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  1. 8/11 Workout

    by , August 11th, 2010 at 12:25 PM (Random Nonsense)
    Another one for Geek to like and Fort to hate.

    Warm Up
    - 500 free
    - 200 back kick with fins
    - 300 back
    - 4x50 drill/kick
    Main Set
    - 400 on 5:00
    - 2x250 on 3:10
    - 200 on 2:30
    - 2x250 on 3:10
    - 400 on 5:00
    Cool down
    - 300 ez middle 100 stroke

    There was only around 6-7 seconds rest on most of the main set, with 8 seconds on the 200 and 12 seconds on the last 400. The 250s exemplify my ability to automatically swim as slow as the interval will allow. This isn't a good thing, I should have had more rest on the 250s.


    Got a delayed indirect compliment from Mark that was reenacted for me today. After I left on my 600 Monday, he said to the girl in the next lane "Yeah, I need more rest before starting the 600. I am not a ing machine like Mike." Very funny since Mark is a machine who has only made about six practices this summer, doesn't have a swimming background and still made most of the set on the hardest interval.

    Swam with Anna and Gerald today, which surprised me because Anna has specifically told me she does not like swimming with me, but she does enjoy coming up with hard practices when the regular coach is out of town.

    My indirect compliment from Anna at the end of practice.

    Me: "How'd you do?"
    Anna: "I couldn't keep up... I did 200s on the 250s... I didn't swim much much this summer."
    Me: "I know, you were standing on the side yelling at us to go faster."
    Anna: "It worked! You did!"
  2. Getting in some sprinting

    This morning I went to the early AGUA practice. Here’s what we did (mutatis mutandis for taper):

    200 lcm warmup

    300 FR + 200 IM drill (2nd warmup)

    8 x 50, 2 of each stroke, IM order, @ :20ish rest

    5x thru:
    200 IM
    100 FR
    50 Stroke (IM order)
    50 easy FR
    [I took an on-deck stretching interlude during the first 200 IM, and thereafter did the rest of the set, substituting 200 stroke drills/easy swim with fast IM turns for the IM, and doing sprint BR or BK for the 50 stroke.]

    300 warmdown + sculling + play

    My sprint breaststroke timing was feeling good today for the first time in a while—I felt like I was able to turn over quickly without losing water. I’m still working on getting my backstroke turnover right. After my 50 BK at the Wilton meet, Coach Craig told me that I was swimming too flat, and shouldn’t sacrifice rotation for arm speed (or at least not to the extent that I was doing). My body and I still seem to be negotiating what rate of turnover still allows me to get enough body rotation when I’m sprinting.

    Yesterday afternoon I went over to the Y for a short on-my-own swim. I did

    1000 warmup

    8 x 25 FR, odds build quickly to sprint, evens easy

    400 warmdown

    I would usually do the sprint 25s to feet, but I realized one thing I’m glad about for Zones is that I will not have to do any flipturns in any of my races! (I don’t count backstroke turns as flipturns). For some reason, freestyle turns are my least favorite of all the swim turns. I will get to do all the other 5 possible turns (that’s counting butterfly and breaststroke turns as the same) exactly once over the course of my 6 races.

    (Math question of the day: How many possible combinations of events would the above info hold true for?)

    10 more days til Zones!
    Tags: math, taper, turnover
  3. tue aug 10th 2010

    by , August 10th, 2010 at 10:51 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    tue aug 10th

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- ‪USMS Nationals 2010 SCY - 100 Fly M45-49 - New Record‬‎[/nomedia]

    swam mon

    main set
    10 x 100

    10 x 50 walk on deck, 50 easy speed from dive

    arrived late missed warm up
    pool 86 degrees

    400 easy
    4 x 100 fr
    400 im drill

    300 easy
    3 x 100 fr
    300 im drill

    200 easy
    2 x 100 fr
    200 Im drill

    100 fr easy speed
    100 fr went 1:01
    100 easy

    Updated August 10th, 2010 at 11:02 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  4. Swim, Tuesday, Aug. 10

    by , August 10th, 2010 at 08:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo @ Y:

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Transition Set:

    8 x 100 @ 2:00, aerobic mode

    2 each of 100 free w/paddles, 100 russian breast drill, 100 back, 100 kick

    50 EZ

    Speed Work:

    10 x 50 @ 1:15, working on hand speed
    odds = 25 power breast pull w/buoy + 25 EZ
    evens = 15 backstroke spin drill + 35 easy

    6 x 50 breast kick, cruise
    odds = 1 pull, 3 kicks UW
    evens = kick on back

    3 x through w/fins:

    1 x 25 AFAP free
    1 x 50 EZ
    1 x 25 easy speed fly
    1 x 50 EZ

    100 EZ

    Mini Hypoxic Set:

    8 x 25 shooters w/fins

    50 EZ

    Total: 3200



    Same routine as yesterday. I was on the beach for a couple hours, ate lunch and headed to the Y for a little speed work. I timed it to arrive after the Tri Group, and ended up having a lane of my own. No noodler incidents. Then headed back to the beach. I finished reading Dead End Gene Pool, which you must read if you think your family is dysfunctional. Started reading Open, Andre Agassi's autobiography. Planning on watching A Single Man tonight. Life feels very lazy. I will be quite quite spoiled when I get back to the inexorable routine of food gathering and preparing and chauffeuring. Fortunately, summer doesn't end until after Labor Day in DC, which, btw, is a good place to be away from right now.

    Here's a P90X article on nutrition that I saw on FB:

    My son turns 18 tomorrow. I can hardly believe it ...
    Swim Workouts
  5. Day 2 at Nationals

    by , August 10th, 2010 at 05:34 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    More hardware today. After a leasurely warm up of 500 then another 500 later started with the 50 Fly in 37.30 for 6th place. The 100 Back I jammed the turn really bad, I was so close when I rolled over I almost hit the wall with my head. Still managed a 1:31.84 for 8th place.

    Next up were relays we did a Mixed Medley where I did fly and split a 36.89 and we placed 8th and the womens free relay I split 31.70 and we placed 6th!

    Great day looking forward to tomorrow.
  6. Potpourri of Toys

    by , August 10th, 2010 at 05:25 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    The Workout
    Continuing to rip off the Swimming World Masters workouts, I loafed the following "Mid-Distance Potpourri" at Lifetime in SCM:

    • 1 x 500: 200 fr, 200 IM k/d, 100 fr
    • 1 x 500: swim, descend 100s
    • 1 x 500: IM kick, alternate dolphin-flutter-breast kick by 50s, do 250 w/board, 250 on back w/out board
    • "Swim Math 500"
      • Prime # lengths are free
      • Lengths divisible by 2 are back
      • Lengths divisible by 3 are breast
      • Lengths divisible by 5 are fly
      • Higher number divisor takes precedence (e.g., lap 6 is breast no back)

    • 1 x 500: pull, lungbuster
      • odd lengths breathe every 3
      • even lengths breathe 2-4-6-8-10-10-8-6-4-2

    • 1 x 500: 25/25, 50/50,75/75, 100/100
      • built an IM drill on the 1st sub-component
      • easy free on the 2nd sub-component

    TOTAL: 3,000 SCM


    • Out of the water, I didn't feel any muscle soreness from the limited dryland work I had done on Monday (by design), but I felt it in the water. As much as going easy and playing around over the summer was fun, getting back into swimming shape is going to take some time.

    Potpourri of Toys
    If I'm really going to pretend to be a sprinter, I figure I need to stock up on various swim toys, both to add variety to all of the 25 and 50 repeats I'll do and to waste time between sets switching out equipment. My FINIS training snorkel and foam roller arrived today. I'll be ordering some long fins later today and probably some paddles. I'll hold off on the monofin for now, but will probably finally crack open the tempo trainer during my 1st period of sprint training so I can start to work on stroke rate. Tomorrow I'm going to bring all of my toys to the pool; hopefully I don't have to buy a bigger bag!
    Swim Workouts
  7. Tuesday, 8/10/10

    by , August 10th, 2010 at 11:38 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, with Carrie

    Warm up
    300 free
    200 Kick w/board
    100 Scull/Pull Free
    200 Back
    200 Kick on back
    100 Scull/Pull Back

    10 x 50
    3 x 50/50 build
    1 x 50/45 fast
    2 x 50/50 build
    1 x 50/40 Faster
    1 x 50/50 build
    1 x 50/35 fastest
    1 x 50 easy

    4 x 100 Kick 10m underwater
    3 x 100 10 fast kicks into 4 fast strokes then kick moderate into wall
    (1 free, 1 fly, 1 back)
    time 100 fast kick
    (on back, went 1:50)

    Cool down
    100 easy

    Total: 2500 meters
  8. Sunk Redux: End of the Summer Open Water Swim

    by , August 9th, 2010 at 11:40 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    It's not the years in your life, but the life in your years that matter.

    --Anonymous, date unknown

    How quickly my once proudest boast, "There is not one ounce of fat on this boy!" has transformed into "There is not one ounce of boy in this fat!"

    --Jim Thornton, 1983


    The summer continues to pass by in a humid blink. With each passing year, the acceleration of time's flow becomes that much more bamboozlingly rapid. For a FINA-58-year-old like me, no sooner have I had such thoughts than a natural worry comes to mind. To wit, how will I possibly have time to make my burial preparations, so quickly are the nanosecond-like years speeding by.

    But then I think: Oh, what an impractical worry you are torturing yourself with, Jim! Given the speed of time's passing, the friction alone will burn you to bits, a spontaneous combustion that all but eliminates the need for any additional mortuary science!

    And I find peace in this.

    It seems like only a half hour ago since the Range War! of inchoate animosities broke out on the forum, stoked by misunderstandings and turf battling nincompoopitude that very few, if any of us, understood. Not that it stopped very entertaining criss-crossing spurts of bile from ejaculating into every corner of the forumite community!

    It seems like only a second ago that I contributed two new slogans to the USMS greater community--one, of course, not mine at all, but rather a "found" gem, like Marcel DuChamps legendary "readymades," the most famous of which was arguably:

    Fountain by Marcel DuChamp

    USMS Forums:

    A cesspool full of combative weirdoes and irrelevant losers!

    Forum T-Shirt Slogan "Found"by Jim Thornton

    [ame=""]Forum T-Shirt Logo Poll - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]

    USMS! Where Sad Old Men Go to Die

    Advertising campaign tag line ideated by Jim Thornton

    [ame=""]What Does USMS Needs to do to grow to 100,000+ Members? - Page 2 - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]

    Perhaps such ideas are ahead of their time; in any event, they garnered little interest at the time of their posting, and I suspect they will garner little interest now. I include them here only so that 1,000 years from now, swimming cultural anthropologists might perhaps unearth from the rubble of today's ephemerata valuable clues as to how the sport evolved to what they are doing then from what we are doing now.

    I daresay such historians will look upon today's strokes with the same bemusement we now regard the doggie paddle!

    But enough speculation.

    Let me get to the point of today's entry: the official announcement of The Jim Thornton Annual Pre-Birthday Open Rough Water Shark and Snapper Blue 2-Mile Swim.

    Two quick modifications. I thought that last year was the first time I did this, but it turns out it was two years ago. Moreover, for the second event, I am planning to change it from a 2-mile swim to a 5K swim.

    Thus the new name--and the way I hope you will note the event on your desk calendar, Blackberry-like device, and other reminder technologies is:

    The Jim Thornton Bi-Annual (not to be confused with Semi-Annual, as I almost did) Pre-Birthday Open Rough Water Shark and Snapper Blue 5K Swim.

    Here are the particulars:

    1. The JTBA(ntbcwsaaiad)PBORWSaSB5KS (for short) will be held sometime during the week of August 23-29th, that is, after the Colony Zones LCM Championships are over at the U. Maryland.
    2. The venue for the swim is Ocean City, New Jersey, not too terribly far from my twin brother's house, in the Atlantic Ocean, with the finish line being the pier at 52nd Street, I am pretty sure, though it's possible the pier is on 53rd, 54th, 55th, or 56th Street. This detail will be worked out before the starter's signal blasts or tweets.
    3. Chances are fairly good that I will be tired from the LCM meet and probably won't want to hold my event on Monday, or even Tuesday, though these days cannot be ruled out. The actual day will be announced here on my blog at least 24 hours in advance of the actual race.
    4. The starting time for the event will be after 5 p.m., because you don't need to pay for a beach tag after 5.
    5. On the day of the race, I will ascertain whether the rip currents are yanking swimmers in a generally north to south direction, or reverse. I will then use my brother's car to drive 3.1 miles up or down the beach accordingly (we will be swimming with the current, not against it) to establish the starting point.
    6. This event is not sanctioned, not recognized, not safe, not protected by life guards, and possibly fatal for a variety of reasons foreseeable and unforeseeable.
    7. This event is not really an event. It is more of a communal coincidence. If you want to do a purely personal swimming challenge entirely of your own volition, and you want to coincidentally do this when I do it too, and perhaps even race against me, why then I cannot stop you! It is a free (and under normal circumstances a litigious) country, though there are absolutely no grounds whatsoever for litigation with my communally coincidental swimming thingy.
    8. The above notwithstanding, I will have indemnification papers and liability waivers for you to sign if, in fact, you act against my strongest recommendations TO NOT DO THIS UNSAFE ACTIVITY, which could involved run ins with sea life including, but not limited to, snapper blues, sharks, selkies, and crabs.
    9. My cell phone number is (412) 651-2100 and my email address is (If you haven't already, please befriend me on Facebook, too, at James Scott Thornton.) If you are going to be anywhere near Ocean City that week and want to swim, let me know and I will send you a text when I figure out the day.
    10. My twin brother John might be cajoled into filming the event.
    11. He does have a garage. Knowing John, I think he would consider a reasonable rent for anyone who wants to camp out in his garage the night before or after the race. I should add that my son Jack once said when he was 6 or 7, "Uncle John, you have a serious green head problem"--green heads being these biting flies that thrive on the salt marshes against which John's garage abuts. Again, there will be waiver and indemnity forms to sign for any potential garage campers.
    12. Finally, unlike most OW events where the most threatening form of life one is likely to collide with is the Brooklyn Whitefish (AKA Coney Island Whitefish), the real challenge of the JTBA(ntbcwsaaiad)PBORWSaSB5KS is not the swim itself, which should be relatively easy, especially if the current is strong, but rather dealing with the psychological creepiness of the venue. To wit, you have to go out a fair distance to reach water that is not being buffeted by breaking waves. The water, though extremely clean, is nevertheless murky; and in this murk, the shadows of monsters do occasionally appear to play about. Once, when I was swimming through the pier pilings, trying to avoid being dashed against the razor barnacles encrusting the wood, I saw something about 6 feet across float by right underneathe my body. It was a large ray of some sort. But by the time I realized it meant me no harm, there were a few involuntary palpitations triggered by proximity to such a murk-dwelling leviathan! I guarantee that anyone who signs up for the swim will have phantoms, real or imaginary, to deal with. They become all the more sinister, I must say, when one has swum so far off shore to avoid the crashing surf that land itself occasionally disappears totally from view when one sinks into a wave trough!
    13. But still, it's very fun, and the water is a wonderful cool temperature, the perfect antidote to this summer heat and global warming foreshadowing!
    14. Here is a vlog from yesteryear about the first official race, which I must say I won handily. I will also separately link the film my brother made of that special day, a film he named simply, Sunk!

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- ‪Sunk‬‎[/nomedia]

    Updated August 10th, 2010 at 12:09 AM by jim thornton

  9. Monday, Aug 9

    by , August 9th, 2010 at 09:32 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Another beautiful beach day. I had no desire to make the trek to the Y today, so I braved the ocean. Probably not so wise. It was a yellow flag day and very choppy. Plus, I was swimming against the current somewhat. I felt like I was going nowhere. I swam about halfway to the far pier in almost the same time it took to go the whole way last week. No idea how OW swimmers do this all the time ... I'll head back to the Y tomorrow for some sprints.

    Mr. Fort had much better luck. He rode part of the B2B course, going 68 miles and averaging 22.3 mph. He's anxious to see how fast he'll be with zipps.

    Heading home on Friday. I'll be beached out by then. I've managed to weasel out of a small family reunion that weekend involving travel and young children. I need to get back to my own pool, dammit! And I need to start plotting some good 3-4 day escapes for the rest of the year. I also need to start formulating a training plan like Patricks. Not sure what my meet agenda will be (although I will plan on the Sprint Classic).
    Swim Workouts
  10. Monday, Aug 9

    by , August 9th, 2010 at 09:32 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Another beautiful beach day. I had no desire to make the trek to the Y today, so I braved the ocean. Probably not so wise. It was a yellow flag day and very choppy. Plus, I was swimming against the current somewhat. I felt like I was going nowhere. I swam about halfway to the far pier in almost the same time it took to go the whole way last week. No idea how OW swimmers do this all the time ... I'll head back to the Y tomorrow for some sprints.

    Mr. Fort had much better luck. He rode part of the B2B course, going 68 miles and averaging 22.3 mph. He's anxious to see how fast he'll be with zipps.

    Heading home on Friday. I'll be beached out by then. I've managed to weasel out of a small family reunion that weekend involving travel and young children. I need to get back to my own pool, dammit! And I need to start plotting some good 3-4 day escapes for the rest of the year. I also need to start formulating a training plan like Patricks. Not sure what my meet agenda will be (although I will plan on the Sprint Classic).
    Swim Workouts
  11. Fall OW/SCM Plan

    by , August 9th, 2010 at 07:06 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    The Plan

    Play-time / R&R time is over; time to get back to training. Here's the broad outline I've come up with for my Fall OW/SCM season:

    • Three 5 week training periods followed by a 3 week 'sprinter' taper period
      • Period #1 (Aug 9th -> Sep 12th)
      • Period #2 (Sep 13th -> Oct 17th)
      • Period #3 (Oct 18th -> Nov 21st)
      • Period #4 (Nov 22nd -> Dec 11th)

    • Each 5 week training period will be progressive in the intensity
      • Week 1 = moderate intensity
      • Week 2 = harder
      • Week 3 = HARD / High-Intensity
      • Week 4 = HARD / High-Intensity
      • Week 5 = rest week / mini-taper

    • Training Emphasis + Competition Plans
      • Period #1
        • Emphasis: endurance for OW swims; build foundational strength on drylands
        • Competition:
          • La Jolla Rough Water Swim (Sep 12th) doing Daily Double of 1 mile and Gatorman (
          • Rest week will constitute a mini-taper for this event

      • Period #2:
        • Training Emphasis: all swim workouts focused on sprinting except 1 endurance session a week; heavy emphasis on drylands / strength 3x per week
        • Competitions:

      • Period #3:
        • Emphasis: same as period #2 with aim to do mini-taper for Ron Johnson meet
        • Competitions:
          • Nov 7th: Arizona OW series race #5
          • Nov 20th/21st: Ron Johnson Invitational
          • Week 5 will constitute a mini-taper for Ron Johnson; race emphasis will be on 50 & 100 free with selected other short events

      • Period #4:
        • Emphasis: a week or so of hard work, then full-on taper for Mesa Masters Last Chance meet
        • Competitions:
          • Mesa Masters Last Chance meet on Dec 11th -- probably swim 50 & 100 free only, maybe 1 more event depending upon schedule

    • I still haven't completely worked out my dryland routine nor the kinds of sprint workouts I'll do. I do have some time as the next 5 weeks leading up to La Jolla will be the kinds of workouts I'm used to. How I'll approach this:
      • Strength: I'm focusing on Salo's book and will try to create strength work that can generally be done with stretch cords and body weight. The objective there is to have a routine I can use when I start biz travel again in the fall. I will, though, incorporate some free weights for when I'm home or have access to a gym. I'll also be doing research on Fort's blog.
      • Sprint swimming: I imagine that I'll glean most of my workout ideas from Fort's and Ande's blog, but am also going to do some web-trolling to see if I can find examples from the elites of today.

    It should be a fun fall. I'm really going to try hard to stick to the above plan even when I start working again in September. Naturally, when I travel and visit teams, I'll do their workouts. When I'm in Scottsdale and swim with the team, I'll aim to show up primarily on quality/sprint days.

    Today's workout
    As this is week 1, I'm easing back into it.


    • 20 minute AM yoga "CD" w/Rodney Yee
    • 10 minutes of dynamic stretching
    • 2 rounds of the following:
      • ~2 to 3 minutes of jumping rope
      • 20 reps of each w/stretch cords
        • Shoulder blade pinch
        • Catch position external rotation
        • Core chest press
        • Full can
        • Triceps press
        • Curls

      • 5 squats (my right leg's a bit wonky these days so I'm taking it very easy)
      • 20 step-ups onto about a 6" platform

    • ~5 minutes of static stretching

    Pool workout
    With Laura off in Puerto Rico hopefully swimming fast and me wanting some extra sleep in the morning, I have decided to largely rip off the Masters' workouts in this month's Swimming World, provided by the Davis Aquatic Masters. I made some modifications and did this solo at Lifetime:

    • 1 x 500: 200 free, 200 IM k/d, 100 fr
    • Straight through:
      • 1 x 500: on 7:30, pull
      • 2 x 250: on 3:45, swim moderate
      • 4 x 25: on 0:45, AFAP IM order
      • 1:00 rest
      • 1 x 400: on 8:00, IM kick on back
      • 2 x 200: on 4:00, kick IM, 1 w/board, 1 on back
      • 4 x 25: on 0:45, AFAP IM order
      • 1:00 rest
      • 1 x 300: on 4:30, pull w/buoy
      • 2 x 150: on 2:15, swim moderate
      • 4 x 25: on 0:45, AFAP free
      • 1:00 rest

    • 1 x 100: easy

    TOTAL: 3,300 SCM

    Recommendations Needed / Questions:

    • Jump-ropes: how long should a jump rope be? The one I bought is 9', but can be shortened. I seemed to be whacking my feet a lot, but am not sure if that's because of my coordination or if my rope is too long?
    • Fins: I want to add a pair of fins for some of my kick sets. While I have a pair of Z2 Zoomers, should I have a longer pair for when I'm just kicking?
  12. Good start for Nationals

    by , August 9th, 2010 at 04:44 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Got in late yesterday so I was only able to to 1200 meters yesterday.

    Today managed a good 1500 Free in 22:55.85 for 4th place. Had a little difficulty breathing half way thru and had to slow down but after I got my breathing under control it was back to normal pace. When I looked at the splits I held 45-46 per 50 with one 48 (breathing issue here). Very pleased with the swim over all.

    With warm up and warm down went 3000 meters today.
  13. 8/9 Workout

    This was a sneaky workout.

    Warm up
    - 4x
    -- 100 swim
    -- 50 kick no board
    -- 50 stroke
    Main Set
    -- Goal to hold the same pace the entire set
    -- 15 seconds rest
    -- I picked 1:10 pace (wisely?)
    - 12x50 on :50 (held :35s without problem)
    - 6x100 on 1:25 (1:10s-1:12s)
    - 3x200 on 2:35 (2:21-2:23s)
    - 40 seconds extra rest (waiting for Mark was my excuse)
    - 1x600 on 7:15 (7:20 oops)
    Cool down
    - 200 ez

    This doesn't look like a hard set and I was worried during the 50s that I picked a pace that was too easy. During the end of the 100s I started to worry and I held back just a little during the 200s knowing that 600 was yet to come. I am very happy with the set, and I probably would have made 7:15 if I hadn't had to raise my head so many times to check to clock to figure out where in the 600 I was. All the clocks short course are on the end walls, with none on the side walls so no checking the clock on a breath.

    Mark did this on the same intervals, but didn't grasp what doing the 50s on 50 meant for the 200s. He had a rough time during the 200s and took a couple minute break before the 600 as a result. This is the first time since Lazy Wife stopped swimming that someone has swam a set on my intervals which was nice, especially with the set being as long as it was.

    Non-swimming nonsense

    I read Fort's article on finding happiness in life and there are two things that were pointed out that I have done (accidentally).

    First, when we bought our current house, a prime consideration was its proximity to a masters team. Activities bring happiness, and close proximity to those activities encourages you to more frequently participate in them (from the article).

    Second, taking two 3-4 day vacations instead of a 7 day vacation or longer. Our reasoning behind this taking 2 trips instead of one is outside the scope of this forum, but the first trip worked out great, and next year we are planning on taking several short trips instead of longer trips. The idea is that a lot of pleasure from trips is derived from the anticipation that goes along with them, thus more frequent is better. From my experience, after about 5 days on most vacations I don't want to be vacationing anymore. Asia was an exception.

    Thanks for the article Fort.

    Updated August 9th, 2010 at 03:53 PM by qbrain

  14. Toys galore

    This morning I swam the early AGUA workout. August is such a nice peaceful month in the city—the pool felt very spacious this morning, with just 4-5 swimmers per lc lane. We had a treat this morning—Coach Frank from Curl-Burke guest coached (our regular coach, Craig, is away with our “national team” in Puerto Rico). Frank was super nice and full of energy, at 5:30 in the morning no less. I adapted the workout as necessary for my taper. Here’s what we did:

    500 lcm warmup

    5 x 100 (50 K / 50 easy swim) @ :20 rest

    4 x 200 wrap-around, skip-stroke IMs @ 4:00: 1st 200 = FL/BK/BR/FL, 2nd = BK/BR/FR/BK, 3rd = BR/FR/FL/BR, 4th = FR/FL/BK/FR

    4 x 300 w/ paddles:
    First we had a technique talk on correct paddle technique (keep elbows high and rotate, should feel it in the lats, not the shoulders)
    --On the first 300, we wore a paddle on our right hand only, and swam 100 right-arm only (50 w/ left arm at side, 50 w/ left arm in front), 100 left-arm only (50 w/ rt. arm at side, 50 w/ rt. arm in front), then 100 using both arms.
    --On the 2nd 300, we wore a paddle on our left hand only, and did the mirror-image of the above
    --On the 3rd 300, we wore paddles on both hands and otherwise did the same thing as on #1
    --The 4th 300 was paddles on both hands, 200 back build + 100 FR
    [Doing the one-arm drills with just one paddle on felt confusing, plus I was getting remarkably far behind my lanemates, so I got out mid-way through the 2nd 300 and watched how my teammates did these drills for a bit. Keeping the motion continuous and fluid seemed to be the key—I think I was stopping and starting too much with each single arm stroke. Then I noticed that two of our swimmers who were PR-bound today were doing some fast swims from a dive in another lane, so I went over there and practiced a few dives and got some good pointers. I hopped back into my lane near the end of the 3rd 300. On the 4th 300, I ditched the paddles and did 4 x 50 BK (25 sprint, 25 easy) + 100 FR easy

    4 x 200 w/ fins (150 kick + 50 swim choice)
    [I just did the first of these with fins, and really hammered the 50 swim (FR), which was majorly fun. I then warmed down finless for the last two.]

    Midway through my warmdown I was submerged under the water doing breaststroke on my back, and I happened to look backwards and saw one of my lanemates doing fly with fins swimming towards me. It looked really cool! After that, I tried lying on the pool bottom and watching several of my friends as they swam by. It’s a neat effect.

    Over the weekend I watched U.S. nats on tv. Here’s some thoughts:

    --I wondered what Lochte could go for a 200 BR—that stroke looked great on both of his IMs.

    --My disapproval of earlier tech suits on purely aesthetic grounds still stands for the current generation. I don’t at all like seeing all 8 finalists wearing the same solid black suit. If Speedo can make sparkly emerald green sneakers for Lochte, can’t they custom-make some colorful graphic-y suits for their stars? (Or if not custom make—I think that might run afoul of FINA regs, alas—at least produce their suits in a variety of colors and patterns, a la their very successful Flipturns line?) For $375 you should get pretty suit, not just a fast one!
    On one night that swimming was not on Universal Sports, they carried a track meet from Stockholm at which Usain Bolt was wearing a cool custom designed singlet. It would be neat to see something similar done with our tech suits.

    --The thinner parts of the Speedo suit are very sheer, especially in the sunlight at outdoor meets. Some of the guys almost looked like they were wearing black nylon stockings over codpieces.

    --The Arena women’s suit (worn by Rebecca Soni) is very aggressively cut in on the sides. Arena racing suits were always cut like that in the 80s and 90s, but it’s interesting that they went back to that minimal-fabric back design once zippers were outlawed.

    --I want to try those starting blocks with the slanted bit in the back. Do any pools that host masters meets in the northeast have them?

    Yesterday I went over to my 220y track and did plyo. I had planned to plyo while on vacation in Lake Placid—I had even chosen the grassy infield of the Olympic speed-skating oval as my venue—but had to postpone it for a few days after stubbing my toe on a heavy wooden Adirondack chair. Nothing broken, but the toe swelled up under the nail and was painful for a few days. I was worried that I might lose the toenail, but now it seems fine, and I can once again wear running shoes without pain.

    Here’s what I did yesterday:


    4 x 40y sprint (85, 90, 95, 100%)

    5 x 40y skip:
    warmup skip
    skipping for height, both legs
    skipping for height, right leg
    skipping for height, left leg
    skipping for distance, both legs

    I left off the one-legged skips for distance, because my right knee was feeling a little wonky right at the place (MCL) where it was injured last summer. It feels ok today, though, so I’m glad of that. I’m still very nervous about injuring myself with the plyo, so am being pretty conservative about how much and how quickly I add stuff. I might get in one more plyo session before Zones, if my legs feel good this Wednesday or Thursday, or this might be the last one for a couple of weeks.
  15. Saturday, 8/7/10

    by , August 9th, 2010 at 11:05 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, with Carrie

    Warm up
    500 Choice
    (did mix of free and back)
    10 x 50/50 ds 4 - 3 - 3

    Main Set:
    400 Pull w/paddles/10sr
    2 x 300 Kick/10sr build
    3 x 100/2:00 Strong Pace
    4 x 100/1:30 Fast Tempo
    (Did Back on 1st round, free on 2nd round.)

    Cool down
    100 easy

    Total: 4500 meters
  16. Sat 08072010: Run in Portland

    by , August 8th, 2010 at 08:32 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    I met the guy from the Flyertalk forum, well he picked me up at my hotel, and a friend of his, and the 3 of us all did a nice run along the riverfront here in Portland. The guy I 'knew' was a bit slower, but his friend is quite speedy, he did a 3:20 marathon recently, which means he'll be doing Boston next year.

    Anyway, here's the Garmin info:
    Time: 01:40:18
    Distance: 10.99 mi
    Elevation Gain: 253 ft
    Calories: 1,486 C
    Avg Pace: 09:07 min/mi
    Avg Moving Pace: 08:58 min/mi

    run notes--
    * running is very much like a religion here in Portland, and the riverfront area seems to be the holy grail. I've never seen so many other people out running. but everyone was extremely friendly. I saw so many hand waves, heard, "morning," so many times...but I was friendly back. also nearly everyone has a Garmin.
    * the one guy was a bit slower, I think he said he holds about a 10 min/mile pace usually, and the other is far faster. I tried running with them, but it reminded me too much of my Army days, so I'd go a bit ahead, then circle back. I'm just afraid of tripping over someone, sudden stops, etc. I'm definitely a solo runner.
    * for the last 1/3 or so, the other guy and I took off...he really kept me on my toes.
    * the scenery along the course was amazing. much of the southbound (on the east side of the river) has an organized pathway with the Amtrak line on one side, tons of wildflowers, etc. the northbound (on the west side of the river), had more parks and water fountains, but the trail wasn't as consistent. we had to run on roads a bit.
    * I did bring my Nathan 2-bottle water belt with me. I probably didn't need it, but I prefer having a water and gatorade right there. the faster guy didn't have one, so he had to stop at nearly every fountain it seemed, especially later in the run.
    * temperatures and weather were perfect. around 60F, a little cloudy, definitely humid, but at that temp it wasn't a huge factor.
    * I was glad we started when we did, as towards the end the trail just got insanely busy with tons of runners, bikers, and just people getting in the way. there was some big bike/bridge thing today, so I was again glad we opted for Sat -v- Sun.
    * I did give both the other guys I was with a ribbing for not wearing Nike's. the faster guy said he has friends who work there, and he has some, just didn't wear any for this run. I wore my Nike Lunarglides and they seem to be getting better as I'm breaking them in, but I was in Adidas shorts and a Reebok singlet.

    it has been a busy trip thus far, here's a quick snapshot of some things we did--
    * explored Powell's bookstore
    * went to the Saturday market
    * went to the Rose Test Garden
    * toured the Japanese Garden
    * walked around the Pearl District
    * took the streetcar down to the Portland aerial tram, took that up to the hospital

    I think I'll go out for a run tomorrow morning (I don't think as far as yesterday), then we're renting a car and driving along the Columbia Gorge and probably near Mount Hood. I may run again Tues morning, then we fly back mid-day Tues. I may hit a 24 Hour Fitness for weights and a swim, there's several here, but if not, no biggie. With running and all the walking, I'm not worried about weight gain.

    If anyone is looking for a place to go, Portland is fantastic. Prices are much lower than NYC or SF, and you don't really need a car. Actually, MAX is free through much of downtown, and it is only $2.30 to get from the airport to town. Definitely a great quick escape from the Phoenix heat.
  17. Sunday, Aug. 8

    by , August 8th, 2010 at 06:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Travelled to the Wilmington Y again and lined up at the door with the triathletes when it opened at 1:00 pm.

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Transition Set:

    16 x 50 drill, 4 of each stroke

    8 x 50, done as 25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ

    50 EZ

    Speed Set:

    3 x (1 x 50 AFAP + 2 x 50 EZ)
    (1 breast, 1 back kick and 1 back -- times were OK, given the shallow pool and wall lane)

    6 x (25 AFAP + 25 EZ)

    Warm down:

    3 x 100 free w/paddles

    6 x 50, done as 25 dolphin dive + 25 breast drill (1 pull, 3 kicks UW)

    50 EZ

    Total: 3350



    Hit the beach in the morning and then went to the Y. There were mostly tris and perhaps one masters swimmer there. And then, alas, a noodler happened into the lap pool. She came to my lane and asked (albeit sweetly) if it was OK if she noodled around at one end of my lane; she was "sure" this would not effect my workout. WTF?! Seriously inane, as she had seen me (and other real lap swimmers) actually "swimming." I said (likewise sweetly) "no, that wouldn't work at all." For a change, the lifeguard backed me up and told her to noodle in the ramp area.

    Had a smoothie and returned to the beach. Getting ready to dine out. I'm trying not to cook much on this vacation.

    I looked at the results for Worlds. The times look significantly slower than last year's FINA rankings, that's for sure. The winning time in the 50 back in my age group was 34.1. There's been much speculation about who (men or women) and what type of swimmer will be most effected by the suit change. I have to think it would be more significant in LCM than SCY for masters, despite the suits helping on the walls.

    Interesting article in the NYT about experience trumping hedonic adaptation if happiness is your goal. We should attend swim meets instead of buying fancy cars.

    NYT article on Jessica Hardy:

    Updated August 9th, 2010 at 09:34 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  18. Weekend Swim

    by , August 8th, 2010 at 03:15 PM (Adventures in Swimming)
    Swam with the Sharks on Saturday.
    Coach Alex

    10 Min Warmup

    8 x 50 choice on :60

    2 x 30 min swim (Yikes)

    Warm Down

    I was late starting and Early leaving.
    Busy Busy Saturday!!

    I made 2150 on the 1st 30 min.
    At least that's what my watch counted.
    I have no idea. It always right on on all other
    swims so I guess it was right.

    Sunday Morning (LCM)

    Take out SCY lane lines, Put in LCM lane lines
    4 x 200 Choice is what I did

    Repeat 3x
    100 on 1:40 (:10r)
    200 on 3:20 (:20r)

    10 x 50 on 1 min (Everyone did these together)

    Warm down
    Take out LCM lane lines, Put in SCY lane lines
  19. Twice Foiled! Sat., Aug. 7

    by , August 7th, 2010 at 07:51 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I was foiled twice today in my attempts to swim. But this time it wasn't thunder and lightening. Much more prosaic -- the dreaded kid pooping in the pool mid workout and a red flag day at the beach. I seem to get more aggravated with every increasing kid incident. (And, for the record, my 3 kids never closed down a pool.) And this time, the kids weren't even supposed to be in the lap pool at the Y ... So all I got in was the following warm up, which was supposed to precede some fast 25s and 50s.


    Warm up:

    700 various

    Transition Sets:

    5 x 50 single arm fly @ :15 RI

    5 x 50 breast drill (alternating dolphin kick and breast kick) @ 1:00

    3 x:

    1 x 50 breast pull w/buoy
    1 x 100 free w/paddles

    Total: 1650

    Kid turd interruption ... I guess I'm officially "tapering" now ...

    I dashed back to the beach to hop in and do a pier to pier swim, but no dice. It was a red flag day and the lifeguards weren't letting swimmers out very deep, certainly not past the surfers. So, another poor swimming day. I plan to attempt to hit the Y again tomorrow, as I suspect it will be another red flag day due to tropical storms at sea. In the meantime, I did finish the Stieg Larsson series and we did manage to rent the Swedish movie of book #1. I wouldn't be surprised if there were ultimately other books written, as he apparently left copious notes upon his death. I read somewhere that Daniel Craig will play Michael Blomkvist. Wrt the trilogy, I basically agree with the NYT:

    And another NYT article about disgusting side effects of gym going:

    Updated August 7th, 2010 at 11:45 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  20. Back to the pool

    Today I swam in a pool again for the first time in over a week. I spent much of the last week in Lake Placid, swimming in one of my favorite spots in all the world, Mirror Lake:

    Mirror Lake is the smaller lake around which the village of Lake Placid is built. It measures about 1.5 miles by .5 miles, has a buoy line set up that makes swimming straight very easy, and doesn’t allow any motorboats. All that combined, plus the 74-degree water temp (on the high side for this time of year, but still very pleasant), made it a very swimmer-friendly place to vacation. We’ve spent some time there most every summer since first visiting in 1994 for an open-water race.

    I didn’t do workouts per se or record yardage while on vacation (or blog), just got in and swam however much felt good a couple of times a day. This morning when I swam in the pool things like streamlining and turning definitely felt a bit rusty!

    Here’s the workout I did this morning with the Asphalt Green masters. Since I’ve started my taper for zones in 2 weeks, I modified things as needed.

    500 lcm warmup

    500 swim, every 3rd length catch-up free

    5 x 100 FR/BK @ 1:50 [held 1:31-1:34s]

    6 x 100 (75 Kick fast / 25 easy swim) @ big rest [practices bobbing and sinking in between]

    6 x 50 choice race pace to feet @ 1:20 [I did odds fast, evens 40 easy/10 fast]

    After this, there was a longish set involving various equipment. I instead hopped over to an empty lane and did the following bit before getting out early:

    2 x (virtual 200 IM + 100 easy) [For my virtual IMs, I do the first and last 10-15 meters of each length fast stroke, the rest easy free, while mentally rehearsing my keys for the 200 IM, a race I’ll swim at Zones]

    200 warmdown

    It was nice to have a princess lane where I could do my little taper IM set without worrying about dodging other swimmers.

    Over the next couple of weeks my plan is to swim as often as possible, while increasingly limiting the amount of hard yardage I’m doing. I like playing in the water a lot while I’m tapering, and August—when many people are away, and the kids team is on a more limited practice schedule—tends to be a great time to find the space to do that.