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  1. good distance per stroke

    by , July 1st, 2015 at 07:21 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Worked on getting a good pull today. Only 2 of us today, me and Mike.

    400 free
    4x100@1:40 free w/paddles & bouy
    16x25@:30 free

    2 times thru
    3x100@1:40 free w/paddles & bouy
    6x50@1:00 free w/paddles & bouy
    300 free w/paddles & bouy
    masters minute

    200 free kick w/zoomers
    300 free EASY

    Total 3500 meters
    Swim Workouts
  2. Water, Water, Everywhere ... (July-August 2015)

    by , July 1st, 2015 at 12:00 AM (SWIMMER Editorials)
    Water. The 332,500,000 cubic miles of the life-sustaining essential compound contained in, on, and above our planet is largely responsible for our existence. At a molecular level, we are water.

    We drink it. We grow and cook our food with it. Water cleanses, renews, and invigorates. When it falls out of the sky, we dance. When it falls out of our eyes, we feel better afterward. We migrate to the coasts, placing a higher value on homes near water.

    Mismanagement of Earth’s most precious resource might be our undoing—the evidence that immediate worldwide changes are needed is easy to see from the American West to Micronesia to Africa.

    Our connection to water runs deeper than its physical properties and uses.

    Water is often a major character in novels, myths, fables, and recurring dreams. Human drama unfolds on the rolling sea, in driving rain, near crashing surf or raging rivers. We converse with gurgling brooks and contemplate the mirrored stillness of mountain lakes. Water’s prominence in our literature is but one way we honor it, and our fascination isn’t always about its life-giving properties: We give deadly storms human names and gender-specific pronouns.

    Humans have a tendency to anthropomorphize objects and nonhuman animals that are important to us—it makes us feel more connected to them. (Attributing human characteristics to furry household mammals has become an art form on YouTube—just try to watch “Dog Wants a Kitty” and not laugh out loud.)

    So it’s no surprise that some swimmers describe water as a valued teammate and friend: one who is forgiving and tolerant, one who listens and consoles.

    Masters megastar Karlyn Pipes shared her intensely personal story with Elaine K. Howley and in it describes the welcoming, healing properties of the medium that she says accepted her when she felt most broken (page 18).

    On page 30, Linda Brown-Kuhn explores the palliative power of water. Whether we float in it, stand near it, or even just look at a picture of it, we could be deriving a lot more benefit than we realize at the surface. For the story, Brown-Kuhn interviewed marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, author of “The Blue Mind,” about humans’ complex relationship with water and its potential to improve every aspect of our lives.

    As swimmers, our intimate relationship with water is likely part and parcel of why we believe our sport and the people in it are so special—we share its bonds figuratively and literally—connected through its touch.

    Updated September 21st, 2015 at 08:32 AM by Editor

    Tags: water
    Staff Blogs
  3. Hot and cold

    My performance in practice has become more inconsistent over time, to the extent that I never know what to expect until we get into the main set. On Saturday I shared a lane in the well, which was warm as usual, with Dick, Kristy, Mariah, and Katy. Whitney coached.

    Warm up:

    Four times through--
    4 x (choose your distance) @ 1:00; we swam 75s
    2 x 25 @ :30, one fast, one easy with one breath

    Drop down 50s, kick with fins or pull; I pulled with a buoy and made it to :32

    Main set:

    Twice through--
    1 x 400
    1 x 300
    1 x 200
    1 x 100
    on 1:15 base; felt stronger on the second round and went 4:51, 3:33, and 2:23

    I rested Sunday then struggled through yesterday's practice; the main set was four rounds of the following:

    4 x 50 @ :45
    1 x 100 @ 400 race pace; averaged 1:17 which didn't feel great and is slower than my goal 400 pace by :02
    1 x 200 pull

    This morning I shared a lane with Larry, Taylor, Joe, Rachel. We swam in the main pool which was set up long course. Whitney coached.

    Warm up:

    6 x (150 free/50 stroke drill)

    Main set:

    Three rounds of--
    4 x 50 as 25 stroke fast/25 easy free @ 1:00, IM order by round
    1 x 100 stroke @ 200 race pace, IM order by round, then leaving on the next top-
    1 x 100 kick, then leaving on the next top-
    4 x 100 free "aerobic" @ 1:25; I finally put together a solid set of 100s @ 1:25, holding 1:20 (even when I led the lane on the last round). Felt strong on these. Go figure.

    Final set:

    Two rounds of--
    1 x 300 pull @ 4:30
    1 x 200 IM @ 3:30, strong
    1 x 100 with 10 breaths (didn't make that) @ 2:00
  4. 6|30|15 SCM and a run

    SCM outside
    Did about 1200 of drills, fly, bk, br with and without fins, then a 12.5 sec 25m fr from the block

    2.5 mil jog in 20 min
    legs were aching and still quite sore from the leg workout 77 hours ago. Man, it takes forEVer to recover these days.
  5. Why compete in masters meets?

    by , June 30th, 2015 at 09:41 PM (After a long rest)
    I am arranging a 2 day meet in Rockwall the week after summer Nationals and it has made me think a lot about why did I signup to try to put this meet on? Other team members are helping and the meet is by no means a solo effort but I asked myself why do I care one way or the other whether other masters swimmers compete at our meet or not; and even more broadly why am I as passionate about the sport of swimming as I am.

    As I have written previously I am a former national level swimmer and quit the sport after the 1992 Olympic trials, burnt out and frustrated. At the time swimming had become something I needed to do rather than something I wanted to do. 20+ years and a lot of weight later I was roped into swimming in a corporate challenge event at work. After competing(I did not win) and having so much fun I decided I was going to give swimming another go. My initial intent was to get back into some semblance of physical shape. Initially swimming was tough but after about 6 months I ventured to Bryan, Texas and competed in a very small local meet. Again my times were not stellar and I was nervous but once again I had so much fun. Unlike the last year or so of my college swimming career where I was not enjoying myself and despite having success Swimming had lost the fun element, masters swimming was a lot of fun.

    Again as I have written numerous times on my blog I travel a fair bit with work and no matter where I am I go out of my way to swim. Traveling for work is highly overrated, boring, tiring and most of the time the complete opposite of fun. Despite my job requiring me to meet and interact with large groups of people I am naturally a quiet and fairly introverted person. When I first started dropping in on masters teams both domestically and internationally I was quite nervous but again soon realized that no matter where I went I had something in common with those I choose to join at 0-dark something; a passion for swimming. I was not the only crazy guy who had fun following the black line at the bottom of the pool.

    I realized that win or loose I liked the feeling of swimming fast, racing and pushing myself to my physical limit. After a while I even stopped comparing my times to what I did when I was younger and compared my times to my last swims. I still get upset and disappointed with not so great swims but it's no longer a love hate relationship with swimming, its purely a love relationship.

    Despite my weight loss and body transition over the last three years I still don't have a 20 year olds body and obviously I never will. When I first started masters swimming I was embarrassed by my body shape and this initially caused me hesitation to compete. Somewhere along the way I realized it did not matter. Everyone in masters swimming has aged from our memories view of our physical glory days and our body shapes and sizes are what they are and are not important. Someone said to me one time that we all have two things in common, we are all born and we all die. He followed this with, what makes a great life is what you do with the time in between these two events. I can't control when my time is up but having the ability to have the highest quality of life while I am here is within my control and swimming has provided me some wonderful experiences. I truly believe, that swimming has given me a stronger relationship with my wife, most of the stress I used to bring home from work I leave at work and I believe I have become less flustered and frustrated as a result. I am still able to keep up with my kids, and my daughter specifically and I have a shared passion and spend time together as a result of swimming. I believe I bring more value to my business because I am more alert and mentally strong at work because of swimming. I have made friends I would not have made and in nearly every case feel like I have friends for life.

    So why compete? I believe that meets add even more value to the masters swimming experience. Swimming is to a large extent, a fairly solitary sport. Somehow we get to know each other without really spending much total time talking. After all how much conversation can be conducted in the 10-15 seconds between swims and the 5-10 minutes at the beginning and end of practice? Meets allow us to share more time with our team mates. Meets allow us to support each other in a way we are unable to in practice. I realized in several cases that not only do I share a passion for swimming with my team mates but life experiences ranging from kid stories, work stories, college experiences, etc. My team mates are cool interesting people and traveling to and from meets, hanging out in deck and supporting each other is so much fun. There goes that word again!

    Personally I had a very successful Spring Nationals but none of my own swims rank as the highlight of my meet. Seeing our entire team supporting one of our team mates who entered her first meet and completed the 200fly and 400IM was really awesome. Somehow we all shared every stroke Martha made and everyone got something from Martha's achievement. USMS is a big supporter of inclusion and I really do believe that competing enables swimmers to compete as a team and masters meets should not just be enjoyed by the few but rather every masters swimmer deserves to share in the experience and fun associated with a meet.

    I hope we have a great turn out at our meet but above all I hope everyone has fun.

    Updated September 26th, 2015 at 07:06 AM by StewartACarroll

    Ramblings , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  6. Week 144 - Tuesday

    by , June 30th, 2015 at 02:48 PM (After a long rest)
    This past weekend I went to San Antonio with my family. I got up early on Saturday to swim with MOST at UT San Antonio but the pool was completely drained and I was unable to swim. We had a great family trip going to the Alamo on Friday afternoon and Sea World on Saturday before going to dinner with some friends. Unfortunately no sooner had we got home on Sunday and I had to pack for a business trip to Atlanta. Yesterday I had a 6am flight and all day meetings in Atlanta which meant no swimming for 3 days. This is the longest I have been out of the pool in about a year and I felt it this morning. I had some good workouts last week but today I did not have a very good feel for the water and felt a little out of sorts. I swam at the Winchester school with GAJA masters who I have swum with several times on trips to Atlanta. A few people recognized me which is always nice. Today's workout was scy.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    10x50 catchup

    Main sets
    8x75 done IM order, drill, underwater, swim on 1:10
    All done as descend 1-3,4-6
    (6x100 with snorkel on 1:30
    6x50 on :50 done as 25 free, 25 fly
    6x75 with snorkel on 1:10
    6x50 on :50 done as 25 free, 25 back
    6x50 with snorkel on :45
    6x50 on :50 done as 25 free, 25 breast)
    8x50 streamline kick with snorkel on 1min

    Warm down
    200 easy

    Nothing too special time wise today holding 1min to 1:03 pace on the free. I felt good on back and kick. At least something felt good today

    Updated September 26th, 2015 at 07:06 AM by StewartACarroll

    Swim Workouts
  7. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/01/2015

    by , June 30th, 2015 at 11:15 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 2:00
    2 X 200 3:30
    1 X 400 6:30
    2 X 200 3:20
    3 X 100 1:40

    1 X 100 kick 2:40
    8 X 50 kick 1:20

    3 X 200 4:00
    3 X 150 3:00
    3 X 100 2:00
    3 X 50 1:15
    Swim #1 build #2 fast #3 easy/recovery
    Choice--swim or pull

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  8. Easy day

    by , June 30th, 2015 at 08:34 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    This was an easy one today.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    5x100@2 as 50 free/50 back w/paddles and 6 beat kick
    500 free w/snorkel & zoomers each 100 as 15m kick/20m swim/15m kick/15m swim/20m kick/15m swim
    500 free practice sighting

    Total 2500 meters
    Swim Workouts
  9. 6|29|15 LCM

    2 x 50 fr on 2:00 with snorkel
    • 44, 39

    3 x 50 fr on 3:00, easy sprint, 50 sprint, 100 fr stroke pace (I wish)
    • 34, 31 flat, 33

    50 br
    • 50

    50 bk
    • 43

    100 drill

    2 x 50 headup dolphin kick fr with fins

    Legs are shot from leg presses yesterday. I did 7 x 5 x 540. Really felt it in pool. After the 50 bk, my legs felt like a rhinocerous was sitting on them. Also had that post lactosis feeling (metallic taste, slight nausea) driving off from pool.

    Endurance jammers arrived today, same size as the former ones but feel too tight!
  10. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 06/30/2015

    by , June 29th, 2015 at 12:44 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    6 X 100 3 on 2:00/3 on 1:50
    4 X 150 2:40
    1 X 300 --

    2 X 200 kick 5:00
    1 x 100 swim

    8 x 50 1:10
    6 X 100 2:00
    50's: #4 and #8 @ 100%
    100's: #3 and #6 @ 100%

    4 X 250 pull 4:00
    Last 50 fast on all 4

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  11. Lite attendance

    by , June 29th, 2015 at 07:27 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    The last few weeks there have been a lot of people missing. It's very evident when I am the 2nd fastest there.

    200 free
    200 free w/paddles & bouy
    8x50@1:00 free

    200@3:20 free w/paddles & bouy
    4x100@1:40 free w/paddles & bouy
    8x25@:30 IM order
    1 minute rest

    200@3:20 free w/paddles & bouy
    4x100@1:40 free w/paddles & bouy
    8x25@:30 fly/fr/bk/fr/br/fr/fr/fr
    1 minute rest

    200@3:20 free w/paddles & bouy
    4x100@1:40 free w/paddles & bouy
    8x25@:30 free
    1 minute rest

    300 free EASY

    Total 3500 meters
    Swim Workouts
  12. 3600 SCY--1650 pace set

    by , June 28th, 2015 at 08:29 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Looked back over the old workouts and found I hadn't recorded this 1650 pace set in a while (my January blog entry is the last time I wrote down my results, so I have something to compare today's results with), though I know I've done it a few times since then.

    My warm-up was the standard freestyle 1100 on 20:00 (400 EZ on 7:00, 4 x 100 on 1:40, 4 x 50 on 1:00, 4 x 25 on :25), then I went straight into the 1800/30-minute set to work on 1650 pace:

    3 x 200 fr on 3:20 (2:58-3:00)
    6 x 100 fr on 1:40 (1:28-1:29)
    12 x 50 fr on :50 (:42-:44)

    I cooled down with 700 mixed (100 back recovery, 200 pull, 200 fr, 100 pull, 100 bk).

    When I did this set back in January I was doing it on a 100/1:45 interval, so the set took me 31:30 to complete, but the times were similar--maybe even a little slower. That 1:29 pace would break 25:00, which has been a "short"-term goal for a really LONG time now--since I swam 25:04 at WI state SCY meet. But inconsistency hasn't helped me over the last couple of years. My longer-term goal pace of 1:25 still requires sets with a longer rests. But we'll see how close I can get over the next few weeks. I feel a time-trial coming on... I'm just now starting to get my "wind" back.

    Yesterday I only did 2K, so something of a break, which I'm sure contributed to my good set today. Though I did have a good solid backstroke set for the 200 pace:

    4 x 50 on 1:00
    50 recovery on 1:00
    4 x 50 on 1:00
    50 recovery on 1:00
    2 x 100 on 2:00
    50 recovery on 1:00
    1 x 200 on 4:00
    50 recovery on 1:00

    Nice 20-minute set and my times were all around :48/50 in the backstroke (my 100s came in around 1:35, the 200 came in at 3:13, but I was right on a :48/50 pace for the first 150). This is getting me back to where I started a couple of summers ago when I started to take backstroke seriously, so there will be many sets of 50s and 100s in the future as I take that 3:10+/200 down under 3:00 (short-term goal) and make a run at my long-term goal of 2:40 eventually. Sets of 25s in both back and free are going to help with both the 1650 and 200 goals; I need to find someone in the area who will do them with me though, because I have a tough time on sprints without someone there pushing me.
  13. 6|26|15 SCY 25's from block

    300 warmup of various

    7 x 25 fr on 2-5 minutes filmed via GoPro HERO+LCD
    • all were above 90% effort, one was close to an all-out
    • sub 13's, some might be a sub 12's

    • technical feedback comments are more than welcome and highly appreciated

    100 of finned UW camera experimentation

    3 starts from block filmed for data review

    Due to various reasons I stayed up entire night. It was 5am, I opted for the sunrise-swim experience I rarely get. Glad I did though I was tired

    I have almost nothing but good things to say about GoPro and the software. It seems more suited for younger generations - I needed my readers on to operate the thing at first - but I'm getting accustomed to the functions, and the software is quite versatile. It does require updates and firmware mod's I haven't needed to do that yet. One thing I'm trying to get used to, which could be necessary for capturing peripherals, is the mild stretch at the boarders of videos which bends lines and changes perceptions of distance. Anyway, I feel this entry-level gadget was well worth it's affordable price and I see additional accessories in the future. Moreover, It should also physically withstand the rigors of Aruba (coming up), where my other camera buckled.

    Updated June 27th, 2015 at 08:00 PM by __steve__

  14. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 06/29/2015

    by , June 27th, 2015 at 12:01 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    Back from Colombia and the meet was great and the experience even better. Highly recommend the PAN AM meet for all levels--it is the most fun meet out there!

    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 2:00 1:45
    2 X 150 2:45 2:30
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    8 X 50 kick 1:20
    Numbers 5-8 are fast

    4 X (3 X 100 2:00 #3 on 3:00
    Choice--1/2: moderate #3 is fast

    4 X 300 pull 4:30
    Negative split all 4

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  15. Friday, June 26

    by , June 26th, 2015 at 03:15 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/LCM/Solo @ Lebo

    Warm up:

    500 various
    4 x (25 scull + 25 free w/paddles) @ 1:10
    4 x (25 fast + 25 EZ) @ 1:10
    50 EZ

    Main sets:

    12 x 50
    odds = fast @ 100 pace @ 1:00
    evens = EZ @ 1:30
    50 EZ

    3 rounds w/fins
    1 x 50 fast kick @ 100 pace @ 1:00
    1 x 50 kick @ 200 pace @ 1:00
    1 x 100 backstroke kick moderate @ 2:00

    50 EZ

    6 x 50 w/paddles
    odds = free
    evens = back
    100 EZ

    Total: 2650 m


    As Water Rat said, it was hot today at the Lebo pool. Last swim for ages and ages. Perhaps that will help my finger heal a little faster. Train well everyone!
    Swim Workouts
  16. Week 143 - Friday

    by , June 26th, 2015 at 03:01 PM (After a long rest)
    My family and I are driving down to San Antonio for a long weekend today so I was in a bit of a hurry getting to and from the pool. Despite feeling like I was on a time limit this morning I had a good workout yet again today. The pool was setup LCM.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    8x50 catchup

    Main sets
    3x(200 free on 3mins, 100 streamline kick on 1:45, 2x50 DPS on 1min)
    16x25 on :45 done as 4x(25 afap vertical dolphin kick, 25 afap 5 breaststroke kicks on bottom of pool, 25 afap vertical dolphin kick, 25 afap 5 vertical streamlines pushing off bottom of the pool)
    3x(200 kick on 4mins, 100 kick on 1:40)

    Warm down
    200 easy

    I am finally feeling very comfortable swimming long course. Nothing blindingly fast but my stroke felt smooth and easy throughout. My shoulders are still a little sore but generally much better than last week so I think not using the kick owed for all the kick sets has helped. The last set today was with a board but everything else I did streamline. On the 200,100,50 set I held 2:17s on the 200s and ft quite comfortable, I then held 1:42s on the kick and then did active recovery on the 50s focused on DPS and went 30 strokes. On the 25s afap I was holding 15s as best as I could tell. The kick at the end was tough but I got into a pretty decent groove and I held 3:50s on the 200s and then went 1:35 on the 100s. The 100s hurt and the kick set felt like it lasted forever but I was pleased with the outcome today.

    Hard to believe I only have about 3 weeks til I start my taper for summer nationals.
    Swim Workouts
  17. Week 143 - Thursday

    by , June 25th, 2015 at 10:41 PM (After a long rest)
    I was really sore when I woke up this morning and was convinced I would not be able to do 6 rounds of abs today. Luckily one of my training partners was there and between the two of us we got going and helped motivate each other to get through the workout. I would not have done this workout on my own and in fact we almost talked each other into doing a 7th round.

    5x(vasa swim trainer done as 1:30 on the machine, :30 rest)
    2xshoulder bands and light weights focused on rotator cuff on left shoulder joint.
    6x(flutter kick with arms extended(like back kick), oblique v sits, leg lift, one leg knee to nose planks, 90/45/15 leg lifts done as :45 seconds of exercise, :15 seconds rest). And 1min rest between rounds

    Swimming LCM
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :50
    8x50 open,close, easy, fast on 1mon with fins
    400 easy

    Swim Workouts
  18. 6|24|15 SCM yesterdays swim

    11:00 to 12:00 - sunny, mid 90's, And plus, a crisp (Antonym) and nippy (Antonym) 90°F body of water that was quite exhilarating (Antonym)

    6 x 25 fr on 1:00
    4 x 25 fr on 2:00 fast, hypoxic - 15L's
    6 x 25 fr on 3:00 fast, hypoxic - 14H's, maybe 15's
    3 x 25 fr from block on, say, 3:00 fast, hypoxic

    I might have optimal speed in 82-84°F H2O, but bathing in hot water under the sun in these conditions absolutely zapped any fast twitch available. Perhaps this can be thought of as an extra-resistance training.

    Then, what melted the cake's icing was roasting on an aircrafts engine pylon for work later that afternoon.

    Updated June 25th, 2015 at 10:14 PM by __steve__

  19. Wed-Thurs., June 24-25

    by , June 25th, 2015 at 07:27 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)


    Went for a 4 mile jog


    Swim/LCM/Solo @ Lebo

    500 various
    4 x (25 scull + 25 DPS free w/paddles) @ 1:10
    50 EZ
    3 x (50 @ 100 pace @ 1:00 + 50 EZ @ 1:30)
    -- didn't feel like I had a lick of speed (probably because this is my 11th day in a row of working out), so shifted to an aerobic set
    -- since I hadn't done one of these in years, I could feel it
    16 x 100 w/fins & paddles
    8 @ 1:40, 8 @ 1:45
    odds = free w/paddles (hold 1:13 ish)
    evens = kick, negative split
    100 EZ

    Total: 2750 m

    Heated Power Yoga, 75 Min

    It was pretty toasty again, but not as bad as last time. I have to say that the never ending pigeon poses bore me. I've started adding in bikram's wind removing pose and fixed firm pose while doing this. Haven't been yelled at so far ...


    I'm almost all packed! And the weather forecast is looking a little better, though it's still almost 20 degrees cooler than the last time I landed in Copenhagen this same time a few years ago. Our flight leaves tomorrow at 3:30 pm, so I have time to get to adult swim at Lebo for an hour. IF it's not pouring. The last two weeks have been very wet.
    Swim Workouts , Running , Yoga
  20. Thursday June 25, 2015

    Shared a lane this morning with Mark, Larry, Mariah, Joe, Sharon. Whitney coached.

    Warm up and main set:

    40 x 100 @ 2:00 as follows--

    1-8 as warm up

    9-16 free, best average, 85-90%; held 1:17 but went 1:15 on #16. HR was 144.

    17-24 kick, best average; I used short Keifer fins and held 1:35

    25-32 stroke of choice, best average, 85-90%; swam five of these before I had to leave for work and went 1:15, 1:13, 1:13, 1:13, 1:12 (all free) and felt strong. I just need to put four of these together for my 400 free in San Jose and I can bust 5:00

    32-40 swim or pull, best average; missed these because of an early case

    2900 meters