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  1. The Joy of Masters Swimming

    by , August 13th, 2015 at 04:15 PM (From the Executive Director: U.S. Masters Swimming's Journey)
    Tuesday, August 4, was a busy and important day for us. Many of our staffers and volunteers were traveling to Cleveland for the 2015 USMS Summer National Championship to support the 963 Masters swimmers who would be competing.

    Nationals week is both fun and stressful for our staff. On the fun ledger, we get to spend time with our volunteers and sponsor partners, cheer for the first-timers, and share inspiring stories and images via social media. Of course our Spring and Summer Nationals come with stress: Livestreaming is an all-day, manually operated job that can have unexpected delivery challenges, and most of the physical set up and breakdown starts daily before dawn and goes well into the nighttime hours.

    Something else happened on August 4. I got the first glimpse of its impact when my phone buzzed at 5:15 a.m., with an image of the front page of the Wall Street Journal Health & Wellness section headline “The Joy of Masters Swimming.” With a 2,400,000 circulation, WSJ is the largest printed newspaper. Throughout the day, as I was driving to Cleveland for the Summer Nationals, I received a steady stream of texts and phone calls. Coaches, partners, and members who saw the story offered congratulations and praise for the article’s message.

    Although I had spent a good deal of time on the phone with the reporter Kevin Helliker, I didn’t know what he was going to write and I didn’t know that the piece would be on the front page. During our conversation, Kevin observed that the USMS business model is distinctly different than other participation sports such as triathlon, Tough Mudder, and Color Runs. Those organizations have seen large participation increases due primarily to an event growth strategy.

    USMS, by contrast, still offers relatively the same number of events at about the same level of participation as we did 10 years ago. In fact, the number of USMS open water sanctioned events is down from just five years ago. Yet, since 2005, USMS membership has increased from 42,490 to more than 63,000 members. Which provoked Kevin to ask this question: “Has USMS growth been intentional or by accident?”

    Well, the answer is intentional, but with the long view, and without compromising the experiences we are providing to our members.

    With resources provided by our Board of Directors and House of Delegates, we’ve made sustained and conscious investments into areas that are creating a more inclusive USMS. We rebranded in 2009 with an identity welcoming to any adult who wants to swim. Content in SWIMMER magazine and at resonates with all swimmers: those new to swimming, triathletes, those rediscovering swimming after a long break, and competitive swimmers. Nearly 1,500 coaches and instructors have attended our Masters coach certification teachings in the past four years. Our Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor Program, launched this year, has certified 230 instructors. The past two years, our Swimming Saves Lives Foundation program partners have served nearly 5,000 adults with introductory swim lessons.

    So yes, it’s our intention to grow, but to do so mindfully with inclusive programs for our members, and by supporting our coaches, instructors, and aquatic directors—the influencers who are having a direct impact in the daily experience that our members have through our 1,500 local Masters Swimming programs across the country. By doing so, we hope to foster a welcoming culture so more adults can experience the joy of Masters Swimming, as shared by the excellent Wall Street Journal piece, and as narrated by Rowdy Gaines in “Masters Swimming is a Journey." .”

    Updated August 13th, 2015 at 04:31 PM by Editor

    Staff Blogs
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  2. 3000 more

    by , August 13th, 2015 at 03:42 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Felt slow and a bit more ragged today...

    3000 SCY/59 minutes

    WU (1200/23:00):
    1 x 400 fr on 7:00
    4 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:31-1:35)
    4 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:43-:44)
    4 x 25 fr on :30 (:20-:21)
    1 x 100 EZ BK on 2:00
    1:00 rest

    MS (1500/30:00):
    10 x 100 fr on 2:00 (desc. 1:31-1:27)*
    10 x 50 fr on 1:00 (mostly :43)

    CD (300/6:00):
    6 x 50 EZ (BK, BR, FR, BK, BR, FR)

    *These actually felt pretty smooth and not difficult, which is a good thing since that was my previous pace for 1650. I felt stronger as I went along, but during the 50s afterward, I did not have that feeling I had the other day of relative ease. My body needs a break I think.

    Updated August 13th, 2015 at 10:03 PM by mcnair

  3. Week 150 - Thursday

    by , August 13th, 2015 at 01:15 PM (After a long rest)
    I did not feel so great yesterday and was fortunate that my calendar was almost empty and with some creative rescheduling decided to take the day off work. It turned out to be a great decision since after sleeping for an hour or so I woke up feeling much better. My chest congestion just does not want to go away but after the sleep I woke up feeling much better and the tickly cough I had developed also disappeared. I also made an extra effort yesterday to drink LOTS of fluid and by yesterday afternoon was feeling a lot better. Last night I went to bed at 6:30pm and had a great night of sleep; the most solid and best I have had in a long time. According to my wife I beat the kids and her by 3 hours.

    Unlike the rest of the week the pool was still setup LCM with all lane lines still in place. Today I dropped my distance again with mainly aerobic easy swimming with the exception being a few open, close, easy, fast 50s.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on 1min

    Main sets
    4x100 free on 1:30
    100 easy
    4x50 on 1min with fins, done as open, close, easy, fast
    100 easy

    Warm down
    200 double arm backstroke
    Swim Workouts
  4. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 08/14/2015

    by , August 13th, 2015 at 01:13 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 200 3:30 3:30
    3 X 100 2:00 1:45
    Three rounds

    6 X 50 kick 1:20

    2 X 100 2:00
    6 X 50 1:15
    Two rounds
    All odd swims moderate
    All even swims fast

    1 X 100 fast 2:30
    1 X 150 moderate 2:30
    Four rounds, choice

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  5. Wed., Aug 12

    by , August 12th, 2015 at 10:09 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    rehab ex
    flutter kicks on bosu, 4 x 50
    cable twist w/yoga ball, 25 x 2 x 15 each side
    extreme angle goblet squats on high boxes w/plate, 45 x 4 x 6
    seated row negatives, 90 x 4 x 5
    rear delt flys, 80 x 4 x 6
    hip abductor, 120 x 4 x 5
    supine bicep curl on cable machine, 70 x 3 x 8
    saxon side bends, 10 x 3 x 15
    explosive fly pulls on double cable machine, 20 x 4 x 5
    knee tuck jumps, 5 x 3
    kneeling ab crunches, 140 x 4 x 8
    explosive leg press, 215 x 4 x 5

    Swim/SCY @ Sewy

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Main Sets:

    8 x 50, 25 stroke + 25 free @ :55
    8 x 25, 1/2 fast SDK + 1/2 cruise @ :45
    50 EZ
    4 x 100 IM w/fins @ 1:55
    -- I did 2 IM, 2 back
    6 x 50 breast w/flutter kick w/fins @ 1:05
    -- for me, breast flutter is exhausting and difficult on this interval
    -- I switched to breast dolphin after 3
    50 EZ
    6 x 50 free w/fins, build each 25 to sprint @ :50
    -- NO! I did 25 fast flutter kick + 25 EZ kick
    7 x 50 @ 1:05
    -- supposed to be 35 fast + 15 EZ, odds breast
    -- NO! I cannot possibly go 35 fast on that interval
    -- I did odds breast @ 100 pace for 35 y, evens EZ
    50 EZ
    4 x 25 AFAP kick @ 1:00
    -- did back, think I was going around 13s
    100 EZ

    Total: 3050


    I am feeling gobsmacked after today. 10 days in a row of working out with quite a few doubles. I would love to swim outside tomorrow am, but I think I have to take a day off. It was nice to swim with other humans tonight. I plan to go on Friday night as well. Massage tomorrow!
  6. Workout 08/12/15: evening

    by , August 12th, 2015 at 08:52 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    On vacation this week, working on some projects around the house. This afternoon I went for a short motorcycle ride this afternoon with Lena and ended up riding in the rain. Fun time!

    Quick swim this evening...
    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    300 Shark Swim
    4 x 50 with 25 easy into 25 FAST IMO
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1200 yds/30 min)

    Tomorrow I have some tiling lined up at the College's new dorm area during the morning
    Swim Workouts
  7. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 08/13/2015

    by , August 12th, 2015 at 01:55 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 2:00 1:45
    1 X 150 2:45 2:30
    1 X 200 3:30 --
    Two rounds, round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 200 kick 5:00
    8 X 50 kick 1:20
    1 X 100 swim --

    1 X 200 IM 4:00
    2 X 50 1:15 #2 on 1:30
    Four rounds
    50's: round 1 fly, 2 back, 3 breast, 4 free

    1 X 600 swim or pull
    Descend by 200's

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  8. 40 x 25 on :40

    by , August 12th, 2015 at 01:20 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    In keeping with the theme of lots of rest and focus on pace and form I decided to go with 40 x 25 on :40 for my main set... the 25s were to be on or a little faster than 1650 dream pace which would leave me just a little over :20 rest. I felt refreshed and energetic for the entire set, in fact my form felt smoother and I even incorporated flip turns in the last half of the work out. The 1:1 work:rest ratio might not be helping my distance/aerobic fitness, but it is helping me lock in form and the feel of a particular pace.

    Here's the workout:

    Warm-up (1800/32:00):
    6 x 200 fr on 3:20 (evens pull w/ buoy)
    6 x 100 kick w/ long fins on 2:00 (alt. by 100: front w/ board, side, back streamline)

    MS1 (1000/27:00):
    40 x 25 fr on :40
    :20 rest

    MS2 (400/7:00):
    1 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:39, felt smooth, not hard)
    6 x 50 kick w/ long fins on :50 (alt. by 50s: front, side, bk)
    1 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:39*)

    Cool-Down (300/5:00)
    3 x 100 relaxed fr on 1:40 (odds pull w/ buoy)

    TOTAL: 3500 SCY/1:12:00

    *Usually toward the end of a 3000+ workout, my 50s can be ragged unless I back off to a :43-:45, especially the day after a sprint day, but this :39 felt pretty smooth and in no way desperate of frenzied.
  9. Breathing

    WOW!! mega hot here in Houston☀️My labs only wanted to do one round of walkies today🐺!! Can't blame them, even though there's a large pond for them to jump in and cool off!!
    Excellent swim yesterday! I thought I'd change things up a bit. I normally breathe one side and wanted to work on breathing every 3rd stroke.
    1650 w/u
    300 kick
    100 easy
    300 odds left side,evens right side stroke w/ kick board,
    focus on glide /stability.
    1600 pull buoy, breathing every 3rd stroke, familiarizing new breathing pattern and alternating right and left!!
    200 cool
    Felt AWESOME!!
    will be ready for Coach O when he's back from vacation!
    Swim Workouts
  10. Week 150 - Wednesday

    by , August 12th, 2015 at 08:49 AM (After a long rest)
    I slept better last night and woke uncontested for the first time in the last two weeks. This thing literally started two weeks ago today while in Orlando. That feels like a long time for a cold.

    When i got to the pool once again the lane lines were removed and we spent at least 15 minutes untangling and pulling lane lines. Once everything was set I proceeded with a 2500m taper workout.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on 1min

    Main sets
    6x100 free with just paddles on 1:30 smooth
    10x50 back kick on 1min
    4x50 on 1min done at 200 race pace

    Warm down
    500 easy

    I felt quite heavy during the warmup today but was fine on the pace 50s holding 30/31s.

    I was worried about the number of entries for our meet this weekend but we had a great last week of entires and the unofficial number is 85 swimmers. We have a guy in my age group coming in from Canada and others coming in from Arkansas, and Oklahoma. It's going to be fun with my team putting up lots of relays. I just booked a restaurant for a team lunch after Saturday's session which will be fun too.

    Updated August 12th, 2015 at 11:23 AM by StewartACarroll

    Swim Workouts
  11. Stroke Time per Yard

    Measured 30 sec per 25 yards freestyle and backstroke.


    2 minutes per 100 yards

    10 minutes per 500 yards

    40 minutes per 2000 yards

    45 minutes per 2500 yards.
    Swim Workouts
  12. Week 150 - Tuesday

    by , August 11th, 2015 at 08:21 PM (After a long rest)
    I did not have a particularly good night of sleep last night. It was hot and I could not stop tossing and turning. When I got to the pool this morning all the lane lines were bunched up in one corner and we had to setup enough lanes for our group to swim in. The pool is shut except for masters workouts and there is a crew working on cleaning the pool. I guess the crew must have forgotten to setup the pool again.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on 1min

    Main sets
    4x(4x50 IM order on 1min, 100 kick on 2mins)
    4x(4x50 on 1min done as open, close, easy, fast)

    Warm down
    200 easy

    Nothing very fast today but generally I feel good in the pool.
    Swim Workouts
  13. Tuesday, Aug.11

    by , August 11th, 2015 at 05:43 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/LCM/Solo @ Lebo

    500 various
    4 x (25 scull + 25 DPS free w/paddles) @ 1:10
    8 x 50, 20 m UW @ 1:15
    20 x 50 kick w/fins @ 1:00
    -- 10 dolphin, 10 flutter or back kick
    50 EZ
    1 x 50 @ 100 pace
    1 x 100 EZ

    Total: 2300 m

    Stretching/Yoga/ Rehab Ex, 45 min


    My shoulders were a bit sore from yesterday's double. So I decided to do a high volume kick set today. I had intended to do weights, but had to run around with Lil Fort and her pack of friends this afternoon. I'll do weights and a swim tomorrow. I'm going to head to Sewickley to swim with my buddies and get in a SCY workout.
    Swim Workouts
  14. interesting soreness...

    by , August 11th, 2015 at 02:34 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    I think yesterday I was experiencing the delayed onset muscle soreness from the 4600 I did on Saturday with its 30 x 25 followed by 30 x 50. I was definitely stiff on Saturday afternoon and evening, but my shoulder loosened up and I didn't feel particularly out of sorts Sunday. Even got in a short stretch out swim with some drill on Sunday evening. The yesterday the soreness really kicked in, especially in my triceps (I usually feel it more in my lats and shoulders. I probably could have used a quick swim to limber up, but didn't have time (or motivation).

    Today I woke up feeling a little more refreshed and headed to the Y mid-morning to see what I could do. I knew immediately where the soreness was coming from... I've been working on long strokes with a good finish and that last bit as my hands pass through the hip region was where the triceps were feeling it. So I guess the sprints, to which my body is still not accustomed, are good for something!

    Today I did another 1500+ at dream 1650 pace. Here's what I did:

    Warm-up (1200/20:00):
    6 x 200 fr on 3:20 (evens pull w/ buoy)

    2:00 rest

    MS1 (1500/30:00):
    10 x 25 fr w/ long fins on :30 (mostly :16, tried to focus on hips and extension, minimize kick)
    10 x 50 fr on 1:00 (all on :39)
    10 x 75 fr on 1:30 (mostly on 1:00, the last 2-3 in the 1:02 range)

    Recovery: 300 EZ back on 6:00

    MS2 (700/14:00):
    5 x 100 fr on 2:00 (odds pull w/ buoy; evens hard--1:21, 1:19)
    200 streamline BK kick w/ fins on 4:00

    Cool-down (300/6:00):
    6 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:43-:46, ascending times, descending stroke counts)

    TOTAL: 4000 SCY/ 1:18.00
  15. Awesome strenght train

    I walk my rescued labs every morning for 2 miles and though the heat is excruciating, we're out there walking it!! I find it easier to start at 7/7:30am where its not so hot and gives me time to cool off, shower and head to work.
    Todays strength train session, given by Chris Ritter via online training was most excellent. Discovering that I can do more reps considering coming back from vacation is such an uprise! I want to do more but know I shouldn't push too much incase of injury.. that would be why he's my trainer!! right?!! of course!! Swim w/o tomorrow, love so much being is the water.. It's hot both outside and in the 50m pool but, just keep swimming!!

    deadlift 135#10reps 3x
    Single Arm row 35#12reps 3x
    Kneeling rollout 10reps 3x
    waiter carry 25# 20yds02x
    pull ups 8 2x
    Goblet qut 40#10reps 2x
    kneeling s/a press 20#10reps 2x
    kneeling chst press 35# 15reps 2x
    Felt so alive after w/o.. Thanks Chris!!
  16. Swim Stroke Counts

    In a 25 yard length pool:

    Freestyle & Backstroke = 17 strokes per 25 yards
    Breast & Fly = 25 strokes per 25 yards (freestyle kicking)
    Breast & Fly = 35 strokes per 25 yards (dolphin kicking)
    Swim Workouts
  17. Monday 8/10/15

    300 free
    100 back
    200 IM drill
    100 breast
    4 x 25 IM order build

    8 rounds of kick
    --20 sec all out/ 10 sec easy

    4 x 150 @ 2:15
    --rotate 50 fast other 2 50's are moderate
    5 x 100 back @ 1:40 strong
    4 x 75 @ 1:15 IM rotate dropping a stroke
    5 x 50 @ 55 worst stroke (went fly) cruise
    2 x 25 @ 30 worst stroke sprint
    50 easy
    300 pull strong @ 4:30
    8 x 50 kick with fins @ 55
    --25 build /rest 5 /25 sprint
    300 with paddles @ 4:30
    --25 fast/25 easy
    100 float around and hot tub time

    3900 scy
  18. Test set

    The Texas Swim Center is closed for a few weeks undergoing routine cleaning and maintenance; while it was still open I took advantage of my taper and swam a PR in the 5K postal (1:12:23.07, a second faster than last year). I am hoping that time will be good enough for a virtual podium finish in my age group.

    I really don't enjoy training on my own, so I decided to try out the new Masters program at Brendan Hansen's Austin Aquatics and Sports Academy in South Austin. Nate O'Brien coached this morning; I shared a lane with one of my Longhorn teammates, Andrea, and a pretty fast young guy named Grant. This is a very nice outdoor Myrtha pool which was set up long course. They seem to do a nice job with aeration as the water temperature was pleasant despite daytime temperatures reaching 100.

    Warm up:

    10 minutes choice

    400 DPS (5:45, averaging 39 strokes)

    Main set:

    Andrea's triathlon coach wanted her to do a test set of 15 x 100 @ 1:30 holding 1:20, so Nate assigned the set to everyone. Some of the other lanes went on slower intervals. I swam behind Grant and Andrea and held 1:20 for all 15 and felt strong. I have used this set many times to assess how well I am training, but I have always swum it in a 25 meter pool.

    I skipped the kick set to leave for work.
  19. Sat-Mon, Aug 8-10

    by , August 10th, 2015 at 02:21 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Saturday Drylands:

    rehab ex
    rear delt flys, 65 x 2 x 8, 75 x 2 x 8
    explosive leg extensions, 105 x 3 x 15
    straight arm dips, 75 x 3 x 25
    good mornings, 70 x 4 x 8
    explosive fly pull on double cable machine, 17.5 x 3 x 15
    deadlift, 75 x 4 x 8
    seated row, 90 x 4 x 8
    skull crusher + straight leg raise combo, 50 x 2 x 12
    streamline crunches, 2 x 50

    3 mile jog

    Sunday: Swim/LCM/Solo @ Lebo

    500 various
    3 x (25 scull + 25 free w/paddles) @ 1:10
    8 x 50 w/fins, UW 25 m @ 1:15
    8 x 50, 2x IM order (single arm fly)
    10 x 100
    odds = free or back
    evens = kick
    100 EZ

    Total: 2600 m

    -- This was a complete recovery workout. I had hoped it would equal a day off, but my shoulders were still fatigued when I went to the pool today. I guess even an EZ workout in long course takes a toll.

    Monday: Swim/LCM/Solo @ Lebo

    500 various
    4 x (25 scull + 25 free w/paddles)
    4 x (15 burst dolphin kick + 35 EZ)
    50 EZ
    26 x 50
    odds = @ 100 pace @ 1:00 (5 back, 5 breast, 3 kick)
    evens = EZ @ 1:30-2:00
    100 EZ

    Total: 2350m

    Heated Vinyasa, 75 min


    Two things will take a hit this month with only long course available: sprint backstroke and UW work. I am really lousy at swimming backstroke outside and the pool I'm training in is only 4 feet deep. I was scraping on the bottom yesterday trying to do 25 UWs. Today I tried reaching and gliding more on breast and my 50 times were 1-2 seconds faster than usual. So I guess I should approach my next 100 breast that way.

    I was looking at the meet calendar. I think I will aim for the DCAC Columbus Day Classic meet on October 10 in DC and the Sprint Classic on October 25 in VA, both SCY. I had thought about going to the Rowdy meet, but I don't like the order of events and it starts very early. After checking all the nationals results, I'm psyched to compete again.

    I'm off to yoga at 4:15.

    Updated August 10th, 2015 at 05:46 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  20. Another Good Day - 08/09/2015

    by , August 10th, 2015 at 10:20 AM (Workout Swimmer)
    The water has been delightfully cool lately, despite the August heat - and I'm sure it has to do with the daily afternoon thundershowers - which have been considerable. A couple of counties over, they are at a "state of emergency" due to flooding, poor guys.
    Just me and Stephanie today - everything was a 500 - we always do 600's, so woo hoo, a change, lol

    500 warm-up; 75 free/25 back
    5 x 100 @ 1:40
    500 pull no paddles
    5 x 100 kick @ 2:15
    500 pull w/paddles
    5 x 100 @ 1:40 (holding 1:30 & below on all ten of these)
    500 free
    500 breast/free
    500 back/free
    Total: 4500 LCM