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  1. Armless prone bridge experiment

    The idea of an armless prone bridge came up recently, probably in the comments section of Fort's blog. I tried it out Wednesday and did a little more experimentation today.

    In case you don't read all the comments on Fort's blog, but do read my blog (unlikely), let me describe the armless prone bridge.

    The armless prone bridge underwent seconds of evolution in my head as a way to do prone bridge without the shoulders or arms becoming a limiting factor. To do an armless prone bridge, you need a weight bench to substitute for the arms. Looking at the line across my chest from the edge of the bench, the edge of the bench was about mid chest. I don't think this will work for females, and they will need to balance higher up. Right below the collar bone should be ideal as most of the weight will be carried on the sternum and the head of the shoulders since both fat and muscle is thin at the top of the chest. To get into position, I suggest laying your chest on the so you are laying at a right angle to the bench, and then scoot your chest off the bench until you find a comfortable position for the edge of the bench. This will probably end up being most of your chest off the bench, with the top 3" of the chest and shoulders on the bench. This also allows you to lay your head down on the bench at around 145 seconds when you want to cry.

    What I learned. My abs get MORE work from armless. Holding my hands behind my back kept them out of the way, which was a problem Wednesday, and put a little more pressure on the abs, making them work harder. I am going to replace PB with armless PB going forward.

    I also experimented with two variations. I did 180 seconds on my back and each side as well as 180 seconds for the abs. These were all much easier than the abs, and I won't be adding them to my routine, but they were still interesting.

    Back: Lying with my mid shoulder blades at the edge of the bench and my heels on the ground, my body held straight, 180 seconds worked my lower back. This might be a decent exercise to start with if you have a weak lower back (not a BAD back, just not strong).

    Side: Lying with with the edge of the bench hitting at the bottom of the shoulder head, this one cuts off blood to the arm, so time becomes an issue. I got some decent oblique work from this, if I balanced on the edge of my bottom foot. If I used both feet for support, the pressure was taken off the oblique and it became really easy. I don't recommend this. Side bends are so much easier, take less time, and you have more control of the stress you put on your obliques.

    I would be interested in hearing experiences with armless prone bridge. One thing I noticed is that I didn't cheat, aka, I didn't let my back arch, or my butt rise, changing the pressure on the abs. Not sure why it wasn't as easy to cheat.
  2. Breathing is Good! Friday, July 17

    by , July 17th, 2009 at 09:48 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Survived the 100 fly LC today at Jr. Champs! Whew!

    I used the recommended 2 up, 1 down breathing pattern for almost the entire race. Out of force of habit, I had a couple of every others. I think this helped a ton; I felt stronger throughout the race with no disruption of rhythm! I still crashed and burned with 10 yards to go and almost couldn't recover the arms the last couple strokes, but it wasn't nearly as bad as last year. I went 2 seconds faster today unrested than I did last year when I was fully tapered (same suit, same pool). The time board showed 1:12.2, but the time was reported as 1:12.5. Splits were 33.6 and 38.8. Not great, but still vastly better than last year when I split 33/41.

    Race highlights:

    Had to swim in the final heat in lane 1 due to a couple scratches, which I hate. But I didn't catch any wake.
    Took 11 dophin kicks on the start out to exactly the 14.9 meter mark. Freaked out the poor kid.
    Took a coffee break on the the turn for big air intentionally.
    Floated at least a foot very slowly into the final wall. But I just couldn't bring myself to take another stroke.
    Mini's coaches said I looked very "strong." Mini said my stroke looked "good." (This is more feedback than usual. lol)
    Definitely going to use this breathing pattern again, and will likely try it in SCY. This may actually enable me to kick further in SCY ...

    I'm hoping I can make it out to swim my 100 back tomorrow. I spent about 2 and 1/2 hours in the car today going back and forth to the meet. Out A meet tomorrow AM is in Mt. Vernon, so it will be a bit of a rush unless I go straight to U of Md.

    Prelim TT:

    I saw the prelim TT came out. Unfortunately, I also see that both of the 100 backs I swam during the SCY season -- at the September Shootout in Cary NC and at the Auburn Invitational in Alabama were NOT on the list. I'm ticked about this. Both meet entry forms said the times would be submitted, I had received written confirmation from the meet director that my split request form & time were sent to the TT recorder, and the then DZ TT recorder sent me an email (which I believe I reported on my blog) confirming that she would submit the time. Yet both times are AWOL. I have sent emails to Ed Saltzman (DZ TT Recorder) and Mary Beth Windrath), but I doubt there is much that can be done. If not, I won't be attending meets in the Dixie Zone again. I know Cream Puff has had difficulty getting her USA times submitted as well. I'm just not a fan of incompetence. So while I'm very happy with my 100 fly time from today, this was kind of a downer. But I guess I know what I swam.

    Updated July 18th, 2009 at 02:53 PM by The Fortress

    USA-S Swim Meets / Events
  3. 50,394 yds

    50 grand for the week means i can take tomorrow off (from swimming) and give my water-logged left ear some dry out time. i hope my hearing returns to normal by the time dylan and friends come on stage!
    mr d is sounding mighty raspy these days, but somehow it still kind of works for me.

    sunday is an auction at williams lake

    no swim races this weekend.... and thats just fine as last weeks event has still left a rather sour taste in my mouth.... all i'm going to say is (and you can quote me) there is no honor left in the honor system...... anyway, next week is the 10 mile kingdom swim in vermont. i'm hoping for some cold new england nights between now and then.

    a nice LCM set this morning:
    50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 450, 500 and back down on a 50sec per 50m base.
  4. Forced into an early taper

    by , July 17th, 2009 at 08:32 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    I've had problems with tachycardia this week. I finally had to draw the line today when I was swimming 12 x 50 on 1:15 in a 50 meter pool and with effort was coming in on fly and free 10 seconds slower than my best 50 meter time. Even on a hard effort off the block on 50 fly, I was still off by 5 seconds.

    I have problems with tachycardia every so often, but when it stays kicked up for several days, I become exhausted and then have no choice but to do virtually nothing for three of four days. I have to do a lot of lying around and no activity that raises my heart over 100 BPM. So, I've basically had to start a taper much earlier than I wanted to.

    I am hopeful that I can get it under control. If not, I'll be put back on beta blockers and Nationals will be out.

    There is no rhyme or reason for why this thing gets kicked up, but lack of rest, heat, and the slightest bit of dehydration can definitely play a part. My husband reminded me that he thought I had not getting enough sleep lately, so I imagine this was a factor.

    For right now, I plan to rest until Tuesday and will see what happens. In any case, no more weights before Nationals.

    This week, rested on Wednesday. Swam 1800 yards on Thursday. Today, ran easy two miles and swam 2500 meters.
  5. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 Workout - 7/20/09 -LCM

    by , July 17th, 2009 at 03:48 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)

    WARM UP:
    6 x 200 4:30
    100 swim/100 kick
    4 X 100 IM or stroke 2:15

    9 X 100 Free
    3 on 1:50
    3 on 1:40
    3 on 1:30

    1 X 100 easy

    1 X 50 Blocks, at race pace
    1 X 50 easy
    1 X 50 blocks at race pace
    1 X 50 easy

    8 X 25
    odd: Blocks, sprint 20
    even: Build to race finish

    1 X 400 Free or...1 X 300 IM
    Fins optional

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  6. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 Workout - 7/18/09 -LCM

    by , July 17th, 2009 at 03:43 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)

    WARM UP:
    8 X 50 1:00
    4 X 100 2:00
    2 X 200 3:30
    1 X 400 -

    2 X 100 kick 2:30
    6 X 50 kick 1:15

    8 X 100 IM 2:00

    2 X 50 Blocks, at race pace.
    1 X 100 easy

    1 X 600
    Paddles & fins

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  7. The Fat Man is still swimming

    by , July 17th, 2009 at 01:36 PM (Fat Man back in the Pool)
    But over the last couple of months it has been hit or miss. A lot of travel as the company does some retrenching and I am running compliance checks before we turn stuff over. Scouts have had their time too. Swine flu cancelled two of my events on the day before they started, so it had been a bit of rescheduling. Other issues include the high school graduation of the daughter and subsequent family trip to NYC, College tours, Church Meetings, and the occasional bad weather that shuts down our pools and you end up with not many workouts done since the last post.

    Been lurking on some of the threads and watched the one on "masters swimmers behaving like triatheletes"

    Thinking about that, I wonder how many folks are like in the USMS program. We have been there and done that as youth with various degrees of success and have competed on a masters level for a while. For me it was age group 11-18, a year in college, and the first round of Masters from 28 to 34 competing on a zone level competitively but not a top 10er ever.

    But now as I approach 51 and have only been back in the water on a semi-regular basis with a team that practices T TH and Saturday evenings for an hour. They do have more opportunities an am group and the self described desperate housewives that swim at noon, but I don't need to be up at 4:30 ever again.

    I am not sure I have much of a desire to compete. I know I have no desire or need ever to swim backstroke. I do enjoy the work outs and the camaraderie of the team and I am content with that. I may decide to swim in a meet later when I feel that beer mountain has been sufficiently reduced, but if I don't thats ok too.

    I have logged workouts as notes on my Facebook and it is interesting to see the commentary from my non-swimmer friends.

    Last night -
    Aquatic Center 50 M LCM
    Work out starts at 6:15. No time to get that last minute email out around 5 - 5:15 or you get stuck in traffic

    400 Swim - Did 300 with traffic
    10 x 50 Kick even free, odd choice
    8 x 100 Swim even free, odd choice
    3 x 200 Pull (Swam 200 BR, 100 Br, 100 Br)
    100 warm down.

    We are not a large yardage bunch. It can get intense with intervals, and not knowing what comes next.

    But the fat man will keep putting one hand in front of the other and dragging himself through the pool.
  8. Recovery Day

    by , July 17th, 2009 at 12:02 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)

    Easy swim today, will be a little more intense tomorrow.

    SCM, with Carrie

    100 swim free

    200 IM drill

    300 swim alt. 100 free/50 choice

    400 pull breathe 3/5 by 50
    (I surprised myself by making the 5's all the way through, might have cheated a little by breathing going into the turns though)

    swim 5 x 100 IM on 2:00: make the interval
    (kept these around 1:50)

    400 reverse IM alt. kick/swim by 25
    (went easy and just cruised it)

    kick 6 x 50 with zoomers on 1:00 (make the interval)
    (was coming in around 48-50)

    swim 12 x 25 on :35
    (one of each, 3x around) nice and smooth

    Total: 2500 meters
  9. 7/16 LCM 5:30am Fast Friday 200's... um, er, well...

    by , July 17th, 2009 at 08:46 AM (FREEDom)
    4/28 SCY Well, the goal when I thought this up was to swim fast, around some 200s and broken 200s, combining some ideas from Ande and Rickmile recent workouts. But it did not work out that way... just too tired right now, swam last night and still feeling that, and loss of motivation, since no one else on my team was there. If anyone else some excuses, let me know, so I can add them my list. So when no one is watching, and I'm not feeling so good, I change the plans.

    Swam solo. Water temp was great! Right at 80F according to my thermometer. They ran the aerators all night, and still had them on during my swim.

    Warm up [1200/1200]
    600 choice
    4 x 150 :20 sec rest -- drill, kick, swim

    Set 1 [1100/2300]
    Got this set from Ande. Strong swims were not so strong. Held around 2:40 on these.
    5 x 200 on 3:10
    #1 50 strong / 150 aerobic
    #2 50 aerobic / 50 strong / 100 aerobic
    #3 100 aerobic / 50 strong / 50 aerobic
    #4 150 aerobic / 50 strong
    #5 200 strong
    100 easy

    Set 2 [400/2700]
    2 x
    2 x 50 kick on 1:15
    1 x 100 kick on 2:30

    Here is what I planned... I borrowed this set from my friend Rickmile. Seemed like a good idea, but I was not going to get much out of it his morning. I'll put this back in the hopper, and try it again in a week or so when I feel better.

    Set 3 [600/3300]
    3 x 200 on 6:00, broken :10 sec rest by 50

    Here is what did:
    1 x 600 on 9:00 pull - paddles, pb, and snorkel - just needed to stretch it out, aerobic swimming
    1 x 600 on 9:00 pull - paddles, pb, dropped the snorkel.
    I like the snorkel. When my stroke feels out of wack like it did today, it helps me get back in sync. I usually do some swimming with it, then some without it, so I reinforce the smoothness, balance and symmetry I can get with the snorkel with my normal swimming. Now I have the perfect stroke! If you overlook the straight arms, dropped elbows, cross overs, 2 beat scissor kick, superman turns...

    Warm down [300/3600]
    300 easy
    Swim Workouts
  10. Thursday's Swim

    by , July 16th, 2009 at 11:08 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    Tonight was a Forest Park, Nasti night!
    The pool was extremely crowded and our lanes (4 ) have been packed!
    We did an all freestyle workout tonight. It sounds boring but it really passed by fast. Being on a great master's team with entertaining lane mates makes this a reality.
    Here we go:

    *200 free ez shake out swim
    *200 flutter kick on front
    *2 X 100 (breast/back)
    *"Super Pyramid" 50-100-50-150-50-200-50-250-50-300-50-250-50
    -200-50-150-50-100-50! I'm not sure what interval we did, probably 1 minute per 50.
    I did a bit more w/the 2nd group:
    *200 Free on 3:45--2 X 50 on 1:00
    *200 Free on 3:40--4 X 50 on 1:00
    I'm Out! 3,500 LCM I wish!
  11. Recovery Thursday

    by , July 16th, 2009 at 09:41 PM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Western Slope Aquatics- Solo / BYO w/o
    Open Swim 1:00-2:00 PM

    Recovery Swim
    Warm 100
    1400 - Various hypoxic, kicking drills,
    Free & Backstroke drills, snorkel work.
    Cool Down 100

    1600 SCY

    Gym - Did everything that didnt involve putting a load on my spine. All lower and pull down type work. 45 minutes

    Threw my back out on Tuesday's Gym session, got carried away on the Squat machine. Its designed for people with back injury's. Instead of doing 100/120/130 I did 260/280/300. Really dont know what I was thinking...
    Passed up Wednesdays Masters.
    I have a cyst on my disk at L4-L5 spinal lumbar region, abuting a exting nerve. It normally doesn't bother me too much...Swimming has been a blessing with pain management and core muscle strenthening which stabilizes the lower back region which equals less pain and more mobility.
  12. 7/16 SCY 6:30pm

    by , July 16th, 2009 at 09:31 PM (FREEDom)
    Regular masters workout at NTY.
    Swam with Lisa W and Mike, next to Matt, Joe, DJ, Ethan, Dave, Liz, and Tim.
    Coach Beth on deck. Water was decent.

    Warm up
    400 300 200 100
    Swam about half. Spent time loosening my jaw.

    2 x 300 on 3:45 pull paddles + PB. Assigned 4:00, but Lisa wanted to cut the interval.

    8 x 75 on 1:10 build
    200 easy

    16 x 25 on :30 IM order. Swam fly rather than that stroke that shall not be named in this blog.

    6 x 100 on 1:30 desc 1>3, 4>6. Descended down to 1:02s.

    8 x 50 on :50 alt free/non-free (back for me)

    10 x 25 on :35 kick , no fins
    10 x 25 on :30, choice. Talked everyone into swimming fly.

    Warm Down
    200 easy
    Swim Workouts
  13. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 Workout - 7/17/09 - LCM

    by , July 16th, 2009 at 05:50 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)

    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 Free 2:00
    3 X 100 IM 2:15
    2 X 150 Free 3:00
    4 X 150 Free/stroke/free by 50 3:15

    8 X 50 Kick 1:20

    1 X 100 easy
    1 X 50 Blocks at 100%
    1 X 50 easy

    3 X 200 Broken 6:00
    Broken :10 at each 50

    8 X 25
    odd: Blocks, sprint 20
    even: Build to race finish

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  14. Thursday, July 16

    by , July 16th, 2009 at 03:20 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    1000 easy
    1000 errands (still time to sprinkle flax seeds on the salad though )

    Mom is arriving tonight. Mr. Fort is still out of town. Just found out that Mini Mono Fort is swimming at Sr. Champs tomorrow (after avoiding LC all summer). Yikes, it will be a busy weekend! Sr. and Jr. Champs tomorrow and our last summer league A meet and Junior Champs on Saturday. I'm only swimming the 100 back on Saturday, as I wasn't entirely sure I'd get there from the summer league meet in time for the 50 free (and I technically have Sr. Champs cuts in that).

    Tech suits will be in full force, as an article in today's Washington Post noted: Mini Fort also said there were tons of B70s & LZRs at the All Star Relays yesterday, which is a bit of a departure from what I recall several years ago.

    Got a piece of advice from Coach Chris for the 100 fly: breathe 2 up, 1 down the 3rd 25. I have no goals for this event other than to not DQ and to not replicate last years 8 second split differential. But since I don't train for this event, it's always an adventure.

    Glad I'm swimming at U of Md this weekend. GMU is closed for an underwater hockey tournament and I don't fancy braving the public pools again this weekend. My wrist is still sore, but much better.

    Updated July 16th, 2009 at 04:49 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  15. Day 19

    Well didn't feel like a total whale in the water today.....

    5x100 FR R:30
    3x100 FR Pull R:30
    2x100 FR R:30 w/fins
    3x100 FR R:30 w/fins and paddles
    1x100 FL/FR - BR/FR w/pos drive fins
    1x100 FL/FR - Easy w/fins

    1500 LCM outside solo
  16. Taper starts tomorrow...

    by , July 16th, 2009 at 11:44 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Thursday 7/16/09

    Long Course Nationals is 3 weeks away now.

    SCM, Solo

    300 swim free
    pull 2 x 150 (#1 free, #2 back) w/10 sec. rest
    (both of these were 10-15 sec slower that I usually do. ?)
    swim 2 x 100 IM (#2 reverse IM) on 2:10
    (these weren't bad, around 1:47-50. I'm finding that all the 1-arm fly I've been doing has made full stroke fly a little easier to swim.)
    4 x 50 on 1 drill/build choice
    (did 2 back and 2 free)

    2x around (round 1 free, round 2 back):
    4 x 25 on 45: #1 fast/easy by 12.5; #2 easy/fast by 25;
    #3 build; #4 all FAST
    (fast free was around 16, fast back around 18)
    swim 4 x 50 on 1:05 descend 1-4 to fast
    (fast free was around 37, fast back around 42)
    swim 3 x 100 easy on 2:15
    1 min. rest

    swim down 12 x 25 choice on 35, nice and easy

    Total: 2500 meters
  17. Thu Jul 16th, 2009 2 DAYS TIL ZONES

    by , July 16th, 2009 at 11:24 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Thu Jul 16th, 2009

    Got a new B70 Nero Comp yesterday
    can't wait to try it out

    Zone's Events

    1500 fr
    50 fl
    100 fr
    50 bk
    200 IM

    400 IM
    50 Br
    200 FR
    100 BK
    50 FR


    6:00 - 7:30
    Whitney Coached
    Garrison pool
    swam with doug, andrew, tyler, larry, mary, ed, andrew,
    dove in 6:15ish
    WATER 83ish, Jack brought a kitchen thermometer

    missed it


    5 x 200 free ON 3:10
    #1 50 strong / 150 aerobic
    #2 50 aerobic / 50 strong / 100 aerobic
    #3 100 aerobic / 50 strong / 50 aerobic
    #4 150 areobic / 50 strong
    #5 200 strong

    100 easy

    #1 50 strong / 150 aerobic
    #2 50 aerobic / 50 strong / 100 aerobic
    #3 100 aerobic / 50 strong / 50 aerobic

    then moved over to the Taper Lane

    4 x 100 on about 4:00
    done 25 fast from a dive 75 easy

    100 easy


    USMS South Central Zone Long Course Championship Meet
    Fri July 18 - 19 2009
    Woodlands, TX
    Meet Entry Form

    Who's coming

    2 Days away

    Entered the following events

    1500 fr
    50 fl
    100 fr
    50 bk
    200 IM

    400 IM
    50 Br
    200 FR
    100 BK
    50 FR
    Swim Workouts
  18. Thursday 7/16 - Can you say 400!

    by , July 16th, 2009 at 07:48 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Today the theme of workout was 400. No clock needed as this was a stroke work day with lots of fins and drills. I am so beat up but I don't want to start taper just yet.

    400 Free
    400 IM not terribly fast 7:57
    400 IM as fly drill, back pull, breast kick, free swim
    400 IM kick w/fins but do fly in place of breast
    400 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 50 SPRINT
    400 Fly skull drill w/fins
    400 Back underwater recover w/fins
    400 Breast pull w/fins get the fly into breast
    400 Free as 50 swim/50 drill choice

    Total 3600 meters
  19. Wednesday, July 15

    by , July 15th, 2009 at 10:03 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    AM Weights/Drylands:

    Quickie weight session while my youngest was swimming.

    bench press, 50 x 3 x 10
    seated narrow grip row, 60 or 70 x 2 x 10
    alternating hammers, 15 x 2 x 30
    total ab machine, 80 x 2 x 15
    crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    windshield wipers, 2 x 20
    seated straight arm dips, 45 x 2 x 25
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25

    10 minutes of stretching

    The explosive lifting at much lighter weights seemed easy. I'm done with leg weights, as Q suggests. Think I'll lift a couple times, lightly, next week. I've never tapered weights before. I also haven't lifted weights the week before a meet in about a year. Nor have I only rested one day. I guess I'll see how that works out this weekend ...

    PM Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Warm up:

    750 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic Set:

    8 x 100 @ 1:50
    odds backstroke kick
    evens backstroke

    Speed work:

    3 x (50 AFAP backstroke + 200 EZ)

    5 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    3 x (25 AFAP free + 50 EZ)

    100 C/D

    Total: 2950


    Went for an ART session right after swimming. As usual, I had an irritated left dorsal scapular nerve. My doc decorated me in pink, blue and black kinesio tape and sent me off to the movies that way. Took my little one to Harry Potter. Now she's a bit scared and having trouble falling asleep -- bad mommy! Still wants me to keep reading Books 6 & 7 though, of course.

    Updated July 15th, 2009 at 10:14 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , ART
  20. 50k this week?

    alright, its wednesday and i've logged close to 32,000 meters so far this week with 3 days left and no races this weekend. 50k seems like an easy goal for the week and i plan to take it a little easy the latter part of next week in preparation for the 10 mile kingdom swim on the 25th.

    i swam the 2 mile national championship at canandaigua last weekend..... i will reserve my comments on this event until the results are finalized. it was a fun swim with lots of wind and waves, but some of the times posted in my age group seem a bit unreal... to say the least.

    a few favorite sets this week were:
    16x100 scm
    4 on 1:30
    4 on 1:25
    4 on 1:20
    4 on 1:15
    did this with coach dan and the morning crew...the 1:15's broke me

    6x200 scm
    2 on 3:30 went 2:36, 2:35
    4 on 5:00 all out (descended 2:31 - 2:26)
    with PM masters

    8x200 lcm
    50 on 1:00 build from a dive
    100 on 1:20
    50 on 1:10 easy
    with the tri-gals... (1:20 lcm is a bitch!)

    4x2000 build on 27 minutes (in lake A)
    with willie and steve

    the blueberries are starting to pop.... it won't be long now!