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  1. SCY GOAL TIME!

    So SCY season is upon us soon! I'm already starting to plan out my goals and ideas!
    Since I like to break things down logically (being that logic is my job) I'm going to start by labeling my high level goals and then giving slightly more detailed goals that I have within those goals.

    Simple goals:
    1) Get Faster (in Swimming)
    2) Get Stronger
    3) Get Skinnier
    4) Build a giant robot that can take over.... .err never mind. (Remember Mike - this is PUBLIC)

    My physical stats and goals:
    Height: 6'3ish <-- I was 6'2 going into college, grew another inch freshman year
    Weight: 210ish <-- Lightest EVER
    Shoe Size: 15 <-- Sucks to buy shoes
    Waist Line: 34 <-- WOW! I'm so pumped!
    Body Fat (as of 7/22/2010): 17.5% <--- GRRR

    My body fat is a frustrating one. I have a lot of loose skin - so I honestly feel that it probably skewed the results of the 7 point pinch test. Especially when I can't imagine myself still having another 35 pounds of fat on my body. Regardless - I still have to keep working out anyway. Otherwise how can I get stronger? (What just happened?)

    My strength goals:
    I don't do a good job keeping stats (like 1MR) of my lifts. I'm not concerned so much with building up that kind of strength. All of my strength goals are to build my body so I can focus more intensively on swimming. So even though my curl is at 12x70 (35 in each hand) using an underhand grip and my lat pull down is at 12x115 - I honestly just want to see those numbers continue to rise on a biweekly to triweekly basis as I spend my 6 days a week at the gym, focusing on developing my extremities while strengthening my core as much as possible. If I can continue lifting and growing stronger - its only going to help me swim faster! (ANOTHER TRANSITION? What's he doing!?)

    Swimming stats and goals
    Alright - So my only SCY times are in the IL State Meet in April. That was long enough ago - and I've lost 20 pounds since then and have gained a lot of strength. I have a few LCM times - but rather than worrying about converting them. Lets just say I'd better beat them when it comes to SCY. The official times are still there:
    Code:
    50 Free: 32.97
    100 Free 1:18.42
    I have my goal times for the year to reach for.
    Code:
    50 Free: < 30 sec
    100 Free: < 1:10
    50 Back: < 50 sec
    100 Back: < 1:50
    50 Breast: < 55 sec
    100 Breast: < 2:00
    *Note - if I beat those times, then I just want to continue improvement. If I don't - its fine. I'm just looking forward to trying! Lastly for swimming; I want to learn how to do butterfly by next April for the Illinois state meet. I'd like to be able to do the 50 free in fly. We'll see what I can get my coach to teach me!
    Outside of swimming - I'm going to be working up to no less than 5 days a week swimming and if I can - 2 practices per day. We'll see how that lines up with sleep as one can't swim all of those events well if you don't have proper rest and nutrition! (He did it again! That son of a big guy!)

    Rest and Nutrional Goals
    Now - nutritional goals are nothing new for me. Rest goals however totally are. To help me focus better on my swimming and to allow me to swim more often and more effectively - I need to be properly rested and well nourished.
    So to help me rest more - I'm giving up organized recreation outside of swimming for now. As soon as my seasons are over for basketball and both of my softball leagues, I'm going to forgo other offers so I can just primarily focus on my swimming and my workout (lifting and possibly running).
    Nutrionally - I need to focus on making sure I keep a solid grip on the reality of my situation - I have to maintain healthy eating habits. I know from experience now that when I do splurge - I end up feeling kind of sick and tired within a few hours. If I'm going to perform - I need to be on top of my game!
    I also need to make sure I sleep enough. Which is such a tear for me. One the one hand - if I get up early - get to work early and get home early - I get to have the afternoon to accomplish what needs to be done. On the other hand - my masters team meets at 8:30 at night. That means practice goes til 9:30, and I'm awake til 11 minimum. A 5 AM wake up just doesn't happen on that these days. So especially once basketball and softball are done, I'll take some time to really focus on how I'm going to actually implement these ideas.

    Thanks for reading again! Today's post isn't as long - but I still appreciate you reading! So today I'm offering a dinosaur:
  2. Strokes and Sprints

    I've decided that my 3/wk with the Libertyville Masters is just not enough anymore. While I do thoroughly enjoy swimming with them, I feel that I need/want more. So I've decided on any day I can (M/W/Sat) I'm going to do my own workout to help build technique and speed. My current focus is going to be on strokes (Back, Breast and Butterfly), and sprints (freestyle for now).

    I'm operating under 2 assumptions: 1) Good form is built by proper execution of drills. 2) Form breaks down when fatigued unless good form is consciously sought after and executed carefully.

    The idea behind all of my stroke workouts will be based on kicking and drills. If I build up strength and endurance in my kick, then it won't be as big of a fatiguing factor when I'm swimming. If I build proper form in my drills, then when I do take the time to combine it together, the proper form should (ideally) build on the experience from the drills and the strength from the kicking.

    The idea behind my sprint workouts will be based on short distance (right now - 25y) and are to be executed with the following mindset: "move your arms as fast as you can and kick as hard as you can and breath as few times as possible." I'm not concerned with things like dolphin off the wall, or timing my flip turns right now. I want my sole focus to be building those fast twitch muscles in those sprint workouts.

    The park district pool I currently swim in on my own is a 4 Lane 25 SCY pool, no lane lines or flags in the lap swim area. I usually am only one of two maybe 3 people, but the openness of everything makes it kind of tough to swim. Its pretty choppy compliments of the kids playing in the rest of the pool to the east, and the kids diving in the diving well to the west. (Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...)

    My workout last Monday looked like this:

    Warm Up:
    600 swim
    200 pull
    100 catchup drill ([ame=http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=33665&postcount=3]I don't use a kickboard[/ame])

    Back Stroke Set
    Due to the fact that there are no flags, I swim right next to the one lane line which is next to the kids playing in the pool so I can make sure I don't bash into the wall
    8x25 kick
    8x25 long axis drill (I need to learn more backstroke drills)
    4x25 swim (no flags == kind of scary to turn)

    Breast Stroke Set
    8x25 kick
    8x25 breast stroke pull with flutter kick (I also need to learn more breast stroke drills)
    2x50 swim

    Sprint Set
    8x25 pull
    2x100 easy swim
    8x25 sprint

    Cool Down
    50 easy swim
    1.5 Mile walk back home.

    So from all of you who are far more experienced than me - would you care to give any suggestions? I'm all ears!
  3. 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
  4. 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?