34, 4:40, 4:45)
    100 breast
    3 x 300 on 5:00 (4:45, 4:46, 4:48)
    100 breast
    100 free cool down.

    A couple of notes:

    :36/50! I don't know if I've ever seen that number before! Maybe the rest day paid off after all. I felt almost like I was skimming the top of the water on those fast 50s. But I couldn't keep that pace with only a 20-23 second rest, so I settled into a :40-:42/50 zone, which felt comfortable.

    The 300s were interesting, just trying to see how long I could maintain my threshold pace and they ended up being somewhere about halfway between the threshold pace and my BASE. I'm sure that's helpful somehow.

    I love the long continuous distances, but I liked this workout for mixing in different paces and forcing myself to swim faster/harder. Maybe I'll even start doing flip turns at some point, and work on getting my mile time down again.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  9. Workout 03/06/12: The waves keep on crashing on me

    by , March 6th, 2012 at 09:34 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    w/u: 200 FR/200 BK/200 IMO drill

    Go four times through:
    - 3 x 50 Kick/Swim/Drill on :60
    - 1st/3rd = FR, 2nd/4th = stroke (BK)

    10 x 100 FR pull with buoy on 1:20
    1 x 100 ez
    5 x 100 Stroke on 1:30

    200 loosen and out
    (With Masters group/Rec/3000 yds/60 min)
    ---------------------------

    Went to Biannual Tuesday night masters practice since I am off work this week. Joelle and Ryan were there so we did her workout (they are both post-grad students at Bennington College).

    I felt strong on the pulls, out in 1:06, then held 0:08-09's until a 1:07 on the last one. I really focused on my pull and keeping my elbows high in the water - last week when I did this I avg'd 2 seconds slower over the 10 so I am happy.

    For the strokes, I did 3 back and 3 IM. I really worked underwaters with the back, went 1:12,:13,:10, and after an pain filled first IM (1:20.52), I took an extra 30 seconds and went 1:12.93 on the last one. I still have not forgotten about the 100 x 100 IM challenge, but I need to be more diligent in doing them in practice.

    I was thinking of doubling tomorrow, but I still feel crummy after yesterday (and chose not to do it today). With 10 days before champs, I will start a slow taper for the rest of the week (although I hope for a hard practice on Saturday), then drop yards like they are going out of style. Next week I will have to be dry on Thursday, and instead of driving to Boston that night I will leave early on Friday since I am not swimming first thing - I'll get more sleep and also save on a night of hotel expenses.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  10. Tuesday, March 6

    by , March 6th, 2012 at 04:29 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Warm up:

    600 various

    MF Work:

    16 x 25 DPK shooters w/MF @ :30-:35
    -- back, belly, twirling 360s

    5 x 50 caterpillar fly drill w/MF @ 1:10

    10 x 25 burst + cruise @ 1:00
    -- dolphin kick on belly w/MF
    100 EZ

    10 x 25 burst + cruise @ 1:00
    fast hands breast w/MF (4 strokes to 15 m)
    100 EZ

    Main LP Set:

    6 x (broken AFAP 100s w/fins + 100 EZ), done as:

    1-2 100s @ 5:00
    -- broken @ :50 for :20 & @ 75 for :10
    1 = breast w/MF, 27 high/52
    (calf cramped on this and I put away MF)
    2 = IM, 23 low/48

    3-4 100s @ 6:00
    -- broken @ 50 for :30 & @ 75 for :15
    3 = fly, 23 low/45
    4 = fly, 23 high/46

    5-6 100s @ 7:00
    -- broken @ 50 for 1:00 & @ 75 for :30
    5 = IM, 23 mid/46
    6 = IM, 23 low/47 (bad breast leg)

    100 EZ

    Total: 3250

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I didn't waste any time getting right back to the LP work, reprising a set I did several weeks ago. Legs were burning after MF works. And right calf was cramping at the end. Getting out the 2XU leggings later.

    Random other thought about pre-Nats training: I think I'm going to largely forget bikram yoga (other than going for variety) for the next 7 weeks. It is very fatiguing, and I've been better about doing swim specific stretches while doing my rehab exercises. I did 30-40 minutes last night of both.

    I had a chat with a swim store owner here in NoVa. I could not get him to say one bad thing about the FS3, despite him admitting that several college teams had sent the women's kneeskins back. He is enamored with the LZR Elite suit. But this suit is being discontinued and no more imports are coming into the country. So if you like them, pick one up! The LZR Elite is being replaced by the $395 FS3 that is coming out soon. The material is apparently different that both the $595 FS3 and the LZR Elite. Maybe it's more akin to the X-Glide suit.

    Back to the gym tomorrow ...

    Oh, Jimby made this proposal:

    "How about this high concept show we can sell to swimming video amalgamated industries, llc? Practice Meets Wife Swap. I come and train with u for two weeks, concentrating on 1:18 work:rest ratio work. You then come train middle distance repeats on tough intervals then we see what we've learned."

    I thought this would benefit him much more than me. He called me an ignoble scientist for daring to say so. It would be the height of idiocy for me to change my training now, but I would told him I would consider this training flip flop in May.

    Nationals:

    Just signed up for SCY Nationals in Greensboro:

    100 fly, 1:02.5
    100 back 1:01.99
    100 IM 1:03.70
    50 free 25.30 (6th)
    50 fly, 26.79
    50 back, 27.46

    I made up a time for 100 fly that was faster than I swam last year, but a tad slower than my best (I've consistently been slower in this event without the suits.) The 100 back is my best time. And I reverse sandbagged my 100 IM and entered a time better than my best time that I hope to do. Ha! ) My 50s are the times I just swam and my best kneeskin 50 free time. To Jazzy's chagrin, I designated 50 free as my sixth event. I know this may be an untapped event for me, but right now I have other events on my brain.

    Zones:

    Mulling over possible Zones entries. Right now thinking about:

    100 free
    200 mixed medley relay
    50 fly
    200 women's free relay

    200 free (50 split request)
    200 mixed free relay
    100 breast
    200 women's 200 medley relay

    Updated March 6th, 2012 at 09:30 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  11. Tuesday, March 6, 2012 5:00am & 11:00am

    by , March 6th, 2012 at 03:18 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    This morning, I decided to do the whole workout #3 (Quality 200 Pace) from Patrick's Distance/Pain Workout Forum
    I found it both to be a bit easy on parts, and others incredibly challenging. A good one though.

    Warmup:

    200 Free
    100 Kick w/ board
    200 Free Pull
    100 Free

    16 x 75 Free
    • 4 @ 1:10
    • 4 @ 1:00
    • 4 @ 1:10
    • 4 @ :50!! This time I only made two of them.
    2 x 150 Free Pull @ 1:55
    6 x 50 Free FAST @ 1:15 (went :28-:29s)
    2 x 100 Free Pull @ 1:35
    8 x 25 Free FAST @ :35 (:14-:15)
    4 x 50 Free EZ @ :45

    I found the sitting around on the wall resting on the 50s to be quite boring. I was recovered enough to go earlier, but stuck with the written set.
    Took a couple minutes

    2 x 150 IM no free @ 2:30 (1:57, 1:56)
    These would probably have been around 2:28s for 200 IMs

    6 x 50 Active Recovery @ :35, :40,....:60

    2 x 100 IM @ 2:00 (1:10, 1:07)
    I sprinted the 2nd one.

    4 x 50 @ :35, :40, :45, :50

    Added a little more of my own:

    10 x 50 Free @ :55
    Odds: Free Pull w/ kickboard between thighs (looks like a shark)
    Evens: Kick w/ board

    ----------------------
    4500 Yards

    ================================

    Went to the dentist for a 2nd painful session over the past two days. Then afterward went to the pool for a little more. It is very awkward trying to breathe in the pool with a numb mouth. I don't recommend it!

    Warmup:
    200 Free
    100 Kick w/ board
    200 Free Pull

    10 x 50 Kick w/ board @ 1:00

    Main:
    1 x 150 Free Pull @ 2:00
    :30 rest
    2 x 150 Free Pull @ 2:00, 1:55
    :30 rest
    3 x 150 Free Pull @ 2:00, 1:55, 1:50
    :30 rest
    4 x 150 Free Pull @ 2:00, 1:55, 1:50, 1:45

    100 EZ and out

    ---------------------------
    2600 Yards
  12. Is it too late to repeat first grade?

    I seem to need remedial counting lessons.

    I had a nice and relaxing workout this morning at Riverbank. I was feeling leg-sore from last night’s ballet classe, so I skipped over Patrick’s IM workouts in favor of the “[ame="http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=20307"]SPL/DPS Aerobic[/ame]” option. I almost passed over that one as well once I saw it involved counting strokes per length on (mostly) broken 400s. I’ve never been very good at keeping track of my stroke count in LCM—it’s not that I forget what comes after 29 or anything like that, it’s rather that whenever I do anything besides 2-stroke breathing, I tend to chant the strokes to myself as I swim along: “one-two-one-two-one-two-three!”, repeated endlessly, is one of my favorites. So I’m accustomed to starting over at 1 after every breath, and remembering not to do that for a whole 50 is often beyond my capacities. Nonetheless, I decided to give it a try today, and I’m glad I did because I both enjoyed this workout and found it helpful.

    I shared a lane with Rondi and one or two other polite swimmers. I adapted the original workout a bit—here’s what I did:

    800 lcm warmup (400s, 100k, 100p, 200 d/s)

    1 x 100 build
    6 x 50 counting strokes (3 @ threshold pace, 1 easy, 2 @ threshold pace)
    [From this I determined that my threshold stroke count was 41.]

    1 x 400 @ 7:30 [avg. 42 SPL, pace (THR + 2.5)/100]
    2 x 200 @ 3:45 [avg. 42 SPL, pace THR]
    4 x 150 @ 1:50 [avg. 39/40 SPL, pace (THR – 2)/100]
    The goal was to maintain threshold pace on all 3 and have SPL = 45, 43, and 41 on each successive 400. I missed my pace on the first round, but hit in on the second while holding the same SPL. I then decreased both my pace and stroke count on the 100s.

    It seemed a little overwhelming at first to keep track of strokes, lengths (I was afraid I had miscounted the 400), pace, and interval, but I eventually sorted it all out, more or less. I was successful in counting my strokes about 80 percent of the time on this first set. But—I had made it easy on myself by breathing every stroke. I decided to bilateral breathe on the second round to see what happened.

    2 x 200 @ 3:45 [avg. 43 SPL, pace (THR + 5)/100]
    4 x 100 @ 1:50 [avg. 41 SPL, pace (THR – 1)/100]
    6 x 50 @ 1:00 [avg 39 SPL (descended 41 > 38], pace (THR - 13)/100]
    The goal was to decrease SPL while maintaining (THR – 2)/100 pace. The first swims after I changed over to bilateral breathing felt pretty awkward, and I was way off my goal pace on the first 200s. But the learning curve was steep, and both the speed and the feel improved as I went through the set. I also got better at counting, but still managed to get an accurate tally for only about 66 percent of the lengths on this set. The 50s felt really great—I was going much quicker without them feeling effortful. (Now why can’t I just put 8 of those non-effortful things together for a decent 400?) I kept my 2-beat kick throughout, although it was more emphatic on the shorter distances.

    Warmdown
    4 x 100 Kick
    2 x 100 pull + play

    I left the pool feeling less sore and more energetic than when I arrived—that’s always a good thing!
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  13. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -03/07/12

    by , March 6th, 2012 at 12:33 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    SCY
    WARM UP:
    1 X 250 4:10 3:45
    1 X 150 2:30 2:15
    3 X 100 1:40 1:30
    1 X 200 kick 4:20 -

    6 X 50 kick 1:05
    8 X 25-half blast kick/half swim :45

    1 X 100 easy 2:00
    1 X 50-25 fast/25 easy-1:15
    1 X 75 @ 100% 1:30
    Four rounds, all choice. Break between rounds if needed.

    3 X 200 free-broken- 4:00 4:30
    1 X 100 easy 3:00 -
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right
    200's: fast and broken :10 @100.

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    4800Y
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  14. Tue Mar 6th, 2012, SCY

    by , March 6th, 2012 at 11:14 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Tue Mar 6th, 2012, SCY

    Trained Sat with Tyler Brandon & Dave Sims
    did 3 sets of 3 x 300
    1) on 3:45
    2) on 3:30
    3) attempting 3 on 3:15 & I couldn't make it
    skipped a 50 in the 2nd one

    Mon
    5:00 - 6:30
    arrived pretty late
    tough practice

    Whitney Coached SCY
    6:30 - 8:00 dove in around 6:42
    swam with James, beside Jim, Tyler, Larry, Chris, Todd & Mike Varozza (welcome back)

    Warm Up
    swam around 400

    Main Set

    4 rounds 1 each stroke
    5 x 100 on 1:30
    50 easy
    4 x 25 FAST on 40
    100 easy

    900 done
    150 strong 100 pretty 50 bk
    did em on 4:00

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    2012 Meets (I'm considering)

    Mar. 30 & 31, 2012
    South Central Zones, SCY
    South Lake, TX
    Days Till

    Jul. 5 - 8, 2012
    2012 USMS LCM Nationals
    Qwest Center, Omaha, NE
    Order of Events


    Aug 11 & 12, 2012
    South Central LCM Zones
    Palo Alto Pool
    San Antonio, TX
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  15. Back with the team - 2800 yds

    by , March 6th, 2012 at 10:18 AM (Nobody Special)
    * Back with the team today. Good work-out - did my best to keep a light pace. Here is the workout:

    100 warm up

    4x200 free (30 sec rest)

    4x100 kick (fins) 2 m int

    1x100 back
    1x100 breast
    1x100 catch-up stroke

    20x50 free (5, 10, and 15 kick) 1 m int

    200 warm down
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  16. Tuesday - 03/06/12

    by , March 6th, 2012 at 09:32 AM (Workout Swimmer)
    Air was cold, water was hot - what a combo! Annie came to keep me company this AM:
    I had done about 1400 by the time she got there

    600 (100 free 25 back/25 breast x 4)
    200 pull no paddles
    300 pull w/paddles
    300 kick
    8 x 50 on :50
    --------------
    10 x 50 on 1:00 odds fast, evens recovery
    8 x 25 on :30; fast/easy, easy/fast, build, sprint x 2
    8 x 150 on 2:15 pull - I went hard on all of these except #5 & #6, which were moderate - held about 1:50ish on all but #5, which was a 1:55 (good effort)
    100 kick
    8 x 50 kick on :55
    50 EZ on :55
    50 sprint on 1:00
    50 EZ on 1:00
    75 sprint on 1:00
    75 recovery
    Total: 4300 SCY
    This workout kicked my butt - the 150's I truly was pushing myself, and on the sprint 50's I was too - with Annie touching me out 90% of the time - great fun! Hopefully also training myself to go FAST.
    I was planning on going 5000 today, but ran out of time, since I got there a bit late. There should have been a 100 fast after the last 75, plust a 125 recovery, followed by 4 x 50 @ 75% at the very end
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  17. 03.06.12 - Tuesday workout

    by , March 6th, 2012 at 08:40 AM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave x 3. Pool temp 85-86. Wore Speedo brief.

    SCY

    400 Warm up

    4 x 100 - 1:30 convert free to kick
    5 x 200 - 3:10 convert free to IM
    50 Easy - 2:00
    4 x 75 Breast - 1:30
    50 Easy

    200 Free - 2:30 (2:27)
    50 Free/50 stroke/50 Free - 2:30
    200 Free - 2:30 (2:22)
    50 Free/50 stroke/50 Free - 2:30
    200 Free - 2:30 (2:17)

    25 Easy
    16 x 100 Relay from Dive - my times were 1:02, 1:01.5, 1:00.x, 1:00.5

    125 Cool down

    (3650 Total)
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  18. Made it through Monday

    10 min. choice
    6 x 75 w/5
    --right arm/left arm/build by 25

    3 x through
    3 x 50 @ 45 descend
    2 x 75 @ 1:30 (bk/br/fr by 25) focus on form
    6 x 25 @ 20
    300 pull breathe 3/5/7 by 50
    Rest 30 and repeat

    4 x 125 @ 2:00
    --25 sprint, 100 no walls

    4 x 125 @ 2:00
    --75 free/50 back

    100 w/d

    What a typical Monday at work! I was so glad to get out of work and make it to the pool for some me time. Felt pretty good today and strong considering that I have not been swimming as much as I usual do.

    The 100's no walls are a good "drill" but one of my least favorite. We usually do it as a 500 swim and after about 300 it gets old fast.

    I also found time to mix in a hour of P90 core which is one of my favorite of the series.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  19. do i still have legs?

    by , March 6th, 2012 at 07:38 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    This was a killer leg set today. I really needed that. I will need to use this workout several more times before nationals.

    500 free
    12x50@:45 free w/zoomers & paddles

    10x50@1:00 kick w/zoomers over/under(25 kickc/25 shooter) - under/over
    50 EZ
    100@2:00 kick I went 2:05 good for me but didn't make interval. My kick stinks even though I am working on it
    100 EZ
    8x25@:45 tempo kick dolphin on back
    50 EZ
    100@2:00 kick w/zoomers went 1:27 but how do I get my kick without fins there. I wonder if there is something wrong with the way i kick in general
    100 EZ
    8x25@:45 breast kick on back
    50 EZ
    50@2:00 AFAP kick went :53 good for me
    100 EZ
    8x25@:45 tempo flutter kick w/ board
    200 EZ

    Total 3100 yards
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  20. Monday, March 5, 2012 5:00am & 11:00am

    by , March 5th, 2012 at 10:10 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    A.M. Warmup:

    500 Free
    200 Kick w/ board
    300 Free Pull

    10 x 100 @ 1:40 (followed :10 behind a guy doing all freestyle)
    • 3 Fly (1:06, 1:10, 1:10)
    • 3 Back (1:16, 1:16, 1:14) - actually attempted SDKs here, did about 3 each time
    • 3 Breast (1:22, 1:25, 1:23)
    • 1 Free (:59)
    100 EZ

    4 x 75 Dolphin Kick w/ Biofuse fins on back @ 1:10
    my abs were killing me and had to stop...I'm a wimp!

    600 Free Pull

    At this point (6:00am) our lane had 5-6 guys in it, so it was fun!

    5 x 200 Free @ 3:00 (I chose to descend them, and was running into lap traffic at the end of the 200s)
    • (went 2:16, 2:14, 2:11, 2:08, 2:06)
    • afterward the guys told me they started leaving 2-3 seconds apart on the last 3 200s to hopefully stay ahead of me.
    5 x 100 IM @ desc. interval (1:35, 1:30,...1:15)
    (went 1:10, 1:14s, finished 1:13)

    8 x 75 Kick w/ board @ 1:15 - had to kick fast, basically is was a 600 continuous for me. The others all cheated and wore zoomer fins.

    100 EZ

    4 x 50 Fast from the blocks.
    • The three of us guys left at the end of practice did these as a continuous relay, so we were getting approximately 1:00 rest or more (at least I was)
    • My last one, one guy timed me on his watch - 25.11 Not bad!
    100 EZ

    -------------------------
    5400 Yards

    =================================

    Afternoon warmup at a crowded YMCA pool:

    200 Free
    200 Kick w/ board
    200 Free Pull
    200 Kick w/ board

    After this I was able to split a lane so I was planning to do PWB's Workout #3 for this week: Quality 200 Pace

    16 x 75 Free
    • 4 @ BASE -:05 (1:10)
    • 4 @ BASE -:15 (1:00)
    • 4 @ BASE -:05 (1:10)
    • 4 @ BASE -:25 (:50) Holy Crap! this was fast. I only made the first one.
    I started talking with another lap swimmer who recognized me from high school, and after 15-20 minutes of blabbering on, I was done with swimming.

    I ended up doing a 200 Swim, trying out his SwiMP3 headphones that he had, and they seem to be okay, but I'm not totally convinced enough to buy my own. The music is good when you're keeping your head still underwater, but if you have to keep breathing every stroke, it seems that the splashing of the waves seems to interrupt the music vibration listening effect. I may have just not had them on a good position on my head. Who knows. I didn't really "feel" them on my head while swimming, and only did freestyle with them on. Not sure how other strokes would be.

    -------------------------------
    2200 Yards

    7600 Yards for the day!