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  1. Colonies Zones LCM meet report

    Over the weekend I competed at Colonies LC Zones at College Park, MD. It was a fun and well run meet in a pool that I very much liked. I got to see a bunch of folks from the blogs and forums, many of whom I was meeting in person for the first time, so that was great. I also had a few teammates and a coach at the meet, which was really nice. My favorite fashion statement at the meet was Jim T.ís fuzzy-pink-socks-with-leather-sandals combo.

    The trip down by train was easy, and I got a zipcar once I got to College Park. (I love love love Zipcars, btw). I arrived on Friday afternoon, and by Saturday morning I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas as I waited around for the meet to start that afternoon (noon warm-ups, 1pm start). Hereís my Saturday events and how I swam them:

    100 Breaststroke: 1:30.10 (41.78, 48.32)
    This was a solid time drop from my 1:34.0 (44.8, 49.3) at Middlebury. I was happy with this swim, but need to continue refining my br technique. Since Middlebury I have gone to a narrower kick, and the new way of doing things hasnít quite settled in yetóI feel like Iím still experimenting around, and doing something slightly different on every single stroke. Coach Craig also said Iím separating my hands too early in my strokeóI need to hold my streamline a scooch longer to take advantage of that position during the most propulsive part of my kick. It was encouraging to swim a decent time on this and still feel like thereís a lot of room for improvement.

    100 Backstroke: 1:18.40 (38.27, 40.13)
    This might have been the best BK start Iíve ever done, and definitely the longest underwater off a start Iíve ever tried. For the last month or so Iíve tried rotating about 45 degrees to the left on my udk, and this seems to make it easier for me. (This was a Boomer idea, with the rationale that you want to be using slightly different stabilizing muscles, or using them slightly differently, during the udk than the ones youíre using during your regular stroke, to avoid fatiguing them if possible. I also find that it somehow helps me keep water out of my nose, and puts me in a more natural position to start my first armstroke on the breakout). Leslie mentioned that my breakout might could still be a little smoother (ie more horizontal, less of a popping out), and Iím sure thatís something I need to continue to work on.
    The time bettered my swim at Wilton last month 1:19.79 (39.3, 40.5).

    50 Free: 30.89
    This was an ok effortóIím glad to be under 31, hope to get back under 30 eventually, but nothing about my training led me to believe that would happen at this meet. My freestyle felt a little raggedy, as it has in training this summer, but I felt like I was getting some good power on at least some strokes, so thereís some hope there.

    After my events Saturday I had a relaxing swim in the outdoor pool at the rec center (one of the perks of staying at the on-campus hotel) in the sunshine, and then an early dinner with my friend Andrea from New Jersey. I was back at the hotel and asleep by 8:30!

    And that was good, because things started early the next morning (7:30 warmup, 8:30 start):

    50 Breaststroke: 41.10
    Again, my stroke technique was just feeling a bit uncertain. I as actually hoping for a better time after going out 41.7 in my 100 BR.

    200 IM: 2:53.45 (39.47, 43.48, 51.03, 39.47)
    I was happy with this race. The fly was as relaxed a fly leg as I have swum in quite a while, and finding some easy speed there has been a real challenge for me for the last couple of years. Midway through the backstroke I had one of those ďOh no, my arms feel really tired, and I have soooo far left to goĒ wailing to myself moments, but I just told myself I had swum with tired arms before and to keep on working it. I kept up the turnover on my breaststroke, and willed myself to kick all the way on my freestyle. My time is a nice drop from the 3:01 I swam earlier this season (43.9, 45.8, 52.8, 39.0), although I actually finished stronger on that one. My coach was excited that I exactly matched my FL and FR splits.

    50 Backstroke: 36.62
    This was an ok swim, not a great one. Itís a bit over a second faster than I swam mid-season, so Iíll take it. I did a fairly good job of keeping some rotation while I speeded up my turnover, but this swim just lacked the gung-ho feeling that 50s feel like they should have. I also did an even longer underwater kick than on my 100 backstroke, and I think I need to get someone with a stopwatch to time me doing various numbers of kicks to see what is optimal for a 50óit might be that Iím not a good enough dolphin kicker to warrant all that time underwater.

    That was itó6 events in less than 24 hours!

    When I looked at the event rankings Iím currently at 8-10 in several events, so Iíll see if any of those hold up. It is cool that swims from this meet are already in the rankings. I was also glad to see that my Wilton results are now included. That gives me an almost-complete event set in the USMS database from this LCM season:

    http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/indre...=45&highage=49

    Graphs might be forthcoming!

    I should go for a recovery swim todayóIím pretty sore. I do have a massage scheduled for this afternoon.

    Tomorrow we head out to Vancouver Island for week for a family wedding plus vacation. Iím not sure how much Iíll swim. Asphalt Green is closed until after Labor Day once I return, so this might just be a good time to take a break from the pool.
    Tags: lcm, meet report
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  2. Wednesday LCM workout

    I went to the 5:30 AGUA workout this morning. Hereís what we did:

    500 lcm warmup

    6 x 50 FR (25 overkick, 25 dps) @ 1:00

    6 x 50 ST (IM order twice thru, 25 fast, 25 easy) @ 1:10

    1 x 300 pull
    2 x 200 pull
    3 x 100 pull

    1 x 200 kick w/ fins flutter
    2 x 100 kick w fins dolphin
    4 x 50 kick w/o fins breaststroke

    1 x 300 FL/FR/BK/FR/BR/FR
    2 x 200 IM
    3 x 100 choice

    200 warmdown

    Yesterday I went to the Y and did weights, and also got in a mini swim workout. Hereís what I did:

    800 scy warmup

    8 x 25 kick, odds very fast UDK, evens easy

    16 x 25 swim, odds very fast IM order, evens easy

    400 warmdown

    I entered the Colonies Zones meetóI decided to swim just 6 events (50/100 BK, 50/100 BR, 50 FR, 200 IM). I had thought about adding the 4IM and maybe a 200 stroke as well, but Iím excited about having a more focused group of events to concentrate on during the next few weeks of training. Plus, with the first day starting at noon, Iím guessing I'll end up swimming 5 or even all 6 of my events within 24 hours, and will be glad I haven't committed myself to more.


    Iím also looking at open water races in September and possibly on through the fall. Iíve always been bummed that LC season and OW season are at the same timeótheyíre my 2 favorite modes of swimming, and I always feel like Iím missing out on one by focusing on the other. This summer Iíve mainly done LC meetsóIíve only been out open water swimming once (although I do have a 2-mile race coming up this weekend). But once summer is over, Iíll be able to swim with the CIBBOWS group on weekends for as long as I want. They have a race at Coney Island on November 6th, and it would be really cool to swim that. So Iím toying with the idea of extending my open-water season through the fall as long as possible. Itís been a while since Iíve acclimated myself to cold water, but I know it can be done.
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  3. Long-course Saturday

    I went to the early-morning LCM workout at Asphalt Green. Once again, I saw tons and tons of people milling around near the park during my cab ride over. I have been wondering each of the last few weeks why so many folks are out on the street at 5:45 on a weekend morning, but I have finally solved the mystery: they are waiting in line to wait in line for free Shakespeare in the Park tickets. Apparently Central Park is officially closed until 6 am (who knew?!), at which point all these folks stream into the park to camp out and wait until tickets are distributed at 1 for that nightís performance. Mystery solved!

    Hereís the workout I did this morning:

    500 lcm warmup

    8 x 50 FR (25 heads up / 25 dps)

    8 x 50 BK w/ 15m uw kick off walls [I actually managed to get close to 15m underwater, and experimented with different angles off the wall]

    100 sculling

    100 easy

    Vertical kicking (flutter): :10 kick / :10 rest / :20 kick / :20 rest / :30 kick

    200 reverse IM drill

    400 FR pull, negative split

    Vertical kicking (dolphin): :10 kick / :10 rest / :20 kick / :20 rest / :30 kick

    200 reverse IM drill

    400 FR pull

    12 x 100 FR: 4 @ 1:50, 4 @ 1:45, 4 @ 1:40 [I did every 4th one FR/BK]

    Warmdown: 8 x 50, 2 @ :55, 2 @ 1:00, 2 @ 1:05, 2 @ 1:10

    I am feeling pretty tired and sore today, and more just did this workout rather than looking for specific opportunities to work on my individual goals. I did get in some good work on the 50s backstroke, and used the final 12 x 100 to think about my upcoming 2m OW race.
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  4. Mellow Friday morning workout

    I went to the morning AGUA lcm workout. It was not very crowded todayóI started in a lane with 6, then switched to one with 4. Hereís what we did:

    800 lcm warmup

    3 x (3 x 50 DR + 100 build), odd rounds FR, evens ST

    150 easy / lane change

    4 x 100 kick (2 FR, 2 BR) @ 2:10-2:30 [this was actually a swim set involving build 75s + 25 easy that I adapted]

    2 x (3 x 150 @ 3:00 + 2 x 50 easy) [This was a free set, but I did IMs on the 150s the first time through and ST/FR/ST, IM order the 2nd time through.]

    50 fast backstroke

    250 warmdown

    At sunset last night I went down to the pretty little track in Riverside park and took some baby steps towards restarting a plyo routine. This cinder track is 220 yards around, with very sharp turns at the ends, and gets limited use. Itís ideal for doing short sprint pieces of about 40-50 yards or so. I ran a few laps to warmup, then 3 x 40 sprints (going 75, 85, and 90 percent of max speed), then 3 x 40 of unspecialized skipping. I havenít done any plyo since spring of 2009, so Iím trying to be pretty cautious and patient as I build back up to doing some power leg work. Itís always tempting to do more, because skipping and sprinting feels so fun!

    Off to the gym now for weights. Itís amazing how deciding to swim shorter events at Zones has made me more excited about lifting and building strength and power!
  5. Playing with speed

    I went to the early-morning lcm workout at Asphalt Green. Hereís how it went:

    700 lcm warmup

    400 FR speed play: 6 stroke cycles slow, 6 stroke cycles fast for 1st 100; 5 slow/5 fast on 2nd 100; 4/4 on 3rd, and 3/3 on 4th [I liked thisóit really made me think about where I was generating power from each time I switched from slow to fast, and how increasing tempo helped increase power, as well as the other way around]

    6 x 100 @ 2:20, done as 2 x (75 FL + 25 FR; 75 BK + 25 FR; 75 BR + 25 FR), with ST= long and relaxed, FR =sprinting [my lane only made it through 5 of these]

    2 x 50 FR Sprint @ 1:30 [37, 36]
    100 easy
    4 x 50 FR Fast @ 1:30 [held 38-39]
    200 easy
    8 x 50 FR Fast @ 1:20 [I did odds sprint, evens moderate. I went in the back of my lane and so just got my time to the flags (too many people to get to the wall): 34, 32, 32, 32]
    400 easy [300]
    4 x 50 BR fast @ 1:40
    200 easy
    Then I skipped the last 2 x 50 Fast + 100 easy because my body had had enough fast swimming for one day!

    100 warmdown

    Our coach, Craig Keller, leaves for Sweden at the end of this week to coach USMS swimmers at Worlds, then is headed to Puerto Rico for nats. I think Iíll see him again about a week before I go to Zones, so Iím trying to get all the good advice I can from him this now! I think we will have a substitute coach coming in from out of town to handle workouts during his absence. If anyone reading this is Worlds-bound, I hope you enjoy Craigís great knowledge and enthusiasm. It sounds like you will have tons of fun there!

    I have to figure out what to swim at Zones. Iíd like to do 50 FR/BK/BR, 100 BK/BR, and 200/400 IMs. The only back-to-back events among those are the 400 IM and 100 BK, but thatís a pretty tough one. I could just drop the 400 IM notion and give myself an easier schedule.

    On the swim-every-event front, between the Middlebury and Wilton meets IĒve already swum the following LC events this summer: 100/200/400/800 FR, 50/100/200 BK, 100/200 BR, 50/100/200 FL, and 200/400 IM. Iím ok with skipping the 1500 FR this season, and will definitely get in the other 2 eventsó50 FR and 50 BRóat Zones. If all goes as planned, Iíll also get in 1M and 2M open-water swims this summer. Thatís a happy-making amount of racing, and has helped keep my interest up in training.
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  6. My Indy SwimFit review!

    First and foremost - I want to say the Indy SwimFit meet was run very well! I had plenty of rest time, the results were posted extremely fast and the people running the desk were REALLY cool.

    So to get to Indy, I decided to take the Amtrak. Its easy to get to, and its super low stress. This trip I take my friend Tessa. She's a great friend and she promised to video tape my swims.
    We arrive in Indy about 11:30 PM, and walk about 300 yards to the hotel (GREAT PLANNING). After getting ready for bed, I fall asleep until about 4:30 AM. I finally get out of bed right around 5:15 get my stuff together in the dark and start walking around the hotel. Finally around 5:45 I make my way into the restaurant and get my first cup of decaf. Finally after consuming a massive amount of food by about 6:30, I get up and I walk over to the computers for the hotel and start playing around on the forums, facebook and gmail. (See here: [ame=http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=219296&postcount=48]Forum Post[/ame])

    As I'm sitting at the computer - I see a few people walking through the hotel with their own swim bags. I figured I'd just introduce myself and make friends - what a GREAT idea. The person I met was Nadine Day. First off - she knew EVERYONE at the meet, so I got to meet a lot of fantastic swimmers and make a lot of new friends. Secondly - I immediately labeled her as my surrogate coach. She actually did quite a bit to help me learn at the end of the meet and I'll be repeating those drills at pretty much every practice.

    So enough fluff - I swam the 50 Back, 100 Back, 50 Free, 50 Breast and finally 100 Free. I'm coming to the conclusion - if I at least do one race well - its a good meet. :-)

    Before the race - I received a free swim cap. I figured I would try it out! Why not; right? I did a few practice laps and decided I would just keep it on for the rest of the meet. It was a really weird feeling not feeling the water on your head.

    Results

    50 Back
    "I'd like to go at least a 50 in the 50 back this time. I did a 53 last weekend, and I think this time I'm going to be a little better prepared mentally for the race. I've also increased my backstroke during the week and kick to help push myself down the lane."
    BORKED
    My goal in backstroke is always to survive. Although - its also to beat last meet's time. As of July 4th I don't have my official time for the Badger State Games, but I know I swam an equivalent time so I was pretty happy with that even if I didn't swim a 50. At least I'm not getting slower! I remember at the very beginning of the race I was choking on the water as it kept coming up over my face with my left arm. So I relaxed the arms and made sure that my stroke was even and calm and the water stopped flowing over my face. Watching the video - its pretty obvious that I don't know how to start. Something that I just have to learn in practice. As I'm watching though - I'm noticing that I bend my knees when I kick. This will be corrected as I learn the drills that Nadine taught me. I also worked to try and make sure my shoulders came out of the pool when swimming; you can tell when I'm thinking about it and when I'm not because I either do it or don't. Practice will even that out though.

    100 Back
    "I'm hoping I survive. No kidding. It's going to be a long race - and I'll swim it as hard as I can, but we'll have to see. I'm also hoping to have a good flip turn followed by a strong dolphin kick. I'm aiming for the flags off the wall!"
    --No Video--
    The race started the same as the 50 back - with me choking from water from my left arm. I again chilled out and let my arms relax. I swam a much better race. When I flipped turned off the wall, I didn't get any air right before my turn, so I was totally in O2 Debt by the time I came out from under. I also had a very deep flip turn for whatever reason. I came up and was able to breath again. At that point it was just "make it to the wall". I swam a 1:55 - which was great for me especially because I thought I was going to be doing about 2:00+.

    50 Free
    "I'm working on my sprints this week. I'm hoping to be able to make it to the 49 meter mark before I'm totally starting to cash out this time! So that means I need to dolphin off the dive and extend my dive for a little longer than I did last weekend. I swam a 33ish in 50 SCY, and a 39 last week. With some improvements in form that I'm working on I think I can speed things up significantly. My goal is going to remain 35 (as last week)"
    BORKED
    <Sigh> This was a very disappointing race. I should've come up sooner and relied on my on my ability to swim rather than dolphin kick underwater. I wasted a lot of time in that race underwater. (Nadine came up and basically told me she was happy I was working on my underwater - but that was too much). I also didn't finish that race completely exhausted. So I know I didn't give 100% and I know I could've done much better. I ended that race on a 40, which sorely disappointed me. Next time I'll make it. I KNOW I can!

    50 Breast
    "Survive again. It would be nice to finish my 50 Breast in under a minute. Its my weakest stroke mostly because my kick is essentially useless. I'm working on it, I just need time and experience I think. However - specifically - I'm going to make sure that each lunge forward with my arms helps propel my body forward."
    BORKED
    I did manage to complete this race in under a minute! I was super excited about that. I spent this race completely focused on form. That was far more important to me than any time or anything like that. So I made sure to allow time for a little bit of glide before going into the stroke again. Next time however I will probably take a little less time gliding and a little more time swimming. I think its about learning that delicate balance? Coach will tell me eventually. :-)

    100 Free
    "I'd like to see no goggle problems this time, a strong dolphin kick off the wall and pacing it right. Again - with some strong improvements in form that i'm working on - I think I can speed this up significantly by this race. Goal: 1:25"
    BORKED
    Well, I certain did not swim a 1:25. I swam a 1:30. By the time I hit the blocks on this race, I was only focused on making a stand against that awful 50 Free I did before. I remember coming down, feeling pretty strong. My swim into the wall was not really that great (those bulkheads were trippy for me... I will have to swim in that pool more). After coming off the wall - I noted the guy next to me was beatable. So I decided to push it, hard. I started kicking harder and swimming harder. This entire time I was also not taking the time to breath every other stroke or even every three strokes. I limited myself to 4 or 5 strokes per breath thinking "You can breath when you're done...". I pushed myself as hard as I could into the wall with that guy right on my tail. He ended up kicking it in just at the last second and beating me by .05 seconds. I need to work on my finishes apparently :-) That race was a great race for me and I'm very proud of it.

    All in all at this meet I was happy with how it turned out. I met Mary Pohlmann, Nadine Day, and quite a few other people whose names currently escape me. I can't wait til my next meet, regardless of the pool size. I do happen to really like the long course though. I really wish I could train in it. I've also decided after this weekend, I definitely need more swimming in my life. So I'm currently working to find more pools to swim in as well. We'll see how that goes and we'll see if I'm capable of keeping it up! Thanks for all of your encouragement everyone!

    Tonight: Drills at the Lake Bluff Rec! Going to basically just do drills for a couple hours to work on form. Post ideas for drills if you want!

    Updated July 7th, 2010 at 02:46 PM by bzaks1424

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  7. Saturday morning technique workout

    I swam the early (6am) AGUA workout. Long course is heavenly, and worth getting up at dawn for. (And I love this time of year, when the sun rises not only before practice ends but before it even starts!) Hereís what I did:

    800 lcm warmup

    Chalk talk on FR breathing / head position and flip turns

    300 FR swim focusing on those things

    Demonstration of proper technique by teammates

    100 extra-slow FR swim w/ good breathing technique that finally satisfied our coach

    400 reverse IM done as 50 K / 50 S

    1000 kick done as 400 flutter on back with fins / 300 side kicking w/ fins / 200 ďgutbusterĒ kicking w/ fins (FL kick on back holding pull-buoy between legs) / 100 easy K w/out fins [I ended up doing about 700 of assorted barefoot kick in the slowest lane, since I didnít have my own fins with me, and those at the pool give me stigmata. I practiced balancing at a 45 degree angle (ie halfway between on my back and on my side) while kickingóitís easy towards the left, but difficult towards the right for me.]

    12 x 100 @ :45ish rest:
    1-4 50 FL / 50 BK
    5-8 50 BK / 50 BR
    9-10 50 BR / 50 FR
    11-12 IM
    [There were originally 16 of these, with 4 of each type of 50, but we ran out of time to do the whole set. We did a 50 easy after #s 4 and 8 to regroup. I got extra rest on this set because I had stayed in a slower lane after the kicking above, and enjoyed really pushing the pace on the IM pieces.]

    200 warmdown

    I was really happy today to see a former lanemate at workoutóit had probably been a couple of years since I saw him last. Heís back for the summer, so it will be nice swimming with him again!

    Tomorrow I might get in my first outdoor pool swimming of the seasonóRiverbankís 25 yard outdoor pool is open, so now thereís a choice there in the mornings of doing indoor LCM in warmish water or outdoor scy in colder water. I often end up swimming in both pools during the course of a workout. If only I didn't have to choose, but could combine the sunshine, cold water temps, and minimal turningóbut I guess thatís what OW is for!
    Tags: blissy, lcm, technique
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  8. A fun and quick little story:

    So last weekend I swam at the Badger State Games in Appleton Wisconsin. It was my first LCM Meet where I did sprints. You all have seen the times from my previous post Where the @#*& is the @#$8#@$* Wall?!?! So we all know - they weren't really that good.

    So because there was no one else in my age group for any race except the 50 free and my relay won, I was able to achieve 3 gold medals and 1 silver medal for the meet.

    So the other day I get an email saying "results are up from the badger state games!"

    Naturally - I'm excited so I check the link: Results and even as of 9:20 AM on July 2nd, they most certainly are not!

    However I was playing around the website and I see this:
    Did you win a medal at The Badger State Winter or Summer Games?
    If so, you may qualify for the State Games Of America!

    In order to qualify for the State Games of America, participants must have won a gold, silver or bronze medal in a SGA sport in their local State Games in a qualifying year (2009 or 2010 Summer, 2010 or 2011 Winter). The State Games of America will take place in San Diego, August , 2011. For a complete listing of sports and more information visit www.stategames.org.
    So following a few links I found this:
    California State Games/State Games of America

    So August 5th-7th in 2011, I guess I'll be swimming in San Diego! Hopefully by then I'll be a much better swimmer - maybe I'll even be able to give [ame="http://forums.usms.org/member.php?u=18385"]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame] a run for her money in the breast stroke!

    Does anyone know anywhere in Illinois where I can consistently train in LCM?
  9. Meet Prep for the IndySwimFit

    I'm currently stuck in training at work. Its about how to run some monitoring application. Honestly - my efforts are better spent in about 50,000 different places, but I'm stuck here for the rest of the week. I'm going to do some prep for this weekends meet.

    I will be swimming the following races:
    • 50 Back
    • 100 Back
    • 50 Free
    • 50 Breast
    • 100 free


    I also did some reading, and it appears I can sign up for at 1 relay. I know I'm going to be completely cashed by this point, but I'm totally signing up for another relay at this meet. I loved swimming it last weekend. It was fun meeting the new people as I swam it as well!

    Goals
    50 Back
    I'd like to go at least a 50 in the 50 back this time. I did a 53 last weekend, and I think this time I'm going to be a little better prepared mentally for the race. I've also increased my backstroke during the week and kick to help push myself down the lane.
    100 Back
    I'm hoping I survive. No kidding. It's going to be a long race - and I'll swim it as hard as I can, but we'll have to see. I'm also hoping to have a good flip turn followed by a strong dolphin kick. I'm aiming for the flags off the wall!
    50 Free
    I'm working on my sprints this week. I'm hoping to be able to make it to the 49 meter mark before I'm totally starting to cash out this time! So that means I need to dolphin off the dive and extend my dive for a little longer than I did last weekend. I swam a 33ish in 50 SCY, and a 39 last week. With some improvements in form that I'm working on I think I can speed things up significantly. My goal is going to remain 35 (as last week)
    50 Breast
    Survive again. It would be nice to finish my 50 Breast in under a minute. Its my weakest stroke mostly because my kick is essentially useless. I'm working on it, I just need time and experience I think. However - specifically - I'm going to make sure that each lunge forward with my arms helps propel my body forward.
    100 free
    I'd like to see no goggle problems this time, a strong dolphin kick off the wall and pacing it right. Again - with some strong improvements in form that i'm working on - I think I can speed this up significantly by this race. Goal: 1:25

    My goal for every race
    Push through the O2 deprivation. I'll have at LEAST 2-3 minutes to catch my breath after every race - so O2 debt is not going to be a major concern. I can catch my breath later!

    Nutritionally - I'm going to play it a little differently. Last meet I did not come prepared to consume enough fast acting carbs so I felt that my recovery was not nearly as fast as it should have been. So this time - I'm going to prepare again with a healthy balanced breakfast around 6 AM. Warm up around 8 AM, have a banana around 9 AM, and be ready to destroy my old record (hahaha only record) at 9:30-9:45 when the 50 back comes up.

    So I'm ready... going to train on my own tonight, practice tomorrow night, and I get on a train at 2:20 Friday to head to Chicago to catch the 5 PM to Indy from Chicago. I might even lift Friday morning before work. We'll see if I can sleep after practice.
  10. Where the @#*& is the @#$8#@$* Wall?!?!

    Its not often I swear underwater. Usually its caused by an annoyance in my lane or a severe pain in my body. I usually reserve my energy for swimming - its an intelligent thing in my opinion.
    This weekend was almost an exception to that rule. That 50 Free in an LCM pool nearly killed me.... but we'll get to that later because right now its time for the

    POST MEETS POST MORTEM

    The Park Ridge 1500 @ the Oakton Pool in Park Ridge IL
    Results

    The PR 1500 was a fun race for me actually. I had never honestly swam more than 1000 straight in practice and so my first and foremost thought was "I just need to survive the race" I had done a 20x100 in practice this week - and survived rather well. During the race - I found myself pacing it like a 3x500. The first 500 was a warmup, the second 500 I focused on my form and technique, trying to keep a strong kick and keep going. The final 500 was focused solely on build up; I wanted to make each 100 faster than the 100 before it leaving the final 100 for a sprint to the finish with 0% energy left.

    Quick Anecdote: During the race on my first flip turn - I saw the number on the wall - and for some reason I was mesmerized by it, and ended up jamming into the wall on my flip turn. The rest of the meet - I avoided looking at the number so as to prevent that problem.

    Well - I finished my race @ 29.32! A PERSONAL RECORD! Hysterically enough - even with my build up and everything - my teammate Jamie told me that my pace was pretty much RIGHT ON 1:59 for all 15 laps (no more than a second or two deviation). So all of that "build up" I did was really just a correction to keep me from going slower. My final "sprint" was on 1:54. So much for extra energy output.

    I won my age group though! Out of no one else

    Goals for meet:
    • Maintain a consistent pace with no more than a 3-4 second deviation between any two laps.
      DONE AND DONE
    • Keep my *average* split time under 1:50.
      Nope. Going to have to work on that speed thing.
    • Finish the race strong, even with nothing left in my body.
      DONE!
    • Dolphin kick off the wall at least 80% of the time.
      YES! I was very proud of that - I can count only twice off the wall that I didn't dolphin kick and that comes out to 86.67% dolphin off the wall!

    Things to improve for next time:
    • I need to bring my average time down. This 1:59 thing won't do for me. I know I just need to build up in the pool with more swimming. These sorts of things come with time.
    • I need to focus on my sprints at the end of the race. I'm pretty sure that I probably could've pulled more out of the tank had I pushed a little harder earlier. I wasn't really feeling tired until the last 2-300 anyway.


    The Badger State Games @ Erb Park Pool in Appleton Wi
    Results

    In this meet I swam the 50 Free, the 50 Back, the 100 Free and I jumped in in an ad-hoc relay (the 4x100 free relay). It was a fun meet- but being there alone kind of sucked. I did make some fun friends though!

    The 50 Free
    The 50 Free was my first race - and actually the most brutal of the races I did that day. I took my time to warm up. Was pretty relaxed and feeling really good when I got on the blocks. My dive was so-so, I totally forgot to dolphin kick. I was doing really well too until I hit about the 40 meter mark. Then all of a sudden everything started to cut out. I had 0 energy, was totally exhausted and running out of O2. I ended the race on 39 seconds.

    The 50 Back
    I got out of my swim down from the 50 free and I take a peak at the heat sheet. I have 2 minutes until my 50 back! Aye Dios Mio!! So I shake it all off, sip some gatorade and get down to the blocks. Time to rock and roll! I've never started the back stroke nor have I ever finished the back stroke. So it was an experience. I did get in and swim a 50 back "quickly" to get a feel for it. During the entire race I kept focusing on "floppy floppy ankles" and relaxing the arms as long as they were out of the water. I got through that race in 53 seconds.

    The 100 Free
    This was a rough rough race. I got done with my 50 back, discovered I only had 3 heats of 50 back before I had to swim the 100 free! So I got a sip of gatorade and started shaking my body around. Had to knock off that lactic acid build up asap. I got on the blocks and dove in. I must not have tucked my chin right because my goggles came off. DOH! I swam as hard as I could, but I was freaking out a little mentally. I was having a hard time breathing and I knew form was collapsing. I went into the wall and did my push off with my eyes completely closed. I came up and kept swimming as hard as I could, running out of breath because I was still in a mental panic. I hit the wall at 1:39 - I was extremely disappointed in that time. I nearly threw up after this event. My stomach was so tight I could barely breath!

    The Ad-hoc 4x100 Free Relay
    I had about 8 more heats of 100 free after me. So I was able to get a little bit of rest and relaxation before having to dive in again. I was the 2nd swimmer in the relay, and this time - I was going to make sure those goggles were not coming off. I'm partially convinced that I was cutting off circulation to my brain during that race, but I honestly didn't care. I think I swam really really well. I remember looking up at my second split being 40 seconds. If my first split was anything less- that means I did a sub 1:20 on my 100, which for me is AMAZING! I put my relay behind - but fortunately our anchor was pretty fast! He came from behind and won the race! Yay Strangers! Seriously though - Ad-Hoc relays rock the house.

    Goals for meet:
    • Under 35 in the 50 Free (its LCM, a whole new beast for me)
      Nope. I have another chance next weekend though. I think I can shave that time off by more intelligent pacing.
    • Under 1:30 for the 100 Free
      If I'm not freaking out about my goggles - yes I can do this next weekend. This weekend I did not.
    • Under 45 for the 50 Back
      I definitely did NOT get anywhere close to that. I'm also not sure if I can pull it off. We'll have to see!
    • Dolphin kick off the wall for my ONE turn.
      Nope. Did not do it on the relay either. I'm going to focus pretty hard on that one over this week and for the next meet.
    • Dolphin kick after my start for the back.
      I totally did not. I will be focusing on that this week as well during practice.
    • Don't screw up my Back start.
      I'm pretty sure I didn't do it "right" but it wasn't awful. I at least made it to the flags before coming up!

    Things to improve for next time:
    • I need to focus on endurance for those last 10-15 meters. I need to remember that I can breath when I'm done and honestly - O2 deprivation is fine in the short term. I need to have better times next week.
    • I need to remember to dolphin kick off the wall... One of the things I'm realizing in this 50 meter pool - since I don't have my flip turns and pushing off the wall I need to get as far as I can off my dive as possible so I can spend as minimal amount time swimming as possible so I can have the energy to sprint with with my arms and kick like crazy when I'm not able to glide.


    Sorry for the long post. I'm down for any thoughts or suggestions any of you have!

    See all of you (or none of you) next weekend at the Indy Swim Fit at the UofI Pool!!!

    Updated July 7th, 2010 at 02:44 PM by bzaks1424 (Jon: post MORTEM Mike MORTEM)

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  11. Weekend workouts

    I swam the Saturday morning LCM workout with AGUA. Hereís what we did:

    400 lcm warmup

    5 x 100 FR @ 2:00ish: odds 50 DR / 50 ST, evens 100 mindful swimming

    10 x 50 @ 1:10: odds DPS, evens build [I did these IM order by 2s, with extra FL at the end. Stroke count was 13, 37, 16, 38, 14 on the odds.]

    Chalk talk on FR technique

    4 x 600:
    #1 = 100 FL/ 200 BK / 100 BR / 200 FR [I did this 300S / 250 K / 50 S]
    #2 = all FR [9:27]
    #3 = 200 FL / 100 BK / 200 BR / 100 FR [200 S / 50 K / 250 S / 100 K]
    #4 = all FR [I actually did 4 x 100 FR / 50 BK, didnít get time]

    100 easy

    4 x 50 sprint @ 2:00 [did IM order]

    200 warmdown

    Iíd been wanting to do some longcourse FL to give myself confidence that I could swim a 200 at the Middlebury meet, so today was perfect for thatóI got to practice lots of easy relaxed fly, which is what Iíll need. I was also happy with the pace on my 600 FR [a little under 1:35 pace]. If I can swim my 800 at that pace at the meet Iíll be happy.

    It was a nice relaxed workout with good, mellow lanemates, and I really enjoyed it. I like sets where the swimming itself rather than simply making the intervals is the focusótoday we either had very generous intervals, or simply regrouped after each swim and went at :30 or so rest. I also learned this morning that all the morning AGUA workouts from here on out will be LCMóhooray! Thatís worth waking up early and getting myself across town for.

    On Sunday morning I went up to Riverbank for a short swimójust 1200 warmup, focusing on my FR technique, and a bit of kickingóthen had a nice stretch out back overlooking the Hudson. It was gloriously uncrowded up thereóI shared a LCM lane with just 2 other swimmersóbut the pool was full of hair. Yuck! Itís tempting to bring a butterfly net to clean out my lane the next time I go up there.

    Sunday afternoon I did a rowing workout with Mr. Addict. I told him I wanted to work on rowing pieces that would be the equivalent of swimming 200 lcm stroke races, plus do a bit of power work at the end. Hereís what he came up with (focus pieces are in redómy goal was to descend the 3 3s and go all out on the :30s, which I did):

    7-minute warmup
    3-minute easy/rest
    2-minute piece [2:19.5 avg pace/500m]
    3-minute easy/rest
    3-minute piece [2:14.9]
    3-minute easy/rest
    2-minute piece [2.15.7]
    3-minute easy/rest
    3-minute piece [2:08.9]
    3-minute easy/rest
    2-minute piece [2:17.9]
    3-minute easy/rest
    3-minute piece [2:05.0]
    3-minute easy/rest
    2-minute piece [2:42.1]
    3-minute easy/rest
    1-miute piece [2:07.6]
    3-minute easy/rest
    :30 piece [1:49.4]
    3-minute easy/rest
    :30 piece [1:49.4]
    3-minute warmdown

    I was happy with this workout, and realized that I should really be doing more swimming workouts that were structured like this.
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  12. LCM Here I come!

    So I'm going to be swimming in the Park Ridge 1500 on June 26th. It will be my first time ever doing a solid mile. Ever.
    The very next day, I'm going to swimming in the 50 back/50 free/100 free up in Appleton for the Badger State Games.
    Now - I'm not exactly nervous. I've swam 2-3 miles in a single practice before. That's really no big deal.... This time its different though. This time they're in an LCM pool (and I'm used to the SCM pool I practice in right now) and this time they're in front of people who aren't just swimming next to me.
    Now for those of you who've never read this, or really don't know me here's the twenty second background: I have recently discovered "athleticism" in the past 2 years. Before that I was in a lot of activities, but never very athletic or competitive. So this new drive to be good, if not great at something and to not lose, and to push myself to my furthest horizons is very fresh and very powerful in my heart right now.

    So right now I'm going to put out my goals for this meet and talk about how I plan to achieve them.

    My goals for the 1500:
    1) Maintain a consistent pace with no more than a 3-4 second deviation between any two laps.
    2) Keep my *average* split time under 1:50.
    3) Finish the race strong, even with nothing left in my body.
    4) Dolphin kick off the wall at least 80% of the time.

    My goals for the Badger State Games Meet:
    1) Under 35 in the 50 Free (its LCM, a whole new beast for me)
    2) Under 1:30 for the 100 Free
    3) Under 45 for the 50 Back
    4) Dolphin kick off the wall for my ONE turn.
    5) Dolphin kick after my glad for the back.
    6) Don't screw up my Back start.

    So in the 1500:
    I'm going to keep my eye on the clock if possible. I swim about a 2 minute 100 (SCM) in practice when I'm totally fatigued. I've never swam a straight 1500 before. I don't think I've ever done more than 600 straight. In any case, I think coming in really fresh should give me the ability to do at least the first 20 laps around or under 1:50. I'm also going to finish the last lap or two all out. There's no excuse to have anything left in the tank after that.
    Nutritionally - I'm going to make sure I have enough long burning carbs in the body. This is probably going to be (minimum) a 25 minute swim for me. So some complex carbs (shredded wheat) with my usual protein in the morning!

    In the BSG Meet:
    I'm going to push myself pretty much to absolute limit on each race. I want to make sure that I give 100% in all 3 races. By this time, since its the day after the 1500, I should be pretty used to the idea of an LCM pool. I'm planning on showing up an hour early for warm ups and make sure I get *at least* 4-5 laps (preferably about 10) in so I can get a feel for the pool. I have 1 turn in this meet, I do NOT want to screw it up.
    Nutritionally - Since the meet doesn't start until about 1 PM, I'm going to eat a very solid breakfast (I do every day, but I'm going to make sure I have it properly balanced to give my body what it needs). Then I will be snacking on some faster acting carbs with protein right before my first event and between each of my events.

    For Both Meets:
    I'm going to step it up another day and get a 4th practice in per week at another pool as a guest. It will actually be the same pool as the Park Ridge 1500, so I will be getting familiarity with the pool as well as giving myself another opportunity to swim. Besides, mixing up the LCM and the SCM might do me some good!

    So even if I don't win (which - logically speaking I probably won't win anything). I will at the very least have beaten my goals. Which is what this counts for! Some day I may be competitive with the rest of the world, but for now, I'm just going to have to keep racing myself.

    That being said - does anyone have any suggestions for where I could improve further upon my goals? Any ideas for things that will give a novice swimmer a last minute boost?

    Thanks!
  13. I worked hard this morning

    This morning I swam the early longcourse workout with AG masters. My legs already felt fatigued after ballet class last night, and this IM-heavy workout made them even more so. But I love LCM IMs so muchótheyíre worth tiring out my legs for. Hereís what we did:

    600 LCM warmup

    500 FR breathing 3/5/7 by 50s [I just did 400 of this]

    6 x 100 @ :20 rest: odds = ST (50 drill / 25 K / 25 S), evens = FR desc. [1:34, 1:28, 1:24]

    6 x 100 FR @ 1:45, desc. 1-3 and 4-6 [26, 24, 22, 34, 26, 21]
    200 FR moderate
    5 x 150 @ :15 rest, odds = 200 IM Ė FR, evens = FR
    200 FR moderate
    4 x 200 IM @ :15ish rest [3:22, 3:27, 3:26, 3:21]
    200 FR fast [2:46!]

    350 warmdown

    Afterwards, I was slow in the locker room, and got reminded how much of a difference taking the cross-town bus 10-15 minutes later in the morning makes. At 7:40 or so, the bus is uncrowded and reasonably quick; when it gets nearer 8, there are tons more commuters, plus school kids, and everyone is packed in and anxious about being late, plus the streets are more trafficky to boot. If I want to dawdle warming down and changing after weekday morning practices here, I just need to be prepared to walk homeóit would probably be just as quick, and far more pleasant!
    Tags: ballet, ims, lcm
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  14. Nice way to start the weekend

    I swam the 6am LCM workout at Asphalt Green this morning. Itís an early start to a weekend morning, but itís nice to be done by 8 and have the whole day ahead of you. In my case, I was done at 7:15 this morning, since Coach Craig told all of us doing the meet tomorrow to get out early.

    Hereís what I did:

    800 LCM warmup

    10 x 50 ďgutbustersĒ (dolphin kick on back w/ fins while holding pull buoy between thighs) @ 1:20

    100 easy

    IM/FR ladder:
    50/100/150/200/250/300 swim, multiples of 100 are FR, rest are IM w/ no FR (ie 50 FL, 150 FL/BK/BR, 250 FL/BK/BR/FL/BK) @ go-when-3rd-swimmer-gets-in

    50 easy

    4 x 50 choice, fast between flags, @ 1:05 [I did these w/ fins. There were actually 10 of these, but I the last 6 as warmdown, below]

    300 easy

    Tomorrow Iím swimming a scy meet in Queens. Iíve signed up for 200 IM, 100 BK, 100 IM (might skip), and 50 BR. Iíll probably also do a 50 FR on a relay. This will most likely be the last meet I do before nationals, and a last crack at a good 100 BK time for the season, since Iím not swimming that event in Atlanta.
    Tags: lcm
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    Uncategorized
  15. IMing with Friends

    This morning I swam a LC workout with the AG masters. It was one of those rare days when all four of my strokes felt goodóusually one or two of them seem to be lagging behind the others. Today all four were my BFFs. (Iím hoping to stay on good terms with them all for a while, and not slip back into frenemy territory with fly.) Hereís what we did:

    800 LCM warmup

    10 x 50 FR @ 1:00, odds drill, evens hypoxic [I did these stroke, rev. IM order (with an extra 2 free]

    4 x 50 FR build @ 1:00

    3 times thru:
    400 FR @ 7:30 [This got changed to a 450 after the 1st one; I went 6:02 and 6:50 on the first two then just did 150 of the last one, because I wanted to work the IMs]
    4 x 100 IM @ go when 3rd person gets in [I tried to hold 1:35s on these and mostly succeeded; I was getting about 20-30 sec. rest]

    300 warmdown

    Iím getting a massage this afternoon, and golly do I need it. I had spasms in my upper back on Wednesday night after my aborted workout, and am really feeling tight today. Maybe my body is missing the rowing this weekóit does seem to help stretch out my lats and upper back.
    Tags: ims, lcm
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