It was a rainy meet, yet still plenty of peep's showed up to swim. I didn't do very well, I swam well in my first split of the 100 FR, but just lost energy in the second split, I got a 1:02. Just one second faster, one second after all that extra training, daily dryland etc... I even scratched 3 events to do it. I thought I had checked in for the 50 FR, but as I was checking the lane position assignments, I noticed my name wasn't on the list, then I heard my name being called for the 50 FLY, oh well, next time I will just swim all the events I sign up for!
My wife was in attendance , she was kinda cheering me on!
Back to the workouts
March roars in like a Lion...
...and gives me a back spasm.
Some combination of stomach cramps, over doing flexion and did not do any extension after...silly me, then moved a fridge about this am... hour later I just tightened up and went into spasm...
I swam the 1000. When I dove in my goggles filled with water! It was awful. My time was 16:29.00. I was sure I could do under 15:00 but I was wrong. Bernie from my club helped me to break down my 100's for future training.
I swam the 50 and put the goggles under my cap. They fell off and dragged on me the whole way. MY time was 36.02 which beat my last time by about 00.30 and my goal is to get under 34.00. for now and then see if that is the best this body can do or not.
I was asked to join in a relay with DAMA! That was the first relay I have done in say 35years when I was 17! I said I could only do free or breast as my arm does not want to do a backward motion and I think the fly is hard on my arm also. I need to get praticing on these strokes and technique.
I don't like to not show up but I scratched the IM as my shoulder told me to do so.
Updated March 1st, 2009 at 12:15 PM by flippergirl
Been a bit behind in posting. This will get me caught up.
Did weight training at noon. Mostly lower body with some core work. I will post what I'm doing when I can remember what each is called. Right now I just follow my trainer and I do what she says.
SCY with Carrie
200 swim free
200 IM drill
200 swim choice (did back)
200 pull breathe 3/5 by 50
6 x 50 free on :50 descend 1-3, 4-6
(went :40->:36 on both)
3 x 200 IM on 3:45, work transitions, descend 1-3
(haven't done a 2IM in a while so these were slow. did all 3 around 3:25)
4 x 75 back on 1:20 descend 1-3
3 x 100 IM on 2:00 descend 1-3
16 x 25 pull on :30 choice: #3, 5, 8, and 11 fast; the last 5 are all easy for your swim down.
(did all free on these. fast ones around 15-16, the rest around 20)
Total: 2750 yards
I wanted to be prepared, so I left the night before. I was going to be in the very first race, my very first 1000 free at 8:45 AM Sat. I was going to stange town in the middle of nowhere, Greensboro North Carolina. I was coming from a town in the middle of nowhere, Charlotte. The forcast was gloomy and it was. My destination was a high school. Once I had found the pool I knew I would be okay. I walked up to two young girls with pony tails and running clothes. The one with braces pointed and said, "It's up there." Why don't teen age girls say much? I followed them to a brick building with a big heavy door. "Good evening", said Lurch except with a southern accent and a plaid button down shirt. Probably a teacher on security duty. I could smell the bleach and saw the steam rising through yet another door. I sucked in that vapor that is like an addiction. You want it so much and at the same time you know one taste and the results could be exulting or the death of you.
Fast forward past the want the hotel but could only afford the motel.
After much prayer, plans and too much chocolate from the 75% off Valentine heart I got at Rite Aid. I get to sleep.
I am the first to arrive at the pool greeted by a sleepy Lurch. I haven't been in the pool for four days and the water feels so inviting in warmup. I thought about what Onefish said. Did a good warm up, practiced my flip turns to be ready to hit off the wall fast and hard.
My own ideas are all rushing into my head as I am so unprepared with any knowlege of my speed. Hmmm, if I count, how many one Missisippis does it take for me to get 50yds against the clock. Um, I think it is 30 of my Mississippis to 40 seconds on the clock. How close can I get to the wall for my turns. I approach the guy in a white polo shirt and something around his neck. I shyly ask when can I dive? He is kind.
Fast forward to my big race.
I instinctually tunnel vision down the lane as I step up. Take your mark. Kind of a Wwwonngbzzz echoes in my ear. I push off, point toes, hit the water and my goggles fill up with water. I can't see for sht..!!! Jimby, I feel like the Red Baron is going to get me this time for sure!
How could I dare waste time fixing them. I blindly go as the stinging pain increases. I barely see some white square floating in and out of the water at one end. It is like a nightmare that never ends. Uh ohhhh I touch outside the pad... oh no I might be diqualified? I will pull and I will kick to the death. Finally, the dream ends and I finish. I finish....yes, I did it against all odds!! I could go on and on about the whole wonderful day and wonderful people I met or got to know better. What commeraderie. I'm in love with Masterswimming. I hope its the kind that last forever.
Well, after being inspired by fellow bloggers, I decided to start a blog. I'm also hoping that any masters swimmers out there that have dysautonomia will be encouraged by this blog.
I'm 42 and have been dealing with a diagnosis of postural orthostatic tachycardia (hyperadrenergic form) since 2006. For those that have never heard of the disorder, you can find more info about it at the Dysautonomia Information Network: http://www.dinet.org/pots_an_overview.htm.
I have been on beta blockers and fludrocortisone, but due to side effects from these medications, with the permission of my cardiologist, I have opted to go off these medications. Instead, I have attempted to make dietary and lifestyle changes.
Exercise intolerance is one of the symptoms of this disorder, so training and staying in shape can be rather challenging at times. I usually wear a heart rate monitor when exercising (even when I swim) which is helpful to me in keeping symptoms under control.
Below is what I did this past week. In the future, I hope to blog my workouts on a daily basis.
Saturday, February 21
Picked up my bike from the repair shop. I had not ridden it in 7 months, so it was in need of a tune-up. Rode an easy 12 miles, averaging about 16 miles an hour. A great day to do a ride with little wind and temps in the mid-60s.
Sunday, February 22
Went out to the track with my son to help him prepare for a kid's duathlon in April. First run workout for him, so took it pretty easy:
400 easy jog
3 x (200 walk, 200 easy speed)
400 easy jog
400 easy speed
Monday, February 23
Biked 12 miles - same route. Since I had scouted the route on Saturday and seen no dogs, I felt o.k. to get down in my aero bars. Kept RPMs over 90. Kept it easy but went a little faster than last time, averaging 16.6 mph. There was a slight wind and temps were in the upper 40s. Wore my shoe covers for this ride.
In the afternoon, I hit the pool and basically did an easy 1000 consisting of the following:
200 Reverse I.M. - one arm on the fly
300 easy kick with fins - 100 on side, 100 on back, and 100 on side
200 alternated 25 right arm/25 left arm fly
300 - 100 easy free, 100 back, 100 easy free
Unexpected rain, so had to hit the treadmill. Ran an hour at 10 min. per mile. At each mile (ran six miles), I would up my speed another 1 mph for a total of 30 seconds and drop the pace back down. Followed the run with some light weights - lat pulldowns and bicep curls.
A perfect day to ride with little wind and temps in the upper 60s. Picked up the pace a little on my 12 mile route and was able to average 18 mph for the ride. While focusing on my form and RPM, I was startled by some dogs that came out of nowhere. One ran right along side of me, but I was able to get away.
Later in the day, helped my son with his running again. Alternated walking 1/2 mile with running 1/2 mile for two miles. Averaged around 4 minutes on the 1/2 miles.
Hit the pool after that and did the following workout:
5 x 100 back on 1:45 - descend each 100 - did 1:35, 1;27, 1:23, 1:20, 1:13.
28 x 50 on :55 - 6 x 50 alternating 50 one arm fly, and 50 back; 6 x 50 dolphin kick (no fins); 6 x 50 alt. 50 one arm fly, 50 back; 6 x 50 dolphin kick; 4 x 50 back
Total: 2700 yards
Friday, February 27
Had hoped to swim, but storms kept the pool closed. Hit the treadmill and did a 3 mile run, averaging 10 minute miles.
Saturday, February 28
Plans to swim were once again thwarted. Instead, got in a 4 mile run and averaged about 9:43 per mile. Heart rate average for the run was 150. Noticed that when I was mindful to do deep breathing on the run, my heart rate would drop down. Noticed this also on my recovery walk after the run. Forceful exhalation and deep inhalation seem to make my heart rate drop faster than it usually does.
Updated March 4th, 2009 at 09:38 PM by elise526
Sat Feb 28th, 2009
5 days till Austin Grand Prix Thu Mar 5th
[ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showpost.php?p=171284&postcount=1090"]Swim Faster Faster Index[/ame]
Texas High School Championship meets are this weekend at UT
TODAYS SWIM PRACTICE
6:30 - 8:00
scy TSC diving well
dove in 20 minutes late
swam with Tyler and Todd,
Jon larry brad
7 x 100 on 1:35
changed into B70 Nero Comp
50 fl Fast
go start off blocks
USA Swimming Austin Grand Prix Austin TX
Thursday March 5 - Saturday March 7, 2009
5 days away
Meet format: Short Course AM, Long Course PM
entered the following events
THU #05 100 Butterfly 52.63 #08 200 IM 2:00.32
FRI #18 100 Backstroke 54.05
SAT #24 200 Backstroke 2:21.04 #26 100 Freestyle 48.85
2009 South Central Zone USMS Championships
Friday March 27 - Sun March 29, 2009
27 days away
USMS MASTERS NATIONALS
May 8 - 10
71 days away
5 mile trail run
I've lost my running legs. The first half was easy, almost went further before turning around. Glad I didn't. Yeesh. Hope to get my legs back a bit more this Spring. And, BTW, when is Spring going to get here?! It was 60 yesterday and then back to the 30s today ...
Weight lifting questions:
My rear delts are pretty sore. Is this from the chinning?
How many reps are typically done with squatting? Or is nothing "typical."?
Hoping to do a triple tomorrow -- team swim/weights & yoga with Mini-Fort.
This seams weird not swimming today. I have never been on deck at a meet and not been in a suit. This is unusual for me. I have one swimmer I am coaching at the State meet this weekend and she is doing fantastic!
She just dropped 3.5 seconds off her 100 Fly she swam 2 weeks ago and 1 second off her 200 IM and 100 Free from that same time.
Tomorrow should go equally as well.
1000 yards...mix of stroke drills, hard kick set of 50's on :45 w/fins
3x150 (k,d,s) 3:00
Weekly total 2200 yards
300 w/u (or so)
8 x 50 Indy IM right arm down/left arm back r:15
3 x (4 x 25 fast on :40) 1:00 rest between rounds
I did fly the first round, free the second and went back, back, free, free on round 3
400 pull ez
5 x 150 (100 fr/50 fly) on 2:25 hold 2:05 or under
300 back pull ez
8 x 1:00 kick - see how far you can go :30 after the 1:00 - go the the closest wall - I tried to get as close to 75 as I could - got 75 a couple of times - mostly it was 60 or so yards
Extremely short vlog today, designed to allow me more time to rest.
Tomorrow, your vloggist will travel with his teammates and FlipVideo Ultra to the New Castle YMCA's 5-lane swimming facility--
(heat sheet available at a glance here: http://www.amymsa.org/Heatsht.html )
--where your aging narrator has signed up for the 100 IM, 50 butterfly, 100 butterfly, and 25 breaststroke.
This is actually the first season in several years that I have raced anything besides freestyle, much less practiced the off strokes during workouts.
I used to love butterfly, and though never a natural lepidopteran in the water, I was able--7 years and 26 days ago, at the age of 49, in the waters of the Taylor Allderdice High School swimming pool--to swim a 59.59 in 100 fly, then followed this up at Y Nationals that year with a 59.19.
However, two years later, a 10K open water swim in Atlantic City (time of 2 hours, 33 minutes, and 20 seconds), followed by a 6 hour tennis match a week or two later, followed by some fly practice in the pool, lead to a crisis in confidence vis a vis my ability to ever again enjoy a shoulder-pain-free moment in my remaining lifespan.
For the next couple years, all I swam was freestyle, with maybe a length or two of breaststroke thrown in here and there, because both fly and back seemed to send me back to square one in the shoulder woe department.
Two January's ago, in the chlly waters of the University of Pittsburgh's fantastic Trees Pool, I tried to inch my way back into the realm of IM swimming, but after a few tentative weeks of it, shoulder discomforts creeping back, I gave up.
This year, perhaps as a seredipitous consequence of the "twinges and hinges" arthritis therapy temperature of the Sewickley YMCA, where we often take a steam bath after practice to cool down, I have had a little more luck.
Anyhow, if the video recorder works, and I can find someone to operate it during my time as a Monarch or Viceroy, I will paste in my races for the amusement and savage dissection of various fans of Jimby.
Get your corkboards out!
Tomorrow, you can pin me down and examine my exoskeleton and fragile wings and compound eyes!
A fun workout today after the boredom of yesterday's 100's
SCY with Carrie
300 swim free
200 kick on back
200 pull alt. 50 free/50 back
The first set focuses on turns. 6-8 kicks underwater off every wall is a must! Focus on a great streamline and good kickout.
swim 12 x 25 back on :35 (so each 25 has one turn): focus on swimming into and out of the wall at a pretty good speed
(did these around :20 and held the kick at 7-8 sdk)
swim 3 x 50 back on 1:00 (2-turn 50s) - maintain the distance off the walls at the same speed as the 25s. After the breakout, swim easy to the flags, and then accelerate into the wall
(did these around :41-2 and held the kick at 6-7 sdk)
Kick 4 x 100 on back with a good streamline, 15 sec. rest
(did these around 1:55-2:00 and still managed 5-6 sdk on each wall)
kick 4 x 25 back fast on :45
(not real sure of the time on these but around :20. my calf started to cramp so I backed of just a bit in the last 5-10 yards of each)
swim 3x150 on 2:30: do the 1st and 3rd 50s free; on the middle 50, go 12.5 with the fastest turnover you can hold, (spin drill) then swim easy to the wall... then repeat on the 2nd (4th) 25.
(did these around 2:15)
200 easy choice
Total: 2550 yards
7:00 AM to 8:15 AM at the downtown YMCA (SCM) solo swim.
16x25 drill on IM order
(:40 interval for stroke drills, :35 for free drills)
3x100 free descend on 2:00 - I went 1:50, 1:45, 1:40
3x100 IM descend on 2:10 - I went 2:00, 1:58, 2:05 and felt overly fatigued on the last two!
1-3 - 50fl/50bk on 2:10
4-6 - 50bk/50br on 2:20
7-9 - 50br/50fr on 2:05
This workout was supposed to be 4600 m, but I couldn't even make my 2:05 on the last transition interval. I don't know what happened. I felt very fatigued and wasn't very motivated to work through it, so I just got out! I'm more irritated that I quit on my workout than I am that I didn't feel great. Oh well, there's always Monday!
Didn't get a chance to run before it got dark. After dropping Mini-Fort at a party, I went back to the gym. Stayed away from any upper body work as I'm a *bit* sore still.
Core work/Few Weights/RC:
long arm crunches, 2 x 25
iron monkeys (ball exchange), 2 x 25
med ball crunches, 2 x 25
russian twists w/ med ball, 2 x 25
jack knifes, 2 x 15 on the yoga ball
incline crunches, 2 x 15
decline crunches, 2 x 15
(hadn't done these on the bench before. much harder than on the floor. seems to recruit the back muscles a lot more.)
goblet squats w/ 20 lb weight, 2 x 15
leg abductors, 110 x 2 x 10
leg extensions, 80 x 2 x 10
(not sure why, but I just hate these things)
Cavic fly exercise on yoga ball, 2 x 25
seated straight arm dip for RC, 60 x 2 x 25
external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
arm raises w/ 3 lb weights, 3 x 2 x 15
20 minute spin
10 minutes of stretching
15 minutes hot tub
I considered pinot noir, but opted for chardonnay. Hope it's not cancer causing. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...61.html?sub=AR
1. Is it good to be fully/mostly recovered from one weight workout to the next? If not, should you just press on?
2. Seems so many people are going to pilates and cores classes. Do these provide a significant advantage over doing core work yourself? Is the main benefit of mat pilates classes core strength or flexibility?
Going to be a pretty lazy weekend. Mr. Fort has decamped for the weekend with two of the Fort kids for a final ski trip at SnowShoe. Mini-Fort and I get mommy-daughter time this weekend. I've been informed I'm going to yoga on Sunday. I guess maybe it will be good for the flexibility ... I just can't seem to bring myself to meditate.
Updated February 28th, 2009 at 05:15 PM by The Fortress
500 FR W/U
3 thru as FR, NFR, IM (Did NFR BK)
4 x 50 DR
4 x 50 Black Lines
4 x 50 K
4 x 25 FAST
12 x 25 :45 MMMF
3 x 100 K w/fins
3 x 100 FR Paddles
2 x 100 FR.
Weights in PM, 50 mins. reversed the order of leg machines.
Pull ups 10, 7, 3 & Chin ups 10, 6, 3, 1.
Thanks to his wife Colleen's good luck at winning an office lottery, where the grand prize is a weekend retreat at a local resort, our regular coach Bill is not going to be at practice tonight.
This has left an opening for me to resume my erstwhile position as beloved Player-Coach of yesteryear's Sewickley YMCA Sea Dragons, Aging Division.
Actually, Bill said he could leave a workout unless someone else wanted to write one, and before anybody else could object or emit a peep, I said, "Me! Me me me!"
Unlike a "professional" or "paid" or "respected" coach of the sort that wins "USMS Coach of the Year" "honors" or avoids being "fragged" by his "swimmers" or "shivved" in the "showers," we Player Coaches have our own way of writing workouts.
I shall write tonight's practice right now, and show you our technique while doing so.
Really, it's not that hard.
I quickly consult my voluminous library of swimming manuals, cross referenced according to energy systems and training volumes indexed according to different phases of the microcycle within the current macrocycle.
Three to seven seconds later, I am thinking: Are you out of your mind?
Practice starts in an hour, and just trying to remember the definitions of all this physiological gobbledegook--Krebs Cycles this, intensity coefficients that--is so far beyond my soylient green-fed brain as to be laughable.
I decide to rely on the thing that made me such an emininently forgettable coach in yesteryear: my intuitive feel for what we swimmers need. Well maybe not we swimmers, exactly.
Consideration No. 1: Ask yourself, what do I feel like I need to accomplish in swimming tonight?
It might be nice to wake up a little, but to do this in such a way as to not make it hard to fall asleep later tonight.
It might also be nice to allow the stretched and cranky cartilaginous sinews in my right shoulder and left knee, respectively, settle down.
We have a meet on Sunday, and I signed up for the 100 IM, 50 and 100 fly, and 25 something, breaststroke maybe? Anyhow, no point in swimming these things tonight. Gotta rest up the various micromuscles involved with the off strokes, as I like to call them: fly, back, and breast.
I need, in other words, the taper equivalent of a farmer rotating his crops. We planted sorghum, cranberries, and alfalfa on Wednesday and Thursday. Tonight, it's time to go back to planting petunias, that is to say, freestyle.
It is also Friday, and Friday is sprint night. 100s freestyle seem kind of long to sprint. They actually seem absurdly long. 25s might be good, but you really do have to sprint a 25. I mean it's hard to fool anyone doing a half-assed 25 freestyle and trying to pass it off as a sprint.
The good player-coach, like the good Lt. fresh out of the military academy and shipped to Nam, needs to lead by example. Otherwise, the odds of getting fragged by the troops, or shivved by the swimmers behind you in your lane, go way up.
Don't I know it!
The last time I player-coached a sprint practice, it seemed like it would take forever for the stab wounds in my feet to heal.
Okay, so 50s it is. Or, more grammatically, 50's it are. Or, even more grammatically, 50's they are.
With this settled, we come to...
Consideration No. 2: Do you want to reinvent the wheel?
Of course not!
And with this in mind, I locate and copy a favorite 50 workout written by another coach, who actually is all the things I am not: professional, paid, respected, and--to add just one more characteristic to the list of attributes thatTeam Pitt's great masters coach, Jen Michaels, has that I do not--competent.
Since Pitt has 1.5 hour practices, and we in Sewy get only 1 hour, I include much shorter warm ups and cool downs and just use in tact her main set:
10 x 50 on 1:00 easy
1 min rest
8 x 50 on 1:00 odds easy, evens 200 pace +2 *
1 min rest
8 x 50 on 1:00 odds easy, evens 200 pace +1
1 min rest
8 x 50 on 1:00 odds easy, evens 200 pace +0
1 min rest
8 x 50 on 1:00 odds easy, evens 200 pace -1
1 min rest
8 x 50 on 1:00 odds easy, evens 200 pace -2
1 x 200 on 4:00 ez cool down
* divide your best 200 time by 4 to get your average 50. Example: if you swim the 200 on 2:00, your race pace 50s are :30. Your fast ones should thus be :32, :31, :30, :29, :28.
I will let you know how it goes. Sewickley swimmers, with a few exceptions, have demonstrated an antipathy for math that would make the average 7th grade Airhead Sorority seem geekish in comparison.
I preminisce no shortage of mayhem, especially in C lane, where the new-to-swimming triathletes are, under the best of circumstances, concentrated in an arrogant frothful cauldron of rudeness and disorder, as if they sense that learning to throw elbows and climb over one another in a frenzy is actually a better use of training time for their chosen sport than swimming itself.
Just kidding guys!
Really, put those shivs awy!
I shall keep you posted.
As expected, despite Recoverite/hot tub/ice, etc., I woke up pretty darn sore. Maybe not quite as sore as Tuesday though. Knew immediately that a recovery/technique workout was the only thing happening. That's OK, I've put in over 14,000 since Monday and plan to swim with my team on Sunday. Went to my gym. Egads, the pool (usually 85) was 86.8.
Decided to play around with DPK on dolphin kick again, and spent most of the "workout" underwater. Clydesdale just started a thread on this topic. I think it will take some time to find the "sweet spot." But a bit more emphasis on undulation could benefit my 100 back/fly and definitely my 200 back. I have the impression that, when I use my arms/hands some, I kick more from the sternum and have more DPK. 50s -- I'm staying with the fast low amplitude power kick.
700 variety swim, kick, drill
Nothin' But 25s:
60 x 25:
1. 10 x 25 UW dolphin kick on belly w/MF
2. 10 x backstroke, moderate pace, kicking off walls on right side
3. 10 x 25 UW dolphin kick on right side w/MF
4. 10 x 25, alternate easy speed fly and DAB
5. 10 x 25 UW dolphin kick on left side w/MF
6. 10 x 25, alternate easy speed fly and DAB
2. kicking on side/DPS
3. undulation/DPK -- I'm much worse on my side than on my belly. Was taking 3-4 more KPL than on my belly unless I really concentrated
4. DPS/ floating entry with hands
5. undulation/DPK -- Surprisingly, I have fewer KPL on my left side than my right. Maybe it was just more practice.
6. DPS/ floating entry with hands. Caught myself lifting my head up too high to breath a couple times.
Total: 2300 meters
May go for a short run later, if I can squeeze it in.
Weight Lifting Questions of the Day:
1. Does added muscle effect your flexibility?
2. Do chin ups and pull ups reflect upper body strength or your power to weight ratio?
3. I keep hearing I should be doing 3 sets. I see that's what Ande, Paul, Chris, et al, do. I know Jazz doesn't, and Q does 2 sets. What is the rationale for doing 3 sets? Does the fact that one is a sprinter or distance swimmer make a difference in the ideal # of sets?
Paul/Clydesdale, who is a very helpful guy, sent me a link to some other weightlifing articles showing strong chicks in action:
The muscle ups look rather hazardous for shoulders ...
Is that a good way to do squats? Fast like that?
Is anyone doing this?
Updated February 28th, 2009 at 01:40 PM by The Fortress
11:00 AM to Noon at the Downtown YMCA (SCM). Workout written by Priscilla, but no coach on deck!:-(
400 free - every 4th one arm fly
200 choice kick (no br)
250 - 125 br pull, fl kick - 125 2 kk/pull br
4x25 fly descend on :40
4x25 fly sprint on :45
4x75 free negative split on 1:40
4x25 br descend on :40
4x25 br sprint on :45
4x75 free negative split on 1:40
2x125 free ascend on 2:20
150 ez free warmdown
Notes: Most everybody showed up, so there were lots of people to push each other, but there's something different about not having a coach on deck. Both for motivation with the whistle and for stroke corrections. There should be an interim coach in place by Monday (most likely, it will be my wife).
Back to swimming. I did most of my fly intervals one armed and tried to finish from the flags to the wall with regular fly. I noticed that I get significantly less distance per kick when I use both arms. A lane mate suggested that I might be shorting my second kick in an attempt to get my arms out of the water. I'll have to concentrate on finishing my pull with a snap to get my hands and arms out of the water. Now to eat, rest, and recover for a 4900 meter Saturday workout.
At this morning's practice, I usually do a fixed set - 500 warm-up and then, because it is Friday, I do 50 (or close to 50) x 50 - just because it is Friday and it's kind of fun. I'm usually really beaten down by Friday and need a day off to recover. So I was expecting to have to struggle with the interval.
But this morning was a pleasant surprise. I really felt tired and sore during the warm-up, but once I got into the sets, I discovered the joy of "swinging your arms" and "rhythmically rolling your body". Instead of forcing and struggling, I used momentum to leverage my way into some decent times. All with out really elevating my heart rate.
Swimming is really a zen sport - the harder you try, the slower you go. Try, but try less, release the mind, suppress the inner critic, and enjoy or embrace the rhythm.
I'm reminded of the word Kaizen - which is the art and philosophy of making small, repeated improvements so that over time, you make a big systemic improvement. The concept comes from the Japanese version of quality control (Denning, six sigma, etc). As a philosophy, one can apply it to all aspects of life. I've been trying it in an effort to improve my stroke technique. I've been working on the stroke technique advice that my nephew gave me - swimming lots of long slow, focused sets (4 x 400 at a low or moderate heart rate). It's really hard to do, but if I continue to use the old stroke with it's flaws, I know that I can't go any faster. The only way to go faster is to 1) minimize resistances and 2) maximize proplusion - both via more efficient, but absolutely weirdly feeling motions. It takes a lot of mental discipline to repeat these motions over the course of these long (and boring) swim sets and my hope is that they will become ingrained in "muscle memory" so that I don't have to think "do this or do that" when it comes time to swim fast.
In this morning's practice, I finally felt the first emergence of a better stroke via momentum swimming. It was satisfying to have the relative effort positively connected with a time (performance).