View RSS Feed


Goals, Periodization, Lessons Learned

  1. Splits and split decision

    by , March 17th, 2015 at 07:36 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Got the splits from my 1000 this weekend and I am now even happier with how evenly I swam it:
    • By 500s
      • 5:11.52
      • 5:10.53

    • By 200s
      • 2:03.8
      • 2:05.4
      • 2:04.5
      • 2:05.1
      • 2:03.2

    • 100s
      • Average 1:02.0
      • Fastest 1:00.26 (last 100)
      • Slowest 1:03.90 (3rd 100)

    The odd thing is that I have been doing almost no "traditional" endurance training. I haven't been doing USRPT, but certainly have (when not loafing or cut short) been doing the majority of my workouts with a shorter distance repeat and a race pace focus. Whatever I have been doing, though, I've got enough endurance. It also shows me that the 12 SPL on my first three 100s is probably too low and creates too slow a stroke rate. That's good feedback.

    As for the split decision, I am internally debating what events I should actually enter at Nationals. Here's what I know:
    • I will only enter events on Friday and Saturday
      • Primarily to limit my travel time
      • Secondarily because I think the OOE on Sunday isn't compelling enough to stick around for

    • I want to have one "core" event each day and two fun/off events
      • Those fun/off events will be events I've never raced shaved/tapered/suited up in my Masters career

    • Here's what I am struggling with on Friday
      • Fun events will be - 50 breast and 100 back
      • Core event - I cannot decide between the 400 IM and the 200 free.
        • Normally, this is a no brainer and I do the 400 IM. The only Nationals I went to where I didn't swim the 400 IM was 2011 in Mesa (where I pretended to be a sprinter) and it was somewhat difficult for me to watch the race.
        • On the other hand, the only race that truly sucked for me at Santa Clara was the 400 IM, so maybe I need to take a year away from it?
        • My freestyle is feeling great this year and I really have enjoyed all of the freestyle racing I have done so far.

    • Saturday
      • The core event is absolutely the 500 since I already committed to the Blue Bell / Shiner Bock challenge
      • After that, though, I really struggle.
        • I think I should skip both the 200 fly and 200 back since I just swam them in San Antonio.
        • The 100 IM is always fun, but I've got some "history" with that event that might make it more "core" than "fun."
        • That leaves the 100 breast, which I can get behind, and the 50 free, which usually ends up being frustrating because I miss a start or a turn.

    As for actual training, I am pleased to say that my home pool was warm enough on Monday morning for a 1,500 warmup swim before flying over to Burbank. Today will end up being a wash for training as I had to do a day trip between Burbank and San Diego. I will say that the flight down was one of the best I've done - a 9 seater Cessna hugging the coast line on Sea Port Airlines. Hopefully, the flight back north is just as beautiful and I get in a good workout tomorrow morning.
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  2. Workout 01/07/15: noon

    by , January 7th, 2015 at 05:17 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 free/200 back/200 IM drill
    400 free with AP
    500 Shark Swim
    5 x 100 on 1:20 (came in at 1:15)
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2200 yds/40 min)

    Open lane today for the most part = good day. After the swim I went and gave blood. Might try the double red donation next time. Bitterly cold here in VT today, with the temps dipping below zero overnight. I guess it is January after all!

    I also entered the upcoming swim meet her in town into the USMS database. For those not desiring a trip to San Antonio at the end of April, the 4th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet might be just the event for you!
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  3. Western hemisphere acclimatization complete

    by , October 2nd, 2014 at 07:20 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Last week was a rough one as I think it took me until Monday (29th)before I felt like I had re-acclimatized to the time zone in Arizona. On top of the severe jet lag since my return from India on the 21st, I came down with a mild (but still VERY annoying) head cold of sorts last Thursday and that didn't break until my swim on Monday - thanks, wonder-drug Chlorine

    This past weekend ended up being a bit of a bust when it came to swimming for my family. We had two Masters events scheduled for the weekend - an SCM meet at Kino on Saturday and our first ever State Masters OW champs scheduled for Sunday. As my youngest daughter had a meet scheduled for both days, she and I compromised and agreed that she would swim one day and I'd swim the other. We chose Saturday for her meet and for me to do the OW on Sunday.

    As she's recently turned 11, she chose Saturday, in part, because she'd have the opportunity to swim her first ever 400 IM (I've been brainwashing her!). The meet started off great as she dropped time in her 100 breast and then swam her first-ever 200 back. She enjoyed the 200 back so much that she said she was getting more excited for the 400 IM. Her coach had put all of her friends in the IM and the kids had this cool mix of excited resignation, fear and machismo as they talked about it. There was a 2.5 hour wait after the 200 back before the 400 IM.

    ... and then the thunderstorms that have helped make the greater Phoenix area a darling of the national "crazy weather" news this summer rolled in. There was literally one heat of boys 10 & under 200 IMs to be swum before my daughter was to race her 400 IM ... and the meet was paused for a lightning delay. After 30 more minutes, it was clear the storm was here to stay and the meet was called!

    That same rain storm, unfortunately, then contributed to the OW swim being cancelled for Sunday morning as the City of Tempe requires a re-test of the water for safety 24 hours after an accumulation of more than 0.2 inches. I was more bummed for my daughter than for my missed swim (as I'm not in any shape to race). The silver lining is that we're working on re-scheduling the OW event for later this month ... and maybe I'll be able to race some portion of it!

    While I know I'm not exactly starting from ground zero, it feels that way. It also feels like I'm too far behind the 8 ball in my training to make anything substantive of the SCM season, were I to focus on my usual events. Outside of the possible re-scheduled OW swim, it looks like the only meet I'll be able to swim is the Ron Johnson meet (, coming up in a very short 6 weeks. So, I've decided I'll be a breaststroker for the next 6 weeks and have entered the following events, with a few extra events thrown in because it is a flat, entry fee
    • Saturday
      • 50 breast
      • 100 breast
      • 50 free - won't swim this unless there's lots of heats of 100 back
      • 100 back - I realized that I still haven't swum a non-bodysuit 100 SCM back in my Masters career!

    • ​Sunday
      • 50 fly
      • 400 free - though my plan is to swim this breaststroke to see how I stack up against the Aussies (their National record in SCM is 5:51.59)
      • 200 breast
      • 100 free

    As for my training, rather than put in a grand plan, I'm going to try to do the following:
    • Alternate swim days as
      • Day 1 = sprint day, primary focus on breaststroke or non-freestyle
      • Day 2 = 30 minutes of drills/kicking

    • On drilling/kicking days, alternate dryland exercises and yoga class by day

    My times thus far this week are not worth mentioning, but I felt pretty good this morning in my yoga class and look forward to jumping in the pool later this evening for the drills/kicking.

    I'll try to pick back up with regular workout reporting tomorrow.
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  4. Looking Ahead

    by , September 6th, 2014 at 09:42 AM (An Unfinished Swim)
    What an interesting two months it has been. After ten years out of the water, it was hard to know what to expect. What was my body capable of? Would I have the desire to continue? Did I really want to get back into a sport I burned out on?

    For years, it just wasn't possible. My job required me to work 12 hours a day and with an hour commute each way, finding time for sleep was difficult. Then there was the problem of where to swim. I lived about an hour away from the nearest pool and given my work schedule, it was not surprising that the pool would be closing the same time I got off work and opened a half-hour before I was supposed to be at work. I let it go. I took up other hobbies. I fulfilled my dream of becoming a pilot. I became an avid photographer. I traveled the world and took places off my bucket list. I had made one half-hearted attempt in 2008 by signing up as a USMS member. I went to an old 20-yard YMCA pool without lane lines and did about 500 yards, dodging elderly people doing backstroke diagonally and left after too many near misses.

    I still missed swimming. Not necessarily the workouts or two times a day practices that I had endured, as I suspect was what burnt me out, but non-tangible things.

    I was lucky to move to the city I work in back in January. The 12-hour days had been reduced to 11-hours and I had a five-minute commute. The city had just built a beautiful aquatic center that boasted a 50 meter by 25 yard pool. It was just 10 minutes from my house, and open from 5:30 am to 7 pm for lap swimming.

    In July I decided I needed to swim again. I pulled out a big box with probably about 15 old swimsuits that I had acquired during my 8-year career as a swimmer. My swimsuit from my senior year of high school was in the box. As I went through the suits, I quickly realized that while most of them still fit, they were just too old and were falling apart. Had it really been that long? I found two brand-new Nike swimsuits that I had purchased in 2003 off of ebay. They still had the tags on, but I could hear the fabric "stretching out" as I managed to wiggle it on. It was way too tight to pass off as a practice suit. I had forgotten about the days when swimmers would try to squeeze into the tiniest suit possible and it made me chuckle to think of myself doing that.

    Realizing that I couldn't swim without a "real" suit (my poor Victoria's Secret bikinis would have to wait for the beach), and also needing a new cap and set of goggles, I headed to the Sports Authority in town. I had no idea what my suit size was anymore, so my usual ordering online was out of the question.

    I picked out a swimsuit, two pairs of goggles, and two caps to purchase. I had no idea why, at that moment, I started to feel a sense of excitement. Was it because I was finally doing it? Stopped making excuses not to? Or was it just exciting to go do something I once loved? I couldn't answer that question then. I would have to find out.

    To be continued.

    Updated October 22nd, 2014 at 11:43 AM by mo89564

    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Planning
  5. Workout 07/14/14: evening

    by , July 14th, 2014 at 08:07 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    After a busy weekend of work and then activities at church, I was happy to get out of work early today and rest a bit at home before a swim this evening. The pool was a bit crowded so I was not able to get in what I had planned, but I was able to do ...

    200 Fr/200 IM drill
    200 kick

    2 x
    - 4 x (3 x 25 on traffic:, as sprint, sprint, easy, the 2 fast IMO)
    - 200 Pull with buoy fast

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1800 yds/40 min)

    I was able to get a 2 mile jog in on Saturday night, and I have been a little sore from the open water adventures last week. I'm looking forward to the Baystate Games this coming weekend at Springfield College in Mass. I am signed up for just Saturday, doing:
    400 Free
    400 IM
    100 Back
    50 Free

    Out to be an interesting day, befitting my first ever LCM meet. I haven't been very consistent with training over the past few months (and haven't been in a long course pool since last summer), but I am looking forward to the challenge of LCM! The 400 free swims around noon, and then the rest of the meet starts at 4:30 - I plan to use the 400 IM as an extended cooldown/warmup before the 100 back.

    Edit: found the psyche sheets here.

    Updated July 14th, 2014 at 08:34 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts , Planning
  6. Workout 07/01/14: evening

    by , July 1st, 2014 at 09:43 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Took it easy last week and ended up going for a run after church on Sunday evening, making it a tad over one mile without stopping. For not having run since Thanksgiving, I was pleased.

    It was a very hot and humid day here in Vermont, so I took it easy during my day off. After grilling supper, I headed to Masters practice with our new expanded Tuesday time slot for the summer - 90 min! Found this Off the Beaten Path ...

    I got in 200 before we started.
    200 swim/100 kick/100 pull
    4 x 25 Build

    3 x
    - 200 Pull on :30sr (2:30 with snorkel, 2:21 with AP, 2:25)
    - 4 x 50 swim on :20sr (did IMO)
    - 4 x 25 swim on :10 (did IMO)
    - Masters Minute rest

    6 x 50 on 1:15 (fast under the flags; I did IM transitions)
    (I did 4 x 75 k/s/p on 1:15)
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/3000 yds/80 min)
    A good workout, and we were joined by a new swimmer, Jennifer. It's nice to have the extra 30 minutes and I am trying to spread the word so that our numbers will support the extra time.

    I ended up signing up for the Baystate Games in a few weeks at Springfield College MA). My first ever LCM meet! I will only be going for one day and plan to swim 400 Fr, 400 IM, 100 back, 50 free. GregJS is also swimming, so we'll be able to root each other on.
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  7. Bonking on Jochums

    by , June 29th, 2014 at 01:54 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    After yesterday's good workout and even through the warmup today, I thought I had a shot at making the 'Jochums Revenge' set that Peter and I had tried last Sunday ( It was still not to be, but, on the whole, this was a better effort than last week. Done with Peter by my side in SCM (except when he was kicking my ass and taking my good name to the cleaners):

    Warmup sets (1,300 set)
    • 1 x 400: IM, k/d
    • 12 x 25: on 0:30, in sets of 4 as build to fast, decelerate from fast, all easy, all fast
    • 6 x 50: on 0:50, descend in sets of 3, I did these w/buoy and paddles and was 0:38 -> 0:33 on 1st 3, 0:37 -> 0:31+ on next 3
    • 3 x 100: on 1:30, steady pace swim w/snorkel
      • I was 1:09 and then 1:10+/1:11 on the next two

    Jochums Revenge (3,600* set / 4,900* total)
    • Goal was 100-200-300-400-500-600-700-800 on 2:00 3:00 4:00 5:00 6:00 7:15 8:30 9:45
    • Last week, I was 1:21, 2:34, 3:48, 4:53, 6:10 (where I missed the interval), at which time I bagged the rest of the set and switched to a kick set
    • Peter and I agreed that if we missed an interval, we'd sit out for a 50 or 100 and then try to get back on pace
    • I did the 1-2-3 with my snorkel and felt smooth and solid, going 1:20, 2:30, 3:43
    • My goal was to then swim the 400 and 500 and try to make the intervals
    • The 400 felt pretty solid, but I came into the wall at 4:58
    • I got nothing going on the 500 and, candidly, gave up around the 300 mark and was 6:23
    • I skipped the first 100 of the 600, threw on my buoy and paddles, and pushed off at the 1:10 mark with Peter. I stuck with Peter (mostly) for the rest of this and thought that we'd come in right around the 7:15 interval, but we touched at 7:22 (making that 500 I pulled a bit more respectable at 6:12 or so). We agreed to go on the 7:30 interval.
    • The 700 should have been on 8:30, but I finished around 8:42 and so we went that on 9:00
    • I was pretty locked into that 1:15 pace and then went a 10:02 on the 800.

    * So, my total on this set was 3,500.

    Cool-down 200 w/snorkel

    TOTAL: 5,000 SCM

    • I am determined to make this set. I don't know when I'll do it next as I'll be racing each of the next couple of weekends, but I am going to change my strategy on it by throwing on my paddles for the 500 to see if that helps me get under that interval.
    • This was a great, endurance workout, though, and I'm glad I got back into the set after sitting out the 100, even if I still couldn't quite cut the mustard on the intervals.
    • Looking ahead to this week, I think I will plan this:
      • Monday - hot yoga
      • Tuesday - some kind of IM oriented quality workout
      • Wednesday - Peter's going to bring a workout
      • Thursday - Take a run at my 8 x 100 heart rate test set
      • Friday - Just go a workout composed of my 'long form' 1,750 warmup sets
      • Saturday - Race the 400 IM
      • Sunday - Race the 200 IM and 1,500

  8. Summer Race Plan

    by , May 22nd, 2014 at 04:26 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    After 5 days a row in the water, I'm taking a day to stay dry, but, of course, my mind is still on swimming. I've cobbled together a bit of a race plan for the summer thus far ...

    June 7th & 8th - Southwest Classic in Tucson - confirmed
    As my oldest daughter is swimming the Southwest Classic at the U of A (, it's cross-sanctioned with USMS and I'm dropping #3 daughter and her friend off at the U of A swim camp that Sunday, I've entered a few events:

    • Saturday - 50 free and 400 IM
    • Sunday - 200 IM

    June 21st - Fast Times in the Cool Pines in Flagstaff - confirmed
    Everyone in the country really should descend upon the glorious mountain town on Flagstaff to have the ultimate swimming test - racing LCM at 7,000 feet. The entry form is up here -- -- and I've entered the following eclectic mix of events:

    • 400 free
    • 50 fly
    • 100 breast
    • 50 back
    • 100 free

    June 27th - Pacific Masters LCM Champs - possible (but not likely)
    If my business travel aligns in time to enter this meet (, I'll drop in to swim the 1,500 that Friday morning.

    July 3rd - Arizona State Senior Champs - USAS - possible (but not likely)
    The meet flyer's not up for this, but I'll see what event they are having on July 3rd and how it fits with my work and life. I had to register for USAS this year to swim the Southwest Classic, so I may as well go swim something. I'm hoping they have the 800 free on the 3rd as that would be fun to do. The meet's at ASU, which has excellent chillers for summer racing.

    July 12th-13th - Swim Devil Heatstroker - highly unlikely
    I am really bummed about this. For the first time in my 17 years of living in Arizona, there is a Masters meet being hosted (by Swim Devil Masters) at Cactus Pool, the wonderful LCM pool less than a mile from my house - Unfortunately, I am heading to India for work on July 4th and will get back home the evening of July 12th. In addition, #3 daughter will have her big meet of the summer that same weekend, so I'm 99% sure I will not be able to race here.

    July 26th or 27th - AZ State Meet in Tucson - fairly likely
    I should be around Arizona this weekend, don't appear to have any kid meet or vacation conflicts and should be able to head down to Tucson for at least one day of our State Championships meet -- I don't think I want to go down for both days, so will probably just pick whichever day imposes less 'hardship' on the household and then choose 4 events that look fun.

    This weekend's fun race watching
    I've got the joy of announcing the finals for this weekend's Cactus Classic meet at Cactus Pool - This will be much more awesome than recent years as the Ford team is coming up (e.g., with Grevers, Cordes, Steele, Geer, etc. entered), as well as some of the swimmers from ASU along with studs from Phoenix Swim Club like Roland Schoeman. It's certainly raised the bar for the club team swimmers to make the 'A' finals, but that's an awesome thing.

    Tonight's reminder I'm getting old
    #1 daughter has her high school graduation tonight. If that's not a nudge that I'm getting older, I don't know what else is. She is so stoked, though, to have this phase of life behind her and very much looking forward to starting at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver this fall. She'll swim there, of course, and I think it's going to be an awesome fit for her. So papa-proud of her!
  9. Workout 04/21/14: evening

    by , April 21st, 2014 at 09:20 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    How, been a while since I was able to get a workout in. We made a trip to southern Virginia last week during school vacation, stopping in Philly and DC for a day before getting to hang out with friends for a bit. I got some info from Chris S. about swimming in the Richmond area, but was not able to make it happen with family activities. Instead of enjoying the parking lot known as I-95, we took a more westerly route home and stopped in at Gettysburg before traversing PA and then shooting north back to VT.

    President Obama says hello

    I did sneak in 20 minutes on Thursday for a swim, but basically floated about after the long ride home on Wednesday. Had to work the weekend, but made it sunrise service at 6am, then to my sister-in-law's house for an egg hunt and Easter dinner, then went to celebrate the one year anniversary of the church plant for a resurrection service in the evening - a great night!

    After work today I hopped in to the water:
    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill
    400 kick/drill by 50
    5 x 50 FR on :45
    1 x 50 ez
    5 x 50 Bk on :50
    1 x 50 ez
    20 x 25 on :30 (2 Fr DPS, 1 IM order sprint, 1 FR DPS)
    300 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2400 yds/45 min)

    Ate too much on vacation and also Easter, so I feel like a stuffed pig (and look the same way). I am looking forward to picking up jogging again a couple of days per week after this weekend's meet in order to help drop some weight.

    Speaking of the meet, we are now at 19 entries with early deadline to be postmarked by tomorrow. I am planning for ten more to come in before the weekend from some of the clubs in western Mass, and hopefully some from neighboring Adirondack's. Don't think well hit the almost 40 from last year, but should get over 30. The biggest headache right now is that two of three officials have dropped out, so we are looking for a second one with me probably filling as well as an extra set of eyes. I am confident the pool will be full and ready for a fun meet by Saturday.
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  10. April is Adult Learn-To-Swim Month!! What Will You Do?

    We at our Masters club (the Columbia Masters in Howard County, MD) are very excited that the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation has declared April Adult Learn-To-Swim month. We think that many adults would like to learn how to swim, but maybe haven't had an opportunity to do so... Until now. We are using this nationwide campaign as the impetus to develop programs we can use to get interested adults in the pool. And, we hope to expand the opportunities to swim that we already offer. The ability to bring this life (and lifesaving) skill to an adult population is exciting and something we are eager to do.

    Has your club offered adult learn-to-swim lessons? Is it a Swimming Saves Lives Foundation partner? If so, what types of programs have you offered. What types of programming is the most popular with your population/in your area?

    I would love to hear from you about your Adult Learn-to-Swim successes! Thanks! ~Angie AngieKozBlogs
  11. Workout 02/24/14: evening

    by , February 24th, 2014 at 09:36 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Back in the water for the first time since Thursday. I thought it would be a good idea since I have a meet this weekend

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill
    2 x 100 kick
    8 x 50 FR on 1:05
    1 x 50 ez
    8 x 50 Bk on 1:10
    1 x 50 ez
    6 x 75, done as:
    - 2 FR (on 1:15, 1:45; held :50)
    - 2 Bk (on 1:20, 1:40; held :54)
    - 2 IM (on 1:20, 1:40)
    6 x 25 on 1:00 drag race from mid pool (2 fr/bk/fly)
    4 x 50 on 1:20 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2500 yds/60 min)

    My legs are pretty beat from the hiking adventure last week, which you can read about here if you would like to (and see some pictures).

    My rough plan is to swim tomorrow with Masters, and maybe Wednesday and Friday morning as easy stuff. Friday I am off to Mt. Snow for the day (nothing like pounding the legs!), then I'll do stroke work and an easy workout with Masters on Saturday before heading to the meet. I am swimming: 200 Back, 50 Fly, 50 Free, and 100 Free; aiming for a good time in the back and seeing what I can muster in the 100 after those sprints.

    Updated February 25th, 2014 at 08:51 AM by rxleakem

    Tags: hiking
    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Planning
  12. At least I can enter meets!

    by , January 28th, 2014 at 08:56 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I never really liked pulling even when my coaches asked me to do it; being forced to pull now because I can't kick is the definition of torture. But, I did get in the water on Saturday (1,000 SCY), Monday (1,500 SCY) and today (1,750 SCY), so that's progress. I am walking fine and pretty much without pain in my foot, as long as I don't try to flex it forward beyond 90 degrees. The better, look-to-the-future news is that I actually did a couple of laps tonight where I took the buoy out and sort of, kind of swam, with a nice left foot kick snap and a semi-up and semi-down more than just floaty motion on my right (injured) foot.

    If I can't swim much, at least I can enter meets and signed up for the Sun Devil Sprinter Spectacular on Feb 23rd (
    • 1000 free - but only because there is no 400 IM. I'll swim 400 IM and then cool down
    • 25 Fly
    • 25 Back
    • 50 'anything goes' free (definitely wearing the B70 Nero Comp)
    • 100 'any order of strokes' IM (am thinking breast, fly, free, back)
    • 25 Breast
    • 100 free (*really, a real event*)
    • 25 Free
    • 25 Back

    Given that this meet is less than a month away, the 25s might be the only thing I really end up swimming!
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  13. Workout 01/27/14: morning

    by , January 27th, 2014 at 10:13 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Quick swim before the day's activities, after a brutal weekend at work ...

    200 Fr/200 IM drill
    2 x 100 kick into 200 swim with AP
    4 x 75 on 1:30 (kick/IMO fast/25 pull)
    4x 50 b/c on :50
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1600 yds/30 min)

    Spent time cutting tiles at the college, then took exchange son to the airport for his college trip to Nashville, where he's meeting up with his dad. After filling up with treats from Bella Napoli Italian Bakery and my wife's car with gas (better mpg than my van), I went back to the college to put said tile up before watching son and exchange daughter play in basketball games. Full first say of staycation - I'm pretty wiped out.

    Looks like I have some plans for the SCY season this year. I am planning to go to the Glens Falls (NY) meet on 3/1 (the day after snowboarding with the school and after Masters practice that morning - should be interesting), then squeeze distance day (1000 or 1650, not sure which one yet) for the Harvard (NE LMSC) Champs in mid-March between visiting the city with all the family (since I have to work the next Fri-Sun weekend of racing ), then our meet here at home on April 26th.
    That's two more than last year

    Updated January 27th, 2014 at 10:18 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts , Planning
  14. Last Long Swim Day

    Today was the last of our planned long swim days to prepare for the One Hour Postal Swim. We hope to have one long swim a month down the road (maybe starting in March) to prepare for the Chesapeake Bay Swim, among other open water swims some members of our Masters club are planning for this summer. I had high hopes for myself today after enjoying a really good post practice long swim last week. However, due to a couple of "game-changers," I opted for a different goal. My original plan was to swim for 45 minutes and see how I did. Game Changer number one was that I started to come down with a cold this week, and while I've been diligently taking my Zicam for the past two days, I must admit to not being 100 percent. The great news is that I've been taking Zicam and felt good enough to be able to swim today. Game Changer number two was the killer workout Sue had for us today. Whew! It was a 3900 yard day, with the main set that looked like this: 4X 100 on 1:40 & 200 on 3:30 (Work the 100s); Then do a 100 or 200 easy followed by 4X 100 on 2:00 & 200 on 3:15 (Work the 200s). So, needless to say, I had a lot less left in the tank for the post-practice long swim than I did last week. However, since I am always competing with myself, I had to at least swim the same number of yards as last week's all time (practice) high. So, I set out to swim a 1000 and see how I felt after that. I did it and felt pretty tired. I was able to get the additional yardage in for the 5300 yard grand total, which is great. I didn't know what to expect, but am pretty happy. Not as happy as last week, mind you, but happy. Next week we will be doing the One Hour Postal Swim! Hopefully, I'll be in form for it. Happy Friday! ~AngieKozBlogs
  15. Today I plan, tomorrow I swim?

    by , January 24th, 2014 at 09:03 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    On the good news front, I have been off the crutches since Sunday night, stopped limping around Tuesday evening and the 'cankle' and swelling in my foot are almost gone. The bad news is that, while I can walk normally, there's still no real flexion I can put in my ankle. I had thought I was going to be able to try swimming this morning, but I'm going to hold off one more day.

    This makes a run of 8 days that I will be out of the water. The last time I was out for that long was when I took pretty much the entire summer of 2008 off. It'll be weird when I get back into the pool and I suspect the next week will still be tentative in terms of being able to push anything. While that sucks, that will still give me 12 weeks to train and 1 week to taper for Nationals, more than enough time.

    My swimming investment today, then, was to plan my spring racing season, which finally looks like it is coming into shape:
    • Late February (probably Feb 23/24 weekend) - Sun Devil Masters Sprinter Invite, a one day meet that usually has a pretty full order of events along with fun events like 25 free and 25 kick.
    • Matt Biondi Masters Classic (March 23rd, Simi Valley, CA) - I have deftly organized a camping trip for my daughter's spring break to start on the beach north of LA right after this meet! I entered last night and signed up for a full set of 5 events:
      • 200 free
      • 100 back
      • 50 breast
      • 400 IM
      • 50 free

    • AZ Masters State Meet (April 4th to 6th) at Kino/Mesa - Order of events is still being finalized, but, after reading Water Rat's report of his 1,650 in workout and realizing I've only ever raced three 1,650s in my life as a Masters' swimmer, I'm going to plan on entering both the 1,000 and 1,650 at this meet. Paul Smith is working the order of events so distance folks can do this.
    • Nationals - Still thinking about 200s of each of the strokes and the 200 and 400 IM. Still debating whether I change that up on Sunday and opt for the 500 free instead of the 200 free.

    If I can (though I won't buy the t-shirt), I'm going to see if I can accomplish the 'check off challenge' across these 4 meets and swim every event at least once, with the constraint being that I will swim the 400 IM at every meet where it is offered because I just can't pass up that sublime event.
  16. Workout 01/14/14: evening

    by , January 14th, 2014 at 10:04 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Earlier this afternoon I helped with the high school kids. Spent the first 2/3 of practice with the boys, a group with only a few returning swimmers and many new to the sport. We worked primarily on stroke technique due to their makeup. I got in and helped from the wather for both backstroke and fly. Then I worked with the girls on turns. It is interesting - last year some very strong swimmers graduated, and the current group of fast girls think they are better than the others, even wearing different suits at meets. They need to work on swimming faster (by paying attention to instruction) and helping to mentor the younger kids. Anyways, I logged about 500 yards.

    Tonight at Masters I took the main set from Calvin's blog yesterday and modified it ever slightly (we can't all swim at light speed ) and we did:

    200 swim/100 Kick/100 Pull/4 x 25 b/c warmup

    2 x 150 on 2:30 fast middle 50 (I did 200/150 - 2:19/1:49)
    4 x 25 on :30
    3 x 100 on 1:40 PULL (I did 4 x on 1:20 with AP)
    4 x 50 on :60 (kicked, held :45))
    2 x 150 on 2:30 fast middle 50 (I did 200/150 - 2:16/1:46)
    4 x 25 on :30
    3 x 100 on 1:40 PULL (I did 4 x on 1:20 with AP - held 1:10)

    200 lossen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2600 yds/55 min)
    We also added in some extra rest in the form of Master's minutes, which gave me the gusto to crank a little harder than I might have otherwise. Planning on the One Hour Swim this weekend with the team.

    Oh, and I have scheduled the 3rd Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet for the last Saturday in April (the 26th, I believe), so get your racing suits ready for some fun in southwestern VT!
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  17. Training / Teaching Weekends

    by , January 10th, 2014 at 12:29 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    All right, I've been bad about swimming this week. As noted earlier, I missed both Tuesday and Wednesday and then only managed 2,000 SCY at Cactus yesterday. However, I will begin to make up for that today and have a couple of weekends planned where I'm going to totally geek out on swimming training and education before I re-engage in a committed training plan for Santa Clara. Despite my slow start to 2014, I am incredibly excited about how I think this winter and spring will unfold.

    Swim Geek Out Weekend #1 - This Weekend (Jan 10th to 12th)
    Ask and ye shall receive.

    At one of my last lessons last fall with Anne Wilson, TI trained coach for Camelback Coaching (, I had told her that, at some point in the future, I wanted to get some training on coaching, both to assist me with my own swimming, but also with an idea that I might start to do some technique coaching later in life. Realistically, I was thinking something like 5-10 years down the road, but an opportunity came up this weekend that is too good to pass up. Terry Laughlin, founder of TI, is going to be in the area doing some work with USA Triathlon and has offered to do an intensive, 3 day program for a very small group of swimmers and wanna-be coaches. We're going to have about 10+ hours in the pool (targeting two 105 minute sessions each day) and another chunk talking over working lunches. I think I've organized my work and family life to start that this afternoon and am really looking forward to it.

    Swim Geek Out Weekend #2 - Next Weekend (Jan 16th to 20th)
    This weekend's going to be educational in a very different way - I get to be one of the chaperones for my about a dozen or so swimmers from my daughters' team to the Austin Grand Prix. Yes, I'm going to be ferrying kids to and from the meet and, no, I'm not sure what kind of working out I'll get to do in Austin, but it will be a blast to go watch this meet. I am hoping, though, that I can get in at least one workout while I'm there. The psych sheets aren't out, but the expected line up looks great ( Plus, how bad can a weekend in Austin be?

    Looking ahead - The Plan
    Try as I might (I'm on a competition committee for Arizona Masters), we're still not locked down on a spring SCY meet schedule. I am, unfortunately, going to miss the Tucson Polar Bear meet this year as it got moved up a week and will happen when I am in Austin, instead of the last weekend in January when it normally happens. I suspect we'll have a meet in February or early March as Sun Devil Masters usually hosts one and we'll have our state meet in early April. I have, however, worked out a plan so that I can attend the 'Inaugural Matt Biondi Classic' ( on March 23rd and will use that as a mid-season 'check-in' meet. With my full-time training starting in earnest on January 20th, that gives me 9 weeks until Matt Biondi meet and then another 5.5 weeks from that meet until Nationals. That's plenty of time to get ready to race fast. If my training goes as planned, I think I'll do a very quick drop-taper for Biondi, shave down and see what I learn from racing there.

    Speaking of swim geeking out, I'm really enjoying Becca Mann's blog posts on SwimSwam about her experiences with USRPT (see, and
  18. Workout 01/03/14: noon

    by , January 3rd, 2014 at 02:06 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 fr/200 bk/200 im drill warmup

    Shark Swim - IM
    100 - 100
    200 - 200
    300 - 300
    400 - 400

    10 x 50 fr on :40 (held 35's)

    250 warm down
    (Solo/Rec/3350 yds/60 min)

    First swim of the New Year, with a nice treat: water temp = 82. Unheard of around here! With the cold temps (we got as low as -16 overnight Thursday) they are having trouble keeping the pool warm. The aqua joggers were crabbing, so I made sure to complain to the guard that the water was too hot!

    Looking toward this year in the water, I am choosing to drop my GTD to 250 miles as life seems to be staying busy, especially with the exchange students and some small trips planned. Last year my only pool meet was our local dip, and this year I am sure if many more opportunities will be available. I will keep looing at OW swims, although Kingdom is out. Looks like the cable swim at Lake Placid is on, and perhaps some more depending on my work schedule.
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  19. Years in Numbers

    by , January 3rd, 2014 at 01:20 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    The cold/flu/infection that was brewing hit me hard last night with all sorts of lovely waves of chills, sweats and muscle aches, so I'm definitely out of the water today, but have the energy to take a look back on 2013, do a little 'year in numbers' review and to plan for 2014.

    High-level metrics for 2013:
    • Swam 267 days of the year
    • Steadily increased by average yardage per swim from about 2,000 yards in Q1 and Q2 to 2,450 in Q3 and 3,100 in Q4
    • Total yardage swim was 641K which is not horrible and slots it in as my 5th longest year of volume since returning to Masters in 2001. Below are other years:
      1. 2011 - 968K SCY equivalents
      2. 2012 - 901K SCY equivalents
      3. 2010 - 789K SCY equivalents
      4. 2009 - 762K SCY equivalents
      5. 2013 - 641K SCY equivalents
      6. 2008 - 555K SCY equivalents
      7. 2007 - 456K SCY equivalents
      8. 2001 - 426K SCY equivalents
      9. 2002 - 313K SCY equivalents
      10. 2003 - 274K SCY equivalents
      11. 2004 - 251K SCY equivalents

    Note that I swam so little in 2005 and 2006 that I didn't even track it; those were the super-high-growth years of my last company and years where I was shuttling back & forth between US, Europe, India and Japan a lot.

    • On the business travel front, I did some sort of travel for 100 days of the year and spent 59 nights in hotels for work. This is better than my previous company (2002 to 2010) where I was typically in hotels for 65 to 75 nights a year, but still a bit higher than I'd like. The biggest difference for my swimming, though, is that most of these nights were in California and near to good pools and teams to train with.
    • Speaking of pools, in 2013, I trained and/or competed in 51 different pools over the course of the year; while many of them (28) were single swims, the top 10 pools I trained in were:
      • My pool - 122 swims
      • Cactus - 22 swims
      • Lifetime Fitness - 18 swims
      • Kino - 11 swims
      • Scottsdale Jewish Community Center - 9 swims
      • Burlingame - 4 swims
      • Ventura - 4 swims
      • San Francisco North Beach - 4 swims
      • ASU - 4 swims (these were all meets)
      • Irvine - 4 swims

    On the competition front, once I got healthy and able to train (after LCM), I ended up having a pretty good SCM season with:
    • 5 best times - 50 back & breast, 100 & 400 IM, 200 back
    • My 400 IM, at least as of now, puts me tied for the 5th best all-time in the world, the highest I've ever been. I don't think I could ever approach the world record (4:31 vs. my 4:46), but I still think I've got a shot at going much lower in the 4:40s later this year.
    • Though I didn't really do an sets or workouts that would qualify as USRPT, I did far more high quality, race pace training at shorter repeat distances than ever before. I do think I'll be able to take this idea and apply it even more aggressively in SCY for some even faster swimming this spring.

    Looking ahead to this year, I envision three seasons of training and competition:
    • My big meet for the year will be Santa Clara Nationals. Even though the pool's kind of crappy by today's standards, this is a sentimental favorite for me as I attended my first ever Masters Nationals there in 2001, and also swam well here in my IMs and fly back in the summer of 1986. I am still toying around with event plan, but my current thinking is to do the 200s of each stroke and the 200 and 400 IM, as follows:
      • Friday - 400 IM and 200 back
      • Saturday - 200 breast and 200 fly
      • Sunday - 200 free and 200 IM

    • The only real question in my mind with the above is if I'll do the 200 free or 500 free on the Sunday. My hope is that I can swim the 500 at the Arizona State meet in early April and be happy enough with that swim.
    • Long course will again be a bust for me given that the timing of Worlds and Nationals don't work with my family vacation and my plans to take my oldest daughter off to university in late August. Rather than worry about trying to cobble together an LCM racing plan, I'm going to use the summer to try to get into good open water racing shape so that I don't die when I do the daily double of the 1 mile and 3 mile races at La Jolla in early September.
    • I hope then to be able to return to a pool focus for the SCM season and to be able race the full weekend at Long Beach/Southern Pacific for their championship meet. I'd prefer not to go through another season-ending meet outside in the cold like I did this year with Ron Johnson, but we'll see how that pans out.
  20. The semi-off season

    by , December 10th, 2013 at 04:54 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Before jumping into the semi-off season plan, I need to catch up on all the nice comments from my swims last Friday. This weekend ended up being a blur with my oldest and youngest daughters racing in frigid temperatures, but I did read and appreciate all the thoughts:

    Quote Originally Posted by rxleakem
    Excellent 2back! It's always nice to have the visual cues above to make lane position a non-issue.
    Thanks, Mike, and, yes, the ceiling was an immense help. That didn't stop me from both jamming a few turns and going dangerously long on one turn, but it still helped between the flags.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaadams1
    Wow! Nice going!
    I appreciate it, but am not worthy of this as you probably would've not only raced the 100, but also done it fly!

    Quote Originally Posted by knelson
    I thought your IM was a nice swim, but that 2 back is outstanding. Nice job!
    Kirk, I couldn't agree more. I just hope whatever backstroke I had last Friday sticks around for the SCY season.

    Quote Originally Posted by StewartACarroll
    Awesome meet Patrick.
    Thanks, Stewart. It's a real bummer you got iced out of your meet.

    Quote Originally Posted by swimmieAvsFan
    I was a bit worried when I was snooping on SwimPhone and saw your 100 free. Guess I shouldn't have been! Awesome 200s!
    Too funny. My dad said he saw you at a meet; hope your swims went well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat
    great meet patrick. hard to cap off a meet with your best swim at the end (at least for me!)
    Thanks, but it wasn't like I was at the end of a grueling 3 day affair.

    Quote Originally Posted by KEWebb18
    Great job!

    As for what I'm calling the semi-off season, I often find the mid-December to mid-January a bit of a no-man's land when it comes to training. Unlike my age group and collegiate years when this was a period of heavy training, this seems to be a time where I want to ratchet down the training, but not too much. I want to make sure I don't lose some of the hard-won conditioning and speed I've built, but also want to try out some new things. I think my general plan will be this:
    • I really want to get consistent about yoga -- not so much for my swimming, but because it just leaves me feeling better and more relaxed all around. I'm going to try hard, starting this week, to get to two classes a week.
    • Though I swam fast without any dryland work aside from my shoulder injury stretch cords this fall, I'm finally feeling stable enough and without pain (almost always). Again, more for overall conditioning than necessarily sport specific work, I want to build in a consistent body-weight based dryland program that incorporates some plyometrics.
    • On the pool side, again because I feel more confident in my shoulder, I want to build back to some more traditional and longer aerobic sets. As fast as I swam this fall, I think the back half of my races was generally not as strong as it should be.

    On Sunday, I got in 3,000 SCY at Cactus as follows:
    • 1 x 400: IM, kick-drill by 25s
    • 6 x 100: on 1:20, free, descended from 1:09 to 1:01
    • 6 x 100: on 1:40, 3 IM kick w/board descend, 3 dolphin-flutter kick w/board descend
    • 1 x 50: easy
    • 6 x 200: on 2:30, swim free w/agility paddles -- held about 2:14-2:16 on most and pushed a 2:10 on the last one
    • 3 x 50: active recovery

    On Monday I got in my stretch cord work, light yoga and this HUGE dryland set:
    • 5 squats
    • 5 pushups
    • 5 plyometric squat jumps to streamline

    Today, I did the 500 Six ways workout from my HVT thread, taking no breaks between sets except as noted

    • 1 x 500: IM, k-d-k-d-s
    • 5 x 100: on 1:20, free, did 3 at 1:07, 1 at 1:04, 1 at 1:00
    • 0:40 rest
    • 4 x 125: on 1:50, IM order (1:27, 1:28, 1:40, 1:23)
    • 2 x 250: on 3:00, w/agility paddles, was 2:44 then 2:42
    • 5 x 100: on 1:30, #1 cruise free, #2 to #5 IM order for add up (1:06, 1:06+, 1:17, 1:00 = 4:29)
    • 10 x 50: on 0:50, going 1 easy, 1 fast fly (0:28+), 2 easy, 2 fast (back at 0:30, breast at 0:36, 4 easy free)

    Might snag another new pool tomorrow!
Page 2 of 10 FirstFirst 123456 ... LastLast