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  1. Thursday, 7/22/10

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 05:15 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, Solo

    Warm up
    300 swim
    (did 200 free, 100 back)
    3 x 100/1:45 Build
    (did 2 free @ 1:25-6, 1 back @ 1:37)
    8 x 25/20 every 4th FAST
    (1-4 free, 5-8 back)

    Drowned Salamanders
    8 x 75 /2:00; 25-underwater/25-free/25-no breath free
    (was doing these around 1:20, 1st 25 about 15m underwater was the best I could do, on the last 25 did them on 2 breaths)

    6 x 100 flutter/15sr
    Build each to strong
    (alternated with board and on back without, times were 1:00-1:05)

    IM Set
    8 x 25 Back/40 with Fins - FAST
    (was around 18-19)
    8 x 25 Brst Pulls w/ Fins/10sr
    (around 25 on these)
    8 x 25 Back/ 40 with Fins-FAST
    (was around 18-19)
    (was also supposed to do 8x25 fly but ran out of time)

    Warm Down
    100 easy free/100 easy back

    Total: 2800 meters
  2. New Forum Pic + Swim Across America + What now?!

    Well - it seemed like a really good idea at the time and for once - it was!

    Swim Across America - a late night of softball (missed my party because it ran so late) where I tore up my left knee and leg sliding into home, followed by a drive to chicago where I slept for a few hours, and was up at 5:20 AM and down at Navy Pier by 5:40 AM.

    I actually got some really cool pics of the harbor that morning. You can check them out at my Picasa Web Gallery. I'll be adding more as I get the hi-res versions available. All the pictures taken early in the morning were taken with my phone though. I like how they turned out!

    The swim went decently! I learned a lot of neat things on Saturday as a result.
    Lesson 1: I LOVE wetsuits! I rented my $5 wetsuit, put it on and immediately took a walk in the water - I was incredibly buoyant! Each step my legs felt lighter and lighter as the suit made picking my feet out of the water easier and easier! During the swim - this would help fix my body position and put me in a great place to just coast my way through the middle half mile.
    Lesson 2: Drafing ROCKS! Getting in the water - I had no idea how the swim was going to go. So I immediately started in the back of the pack. When you have 15 people swimming in front of you and dragging you along for the first (roughly) 1/4 mile... it's AMAZING. I was putting in virtually no effort, and just swimming along. Before too long, I was passing people left and right and I think I found myself towards the front of the pack when it came to miler swimmers.
    Lesson 3: Those wet suits are very VERY tight. Seriously, I got out of the water tired, disoriented, dizzy, and feeling drunk - sans the fun of having drank. Within a minute of me finally pulling the zipper open on the back of my suit - my chest opened up a LOT and suddenly oxygen was rushing through my body. It was kind of a cool feeling! Although - pulling the plants off my head and body was rather annoying in my disoriented state. I remember having a conversation with Coach Catie as I tried to walk inland:
    Me: Did I win?
    Catie: Good job Mike!
    Me: Yeah but did I win? (trying to stand without falling)
    Catie: Sure Mike, you won..... Are you okay?
    Me: (Stumbling past Catie) Yeah I think so...
    It took me about 5-6 minutes to regain my footing, and once I was able to breath and on dry land I was in much better shape. Speaking of being in better shape - that new forum/profile pic I have posted is actually my taken right after I got out of the water - hence why I look like I feel like I'm going to die.

    So I've decided I'm not a huge open water fan. I might do Big Shoulders just so I have competition to swim for in September. I'm kind of undecided about it all. I'm not a huge OW fan to start. Things like plant life, choppy water, weather.... those things aren't really my most favorite things in the world.

    That leads me to the most important topic: What now?!
    Some important things to know: 1) Our season ends August 1st. Next season doesn't start up until August 12th(ish). I am NOT taking 12 (or more) days off. If anything - I need to ramp up my swimming even more. SCY season is going to be here and I need to be able to destroy my times from last year!!!!

    So I'm going to shift my training to Lake Forest High School pool. The resident annual pass is $260, so I may just buck that out. That'll get me through next summer of doing up to 6 days a week of swimming (and even 2/days!!!) Since my masters team doesn't practice nearly enough for my liking. I'll probably see if I can pull some of my teammates in with me.

    As far as dry land goes: I'm going to talk to my trainer tonight. I'm thinking I should adjust my training to be far more plyometric in nature. I want to be able to build my sprints as much as possible this year - so by building those fast twitch muscles - I'm hoping to finally build up the ability to sprint (rather than whatever it is you say I do).

    I'm also not going to be doing the extra sports from now on. I've kind of made the decision for now I just want to focus on swimming and only swimming. Basketball has been fun, as well as softball - but they get in the way of my dryland and swimming workouts - and that drives me NUTS!

    Wow - that was a novel of a post! If you made it this far thank you! You win a cookie:
  3. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -07/26/10

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 03:17 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    Two weeks from the first day of Summer Nationals.

    WARM UP:
    2 X 250 4:15
    5 X 100 1:45

    4 X 200 free 3:30
    Fins optional

    6 X 50 kick 1:15
    1 X 100 easy swim

    5 X 100 Choice 2:15
    Swim at 85/90%

    2 X 50 @ race pace from the blocks

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00
    Swim Workouts
  4. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -07/23/10

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 03:13 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    We are limited to 1 hour due to the kids meet today.

    WARM UP:
    2 X 200 3:30
    2 X 150 2:30
    2 X 50 faster 1:00

    6 X 100 free 1:45
    Descend in sets of three. Descend only to 80%

    6 X 50 kick 1:15

    6 X 100 2:15
    odd: choice @ 85/90%
    even: easy free

    1 X 50 @race pace, from the blocks

    Quick swim down
    Swim Workouts
  5. Official Slacker Week

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 02:23 PM (Adventures in Swimming)
    I miss 2 days in a row and I feel like I'm slacking.
    I got up this morning and I felt tired.
    I made the decision to go swim before I started work.
    I'm working at home today so I can work whenever I want.

    I swam a modified version of one of
    [ame=""]coachkopie's[/ame] workouts.

    Thanks Coach!!!!

    I basically swam practice I

    I actually used a pull buoy for a change. They had some kiefer Pull buoy's on deck.
    I liked it. I have to try it again to make sure.
    Right now, I'd buy one.

    I swam back instead of fly/breast on a couple

    Felt Great!

    I definitely feel a difference when I workout in the morning.
    I have more energy.

    Sharks will be swimming this Friday
  6. Unfriendly Waters, Wed., July 21

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 10:14 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    As predicted, the only time I had to swim yesterday was during camp-zoo-noodle time. Because I had been out of the water, I did venture to the pool, albeit with much trepidation. At first, the screaming kids were huddled down in the "beach" end of the pool away from the lap lanes. Then they descended on us, taking over 4 lanes and the diving area and removing all the backstroke flags. I had to move out of my favored lane in the deep end. There was one man who appeared to be aqua jogging with fist gloves. I couldn't tell what he was actually trying to accomplish ... But he was gesticulating wildly to displaced swimmers, telling them not to go in his lane. One lane was occupied by a noodler almost as wide as the lane. Another lap swimmer whose lane I tried to join wouldn't stop when I tried to get his attention to share. I find this behavior infuriating and just leapt into the lane in a splashy way. During my warm up, kids came by and helped themselves to my kid board and monofin. WTH?! I wish the life guards would monitor this sort of behavior. A monofin is not a toy. The pool was appalling loud, which has to be one of the most unpleasant ways to work out. I changed my planned workout, and just got through a quick hour or so and left.

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Main Sets:

    10 x 100
    odds = pull, smooth, @ 1:30
    evens - kick fast @ 1:45

    50 EZ

    24 x 50, done as:

    6 x 50, 25 AFAP free + 25 EZ
    6 x 50, 25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ
    6 x 50, russian breast drill
    6 x 50, double shooters on belly

    100 EZ

    Total: 3050

    Bike, 30 minutes


    Needless to say, I am praying for no thunder so that I can go to a real pool tonight. And I will hit the gym today as well. I'm finding it difficult to get into a good routine this summer.

    Interesting article on youth sports:
    Swim Workouts , Spinning
  7. Thu Jul 22nd 2010

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 09:02 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Thu Jul 22nd 2010

    2010 MEETS:

    07/23/10 - 07/25/10
    2010 South Central Long Course
    Southlake, Texas
    Days till LCM ZONES
    fri 400 im
    sat 50 br 50 bk 100 fl
    sun 50 fr 200 im 50 fl

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    swam Wed Jul 21st
    did around 1500

    Whitney Coached
    5:30 TO 7:00
    Austin UT Swim Center div well
    swam with tyler, larry, mike, chris, ned
    wore a brief
    dove in at 7:05



    assigned: 4 x 200 fr desc
    did 100 fr, skip, skip,
    100 fr easy speed
    went 1:07

    100 k

    assigned: 4 x 150 fr desc
    did 50, 50, 50
    150 fr done 125 easy speed 25 mod

    100 k

    assigned: 4 x 100
    did 100 easy
    skip, skip,
    100 easy speed went 62

    100 k

    assigned 4 x 50
    did 50 easy 50 easy speed
    went 28

    100 k
    Swim Workouts
  8. Catalina 15:37:11

    ------------------------------------part 1, the start----------------------------------------

    I really don't know where to start, so forgive me if it takes a few entries to put it all together. I will invite Tobey and John and any other crew members to add their thoughts as my perspective is only one of many, and I never felt the presence of so many others as being THE most important factor in having a successful swim before.

    I'll start at the beginning:

    This is going to be a popular year for Catalina Swimming. According to pilot John Pittman, he has never had so many bookings, the 3 swimmers in 3 days of which I had the final booking was unprecedented. I had been following reports for weeks and knew that the weather and sea temps and currents were not behaving as they usually do, so I was expecting a bit of adversity.... no big deal, so I thought.... but when Morgan, the first in our trio of attempts had her swim reversed for the start and would be swimming from the mainland to Catalina Island, I began to get a little nervous. There is a drop in temperature of a few degrees near the mainland and I always thought it would be easier to acclimate in the sunlight at the end of a swim than at midnight at the start. Since Morgan is from Berkely and I assume trains in the SF bay, I didn't think the temps would bother her, but I have been training in NY where the recent heat wave has every body of water at or approaching 80 degrees. I don't know if I could have handled this shock. Fortunately, I didn't have to find out. Morgan's attempt was cut short, but still over 4 hours of cold water and a chop that put her at odds with her feeds. The next evening (sunday, July 18th), The Outrider, with Capt John Pittman and crew would be accompanying swimmer Suzie Dods. The currents were still erratic and it it was decided that Suzie would also swim from the Mainland to Catalina though the water had warmed a couple of degrees. At this point, I fully expected that I too would be starting on the mainland as well, and was grasping at little optimistic, glass-half-full kind of affirmations: Craig Lenning suggested this one: "sounds good... get the cold water out of the way early". Some others: Catalina is teeming with aquatic life.... better to see it in the day time. You will get to sleep on the boat for 2 hours on the way back.... etc. Eventually, I accepted that either way there were pros and cons, and I would just go with the flow.

    I followed Suzie's swim as best I could and spoke to John Pittman a couple of times during her swim. He said the currents were reversing and that it was still impossible to say which direction we would be starting in. He also said that the water had warmed up a bunch since Morgan's swim the day before and that Suzie was still swimming strong (GO SUZIE!)

    On our end, Tobey's flight had issues in Chicago and would be delayed a few hours we packed our gear, tried to get some rest, picked up Tobey at Santa Ana airport and headed for the 22nd st landing. We actually had a bit of time to grab a bite and I called John Pittman one last time to make sure things were still on track. John was still out with Suzie and expected to docking around 7 PM... the same time that my whole gang was meeting there. At the landing, everyone showed up right on time including John Pittman and the Outrider with Suzie and crew aboard. As they filed off, we made introductions and shared our congratulations. Everyone looked exhausted but Suzie had the smile of victory.... 18 hrs 36 mins 28 secs. Clearly the conditions were difficult and the currents tricky, but they would be returning to normal now, or between now and my splash time in 5 hours... so I hoped.

    The boat's crew was busy scrubbing away and loading provisions for the next trip. Capt John had gone home to check forecasts and would be returning in a couple of hours. He would then decide which direction I would swim.... C-M or M-C. We were able to start loading up our gear and went below and started choosing bunks. I left my feed bags above so that I might give one final presentation to everyone as to how I would like to see this all work.

    I laid out my bottles and explained that I would be taking my feeds hot. This meant from the boat with bottles on a string. I identified the bottles marked with blue tape as the "main feed".... concentrated 1st Endurance EFS that would be diluted by 50% with hot water before being tossed to me. I would receive this tethered to another bottle with just plain H2O on 20 minute intervals. Every 3rd feed, for a little variety and to reduce the amount of electrolyte I would be consuming, my "mix bottle" would contain ginger tea with agave nectar, again served up hot. Both calculated to give me 90 - 95 calories per feed, or 270 - 285 cals/hr. On each 2 hour interval, I would have a Hammer Nutrition Tissue Rejuvenator added to the mix. I broke out two bundles of glow sticks.... one red and one green and a couple of small strobes that I thought would attach to the kayaks... my presentation was done.

    Next up, Jim Fitzpatrick, Observer. Jim listened with great attention during my presentation and examined my feed, my feed system, glow sticks and strobes. He explained that a blinking light on the kayaks might be disorienting after a while so we decided to use them to signal, 1 minute to feed time. He explained the details of how swimmers would exit and enter the water, how the kayak exchanges would be made, where the boat would be positioned during each of these activities, etc. He went over the rules of the swim: how it starts and finishes, where my companion swimmers should position themselves (between me and the boat), how they would fall back during feeds, etc.

    Finally, Capt. Pittman gave the rules of the boat, how the head works, what not to flush, no wet clothes down below, keep the galley clear, life jackets, etc.

    We would be starting from Catalina Island and it would be about a 2 hour ride.... last chance, rest up.

    I drank a mix of 3 scoops Hammer Sustained Energy and 1 scoop of 1st Endurance Pre-Race.

    I chose one of the larger bunks and while I can't say that I actually slept, I did fall into a well executed "savasana"
    The ride was smooth and I felt relaxed and refreshed when I heard the engines winding down and I went upstairs to see what was happening. We were at Catalina Island. The boat was shining spotlights all around... rocky cliffs gave way to a small pebble beach, a white floating dock stood between us and that beach. There were lots of fish in the water... attracted by the lights... flying fish, squid, some strange phytoplankton links and a few larger fish below. Suit up, ear plugs, sunscreen (seemed silly at midnight) grease, glow sticks, cap and goggles. Tobey would be starting the swim with me, we would follow kayaker Peter Phillips to the beach, exit the water, turn toward the boat, raise one arm, pause..... lower the arm, shout "SWIMMING!", enter the water...... ready or not... California here I come.

    --------------------------------------to be continued-----------------------------
  9. Flyin again...

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 07:27 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Had the desire to swim some fly today. The lungs had to work though.

    10x100@1:50 Free
    500 Free kick w/fins as 50Easy/50Mod/50Fast
    5x100@:10 Fly kick w/fins #1&4 kick on side, #2&5 on back, #3 rotate every 10 kicks
    5x100@2:00 Fly w/fins as 50 skull drill/50 swim fast
    400 Free w/snorkle easy
    4x25 Fly from a dive and walk back 15 meter sprint

    Total 3000 meters
  10. Wednesday July 21, 2010 workout

    by , July 21st, 2010 at 11:31 PM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Aquasol 5:45 - 7:20pm

    Cooler, about 88 today.

    150FR, 200IM Drill, 50FR K, 50BK, 50BR K, 50FR, 50Fly K,
    50BR, 50BK K, 50 fly
    75's 5 off 1:10 early set (750/1500)
    10x75FR on 1:05 (:54 - 1:00) This set got painful.
    transitions set (650/2150)
    12x50 Fly/BK, BK/BR, BR/FR on 1:00
    50 ez
    Drills (1050/3200)
    20x50 Odds single arm rt/25, lt/25. Evens swim on 1:00

    50 cool

    Tried the Pure Sport Recovery for a pre-workout and got the lead/heavy feeling through the first 2 sets, then I felt much better going into the drill set. As soon as I'm able Im going back on G2 workout or Cytomax for my pre-load.
    Pure Sport may be OK for Mr Phelps (like he really uses it) but for this ol' fish, I'll use whatever works, as long as its drug-free.
    The Sonora USA meet is in about 2-3 weeks, coach wants me to max out on the events which I think is 6 or 8, she said don't worry about times or messing up, but I would like to better my 50, 100 FR and 100Im times. This meet will be the first time I will do 200IM and 100BK SCY.
  11. Tri Pie and Fair Die

    by , July 21st, 2010 at 09:57 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    A Vindication of the Rights of Swimmers: A Modest Proposal for Jim’s Fair Ironman

    An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon (WTC) consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike, and a 26 miles 385 yard run, raced in that order and without a break.

    The current Ironman world record was set in 1997 by Belgian Luc Van Lierde. He set his world record at Ironman Europe with a time of 7:50:27 (0:44 swim, 4:28 bike, 2:36 run, plus transition).

    The total time Luc spent moving and changing outfits and footwear that day was 470 minutes, give or take a few seconds.

    The swim portion thus comprised approximately 9 percent of the total race; the bike 57 percent; and the run 33 percent. I am leaving out the wardrobe changes for simplicity’s sake, but let us just assume that he was also a world class ecdysiast as well as a fast swimmer, bicycle enthusiast, and runner. See pie chart:

    Of the three separate endurance disciplines, it appears that running, which took up exactly one-third the total time, was the only sport equitably represented. Swimming, at under one-tenth of the total time, got ludicrously short shrift. Indeed, it appears to serve as little more than a momentary spit bath at the start of the competition, designed, one might think, to cool the competitors off before the real work starts.

    Biking, well, biking—you are quite the disgusting pig, aren’t you, bogarting with your grotesque truffle-snorting nostrils nearly twice as much of the available spotlight time as running and nearly six times as much as swimming.

    To rectify this, here is what I propose: the development of what I hope will become widely known as Jim’s Fair Triathlon, a just competition that gives each of its sporting segments equal time to shine. Certainly, other sports jurisprudential philosophers before me have proposed this before, especially (I have to imagine) the small handful of top notch triathletes that come from a swimming background as opposed to a running or biking one.

    Obviously, I have no illusions that such appeals for the establishment of a Fair Triathlon will get anywhere. The greasy bike wheel (and surely grease-demanding bikes are by far the most expensive of all the highly-priced gear already necessary in this modern day Sport of Kings; indeed, with the possible exception of polo ponies and/or skeet shooting Hugenot peasants, I am not sure what sport exists today more geared to the success of the affluent than triathlons!) is always greased.

    I suppose my prime hope is to just get a discussion rolling amongst our triathlete-performing masters swimming peers, along with the closeted underbelly of tri-haters (you know who you are!), and along with the vast ranks of swim-phobic USAT types who, if anything, would like to further minimize swimming’s role, perhaps replace it entirely with kayaking (now there’s something we could charge a fortune for--Tri kayaks fabricated out of Kevlar so they weigh no more than 7 ounces!)

    My proposal has two steps, the first hardly novel; the second arguably slightly further from the well-worn path.

    Step 1: Rebalance the Event Distance Portfolio

    To do this, I checked some distance records for top swimmers, bikers, and runners. As indicated earlier, the World Record time for an Ironman is currently about 470 minutes. Divide this into thirds, and you come up with three equal segments of 156 minutes each, or 2 hours and 36 minutes. How far can the world’s top swimmers, bikers, and runners respectively cover in this allotted time?

    Getting exactly accurate apples-to-oranges comparisons here has proved surprisingly difficult, as I learned after roughly 8 minute of intensive Google searching. Nevertheless, I found enough data upon which I believe I can build a rough but reasonable preliminary estimate.

    Swimming: In the 2010 FINA 10K Marathon Swimming championships held in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 28, Germany’s Thomas Lurz sprinted to a gold medal in a time of 2 hours, 1 minute, and 5 seconds. This means he was covering slightly less than 100 m per minute. Assuming he could maintain close to this pace for the next 35 minutes, this would leave him with a total swim distance of 13,500 meters (about 8.4 miles) in his allotted 2 hours and 36 minutes.

    I herewith propose that the swim portion of Jim’s Fair Triathalon cover 8.4 miles (an increase of 6 miles from current Ironman)

    Biking: One site I found suggested that top pros can average 35 mph on the flats almost indefinitely. This sounded a bit vague to me, so for further amplification, I found a Time Trial from the Tour de France, Stage 19. Here are the times by top competitors racing 55 kilometers:


    1. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 1:06:49
    2. Jan Ullrich (G), T-Mobile, 01:01
    3. Andréas Klöden (G), T-Mobile, 01:27
    4. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 02:25
    5. Bobby Julich (USA), CSC, 02:48
    6. Ivan Basso (I), CSC, 02:50
    7. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, 03:19
    8. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Illes Balears-Banesto, 03:33
    9. Rubiera José Luis (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 03:40
    10. Azevedo José (P), U.S. Postal Service, 03:49

    55 kilometers translates into 34 miles. I am not sure how flat this course was, but it would appear that Lance’s remarkable achievement suggests he was traveling at a bit less than 35 mph. Let us give bikers a bit of a break here and stipulate that top pros could probably average 30 mph for an extended period of time. Thus, during the 2 hours and 36 minutes of the biking portion of Jim’s Fair Triathlon, they would be expected to cover about 78 miles.

    I herewith propose that the bike portion of Jim’s Fair Triathalon cover 78 miles (a decrease of 34 miles from current Ironman.)

    Running. The current marathon world record is held by Ethiopian runner, Haile Gebrselassie, who on September 28, 2008, completed the Berlin marathon in 2 hours 3 minutes and 59 seconds. If Haile had been allowed to run for another 32 minutes, assuming his pace dropped off from fatigue to 5 minute miles, he would have still covered at least another six miles.

    I herewith propose that the run portion of Jim’s Fair Triathalon cover 32 miles (an increase of 6 miles from current Ironman.)

    Step 2: Make the Event Order Fairer

    Currently, the swim portion of every Ironman proceeds, by fiat, in an inviolate order: swim, bike, run. If football were governed by such a rule, the home team would always get the first possession—hardly fair, I think any fair-minded person would have to agree. Much better to give either team an equal chance. Thus, the flip of a coin has a long and storied role in all fair sports.

    Triathons, to be sure, have three possibilities, and there is no such thing as a three-headed coin. True, but there is now, thanks to the ingenuity of yours truly, the Jim Fair Triathlon Die.

    See sketch:

    Approximately five minutes before the start of every Fair Triathlon, the Order of Events official will roll the die to decide what event will lead off this particular race. Since the die has six sides, two of which are labeled swim, bike, run, the official will continue to roll the die until the next sport comes up. The final leg will thus be decided by elimination.

    The race finishers, too, might be thusly decided. Perhaps literally.

    As masters swimmer/Mayo Clinic internist/all around nice guy, Dr. Tom “Jaegermeister” Jaeger, MD, recently emailed me, researchers reported last April in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the swimming leg, albeit an afterthought in current triathlons, is nevertheless the singlemost ruthless test of participant survival. As the JAMA paper reported:

    “A total of 959 214 participants were analyzed (mean [SD], 323 [444] per race); 59% were men. Forty five percent competed in short (swim <750 m), 40% in intermediate (swim 750-1500 m), and 15% in long (swim >1500 m) triathlon races.... Fourteen participants died during 14 triathlons (rate, 1.5 per 100 000 participants; 95% CI, 0.9-2.5), including 13 while swimming and 1 biking... Although the contribution of cardiovascular abnormalities cannot be definitively excluded in some cases, logistical factors and adverse environmental conditions may have been responsible for these events, given that about 95% of triathlon fatalities occurred during the swimming segment. Furthermore, deaths were more common in triathlons involving greater numbers of competitors. Because triathlons begin with chaotic, highly dense mass starts, involving up to 2000 largely novice competitors entering the water simultaneously, there is opportunity for bodily contact and exposure to cold turbulent water.”

    It is, perhaps, inevitable, that if Jim’s Fair Triathlon wins general acceptance and over time usurps the current Ironman, or Patently Unfair Triathlon, approach in vogue today, the cavalcade of slaughter due to drownings is likely to increase a bit. Offsetting this, perhaps, is the likelihood that at least one third of the time, the swimming leg will be the final part of the race, guaranteeing that the participants will have spread themselves out considerably by then, reducing the likelihood of “chaotic, highly dense mass” swimming conditions where intentional drowning of despised competitors is no doubt as common as it is difficult to detect forensically and criminally prosecute.

    In any event, regardless of death toll, I think we can all agree that sporting fairness really should take precedence over human life, at least where triathletes are concerned. As the name Ironman implies, swimming has always been a tertiary citizen in the world of triathlons (with a specific gravity of 7.7, twice as much as Portland cement, a true “Ironman” is designed to sink, not swim). It is time to change this.
  12. Salvaging the Summer

    by , July 21st, 2010 at 06:14 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    I started training last spring for the National 10K OW Championship's to be held July 17th in Noblesville, Indiana. Due to a series of circumstances (cracked ribs in April, Sinus/double ear/strep infections late May, and scratched cornea July) I ended up not swimming the race. In June I was considering the 5K instead of the 10K. On my final lake 5K swim I some how scraped the cornea of my eye. This was the most painful injury I've ever had in my life! I wanted to kiss the ER doc when he numbed my eyeball to examine it! Too bad the anesthesia only lasted 15 minutes or so!!!!!
    In an effort to put a positive spin on some of this misfortune I have decided to dedicate this summer to stroke efficiency improvement.
    For the last 6 weeks I have been working on stroke drills, perfecting bi-lateral breathing, and integrating more powerful kicking into my strokes. I have been feeling the fruits of my labours on my most recent swims.
    I swim on an un-coached master's team. We have a posted workout which we swim together but without a coach on deck to help with stroke flaws, etc. Normally we rarely do more than 200 meters of kicking, drilling, or stroke work. If we ever do it's usually on an interval speed too fast for me to learn the drill and stay with the group so I normally just swim.
    I have been doing a lot of solo swimming which has given me the opportunity to learn the drills and set the intervals to my needs.
    If you are a swimmer who would like to improve your strokes I can recommend all the workouts in the "Workout" section of the forum. I have used all of SJ Blacks drills and Kris Houchins "Mojo Flyer" drills and workouts. I copied the formatted drill sequences, laminated them and take them to the pool with me. Both threads provide adequate directions on how to do the drills.
    I integrate the drills in short spurts with regular swims; it's amazing how this helps you feel what you are doing right!!!!
    I am going to continue this plan for a couple more weeks then hire a friend of mine who coaches AG swimming to look over my strokes and make sure I'm headed down the right path.
    All things said I've known I needed to do this ever since I started swimming. As an older swimmer I so often get caught up in completing the workout with the team and forget the need to swim properly.
    If I'm working toward a meet or OW event I get caught up in the yardage concept but ignore the most important part of swimming: good solid technique.
    I will also say my yardage lately has averaged 3,500 to 4,500 per workout yet my shoulders feel better than ever. The ability to comfortably bi-lateral breath while freestyling significantly helps that issue!
    I give credit to my "Star" paddles in helping me get "over the hump" with bi-lateral breathing. I started out doing some swims with the paddles and a pull buoy; this makes bi-lateral breathing easy to manage. I later cut down to "just the buoy", or "just the paddles". I mixed in regular swims but held steady on the bilateral stuff. Somehow after several weeks of persisting this routine it started feeling normal!
    I know I've rambled on here but I know there are others out in the forum who struggle with stroke issues and swim without a coach.
    I don't know how much faster I will swim with my freshly improved strokes but I am feeling a happy sense of accomplishment.
    I am planning to swim the Big Shoulder's 5K on September 11th!

    Today's workout:

    **500 Freestyle Swim
    **500 Freestyle Swim w/ Star Paddles playing with 3/5/7 breathing patterns
    **300 Flutter Kick
    **200 Freestyle Hard
    **100 IM
    **8 X 75 Freestyle (Drill/Swim/Drill) alternating Fist, catch-up, finger drag, and 1 arm free drills. 1:30 interval.
    **8 X 50 Drill/Free (use the same drills as above but drill 1st 25, swim 2nd 25) on 1:00
    **10 X 25 Ten Kick and Roll Drill on :40.
    **24 X 50 (alternate Freestyle 50 and stroke 50(IM Order). Rest :15 after each.
    **ez 200 IM

    4,200 scy in a nice, very cool pool!
  13. July 20

    by , July 21st, 2010 at 01:42 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Hit the pool around 7 this morning and got in a 2,000 SCY workout:

    200 swim, 200 kick, 200 free pull

    400 kick with fins alternating 100 free kick/100 back kick

    3 x 200 back with paddles on 3:00

    3 x 100 dolphin kick (no fins) on 1:45

    100 easy

    Later in the day, hit the swimming hole and did 400 easy yards and then a fly pyramid

    25 fly
    50 fly
    100 fly
    50 fly
    25 fly

    100 easy

    Total: 750 yards

    Note that all distances are approximated based on my normal stroke count.
  14. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -07/22/10

    by , July 21st, 2010 at 12:01 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    2 X 150 2:45
    2 X 250 4:15
    4 X 50 faster 1:00

    5 X 200 4:15
    100 swim/100 kick

    8 X 100 2:00
    Pull free or IM

    4 X {start-turn-finish}

    1 X 400 free or 300 IM
    Focus on great turns

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00
    Swim Workouts
  15. Wednesday, 7/21/10

    by , July 21st, 2010 at 11:32 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, Solo

    Warm up
    300 swim
    200 drills
    6 x 75/ - Alternate 75 free/1:30 and 75 IM/1:40
    (IM's with no free)
    8 x 25/30 Strong
    (alternated back and free)

    12 x 100/1:40 desc by 4's
    (All free, each round was ±1:35->±1:28)

    Kick w/Fins
    3 x 50-Flutter - rotate sides
    (w/zoomers around 55 with 15 sr)
    3 x 50-Dolphin on back
    (w/zoomers around 55 with 15 sr)
    3 x 50-under water
    (did SDK, was only able to go half way uw. then flutter on surface to wall)

    8 x 25/40 FAST w/ Fins
    (4 free around 15-16, and 4 back around 18-19)

    Warm down
    100 easy free

    Total: 2900 meters

    Updated July 21st, 2010 at 01:46 PM by poolraat

  16. Not a rest day in the Pyrenees of New York

    I went to the 5:30 AG LCM workout this morning. I was a little sleepy because I had stayed up last night attending the Varese festival at Lincoln Center (Mr. Addict was part of a baritone chorus featured in one piece), but I was somehow also still energized from the amazing music I heard. It was a good thing I still had all those rhythms banging around in my head, because I needed something to keep me occupied during today’s loooooong freestyle set. Here’s how the workout went:

    600 lcm warmup

    400 kick w/ board (alternated FR/BR)

    Mountain x 3 set:
    50 FR
    100 FR
    150 FR
    200 FR
    150 FR
    100 FR
    50 FR

    200 FR
    300 FR
    400 FR
    300 FR
    200 FR

    400 FR
    600 FR
    800 FR
    600 FR
    400 FR

    [We were supposed to keep our stroke long and relaxed going up each mountain, then go faster on the way down. Alternate-side breathing was also strongly suggested. I did fine with both of these on the 1st mountain. On the 2nd, I rewarded myself with 100m of BK during each swim (one 50 at the end of each half of each distance), which helped me keep count and kept my interest up. Time constraints prevented even the undaunted folks in my lane from finishing the 3rd (HC) mountain—I spent the first part of that set having a stretching break, then put on my fins and switched to kicking for the rest, and lost count of how much we actually did. I did think about working my turns throughout this set and even practiced a little dolphining off the walls—I figured anything that meant fewer strokes for my arms was all to the good.]

    100 warmdown

    During today’s workout I kept thinking of Chaos’s inspiring Catalina swim and of my friend Cristian who completed a successful Channel swim this week. They both achieved amazing feats, and thinking about their 15+ hour swims helped remind me that a straight 800 lcm is really not anything to whine about!
  17. No Clock, No Sets just EASY

    by , July 21st, 2010 at 07:39 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    My Happy Birthday to myself was an easy swim. No speed, No expectations, No sets, just swim.

    50,100,150,200,250,300,350,400@:05R Free
    500 Free kick w/fins easy
    600 Fly drills w/fins as 50 rt arm/50 lt arm/ 50 skull drill/50 kick
    400 Free w/snorkle
    200 Free EASY

    Total 3500 meters
  18. July 19-20, 2010

    by , July 21st, 2010 at 12:59 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Aquasol Monday

    50, 100FR, 200IM Drill, 100K, 50BK, 100K, 50BR
    The weekly 50 minus 5 set (last week it was on 1:15)(750/1400)
    10x75FR on 1:10 (1:00) next week it will be on 1:05, coach wants to get me to "on 1:00" to prepare for 2 meets in August.

    6x50 BK drill catch-up on 1:15 (1:00)
    6x50 BK K with fins on 1:00 (:35)
    6x50 BR Pull w/pull-buoy (kicking with the buoy) on 1:00
    6x50 BR Swim on 1:00
    6x50 Stanford drill on 1:00(3 fly n/b, free, 2fly n/b into wall repeat..)
    6x25 Fly on :45
    Mono Kick(400/3600)
    4x100 fly kick on side w/monofin on 2:00 (1:30)
    200 cool
    Normal we have some variation of 200's.

    My mornings are a 15 minute Pilates/traditional workout.


    Warm 400 (FR's and IM)
    Some 500's
    500 FR 6:30 w/ snorkel
    500 P 6:30
    500K Massive cramp from foot to hip Ouch!
    needless to say the kick set went really slow!
    10x25 UW SDK on :35
    Treading water 1:00 on 1:00 off. More like 6 minutes on trying to learn how to alternate breast-kick vertical, never did that before.
    Did some cooling off to total 2200 today.

    I must remember not to consume a Pure Sport drink (found more stashed away, arg...)with lunch (chemical imbalance in the afternoon) this is the second time I did this and I felt really weird, my muscles were shaking.
    I'm ok if I have one an hour before w/o, but then I just feel like lead, a heavy feeling...
  19. Vexed, Tuesday, July 20

    by , July 20th, 2010 at 10:31 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    60 minutes aerobic



    I am vexed. I was forced to take 2 days off entirely and 3 days off swimming due to a variety of circumstances. And collectively, they probably amount to a pile of excuses. (But Mr. Fort going to the emergency room again for another bike accident was not pleasant and he is seriously banged up.) I was all set to head to GMU for practice tonight, but the forecast was for thunderstorms and it appeared about ready to burst any minute. I didn't want to do a hour+ drive for nothing, so I did an hour on my bike instead. Big mistake! The storms never came. The only time I can swim tomorrow, with my kids' schedules, is during the psycho camp time. Hmm ... I am, unfortunately, not as happy in my semi-enforced laziness as Patrick and Elise. I wish I could get into a solid routine.

    I usually love summer, but the oppressive weather is putting a major damper on my spirits. I had to engage in retail therapy today to counteract this issue, if even in a very short lived way.

    I got my USMS Swimmer mag today. Any news?

    Off to watch the end of the TdF.

    Meat loves beware:

    Updated July 21st, 2010 at 10:18 AM by The Fortress

  20. 7/20/10 frustration

    So Monday I took off from the pool because when I woke up monday morning I had jacked up my neck and shoulder while sleeping. Was so bad I could not even turn my chin to either shoulder, could just look ahead. Today I was feeling little better and went to the pool only to find it was closed because of some type of lifeguard training. I did my P90x then jumped in my pool and splashed around for about 45 minutes.

    Im getting concerned with this P90X. When I started my weight was 180, im now 184. Been at it just for a week. My eating is the same and my training is the same. Only thing really different is im not running 6 miles every other day now. Guess the question is, why the hell is my weight going up. Im assuming im adding some muscle mass, but to me I feel strongest in water when im around 175. Although I do feel stronger, I do not want to put on more weight. I felt strong with what I was doing before p90x. I will give it another week and see what happens, but if weight continues to climb think I will go back to my own personal training that works for me.