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  1. 12/24/13

    by , December 24th, 2013 at 11:55 PM (Trying to Train Smarter, Not Just Harder)
    Spent a lot of time vacillating on whether or not to go to the pool w/the team this AM, or to go do weights & then go do a leisurely swim on my own. Original plan was to swim at lunch with my old buddies, but the city nixed that idea by making the pool only available during ATAC practice time (7:30-10:00am). Ended up going to practice for the first 90 minutes then over to the gym - was so bloomin' tired (2nd day of LCM in ~ 4 months) I had to skip a couple of stations - my right shoulder has been achy for months, and I didn't want to make things worse. Thought I would feel worse in the water today than I did - a tribute to my "amazing" base, I suppose (hahaha!)

    600 back/free
    3 x 200 Pull - 30 sec rest btwn each
    6 x 100 stroke/free @ 2:00 (niiice!)
    6 x 100 K @ 2:15
    100 easy
    300 pull @ 5:00 (got :40 rest)
    100 quality kick @ 2:15
    3 x 100 back/free @ 1:45
    100 quality kick @ 2:15
    2 x 50 "fly" @ 1:00
    2:00 rest
    300 pull @ 5:00 (got :40 rest)
    100 quality kick @ 2:15
    3 x 100 back/free @ 1:45
    100 quality kick @ 2:15
    2 x 50 "fly" @ 1:00
    200 easy
    Total: 4400 LCM (for me - kids had another 45 min worth of torture awaiting them)

    Then home to bake bake bake - got three pies done, two kinds of sweet potatoes & the Christmas Eve Lasagne all done, all by myself, not to mention various errands & tasks around the house & last minute gift wrapping. I'm pooped. There's no rest for the weary, I'm afraid - just because tomorrows Christmas doesn't mean I'll get a break - if mom doesn't do it, it won't get done.
  2. Monday, 12/23/13

    by , December 24th, 2013 at 11:41 PM (Trying to Train Smarter, Not Just Harder)
    Lots of body aches today, especially from the waist down, for some reason
    first day back at LCM, and I suspect I will pay for this tomorrow - and every day for the next 2 weeks while I get used to it again!

    800 back/free
    700 Pull, speed play by 100s, breathing every 3 or 5
    600 reverse IM, drill/swim/drill
    500 Pull, speed play by 50s

    400 reverse IM
    300 pull, speed play by 50s
    200 reverse IM
    100 choice

    100 EZ
    8 x 200 @ 3:00 & 3:10 for last 4
    10 x 100 @ 1:40 & then a warm down
    My arm is still sore from painting the porch on Saturday & I have to put the final coat of paint on today before the cold front comes in.... Joy.
  3. Christmas Eve OW mile

    I enjoyed a really lovely swim in the gulf today. Yesterday’s cold front chased away the heavy southern winds that had stirred up waves too big for ocean swimming over the last week (at least too big for someone who doesn’t enjoy getting tumbled by the surf). But last week’s relatively warm water was still out there for me to enjoy—even though the air was in the 40s at mid-morning, water temps were in the mid-60s. Getting in and out was nippy, especially since I had to wade out to waist deep water, then walk over a shallow sandbar before reaching swimmable depths--but once in things couldn’t have been better. The water was extremely clear, with light ripples on the surface. I swam out a ways, then down the beach to the first beach flag and back, about a mile altogether.

    On the way back I was startled by a fish swimming underneath me—I think it was what the shore fishermen call a whiting, which is what they’ve been catching (if anything) in the past few days. I squealed when I saw it, and it flinched at the sound and darted away. My goal for my next swim is not to frighten any fish I encounter!

    Other than the fish I saw no other creatures in the gulf while I was swimming, just lots of shrimp tunnels on the sandy bottom. I did see a bald eagle soaring overhead as I was driving today, which was pretty cool. And there were pelicans and herons that flew by us at sunset. It was such a treat to spend most of this beautiful sunny Christmas Eve outdoors enjoying the glorious day.
  4. Christmas Eve Swim

    by , December 24th, 2013 at 03:46 PM (Blog)
    500 warmup with fins

    44 x 15.5 turn drill on 0:30
    • 9's

    250 drills

    Regarding the Turn drill 44 x 15.5. It just reoccured to me this appears to be a baseline of UST for 50 pace.

    15.5M 0:09 splits are very close (just over) my 50M race pace. Hopefully the speed entering in, and fundementals of, this turn exercise translates into a race environment closely.

    By adjusting the interval down respectively while maintaining the 9 sec split and failing by the 20th one, maybe I can get UST to work in this area. My turns kill me.

    But since only 2 strokes are taken, this would only benefit my turn and DK systems and I should continue to train raw speed as usual since it seems to still work.

    There is some method to this madness and experimentation

    Updated December 24th, 2013 at 09:17 PM by __steve__

  5. Week 65 - Tuesday

    by , December 24th, 2013 at 03:04 PM (After a long rest)
    Today I swam with the senior racer group and they did there 12 days of Christmas set, which took about 3hrs to complete. At the end we did a team slip and slide across the deck with mats laid out for the slide. It was great fun and a great end to a great workout.

    600 free
    6x50 build

    The 12 day of christmas format was
    1. 1min vertical kick with the coach telling us hand position and kick type
    2. 50 back spin drill
    3. 3mins of sit ups, coach supplied type and pain level by making us hold certain positions
    4. 100 breast 3,2,1 second glide fast
    5. 5 bottom of the pool ring bubbles
    6. 150 fly with six kick break outs
    7. 7 rounds of alternating pull ups and 7 pulse squats with medicine ball
    8. 200 free, fast, smooth, fast, smooth
    9. 9 pushups
    10. 250 back, fast, smooth, fast, smooth, fast
    11. 11 rounds of 3 person relays out to 12.5 and back
    12. 300 IM fast

    I suspect these are always swum the same way but regardless the format was:

    Total swimming yardage 6000scy plus at least another hour of dry lands built in.

    Despite there being a lot of fast swimming for me by a long way the dry land portion was tough especially the sit ups and pull ups. Within the round it was just get it done but at the end of each round coach Walker waited for every lane to finish before allowing anyone to start again, so there was an incentive to finish pretty quickly and get some rest between sets. I dread to think how many calories I burned during this set but it was great fun.

    I am training with the junior racers on Thursday as I officially start my taper.
    Swim Workouts
  6. Sinuses hurt on every flip turn

    by , December 24th, 2013 at 09:12 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I minimized my workout today due the the pain and pressure I felt during flip turns so after warmup not much free

    1000 free as 200sw/200pull/200sw/200kick/300swim
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    4x200 as 50 rt/50 lt arm/50kick/50 swim #1 fly 2 back 3 free 4 breast w/zoomers
    8x25@1:00 fly
    500 free kick w/zoomers

    Total 3000 yards
  7. Workouts 12/22-3/13: pm and am

    by , December 24th, 2013 at 12:19 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Not much to share, other than 2000yds yesterday in warm water after waiting 50 min for guard to stroll in. Cooler water this morning, 1900yds in 35min.

    5 miles to 300, with 4 days left to squeak it in
    Swim Workouts
  8. Monday, December 23, 2013 5:40-7:00pm

    by , December 24th, 2013 at 12:03 AM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)

    200 Free
    100 Kick w/ board
    150 Free
    100 Kick w/ board
    100 Free
    100 Kick w/ board
    50 Free
    100 Kick w/ board

    2 x 125 Free Pull @ 1:30
    2 x 100 Free Pull @ 1:15
    2 x 75 Free Pull @ :55
    2 x 50 Free Pull @ :40
    2 x 25 Free Pull @ :20

    8 x 50 Flutter Kick w/ board @ 1:00

    400 IM (by 100s)
    Fly @ 1:20 (went 1:09)
    Back @ 1:40 (made it - 1:20-25ish)
    Breast @ 1:40 (made it - 1:30ish)
    Free @ 1:20 (went 1:07)

    4 x 50 Flutter Kick w/ board @ 1:00

    400 IM (by 50s) - half the intervals of the previous 400 - just make 'em
    Fly @ :40
    Back @ :50
    Breast @ :50
    Free @ :40
    This one was a lot tougher to do than the 100s. Not as much rest between each stop and go I guess, even though it was 50s vs. 100s.

    2 x 50 Flutter Kick w/ board @ 1:00

    500 Free as:
    4 x 25 Free @ :20
    2 x 50 Free @ :40
    1 x 100 Free @ 1:20
    2 x 50 Free @ :40
    4 x 25 Free @ :20
    surprisingly enough, the 100 in the middle is actually a little tough, and sneaks up on you in this set.

    200 Flutter Kick w/ board

    8 x 25 Fly Fast w/ short fins @ :30 (went :15-:16s)

    100 Flutter Kick w/ board
    100 Free EZ

    4250 Yards

    Not a bad overall workout. I was given ideas for the 400 IMs and 500 from one of the assistant coaches who was helping with the novice level swimmers in the next lane over. He was telling me stuff the senior kids were doing the other day. Had to try it out.
  9. Sunday 12/22/13

    Sunday 12/22

    "Chesapeake Elite Meet Day 4"

    Came into this morning with a wicked cough/runny nose and itchy eyes due to the air quality deteriorating at the pool. I am glad I decided not to scratch the 50 FL and deck enter the 200 FL (although I REALLY wanted to swim a good 200) because I was just too run down at this point.

    50 FL - 25.22

    Not a good race. Almost the same time I took my 100 FL out in yesterday. Too much breathing (every time my face was in the water I was coughing so holding my breath was a little tough at this point).

    50 FR - 22.64

    I was in the "three hole" on the relay. Had an OK relay start, despite a bad finish AGAIN by the person swimming in! I tried to "man up" and hold my breath despite the coughing, but my efforts fell short. I only breathed once, and BAM, it was first thing off the turn!

    Total: 3000 (ish)

    So I come away from this meet with 1 lifetime best out of 5 swims. Some takeaways from the meet:
    1) My speed work is starting to have an effect on my racing, which is good.
    2) I need to do a better job of being mentally focused when outside my comfort zone. My 200 BR was just a total lapse in concentration on all fronts, and I think letting myself check out when tired contributed to this.
    3) I need to get my knee healthy again. It has really been bothering me the past two weeks, and I think I rushed too much breaststroke kick back into my training sessions too fast.

    After taking a lot of time off in March, April, and May, I only had one meet this summer which showed I was WAY out of shape still! Now after 7 months of consistent training, I think I am finally back into the swing of things. I'm getting there, but I am not quite there yet! I will have high hopes for my "BIG" taper meet in early March. 11 weeks until Sectionals, which leaves 9 more weeks of hard work...time to buckle down!
    Swim Workouts
  10. Monday, Dec. 23

    by , December 23rd, 2013 at 04:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo @ Sewickley

    Warm up:

    600 various
    100 scull
    4 x 50 fly drills
    50 EZ

    Main Sets:

    4 x 25 burst + cruise
    4 x 25 fly @ 100 pace @ :40
    -- too sore from weights to do fly …
    50 EZ

    adapting to USD set:
    3 x (6 x 25 free @ 100 pace @ :20 rest + 50 EZ)

    200 EZUSD set:
    20 x 25 breast @ 10 pace @ :20 rest
    -- skipped # 7 & 15

    200 EZ

    Total: 2700


    I am really really sore from weights. Wasn't sure I could do anything at all today, but got through a couple ultra sets. I did breast on the second one bc that doesn't use the shoulders and back as much. You really do get a large amount of race pace swimming using this method. I've been at 7 days in a row and may take off both Dec 24 & 25. Happy holidays everyone!

    Updated December 23rd, 2013 at 04:51 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  11. Started back slow from flu

    by , December 23rd, 2013 at 03:33 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    After going to bed on Friday afternoon I am finally on the mend. Swam t the y and 85 degrees did not feel warm to me. Does that mean I am still sick?

    Anyway my first 500 was shaky but got better. Still tried to keep it slow I guess

    5x100@:10 RI free
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    5x100@1:30 free w/strapless paddles & bouy went 1:25, 1:23, 1:22, 1:21, 1:20 this was a surprise
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    5x100 odds free evens drill w/snorkle
    200 breast kick
    100 free
    100 back
    100 free kick

    Total 3000 yards
  12. Week 65 - Monday

    by , December 23rd, 2013 at 03:01 PM (After a long rest)
    I woke up ahead of the alarm clock this morning feeling good. I did not feel bad in the pool but my feeling of no speed continued. I have a hard workout tomorrow and then I officially start the taper. Today was the descending 100 set and I got down to 1.03 but felt uncomfortable throughout. I don’t think this was the ideal workout after a long weekend of swimming, but coach said to do it so I did it.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on 45

    Main set
    Descending by 1 second 100’s starting at 1.30
    200 easy
    10x50 drill concentrating on 6 beat kick and hand entry
    5 mins of breakout drills with breakout cord(short bungee)
    4x25 on 45 with fast break outs

    Warm down
    200 easy

    Total 4400scy(plus breakout work)

    I held mainly 1.05’s on the descending 100s and was disappointed I did not go down to 1min.
    Swim Workouts
  13. Sarasota YMCA Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout-12/24/13

    by , December 23rd, 2013 at 02:35 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    2 X 150 2:45 2:30
    3 X 100 1:45 1:40
    2 X 50 1:00 1:00
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 500 kick + 100 swim

    1 X 100-reverse IM- 1:50
    1 X 100 IM 1:50
    4 X 25 -fast/1 of each- :40 #4 on 1:20
    Three rounds

    7 X 200 pull 3:20
    Descend 1-3/4-6 #7 is best effort

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  14. 12|23|13

    by , December 23rd, 2013 at 02:21 PM (Blog)
    Yesterday's drylands (25 min)

    One superset (without rest) x 5 of:
    1. deadlifts with rack bar held behind x 5 (135 to 275 lbs)
    2. track start incline sit-ups (arms apart and out at down / clamped together streamlined on the up) x 8
    3. haven't named it (static 90⁰ knee squat with streamlined arms while rolling the hips as reps) x 10
    4. mayurasana x 6 seconds

    Been doing #1 as my power dryland tool with much success since my connecto-skeletal (esp lower back) agrees with it.

    #3 teaches me to obtain lower body power from the more useful hips (rather than legs). Also stretches the ankles

    Today's swim

    7 x 50 FR/BK WF on 2:00

    • relaxed but stroke muscles felt the need of further recovery

    400 flutter kick as:
    (~10M AFAP Fr FK from push + mid-pool flip-turn + easy Bk FK to wall) x 20
  15. 12|21|13 The more I focus on turns, the more I screw them up

    by , December 22nd, 2013 at 11:32 PM (Blog)
    9 x 50 DFS free on 3:00
    • concentrate on form
    • ease into speed
    • did not accomplish a successful turn

    3 x 25 + turn hypoxic free on 3:00

    20 x 25 on 0:30 WFS
    • strong pushoff, SDK, and BO then kick hard into easy drill

    3 x 25 + turn hypoxic free on ??

    6 x 25 on 1:30 HUDKF WS

    150 HUDKF WFS

    10 x push-off glides for distance from 3' end
    • ~10M

    This day, with the DFS 50's on 3:00 I managed an easy 31 with much less effort than the day prior. The turn drills I did must have consumed any available speed. For now - on do the drill at the end of workouts, and avoid on recovery days.

    Got to get the turns calibrated down to a high speed, fully automatic and dependable performance, anytime, anywhere, at race-pace.

    Updated December 22nd, 2013 at 11:37 PM by __steve__

  16. Sun, Dec. 22

    by , December 22nd, 2013 at 09:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    wide grip lat pulldowns, 75 x 3 x 8
    triceps press, 70 x 3 x 8
    good mornings, (65 ?) x 3 x 8
    explosive leg press, 160 x 3 x 15
    kettleball swings, 2 x 10
    preacher curl, 50 x 3 x 8
    hip abductor, 90 x 3 x 8
    glute isolator, 70 x 2 x 8 each leg
    seated calf press, 80 x 3 x 8
    box jumps, 10
    captains chair leg raises, 3 x 15

    Swim/SCY @ Sewickley

    Jim and I were both there doing recovery workouts. I hopped out after 2000, and he carried on.


    I think the DOMS are already setting in! Hope I can get in a quality workout tomorrow before the holidays.
  17. COR Classic Day 2

    by , December 22nd, 2013 at 04:02 PM (After a long rest)
    Still no speed today but definitely a better day. I am always my own worst critic, but after looking at my splits from yesterday I can take away that I was consistently slow as opposed to dieing. On my 200 yesterday I was out in 26 and then held 28.4s on all other 50s. So despite these being slow I have some pace endurance which is very encouraging pre taper.

    I started the day at the pool by being told that the meet officials had pulled me from the 1650 because they would not use my USAS 1000 time as a seed time. It really sucks because I was looking forward to getting a good time under my belt. I have not yet swum a 1650 since being back. I swam a 1500 at the end of a LCM meet this summer and was looking forward to this race.

    So today's program was the 500 and 100 free. If I had known I could not swim the 1650 I would have entered the 200 back, but alas just the two swims today.

    On my 500 I dropped 4 seconds from the meet last month and did a 5.03.x. Like yesterday, not what i had hoped for but definitely nothing to complain about based on where i am with training. I was out through 200 at a good pace but my tempo dropped a little the rest of the way but still held 30. Mids and highs. At 300 I felt very short of breath and was almost hyper ventilating, but this passed quickly and by 350 felt good again. Nothing in my splits shows this but it felt weird.

    There was a big gap between my 500 and my 100 but I warmed up again before the 100 and despite being a little stiff and a little tired generally felt pretty good.

    I went 50.36 on my 100 with my first 50 split being 23.95 and my second being 26.41. I started to tied up at the end of the 3rd length but held on. My second 50 was a little slow and despite my time being slower than last month I was pleased with this based on the rest of the meet and more generally where I am in my training program.
  18. COR Classic Day 1

    by , December 22nd, 2013 at 08:12 AM (After a long rest)
    Friday proved to be a very long day starting with my swim before heading to the airport and ending with a couple of hour flight delay courtesy of American Airlines. I had a decent nights sleep but was sleepy when I woke up and was not feeling great, but surprisingly did not feel totally bad either. My daughter was swimming the meet also so it was great getting ready with her and also sitting with her pool side(although I kept my distance so she could still hang out with her friends without feeling awkward).

    This was the rescheduled version of this meet that got moved due to the ice storms that hit Dallas over Thanksgiving. Due to the shorter schedule(1.5 days instead of 3) I did not do any of the back events.

    200 free - 1.51.x I was very disappointed with this and just had no speed at all. I was aiming to break 1.50, so was disappointed. I was out in 54 high which is too slow to go under my target. I just had no speed and suspect I set my expectations too high for this meet.

    50 free - 23.08 five of us tied on this time across heats with myself and another in my heat. I did not feel bad on this one but again did not have any speed, and just felt very sluggish.

    Today I have a long program swimming the 500, 100 and 1650. Today is a new day and I will swim a good meet today!
  19. Saturday 12/21/13

    Saturday 12/21

    "Chesapeake Elite Meet Day 3"

    50 FR - 23.07

    I had a bad flip-turn and finish on this race. As soon as I climbed out of the water and saw the time, I wanted that race back. Frustrating to go a time you can normally do in practice on any given day!

    200 BR - 2:13.38 (29.83/33.52 [1:03.35] 34.56/35.47 [1:10.03])

    I faded down the stretch more than I expected. My stroke just unraveled. I think my nagging knee pain over the past few weeks is partially to blame. Not directly during the race, but the pain made me cut down my breaststroke training during the crucial pre-taper and taper period. I think I need to just use the next month to get it healthy and then work in practice on keeping my form when I am broken down...not mentally checking out of the race when it comes to the little things.

    Total: 5000 (ish)
    Swim Workouts
  20. Solstice workout

    Another scy workout with PCST Masters today—unseasonably warm air temps (in the 70s at 9 am) and windy skies signaled an approaching storm system. I enjoyed the warm sunny weather and tried to remember to adjust my backstroke turns in the windy conditions during the following:

    500 scy warmup

    5 x 100 BR/FR combo (25/75, 50/50, 75/25, 50/50, 25/75) @ 1:45

    400 IM drill
    100 easy
    400 rev IM drill [50dr/25k/25 perfect stroke]
    100 easy

    2x thru
    100 FR sprint @ 3:00 [1:15, 1:13]
    2 x 50 FR sprint @ 1:30 [34,33,32,32]

    300 IM kick

    400 swim + play [I did lots of backstroke and sculling on my back here, watching the clouds race through the sky.]

    It’s supposed to storm all day tomorrow. The pool is closed on Sundays anyway, and it’s been too wavy to swim out in the gulf. My project for the day will be making dressing and ambrosia for Christmas dinner, so I’m glad it will be a good day to stay inside and cook and sing along with carols.