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  1. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -04/29/10

    by , April 28th, 2010 at 02:22 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)

    WARM UP:
    4 X 100 2:00
    2 X 150 2:30
    2 X 200 3:30

    1 X 300 free 5:00
    1 X 200 IM 4:00
    3 X 100 kick 2:30
    Twice through

    2 X {4 X 100 broken 2:15
    Broken 5 seconds at the 50.
    Break between rounds.

    12 X 50 1:15
    odd: easy
    even: fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  2. Wednesday, 4/28/10

    by , April 28th, 2010 at 01:05 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY with Carrie

    400 swim free
    200 kick choice
    300 I M drill

    6 x 75 on 1:30, odds free, evens no free; alt. Kick/drill/swim by 25
    (did fly-back-breast on the evens)

    3 sets of 4 x 100 with no extra rest between sets:

    Set #1 all free on 1:30, make interval with consistent stroke;
    (1:20-1:25 at 16 spl)

    Set #2 back on 1:45 best average with long walls working the underwaters;
    (1:28-1:30 at 17-18 spl w/5-6 sdk off walls)

    Set #3 back w/zoomers on 2:00, descend 1-4 to all out effort;
    (went 1:30-1:25-1:20-1:14)
    easy 50

    3 x 50 back from blocks on 3:00. Sprint through the turn then real easy to finish
    (Goal was to get feet on the wall at opposite end before 16 sec. almost made it. was flipping on each one at the 16s mark)

    Swim down 200
    Total: 2950 yards
  3. Back to the grind ...

    Had my last pre-nats appointment with my trainer last night. Thought about telling him I wanted to scale it down but decided to go full throtle one last time. Totally kicked my butt ...

    20 minutes into the 60 minute session I actually thought I was going to melt into a puddle of sweat and keel over.

    We did the following:
    Couple minute warm-up included:
    Jumping jacks
    Oblique kicks (I thought I was coordinated sadly I am not)
    Side twist mini jumps

    3 Rounds of 5x5x5 squats with 4lb med ball (five regular, five fast, five jump to small box

    I truly cannot remember the order of everything else but we did 3 rounds of the following...
    Side twists with cords
    Lunge and twist with cords
    Ab wheel
    Slide board tucks with cords on ankles
    Scooter walks with wrist weights on belly
    Lunge and press walks
    Fly recover on bosu with weights
    More Oblique kicks
    Single leg balance moves with weights
    Slide board squat and pull together

    Probably a couple more things I am forgetting

    Was way too fried to swim fast so I did drills and recovery.

    Tonight it's back to fast swimming ...
  4. Wed Apr 28th 2010

    by , April 28th, 2010 at 11:44 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Wed Apr 28th 2010

    Upcoming Travel
    Thu May 13 - Sun 16: Grand Canyon, AZ
    (any recs for what we should do there?)
    Sun May 16 - Wed 19: Scottsdale, AZ
    (any recs for what my family should do while I'm in meetings)
    Thu May 20 - Mon 24: Atlanta

    Lifted weights this morning


    Swim Center
    SCY Main pool & diving well
    WHITNEY coached
    6:30 - 8:00 dove in 6:33ish
    swam with Marcio & Mike Varozza who's doing Waterloo Swim School in North West Austin
    beside Nate, Jon, Tenille, Tyler, Amy, Brandon, Ned, & Michael Lovato
    wore B70 legs

    Warm UP
    200 k fly no board went 2:22

    assigned 400 IM
    did 4 x 50 drill

    assigned 400
    did 4 x 50

    assigned 4 x 100 IM desc
    DID: mike borrowed marcio's zoomer like fins & said he wanted to kick a 100 around 1:00, he went 53
    so I skipped 1 -3, put on Marcio's fins trying to beat mike
    I dove in & my right fin came off, but I kept going & kicked a 100 in 51

    assigned 800
    did 8 x 50

    (this we had a little set here, but I don't remember it)

    assigned 12 x 100
    did: skipped it, to rest 15 minutes

    50 bk
    roll start
    mike timed
    went pretty fast but he had a timing malfunction so I don't know what my time was

    50 easy

    2010 MEETS:

    [2010 Short Course National Championships
    Thu May 20 - Sun 23, 2010
    Nats are in 3 weeks & 3 days or 24 DAYS
    time to get fast, strong, skinny, & rested
    Days Till Nats
    FRI 050 BR 100 FL
    SAT 200 IM 050 BK
    SUN 100 IM 050 FR

    July 8 - 11, 2010
    Senior Circuit #4
    Austin, TX

    07/23/10 - 07/25/10
    2010 South Central Long Course
    Southlake, Texas
  5. 4/28: Team Practice

    Got 10 hours sleep last night. Hopefully my body is back on the correct timezone now.

    The only goal was to survive practice, but at the end of practice I was pretty happy.

    Warm Up
    - 400 free
    - 200 kick
    - 300 back
    - 3x100 drill swim
    Main Set
    - 200 free
    - 4x50 kick on 1:15
    - 200 back
    - 4x50 free on 60 (34, 31,30,29)
    - 200 kick
    - 4x50 back
    Main Set 2
    - 4x200 odd free on 2:40, even back ez on 3:40 (2:26, 2:18)
    Cool down
    - 300 ez
  6. 04-27-2010 Working it

    by , April 28th, 2010 at 02:13 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Warm 100FR, 200FR, 200IM drill
    6x50 K F&B SDK UW/Graveyard K on 1:00
    Super IM (1300/2100)

    13x100 on 2:00 (suppose to be 1:45)
    100IM, 100Fly
    100IM, 100BK
    100IM, 100BR
    100IM, 100FR
    100IM, 50Fly/50BK
    100IM, 50BR/50FR
    Kick (400/2500)

    400IM K no B/F Fly and FR on side.
    10x75FR w/F on 1:00


    Coach Janine told me that the retired Coach Terry, (who retired to sailing around the Bahamas) used to make the Seniors do the Super IM's with 200's and 400's. I missed the last USA kids meet, which was the first LCM of the season. The next Masters meet is some 300 miles in Clovis, not in my budget or time to travel.I seem to be coming out of a really bad funk in my training, one that has lasted about 4 months. Without the comeuppance conditioning and the late 40's aging, its tough to jump in some day's and just do the set's that the coach assigns. But I never complain, my coach will spend time with me doing sprint sets and working on the finer points of the dive, turns, stroke and breakouts and transitions...
    The other day was a 12x100 that started on the 2:00, then on # 5-8 on the 1:40, finally 9-12 on the 1:20, it was by far the most painful set Ive ever done, the lactate buildup was intense! The next day was 15x50 starting on the 1:00, :50 then :40 by 5's. Yesterday my normal 6x200's was changed up with odds pull, evens swim, ouch!
    I'm the only male master left, the other 2 who had swum in college have stop showing up, one had a heart condition and who knows what happened to Dr. Bob...The gals that show up every now and then, are not so much into the race training, they get easier workouts that allows them time to socialize.
    Today I was the only master, with Seniors on the right and Juniors on the left...
    Sometimes I really feel like an old Orca surrounded by jittery fast dolphins!
  7. Short 'n Easy

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 09:18 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Short on time, but squeezed in a quick swim workout.

    300 warm-up

    200 easy dolphin on back with fins

    8 x 25 - 3/4 underwater SDK, one-arm fly on :45

    8 x 25 back - 3/4 underwater SDK on back, back swim on :45

    6 x 50 - odds were 25 fly drill (underwater recovery only)/25 fly, evens were back doing 25 rt arm/25 lt arm only on 1:15

    3 x 100 fly with fins - 25 rt arm/25 lt arm/25- 3 rt, 3 lt, 3 full/25 full stroke on 1:45

    200 easy

    1700 SCY

    If I can get in 8,000 more yards this week, I'll be right on my target goal for the month. Hopefully should not be a problem.

    Did my practice after the kids practiced. I talked to the coach about the number of events I am swimming at Nationals and she thought I had taken on too many. I'm slated to do the 50 fly, 100 free, and 50 back on Saturday. The 100 free is right before the 50 back. Not sure which one I would want to drop.

    Updated April 27th, 2010 at 09:25 PM by elise526

  8. Back to Killer Mode, April 27

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 09:07 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    skull crushers, 50 x 2 x 15
    goblet squats, 65 x 2 x 15
    standing lat pulldown, 140 x 2 x 12
    box jumps, 1 x 10
    altitude drops, 1 x 15
    straight arm plank with feet on yoga ball, 2 x 1:00
    wall squats, 2 x 1:00 (too easy, need to do this much longer)
    lateral bunny hops over bench (ouch!), 1 x 1:00
    pole vaulters w/45 lb bar, 45 x 2 x 25
    med ball slams, 2 x 10
    twisting med ball slams, 1 x 15
    dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
    good morning darlings on bosu, 2 x 50
    (need to add ankle weights to these)
    russian twists w/25 lb plate, 2 x 25

    15 minutes of various RC exercises, including the ones Mollie showed me at the meet.

    Ate an energy bar and banana and drove to the pool ...


    I ripped off & remixed Geek's workout from today. I love the blogs for this reason -- you can steal a workout outright or use the structure and adapt it to your own training needs. This is so very valuable when you're training solo.

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Aerobic Set:

    3 rounds (fly w/fins, back, breast)

    2 x 100 kick
    2 x 100 drill
    2 x 100 pull (except didn't pull fly; did single arm fly again)

    I used about a :20 RI

    Speed Set:

    With fins, 2 rounds of:

    1 x 100 fast kick
    1 x 100 EZ
    1 x 100, done as 50 fast kick + 50 EZ
    1 x 100 pull
    4 x fast 25s @ :45
    1 x 50 EZ

    1st round = flutter w/board. Went :58, :25 and 11s on the fast stuff.
    2nd round = backstroke kick. Went :56, :25 and not sure of times on the 25s.

    The 100s really hurt. I didn't pay attention to intervals on these and took plenty of rest.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3650

    Got out right at 4:00 as the FISH were starting their practice. Kate Zeigler said hi and hopped in my lane.



    I slept in a bit more this am after getting my youngest off to school and felt relatively good at both workouts. I seem to have recovered much more quickly from Zones this year than last year. Last year, I was blasted for days. I think the fewer events and post-meet massage helped.


    Here is the youtube link to the GMUP 200 free relay at Zones. I led off and was wearing my Speedo kneeskin. I wore it to get a comparison to my other bodysuit 50 free swims. It was closer than I expected. Jim Thornton narrates. For some reason, he was worried I wouldn't "attack" the race (perhaps because of the reverse placebo effect?). But I would never let relay mates down! The women next to me is a speedy Red Tide swimmer. It looks like she got me coming off the turn when I was too deep. But I was happy with my reaction time on the start. It seemed faster than my open 50 free the next day that was also video'd.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- 200 free relay Zones 2010[/nomedia].


    Does anyone remember if leadoff splits from free relays at Nats are automatically put into the database? Or do we have to submit a split request? I know this was discussed recently on the forums, but can't remember what was said. I think it's automatic? I have one more shot at the 50 free at Nats. And I need it because there were some crazy fast ladies in my age group at IL States, including a super speedy new 45 year old.


    I got notification today that two of my chick relays are officially AA. And with 2 different teams! One was my Women's 400 medley relay with GMUP. The other was my ABM Women's 200 free relay from Indy. It was an honor to swim with such fast chicks!

    Interesting blurbs:

    Customizing Workouts:

    Strict plans may slow your progress, according to a study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

    A group of people in a weight-training class were given identical workout lists; half could choose their workouts, while the others were told which to do. After 12 weeks, the group that could choose had greater strength gains compared with the guided group.

    The author says the reason is that they could opt for easier moves when they were tired, saving tougher sessions for when they felt ready. Listen when your body tells you it is due for a slower pace workout. You’ll recover better and get more from your workouts.

    Vitamin D:

    Another Dryland Study Abstract:

    Zampagni, ML, Casino, D, Benelli, P, Visani, A, Marcacci, M, and De Vito, G.

    "Anthropometric and strength variables to predict freestyle performance times in elite master swimmers. J Strength Cond Res 22: 1298–1307, 2008—The aims of this study were to determine in elite master swimmers of both genders whether, using anthropometric variables and the hand grip strength measure, it was possible to predict freestyle performance time, whether the considered predictors were related similarly to different events (50, 100, 200, 400, 800 m), and whether they were the same in male and female master swimmers. The relationships between performance times and age, body mass, height, arm length, forearm length, forearm muscle volume, and hand grip strength were examined in 135 elite master swimmers. Pearson’s simple correlation coefficients were calculated and then prediction equations were developed. Age, height, and hand grip strength were the best predictors in short-distance events, whereas only age and height were predictors in middle- and long-distance events. The correspond- ing coefficient of determination (R2) of performance times were 0.84 in the 50-m event, 0.73 in the 100-m event, 0.75 in the 200-m event, 0.66 in the 400-m event, and 0.63 in the 800-m event. These regression equations were then cross-validated in a control group of 126 nonelite, age-matched swimmers, obtaining significant and good correlations for all distances (range, r = 0.67 and 0.83; p , 0.01), indicating that predictors are valid in an extended sample of master swimmers. Differences between sexes were not found in 50-m event, but were present in all other events. These models might be useful to determine individual performance times by contributing to improving the individual’s training program and the selection of master swimmers. Coaches could have better accuracy in determining whether an athlete needs a strength training program in order to optimize performance time."

    Updated April 27th, 2010 at 11:19 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  9. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -04/28/10

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 03:55 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)

    WARM UP:
    4 X 150 2:30
    4 X 100 1:30
    4 X 75 1:15
    Build last 50 on 75's

    1 X 500 free 7:30
    4 X 200 free 3:00
    Break 30 additional seconds
    1 X 400 IM 7:00
    4 X 125 IM 2:15
    Rotate 50 of each stroke on 125's


    5 X 100 kick 2:30

    8 X 100 free 1:40
    Descend 1-4/5-8

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    5000 Y/M
    Swim Workouts
  10. Jim: The Classics Illustrated Version

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 03:36 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Okay, after this, I will take a break from swimming self-aggrandizement and move onto other areas of self-aggrandizement so vlog followers won't get sick of me.

    But I can't help myself.

    I must post footage of what proved to be the greatest meet experience of my life.

    Many many thanks to the munificent Chicken of the Sea, Amanda "HTFU" Hunt, who filmed all these races.

    Swim #1. 1000 yard freestyle (Friday night)

    Fortunately, this does not include the 1000.

    Even I would be hard pressed to watch me plodding back and forth for 11:22.39 Z

    Swim #2. 100 yard freestyle (Saturday morning)

    I was sort of out of it for this swim. I got up on the blocks late after some confusion about what heat I was in and was still semi-putting my goggles on when the starter, perhaps noting my discombobulation, had one of the only quick interludes of the whole meet between the "take your marks" and the "go."

    So, I did not have time to remind myself to keep my eyes open. You will see on the third length that I hit the lap lane. What you can't see is that the turns on the far end of the pool were all wobbly because of this slippy metal rim that the GMU pool has around its perimeter.

    When I finished the race, I looked up at the clock and thought I had done a 53.35, slower than two weeks earlier in our Amish mudhole. I was horribly disappointed and instantly groggy and bedraggled.

    A half hour later, when they posted the results, I saw that I had been looking at the wrong time on the board. I had actually swum a 52.43Z, which turns out to be my fastest ever electronically timed 100 as a masters swimmer. (I went a 52.09 hand-timed at CMU when I was 50.)

    This time beat my old zone's record of 52.90, but it was crushed by the great sprinter, Paul Trevisan in the next heat. Still, I had a new Zones record for about 1 minute!

    Anyhow, great joy for me here-- and a tincture of what might have been had I had time to remind myself to keep my eyes opened:

    Swim #3. 500 Freestyle (Saturday afternoon)

    I swam this race, like the 1000, not in my B70 but rather a FS1 I had purchased in the pre-B70 era but never worn before. My goal was to man up for this race and not coddle myself too much, vis a vis pain avoidance. But I also didn't want to suffer arm lockjaw half way through and require mechanical hoist water evacuation. Thus I attempted, as best I could, to adopt a metronomic death march kind of approach, with a bit of a sprint at the end if there was anything left.

    Note: I am putting these videos in order of how I swam the races, but you might want to save watching this one for last and take the precaution of cushioning the floor around you with throw pillows in case it causes you to nod off.

    My time--5:23.18Z--beat my old Zones record in this event.

    Swim #4. 200 Freestyle (Sunday morning)

    This was the high point of my swimming life--a new zones record (beating my time of 1:56.07 from last year.

    Event 32 Men 55-59 200 Yard Freestyle
    ================================================== ================
    ZONE: Z 1:56.07 4/26/2009 James Thornton, TPIT
    NATL: ! 1:50.85 5/14/2006 JIM MCCONICA
    Name Age Team Seed Finals
    ================================================== ================
    1 Thornton, James 57 TEAM PITTSBURGH 1:58.90 1:54.89Z
    26.55 55.39 (28.84)
    1:25.44 (30.05) 1:54.89 (29.45)

    'Nuff said.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- Jim's 200 free[/nomedia]

    Immediate aftermath:

    Aftermath continued:

    Swim #5. 50 Freestyle (Sunday afternoon)

    Being as I had absolutely no chance to make the Top 10 in the 50--and doubt I could have made the Top 100 in this pure sprinter's event--I decided to end the meet on a note that might preminisce my FINA-legal future.

    And so it was for the first time since I was 47, and the Speedo Aquablade body suit had not yet been invented, that I actually raced something in a jammer.

    The suit was the new Speedo racing jammer, which had a peculiar feel. People who have raced in so-called paper suits told me its got a similar tactile sensation to this. I have a size 34 gut (if I am being generous to myself), so I wore a size 30 jammer.

    It got on easily, perhaps too easily.

    My initial concern with this suit was that it compresses and miniaturizes the one part of my body that needs not further miniaturization. Moreover, by compacting the flesh here, it only served--like a pasta extruder--to push more fat out where I suspected it might be flubbering and blubbering like a sail that has lost one of its lines in a gale.

    In other words, I did not think I would be swimming with the sleekness of an orca but more with the inelegance of a sumo.

    My best times this year previous to today were a 24.81 and a 24.50, both swum in Amish mudholes with my B70 kneeskin.

    I figured that if I could break 26.0 in the jammers, I would be doing okay.

    To give myself some additional boost, I first took some Jolt, the use of which is illustrated in the following, where I instructed Leslie in the proper application of the gum:

    Next, I did the pre-50 weigh in on the George Mason University cattle scale. Why they have this thing in the natatorium baffles me, but I used it anyhow.

    Finally, I moved to the blocks for the first of what would prove two starts in the 50:

    Then the second start and actual race:

    Followed by the aftermath:

    My time of 24.78 is the best jammer time I have done as a master. I don't know what the discrepancy between this and a B70 time would be. Last year, my 50 in the b70 was a 24.17, so if we compare these, it's a .61 second difference.

    However, I also swam the 100 and 200 slower last year, so it is possible I might have beaten my 24.17 this year had I done it in a B70. I doubt I would have beaten the time by anymore than roughly have the time I beat my 100 by (52.90-52.43=.47/2=.23). So saying I might have done a 24.17-.23 = 23.94 in the B70, that would suggest that switching to jammers cost me .84 seconds per 50.

    Not great, but I suspect learning to keep my eyes open could make up some of this, shaving off chest hair a little more, and losing the gut maybe a wee bit more.

    But such is fodder for future vlogs. This is the time to reap, not to sow!

    Updated April 28th, 2010 at 05:02 PM by jim thornton

  11. State and Monday's Recovery

    The IL state meet was this past weekend. Overall I am happy with my non-tapered swims. I think the races were good, the details need work. It's a good place to be in just over three weeks out.

    50 Free - AWFUL start, breakout and turn - again it's the details. Turn needs to increase.

    100 Free - One off turn, better turns than the 50, Turn over needs to increase, legs were great.

    200 Free - blah who really cares. The next to me totally sandbagged. I thought I was swimming way crappier than I was. It was right about my best time. I haven't swum this race tapered SCY in years.

    50 fly - AWFUL turn and finish. Needed an extra stroke on both. I need to channel Phelps not Cavic and drill that wall.

    100 IM - first race. First race always sucks. Arms were hurting. Not really a race I focus on or care about.

    50 Back - not bad ... need to work on my finish.

    50 breast - had fun not worried about times.

    Was supposed to have a private pilates reformer session ... she forgot the door over at the gym is a spa. They had a last minute cancelation so I got a massage instead. It was not a great massage but it helped.

    Got in the water and did 1,000 yards or so easy. Did a bunch of fly drills, some turns and finishes.

    Tonight I have my last training appt. before nats and a solo swim session. Going to go right back into killer mode ... hope my body is in one piece after.
  12. Tuesday, 4/27/10

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 12:47 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, solo

    Sprinting and kicking

    200 free swim
    200 IM alt. kick/drill by 25
    400 pull alt. 100 free/100 back

    12 x 25 on 45: odds free, evens back; on all 25s go 12.5 kicking underwater, then swim the rest of the way at about 75%

    pull 2 x 200 back smooth w/30 sec. rest: hold stroke count
    ( went 3:10, 3:05)

    kick 12 x 25 on :40 as 3x around
    {(did round 1-2 free w/board, 3-4 on back)
    #1 at 75% (free - 26, back - 30)
    #2 at 85% (free - 24, back - 27)
    #3 at 95% (free - 22, back - 25)
    #4 all out (free <20, back <22 )}

    swim 2 x 200 back smooth w/30 sec. rest: hold stroke count the same on both, but make #2 faster than #1
    (went 3:02, 2:57 )
    50 easy choice

    swim 8 x 25 on 1:00 all out: odds free off blocks, evens back
    (free was 14-15, on back was 15-16)

    swim down 250 easy choice
    Total: 2700 yards

    Updated April 27th, 2010 at 05:01 PM by poolraat

  13. Tue Apr 27th 2010

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 12:26 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Tue Apr 27th 2010

    Upcoming Travel
    May 13 - 16 Grand Canyon, AZ
    May 16 - 19 Scottsdale, AZ
    May 20 - 24 Atlanta

    Lifted weights monday afternoon


    Swim Center
    SCY diving well
    WHITNEY coached
    6:30 - 8:00 dove in 6:33ish
    swam with Jon, Tenille & Mike Varozza who's doing Waterloo Swim School in North West Austin
    beside Tyler, Todd, Marcio, & Ned
    wore B70 jammer

    Warm UP
    2 rounds of 175 fr 25 fl, 125 fr 25 bk, 75 fr 25 br


    Start at 1:00 drop 1 sec each round
    stopped at 36

    4 rounds of
    1 min vert kick (took it easy)
    25 stroke fast
    25 no breath
    100 easy

    assigned 16 x 50
    50 swim, 50 r 50 l 50 swim
    did 50 fast in each round
    fl 27 bk 26 br skip fr 22.9

    100 easy

    2010 MEETS:

    [2010 Short Course National Championships
    Thu May 20 - Sun 23, 2010
    Nats are in 3 weeks & 3 days or 24 DAYS
    time to get fast, strong, skinny, & rested
    Days Till Nats
    FRI 050 BR 100 FL
    SAT 200 IM 050 BK
    SUN 100 IM 050 FR

    July 8 - 11, 2010
    Senior Circuit #4
    Austin, TX

    07/23/10 - 07/25/10
    2010 South Central Long Course
    Southlake, Texas
    Swim Workouts
  14. Mile High

    Amazing class last night. We did a broken 1650 as part of our workout, which I did with all flip turns, and my time worked out to an average of 1:55 for each 100 yds, faster split times than what I usually do in an hour swim. I really felt like I was cranking. Finally getting the hang of body roll, arm extension, early catch. Not perfect, but when I do it right, I can feel the subtle differences in stroke power. Ditto backstroke. I still have a long way to go before I do all this consistently, but at least I have a sense of how it should feel.

    Also, my cardio fitness in general feels much better. My flip turns were pretty good, too, and again, I know how they should feel when done right,and I know what I'm doing wrong when they go a little wonky. Not bad, considering I was sharing a lane with a much more powerful swimmer than myself, and there was a lot of turbulence being kicked up--lots of swimmers in a fairly small pool.

    Updated April 27th, 2010 at 11:35 AM by Nancy H. (Verbs are your friend!)

    Swim Workouts
  15. 4/27: Solo workout and Asian workout recaps

    Asia Trip: I have notes, pictures and video that needs to be organized. Quite a bit of this has already been done, but it will probably be the weekend before I finish everything up and post it.

    I missed leaving for the team workout by about 25 minutes yesterday morning. Went to bed before 8pm last night and woke up for good around 2am.

    Lifetime SCM
    In the water before 4am.

    Warm up
    - 500 free
    - 400 as 2x 50 kick 150 back
    - 300 as 3x 100 IM
    - 200 kick with board no fins
    - 100 back
    Main Set
    - 10x100 on 1:30 (5 sec rest 1-5, 10 sec on 6 & 7, 1:18 on the 10th) tried to maintain a easy long stroke
    Cool down
    - 100 kick
    - 100 back
    - 100 kick
    - 50 free
    - 50 back
    - 50 free
    - 50 back

    Asia workouts
    - lifted 3 times using machines
    - ab workout about 6 times
    - 6-8 hours stationary bike spread over 4-5 workouts
    - 2 tethered swims
    - 2 pool swims
    - 1 ocean swim
    - 90 minutes of kayaking in Halong Bay
    - lots of walking

    Here are the details of 3 of the swims. I didn't write down the details of the second tethered swim, but I do remember that the water temp was only 84 and I only swam for about 15 minutes because LW wanted to go to breakfast as soon as the dining room opened.

    Ritz Carlton 4/10 Swim

    Started a little after 6am when the pool first opened. The sun had not come up yet and I was swimming alone with the pool lights for the first half of the workout. Water was a couple of degrees cooler today.

    500 free
    200 kick back
    500 free
    225 kick back
    10x100 IM
    175 kick back
    5x100 free ascend

    Tethered Swim 4/12

    This was a very short swim. I was only in the water for 20 minutes and felt horrible afterward. The pool thermometer was reading over 90.

    2 minute tethered swim warm up
    10x100 strokes 30 seconds rest

    Ko Kood Thailand Open Water 4/16

    There were two sets of buoys in the cove, so I swam between the two. I guess they were about 100 yards apart, but I have no good point of reference. I did 5 laps in about 30 minutes, or 3:00/100.
  16. Trying to sprint but just not there

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 08:33 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    My sprints feel so bad right now. I know I am still lifting and hopefully the next 3 weeks will come around.

    10x100@1:45 Free every 3rd back
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 25 sprint kick
    10x50 from dive alt fly / free 20 yard sprint then easy free
    5x100@1:30 as 50free/50back w/paddles & bouy this was strong
    500 kick w/fins as 100bk,100fl,100fr,100bk,100fl
    200 Free w/paddles & bouy
    150 Free
    100 Free fist drill
    50 Free kick

    Total 3500 yards
  17. Trying to sprint but just not there

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 08:32 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    My sprints feel so bad right now. I know I am still lifting and hopefully the next 3 weeks will come around.

    10x100@1:45 Free every 3rd back
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 25 sprint kick
    10x50 from dive alt fly / free 20 yard sprint then easy free
    5x100@1:30 as 50free/50back w/paddles & bouy this was strong
    500 kick w/fins as 100bk,100fl,100fr,100bk,100fl
    200 Free w/paddles & bouy
    150 Free
    100 Free fist drill
    50 Free kick

    Total 3500 yards
  18. Vids + Monday, April 26

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 11:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Had a massage scheduled today to try and work out the kinks from Zones quickly. I had tight calves, quads, pecs and sore shoulders. I was dead afterward and took the rest of the day off. I'll be back at the gym and in the water tomorrow. At least that's my plan!

    100 fly, 1:02.7:

    Here is my 100 fly video from Zones, courtesy of Chicken of the Sea. [nomedia=""]YouTube- Leslie's 100 Fly at Zones 2010[/nomedia].

    My previous fastest untapered time was 1:04.4 (and I rested a few days for that). So I was happy with the 1:02.7. And I was in a heat with all 30 & unders, save 1 other I believe. I am coming up too high to breathe, I can see. I'm not as flat as when I swim the 50. I wasn't really slamming my underwater SDKs, but more trying to stay under and conserve energy on them. I may work those harder at Nats, since it's my arms that always seem to fail. I thought the piano was worse than it appears on vid. Still, always a painful race for me as a master, though it was my fav as a youth.

    50 free, 25.6:

    Here is my 3rd 50 free of the meet, at the end of a trying day on Sunday. I was really tired. Lane 8 in the deep end isn't so bad though. There is just the slippery steel wall to contend with. This was only .1 faster than my 50 free at the end of Saturday with a kneeskin that was a size too large. I have to conclude that choice of suit doesn't effect my 50 free unduly.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- Fort 50 FR.AVI[/nomedia]

    Amanda video'd my 50 evil as well, so we can see my none DQ version of the stroke at some point.

    Here are some photos of Stud and I duking it out before our 50 evil gridge and a classic shot of Stud commenting for Tom's 1650.

    Updated April 27th, 2010 at 12:22 AM by The Fortress

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  19. Zones..the aftermath...4/26/10

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 10:40 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Well I din't rest today. I drove home 6 hours in the rain and avoiding death via a Bolt Bus Coach that tried to just force me to brake so he could pass on the right of me...that's why I dive shift...into fourth and buh-bye....(I hate the NJ Turnpike) but thankfuly avoided any major traffic headaches...anyway I got in a little after midnight and hit the hay by 1am.

    I had a good night's sleep for all the excitement and caffeine...but I think during the night, though, someone must have visited me, rolled me in the mattress and given me a going over with a rubber hose...damn.

    Anyhow I went to to pool for a good swim...thusly.

    Warm Up/Recovery
    12x200 no interval but I guess 3:30
    Fin Kick, Paddle Pull, Snorkel Swim. I mixed up the kick a bit with Back, Fly and Free but held a good steady speed. I focus on hand entry with the paddles...finger loops only...and breathing and head position on the snorkel stuff.

    Main Set
    10 x 100 FR 1:45 I held these around 1:25 and went sub 1:20 on the last one as I descended a little.

    Kick Set

    200 Kick no fin with board...legs felt this even though it was just a moderate kick.

    Cool Down

    Did various swims EZ including a 50 BR with a side dive...I went out to about 12-13 yards trying to get where Fort was on her start...something to practice and try.
    A good 4000 in 85 minutes.

    After this I hit the gym and lifted well and at my usual weights. I felt pretty damn strong considering the meet and aeverything else. I really think the kick, pull, swim helps me recover.

    Lastly...the usual Muscle Milk to end....Speedo/Matt...are you believers yet?

    Below are my Swims that got Videoed at Zones:
    [nomedia=""]YouTube- Me 50FR.wmv[/nomedia]
    B70, Yellow cap.

    200 BR
    Um, I think you'll spot me

    100 IM
    Watch for the wiggle...
  20. 57 years, 7 months, lifetime best!

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 06:31 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    I have spent much of my life as a late bloomer subscribing to a basic philosophy:

    What is mediocre in youth becomes steadily less so provided you can hang onto it.

    In my very mediocre life of swimming, my best high school time in the 200 freestyle was a 1:56.00 via hand timing. The only time I got to swim it in college was even worse--1:57 something.

    When I resumed competing in masters, I have a video from our little Y championships where I did, at age 45 or 46, a 2:08.

    I did not make it into the 1:55's till age 49, when I did a 1:55.11 at Y Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale.

    At 50, my best time was a 1:55.48.

    At 51, a 1:55.42

    At 52, a 1:56.41.

    At 53, a 1:57.07.

    At 54, a 1:57.09.

    At 55, a 1:58.03

    The momentum of the Grim Reaper at this point seemed clear and inexorable.

    But then, with the help and inspiration of my friend and swimming coach nonpareil, Bill White, I began once again to train a bit harder, hoping to redeem myself in the new age group....

    At 56, a 1:56.07...a new Zones record at last year's Colonies Zone meet, and a time I was sure would be the high water mark for me for the rest of my life.

    But then, plagued by mysterious groin lesions and isolated systolic hypertension and excessive daytime sleepiness and massive financial misgivings and the influx of impossibly fast Super Hero swimmers like Jack Groselle and Michael Mann into a once geriatric age group that could actually field a pretty competitve Jr. College swimming team of semi-centenarian-pluses...

    I decided to try to overcome my personal decrepitudes and recapture, perchance even build upon, my 20-something swimming mediocrity...

    And thus it was, on Sunday morning, April 26, at approximately 10:15 a.m., I readied myself for my best event. I was a bit tired out already from the previous two days.

    On Friday, I had already swum my personal age group best in the 1000, in the process setting the new Zones record!

    Event 1 Men 55-59 1000 Yard Freestyle
    ================================================== ================
    ZONE: Z 11:23.72 4/20/1997 Drury Gallagher
    NATL: ! 10:07.36 5/14/2006 JIM MCCONICA
    Name Age Team Seed Finals
    ================================================== ================
    1 Thornton, James 57 TEAM PITTSBURGH 11:44.00 11:22.39Z
    29.39 1:03.28 (33.89)
    1:37.64 (34.36) 2:11.32 (33.68)
    2:46.34 (35.02) 3:21.41 (35.07)
    3:56.55 (35.14) 4:30.46 (33.91)
    5:05.95 (35.49) 5:41.17 (35.22)
    6:15.69 (34.52) 6:49.54 (33.85)
    7:24.64 (35.10) 7:59.90 (35.26)
    8:35.16 (35.26) 9:09.60 (34.44)
    9:44.21 (34.61) 10:18.27 (34.06)
    10:51.76 (33.49) 11:22.39 (30.63)

    On Saturday, I had set my personal age group bests in the 100 and 500 as well:

    Event 6 Men 55-59 100 Yard Freestyle
    ================================================== ================
    ZONE: Z 52.86 4/25/2009 James Thornton, TPIT
    NATL: ! 48.37 4/30/2000 RICHARD ABRAHAMS
    Name Age Team Seed Finals
    ================================================== ================
    1 Trevisan, Paul 58 COLONIALS 1776 51.10 50.24Z
    24.25 50.24 (25.99)
    2 Thornton, James 57 TEAM PITTSBURGH 53.35 52.43Z
    25.39 52.43 (27.04)

    (I broke my own zones record here, but lost it to the remarkable god-like swimming god, Paul Trevisan, in the next heat)

    Event 18 Men 55-59 500 Yard Freestyle
    ================================================== ================
    ZONE: Z 5:24.84 4/25/2009 James Thornton, TPIT
    NATL: ! 4:57.82 5/20/2007 JIM MCCONICA
    Name Age Team Seed Finals
    ================================================== ================
    1 Thornton, James 57 TEAM PITTSBURGH 5:32.00 5:23.18Z
    28.94 1:01.25 (32.31)
    1:34.60 (33.35) 2:07.93 (33.33)
    2:41.22 (33.29) 3:14.34 (33.12)
    3:47.97 (33.63) 4:20.96 (32.99)
    4:53.64 (32.68) 5:23.18 (29.54)

    (I broke my Zones record and fortunately Paul does not swim anything longer than the 100. So this one stood.)

    I am not particularly fast, nor do I boast particularly good endurance. But somewhere in the intersection of "somewhat fast" and "somewhat good endurance" is the perfect distance for me: the 200.

    And so it was I woke Sunday morning with an semi-digested full platter of Mephis-style dry ribs still in my digestive tract and feeling a bit nervous and crickity as is my wont.

    I would like to give a big thanks to Rich "SwimStud" Bell, who suggested a strategy for swimming the 200 about 10 minutes before my heat: he said to build the final 75. Regular readers of this vlog know that I generally try to really stretch and stay smooth on the 3rd 50, then blast out the final 50 sprint. But Rich convinced me to start building earlier.

    I would also like to thank Leslie "The Fortress" Livingston for keeping our house in fine shape during my absence, and for feeding me her proprietary Mystery Smoothy in the morning, with its various secret greens, coconutty water admixtures, whey and hemp protein, berries of various stripes, and a little of this and a little of that.

    And I also want to thank Chicken of the Sea, Amanda Hunt, who in her aboriginal HTFU Aussie wisdom finally managed to communicate to me another bit of advice that others have been suggesting for years: i.e., that you will swim faster in you keep your eyes open.

    In the 100, for instance, I was bemoaning my lousy time, having glanced at the scoreboard and seen somebody else's time--a 53:35, worse than what I had swum two weeks ago in the Amish mudhole.

    Amanda tried to console me by saying that I had actually swum 103 yards. (When the film has been processed, I will post my various swims, but the 100, in particular, was very erratic. There was a collission in which I appear like a salmon in rut with lane line.) Anyhow, her words sunk in, and even after I learned I had actually swum a 52.43, I realized I might have gone faster if I had limited the race to 100 yards.

    But enough preamble. I mounted the blocks chanting the words, "Eyes open, eyes open, eyes open."

    The race started.

    1:54.89 later it was over for me.

    It was the fastest 200 of my life.

    Possibly the shortest 200 of my life as well, as the footage will show: I swam right on the line the whole way.

    I also feel I split it perfectly for me--out in 55.39 and back in 59.50:

    Event 32 Men 55-59 200 Yard Freestyle
    ================================================== ================
    ZONE: Z 1:56.07 4/26/2009 James Thornton, TPIT
    NATL: ! 1:50.85 5/14/2006 JIM MCCONICA
    Name Age Team Seed Finals
    ================================================== ================
    1 Thornton, James 57 TEAM PITTSBURGH 1:58.90 1:54.89Z
    26.55 55.39 (28.84)
    1:25.44 (30.05) 1:54.89 (29.45)

    Sorry for going on so long about this. I know that even my fellow swimmers tend to suffer eye-glazing when reading about the swimming performances of people outside their own age groups.

    But I never, ever thought I could do this.

    And I know this sounds like one massive bragging session (we all know the sound of two hands clapping, but who knows the sound of one hand clapping? Well, I do, actually. Since I usually clap it most loudly on my own back...)

    Anyhow, I offer this vlog to all my fellow masters swimmers, afflicted as we all are with some various species of infirmity and woe and calamity and weakness.

    It is possible, with the help of your friends like Bill and Leslie and Amanda and Rich and all the others we see at these meets and correspond with on these forums...

    It is possible to hold onto your youthful mediocrity much longer than you might imagine, and by so doing, wait it out and transcend it.