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  1. Workout 03/17/16: noon

    by , March 17th, 2016 at 01:32 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Taper workout #6 today:
    Meet warmup (minus sprints)
    (Solo/Rec/1200 yds/21 min)

    I hit the grocery store this morning so I am all set for the rest of the day. I plan to get packed for the meet and then meet up with the guys for Bible study tonight. Should be on the road by 7am in the morning and ready for some fast swimming this weekend.
    Tags: taper
    Swim Workouts
  2. Workout 03/16/16: evening

    by , March 16th, 2016 at 07:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    It's nice to be off work after that seven day stretch. This morning after sleeping in my wife and I had our passport photos taken and then joined our son for lunch at his school - my one shot to get corned beef this week! After some errands I just relaxed before hitting the pool tonight.

    Taper workout #5
    200 FR/200 BK/200 IM drill

    Go two times through:
    - 25 EZ, 25 Build, 50 DPS
    - 25 AFAP, 75 EZ
    - 75 EZ, 25 AFAP
    (one fr, one back)

    4 x 25 Burst and Cruise on 1:15
    (fr, bk, fly, fr)

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1500 yds/35 min)
    Tags: taper
    Swim Workouts
  3. Workout 03/14/16: morning

    by , March 14th, 2016 at 09:29 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    My commute to Rutland this weekend for work went well this weekend and I even met up with my sister and her girlfriend for a milkshake and snack before coming home yesterday. My wife and son then joined me in going out for a quick bite last night at a local restaurant as some Irish music filled the place. In the water this morning before finishing out the last two days of this seven day stretch ...

    Taper Workout #4:

    200 FR/200 BK/200 IM drill

    Go three times through:
    - 50 DPS, :10 SR
    - 25 AFAP right into 25 EZ into
    - 100 Kick
    (did FR/BK/Fly)

    4 x 50 Burst and Cruise on 1:15 IMO

    4 x 25 AFAP followed by 25 EZ
    - IMO on fast, float on EZ

    100 even more EZ (if possible) and out
    (Solo/Rec/1700 yds/40 min)

    Feeling a bit sluggish and sore, although that seems normal during the taper period. The AFAP's were not all that fast...I need to find a way to get my breast under :20 if I have any shot at improving my 100 IM time.

    Have a great Pi day!
    Tags: taper
    Swim Workouts
  4. Workout 03/11/16: morning

    by , March 11th, 2016 at 08:44 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Modified Taper workout #3 - before long day number 3.

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill w/u

    Do TWO cycles of:
    - 50 kick on :55
    - 150 FR Pull on 2:00 with buoy

    Do TWO cycles of:
    - 50 DPS Bk
    - 75 DPS Bk, 25 FAST Bk

    50 EZ

    4 x 25 Burst and cruise FR

    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1650 yds/30 min)

    Normally I do four cycles of the kick/pull set, then add another round of 25's fast IMO.
    Tags: taper
    Swim Workouts
  5. Workout 03/08/16: evening

    by , March 8th, 2016 at 09:10 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Easy day off today, going to Chapel at the college then running some errands. I also emailed out a final reminder for the mini meet in town in about a month. No entries yet but that is least we have the pool, officials and timing systems in place to hold the event.

    Taper workout #2

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM Drill

    6 x 75 on 1:15
    - 1-4 = IM rotation strong
    - 5-6 = FR/BK DPS

    1 x 50 EZ
    8 x 50 FR on 1:10
    - odds = DPS/EZ speed, evens = AFAP

    1 x 50 EZ
    8 x 50 BK on 1:10
    - odds = DPS/EZ speed, evens = AFAP

    1 x 50 EZ
    6 x 25 Burst and cruise on 1:00
    - IMO, then FR and BK to complete

    3 x 50 Active Recovery
    (Solo/Rec/2300 yds/57 min)
    Good workout with the team tonight. Carol and Jim swam with me, and Tim did the workout on his own (first time he has done a workout!). Matt and Peggi were on their own. Planning to swim on Friday before work, then Mon, Wed and Thurs next week.
    Tags: taper
    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 03/07/16: evening

    by , March 7th, 2016 at 10:08 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Had a busy weekend at work, but I was able to hit the gym yesterday after the nursing home service for a 30min bike session. The Harvard meet is now two weeks out, so I'll drop the gym until afterwards. 818 people signed up with hard deadline tomorrow night...distance day is this Saturday and the full meet is next weekend. Starting my two week taper program, although I will have to make some adjustments as I will be working 7 of the next 8 days, including two days floating up to a sister store in Rutland this weekend...

    200 free/200 back/200 IM drill
    3 x 200 on 2:45 pull with snorkel [AP on first round]
    4 x 75 on 1:25 kick [AK and snorkel on first two, then back/fly on the second two]

    Fort Speed Set:
    Swim: Fins optional, pick your own interval for max rest or don't bother to look at the clock in between hard efforts:
    1 x 25 AFAP Ö 1 x 50 EZ
    1 x 50 AFAP Ö 2 x 50 EZ
    1 x 75 AFAP Ö 3 x 50 EZ
    1 x 100 @ 90% Ö 4 x 50 EZ

    5 x 50 BK on 1:10
    - 1 thru 4 = Quarter's Strong
    - 5 = FAST (under 31) - heart rate was up!

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2700 yds/53 min)

    There were 4 people swimming when I started, but it thinned out once I started the speed set. I should have taken some more rest time on this, but I forgot that adult swim lasted 15 minutes longer. The back set felt good and I was able to practice starts on all swims. I've been playing with timing my shoulders and hips as my kick feels off a bit...hoping to tape a few fast swims tomorrow at Masters to see if any minor tweaks are in order.

    Just logged my yards in the FLOG and noted a slight change with more options for tracking other fitness activities. Thanks USMS!

    Updated March 7th, 2016 at 10:13 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: taper
    Swim Workouts
  7. Strait of Juan de Fuca: training, part 2 of 2

    by , July 15th, 2013 at 08:14 PM (Please tap on the glass)

    WooHoo! Itís taper time! [Cue Team America music, cleverly sing ďTaper Time!Ē instead of ďAmericuh!Ē]

    Actually, pretty much every other week has been a taper since the last training entry, and the reason is counter-intuitive. I stopped moving around. Yes folks, Iíve not travelled for work in over five weeks. Once again, I have a permanent address (and my new mattress is being delivered in a few hours). But with the open schedule comes a choice of how to spend my time; I can all of a sudden choose when to train, and not let departure times dictate when I must train. It took a few days to relearn that skill.​

    Making it harder to set a regular training schedule, the water in the Sound has been changing. Seattle has had an amazingly sunny spring (amazing if youíre into that sort of thing). Sun is something both Seattleites and algae love, and therefore Alki beach has been crowded with both. And where the algae bloom, so do the jellyfish.

    Before we get to the jellies, letís talk about the temperature. The endless sun here has been causing me a bit of trouble. In the evenings, with the downtown buoy reading 53F, the water at Alki (3 miles away) feels downright warm. Naturally, if you want to swim in cold water, you resort to waking at 4am to swim at 4:30 before the 5:11 sunrise. And with great pain (consider, bed to 53F in under 30min at 4am) comes great beauty. The beach at that hour is gorgeous. And all mine, no crowds.

    Getting out of bed at 4am is a complicated set of mental gymnastics. ďMy waterbottles arenít filled,Ē was my first excuse that kept me in bed. Lesson learned. ďJellyfish,Ē was the next, and legitimately so. Iíd been doing a Matrix-style front crawl for days dodging the three to twelve inch blobs of terror, and had no emergency vinegar on hand. Turns out, those blobs donít hurt. The egg-yolk jellies sting so weakly they canít be felt anywhere but on the thinnest of skin, which is excellent because by mid-June they were unavoidable. There were days where Iíd be wrist-deep in one while shaking off another that had draped itself across my goggles. I even managed to get a tentacle up the nose at one point (only mild irritation).

    The height of my training was a test swim with SJDF kayaker Steve at the end of June. We left Alki and headed around the lighthouse and south to Lincoln Park on the flood tide, and returned four hours and 13.5km later on the ebb. Although I was tired after, it felt great. All of the experience from the past three years is paying off. And the best part: no Advil and no sore joints! My shoulder was pretty bad after MIMS last year, but Iíve been working on, no, conscious of technique since then and itís paying off.

    Following the four-hour swim, I promptly got on a plane and took a week-long roadtrip, then returned to Seattle for a few more days of solid training. One last big push. The 90min to 120min swims have been mentally draining after a long day at work, so I traded once-or-twice-weekly for daily short swims (60min to 90min). In addition, I tried making them more fun. Iíve been doing runs up the seawall stairs every kilometer, or swimming to the Anchor Park pier (2.5km), jumping off it, and swimming back. Itís very different than just doing 2, 3, or 4 trips to the lighthouse, and exactly what I needed to keep my focus as we approachÖTaper Week! Woot!

    Looking back, the past few months has held the minimum amount of training required to make this swim a success. Normally, Iíd be disappointed with this. As I learned in the Chesapeake Bay swim a few years back, Iím a better swimmer than ďmade it out of the water alive,Ē and hence should act accordingly. But this swim has been about so much more than yardage. Youíve seen the posts about planning, right? Victory in this swim will be defined as jumping in and touching Canada. After the start, itís easy. After the start, itís just a 6 hour swim.

    Updated July 15th, 2013 at 08:31 PM by andrewmalinak (typo)

  8. Taper swim and taper thoughts

    I went to the early AGUA workout. Hereís how it went:

    1000 lcm warmup (400 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 IM dr/swim by 25), done during regular warmup and while others were doing 500 kick with fins

    10 x 50 working udk, backstroke breakouts, and backstroke turns [done during set of 5 x 100 K @ 2:15. I find that when I try to do more UDKs, my breakout ends up being more abrupt. Iím trying to find that middle ground between longer underwaters and smooth breakouts.]

    3 x block dive (1 FL, 1 BR to 40m, 1 FR to 35m) [done during a set that involved 400sóI moved up to a more ďclumpyĒ lane for this so that I would have plenty of room to dive without worrying about incoming swimmers, since my regular lane had speeds all over the map this morning and spread out quickly. Dives felt good, and it felt fun to go fast. I actually wanted to do full 50 sprints but figured I would save that for the weekend.]

    300 warmdown


    Things I do consistently during taper that are both helpful and pleasurable, and that I really should incorporate all season long:
    1. Get to the pool early to enjoy the first part of warmup, when the pool is empty and calm.
    2. Stretch thoroughly after each workout.
    3. Eat a little something with protein and carbs right after each workout (I like Luna bars or vanilla low-fat milk pints for their portability).
    4. Use a few turns during warmup to really exaggerate my streamline off the wall, and think about hitting that tight position during the rest of workout.
    5. Practice starts.
  9. Unremarkable taper workout

    This morning I went to the early AGUA workout. Coach Craig was back from his Worlds/Nats double, and at least one of my teammates who swam in Puerto Rico was back in the waterómaybe more of them will trickle in later this week to get in a workout or two before the pool shuts down next week. It was a nice, mellow workout. Hereís how it went:

    600 lcm warmup

    4 x 150 (25 kick / 50 drill / 75 swim) [I worked IM turns, did rest easy]

    8 x 50 @ 1:10 (odds IM order, evens FL/BK, BK/BR, BR/FR, easy)

    2-3 times thru:
    300 FR @ 5:00
    250 IM @ 5:00
    200 ST @ 5:00
    [During this set I actually did the following:
    Stretching on deck during the first 300 FR
    5 starts from the block with breakouts (I took advantage of the gaps in the lane for theseówith just 5 other swimmers in a lc lane and generous intervals, this worked out well)
    1 x 50 FL @ 200 IM pace
    2 x BK start from the wall (thereís unfortunately a 1-foot bulkhead between the starting blocks and the water, so dive starts over it are doable, but not backstroke starts)
    2 x 12m fast udk
    about 500m of easy swimming in between and after the above]

    Then I got out early, and went to my gym and stretched thoroughly.

    Sometimes during taper Iím torn between practicing with my team or practicing on my own, especially when, like now, Iím one of just a handful of people tapering for a particular meet. (There are 4 swimmers from AGUA signed up for zones, and I was the only one at workout this morning). Itís always a tradeoff between being on your own and doing exactly what you want to do, versus having to adapt sets at a workout but having the support and encouragement of teammates and a coach there. This morning I was really glad to have gone to the group workoutóI was able to get in some start work (something I canít do during lap swim times) and got some good feedback from our coach. I ended up easily getting in all the things I wanted to work on, and felt happy to be in the water with my lanemates even if I wasnít doing exactly the same thing as them. Plus, getting out early at a team practice just feels special!

    Yesterday I tried on various suits in preparation for the meet this weekend. I havenít bought a current-generation technical suitóI donít have much of a hankering for one, in part because Iím just not sure which one to get, in part because I really just donít want to deal with a super-tight suit that I dread putting on and wearing at meets, and partly because I'm just not sure any advantage they'll give over regular suits will justify the cost. So Iíll probably go with one of the knee suits that Iíve owned for a while. The purple-and-pink Asics flowery suit is probably my favorite, but itís gotten a bit stretched out, especially in the top, and probably doesnít give much compression help anymore. I like the way my still-newish navy Tyr fusion suit fits and feels, but it seems very plain by comparison. I have also ordered a whimsically patterned Asian Tyr kneesuit, but thereís only an outside chance that it will get here in time for Zones, and in any case I expect it to be more of a fun suit than a fast one. So Iím still up in the air about which suit Iíll end up competing in.
  10. Getting in some sprinting

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

    200 lcm warmup

    300 FR + 200 IM drill (2nd warmup)

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

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

    300 warmdown + sculling + play

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

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

    1000 warmup

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

    400 warmdown

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

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

    10 more days til Zones!
    Tags: math, taper, turnover
  11. Toys galore

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

    500 lcm warmup

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

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

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

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

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

    Over the weekend I watched U.S. nats on tv. Hereís some thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Hereís what I did yesterday:


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

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

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

    I got in a little swim at noon today at Asphalt Green. I did about 1600 yards, with a tad of sprint FR and lots of drills. Then I did a few backstroke startsóCoach Craig pulled some major strings with the facility and got an actual touchpad in for us, so I really enjoyed starting on the sticky wall, and was happy to check off the last thing on my prep list before nats.

    Tomorrow I leave for Atlanta. Iím flying in around noon, then driving down to southeast Alabama for a few days to visit my mom and aunt. Iíll drive back up on Thursday, hopefully in time to get in a quick swim in the competition pool. Iíll swim tomorrow morning before I go out to the airport--I'm planning on just doing my meet warmup, then a nice stretch. Wednesday will be an off day, since there is no place to swim in my hometown.

    Good luck to everyone heading to nationalsótravel safe, swim fast, and stop by and introduce yourself to me if I havenít found you first! (Iíll be with the AGUA teamójust ask for Janet. We got some team togs today, so the team should be recognizable.)
    Tags: taper
  13. Dreamy Saturday workout

    This morning I swam the LCM workout with AGUA masters. I was feeling pretty good from the outset todayóno wooziness or headaches. Hereís how it went:

    600 LCM warmup

    600 more warmup / easy swimming [this was actually a set of 250s FR and 200s ST, but I just swam easy and got out in the middle for an extended on-deck stretch]

    10 x 50 @ 1:20?, odds working on underwater efficiency, evens adding quicker turnover

    5 x 100 @ big rest, 25 fast, 75 easy [this set was actually 10 x 100 @ 2:00, 50 ST fast, 50 FR easy, with taperers doing 1 on/ 1 off, but I modified it further to do my fave LC 25m sprints. I got to practice going off the blocks a few times on this set]

    300 warmdown/play

    I felt really dreamy and relaxed in the water today. The practice was not too crowded, and I went in the back of my lane, about 20 seconds behind everyone else, so I really felt like it was just me and the water.

    Yesterday I posted my goals and keys for my first day of swimming in Atlanta. Hereís the same for my second day (Saturday):

    200 IM
    Masters/lifetime PR: 2:25.82 (1998) (32.2, 38.9, 42.0, 32.6) (Swim rating = 85.1)
    40-44 PR: 2:31.16 (4/2009) (32.8, 38.1, 44.9, 35.3) (SR=86.2)
    2010 best: 2:32.56 (4/11) (33.3, 38.3, 45.1, 35.8) (SR=86.0)
    Time needed to beat best swim rating: 2:31.94
    Keys: easy FL, accelerate into turns, rhythm + turnover on BK, hand speed on BR, kick on FR

    100 FR
    Masters PR: 58.07 (27.78) (2002) (Swim rating = 86.7)
    Lifetime best: 57.53 (1981)
    40-44 PR and 2010 best: 59.56 (28.94) (3/2010) (SR=87.4)
    Time needed to beat best swim rating: 59.52
    Goal: Iíd be thrilled to go under a minute again.
    Keys: happy and relaxed off blocks, accelerate 2nd length into turn, kick on 3rd length, push turnover and kick on last 25

    50 BK
    Masters/lifetime PR: 30.70 (2001) (SR=85.8)
    40-44 PR: 31.35 (3/08) (SR=87.3)
    2010 best: 31.62 (March) (SR=87.6)
    Time needed to beat best swim rating: 31.58
    Keys: explosive start, push turnover, accelerate into walls, kickickick

    I think one of the biggest challenges for me in Atlanta will be dealing with the crowded warmup and warmdown pools. I really like having space around me when I swim, but I donít think Iím going to find much of that. Iíll just have to be flexible and determined about getting good warm-ups in both days. If warm-ups are really a zoo, it will just make me look forward swimming my actual events (where I will have my own lane) even more!

    I am hoping to make it to the pool on Thursday in time to register and get in a little swim in the competition pool after the dayís events are done, but it looks like Iíll need to get there pretty early in the afternoon for that. Iíll be driving up from Alabama after spending a few days with family there, so that should be doable.
    Tags: taper
  14. Easy Friday swimming

    I went to noon AGUA workout today and just did some easy swimming. Iím still feeling a little lightheaded from Wednesday, but things are definitely getting better.

    The workout involved various different pacing and effort levels, but I ended up swimming it all easy except for some fast turns and breakouts and an occasional 3-5 stroke cycles at race speed. I worked on some technique keys (BR head position, BK elbow bend, FR head position) that I hope to do well in my races in Atlanta.

    Hereís the workout I did:

    300 warmup

    6 x 150 @ :20 rest

    5 x 100 @ 2:20 [I moved down a couple of lanes for this set and the next, since the fast lane had 7 swimmers and I was just taking it easy.]

    12 x 50 choice: 3 @ 1:10, 3 @ 1:05, 3 @ 1:00, 3 @ 55

    2 backstroke starts [Coach Craigís tip: head further back when in start position]

    150 warmdown

    I felt good in the water by the middle of the workout, and enjoyed just taking it easy. I was glad to get in a bit of work on my BK starts, but only did 2 because starting on the bulkhead really chews up the skin on my toes. Maybe Iíll ask if they can put in a touchpad Monday morning to do some more BK start workóI think the pool has some (I donít think theyíre the high touchpads like will be in Atlantaóbut any surface would be better than the bulkhead).

    Iíve been a bit of a slacker about writing down my goals and keys for each race in Atlanta. Thatís partly because I really am not sure what to expect. I decided to attend this meet somewhat late in the season, and my reasonsóI thought it would be fun to go to a major meet with a big team, I could combine it with a trip to Alabama to see my mom, and I wanted a distraction from other goings-on this springódidnít really have that much to do with achieving individual swim goals. My overarching aim at the meet is to enjoy a fun few days of swimming, and to feel like Iíve gotten the best that my body could do out of each swim.

    But I do also like to have numbers to shoot for, and I was feeling at a bit of a loss there. Itís been years since Iíve tapered for a scy meet, so I donít have a set of recent yards tapered times to aim for. Most of my best yards times are from my early 30s, and many of them seem so far out of reach as to seem daunting. But yesterday I remembered the swim rating calculator. I decided to comb through my old times, determine my best swim rating in each of the events Iím doing, and see what sort of time it would take to beat that rating at my current age (44). It turns out that those times yield a nice set of challenging yet achievable goal times. Hurray for swim ratings!

    So hereís the pertinent info for my first day of swimming at nats (Friday):

    400 IM
    Masters/Lifetime PR: 5:13.51 (1999) (1:12.9, 1:22.8, 1:26.1, 1:11.7) (84.4 swim rating)
    40-44 PR: 5:20.62 (4/2006) (1:17.8, 1:20.2, 1:31.6, 1:10.9) (SR=85.3)
    2010 best: 5:33.43 (January) (1:17.3, 1:24.6, 1:36.4, 1:15.1) (SR=84.1)
    Time needed to beat best swim rating: 5:28.47=85.4
    Other goals: a well-paced race
    Keys: relaxed FL, establish rhythm on BK, head down on BR, exuberant FR, accelerate into walls on all strokes.

    50 BR
    Masters/lifetime PR: 34.08 (2000) (87.1 swim rating)
    40-44 PR: 34.83 (3/2006) (SR=87.0)
    2010 best: 35.52 (3/21) (SR=86.8)
    Time needed to beat best swim rating: 35.38
    Other goals: <35?, good turn
    Keys: build into fast turnover on first few strokes; head down; coherent, powerful turn

    200 BK
    Masters/lifetime PR (and coolest-ever splits): 2:26.52 (2002) (35.10, 37.14, 37.14, 37.14) (SR=83.4)
    Best swim rating: 2:31.30 in 2009 (SR=84.7)
    40-44 PR: 2:30.07 (2007) (SR=84.2)
    2010 best: NT
    Time needed to beat best swim rating: 2:32.34
    Goals: <2:30, a well-paced swim
    Keys: still head; think rotation on 1st 3 strokes off each wall, then push turnover; accelerate into walls
    Tags: atlanta, goals, taper
  15. 7/10 LCM 5:30am - last swim before the meet!

    by , July 10th, 2009 at 08:33 AM (FREEDom)
    Not able to swim until 6am due to some heat lightning. Been having a lot of rain last day or two. I was still able to swim what I planned, which was an extended warm up rather than a workout.

    Swam with Eduardo. Water temp was good.

    Warm Up [1400/1400]
    600 swim
    4 x 150 as 50 dr, 50 k, 50 sw
    4 x 50 build

    Set 1 [500/1900]
    3 x 100 on 1:30 @1500 pace
    - I shed my drag suit, and had my Speedo Endurance (too tight) jammers on. Did 1:13, 1:13, 1:15. My target pace is 1:15 or better. These were easier, and I swam faster, than just a couple of days ago.

    200 easy

    Set 2 [600/2500]
    4 x
    50 on 1:00 easy/drill
    50 on 1:00 smooth/pace
    200 easy

    Set 3 [200/2700]
    4 x 50 on 1:30
    25 fast, 25 easy

    Warm down [200/2900]
    200 easy

    Also stretched for about 15 minutes in the gym.

    Felt pretty decent in the water. Resting yesterday (just did some stretching) seemed to help. Swimming without the drag suit also helps. I figure it may slow me down about 1 sec/50M in my workout swims.
    Tags: taper
    Swim Workouts
  16. 7/8 LCM 5:30am - continue to ease up and taper

    by , July 8th, 2009 at 09:03 AM (FREEDom)
    4/28 SCY Today's focus was a bit more on pace work. I expect the 1500 and 400, being the first events of each day, will be my better swims, so I'll focus on those events.

    Swam with Eduardo, Sheila, and Lisa S. Water temp was good.

    My weight was back up to 185. Too much eating the last week or so. I hope I gain some buoyancy for this weekend.

    Meet warm up [1400/1400]
    600 swim
    4 x 150 as 50 drill, 50 kick, 50 swim
    4 x 50 build

    Set 1 Ė pace 100s [700/2100]
    5 x 100 on 1:30, @ goal 1500 pace (1:15s for me)
    - held 1:15 - 1:16s. Seems like I should be able to hold 1:15s, but have not swam a full 1500 straight at race pace for a while. I usually do an 800 in most 1500s.
    200 easy

    Set 2 [600/2700]
    2 x 50 drill on 1:10
    1 x 100 on 1:45 @ 400 pace (1:10)
    - went 1:11
    2 x 50 on 1:00 @400 pace (:35)
    - I think I was 33 - 34, but the clocks were slightly out of sync. I did sync them at the start, but one drifted a couple of secs off within 30 minutes.
    2 x 50 drill on 1:10
    200 easy

    Set 3 [400/3100]
    8 x 50 on 1:15 choice
    1 Ė 4 are easy/fast by 50
    5 Ė 8 are easy/fast, fast/easy by 25
    - alternated some back with free.

    Warm down [200/3300]
    200 easy

    Plan now is to take it easy on Thursday and sleep in, as I'm tired. May try to swim easy-ish on Thursday afternoon or evening. Will definitely plan on Friday morning early, and will make that practice an extended warm up. The 1500 starts at 8am on Saturday. Goal is to break 19:00.
    Tags: taper
    Swim Workouts
  17. 7/6 LCM 5:30am - More tapering

    by , July 7th, 2009 at 09:09 AM (FREEDom)
    Next day of the taper, getting ready for the meet this weekend. Today's focus was on moderate swimming with technique, and some fast swimming in last quarter of the race.
    Swam with Eduardo, Sheila, and Lisa S.
    Water temp was decent, the aerator was running.

    Warm up [1200/1200]
    600 choice
    4 x 150 drill, kick, swim by 50
    This is a common meet warm up I do, then I do some build 50s and some pace swims. I'll extend my warm up the next couple of days so its more like my meet warm up.

    Set 1 [1800/3000]
    1 x 300 on 5:00 as pull (no paddles) with snorkel
    3 x 200 on 3:30 as 150 swim, 50 fast
    - went 2:32 - 35
    1 x 300 on 5:00 pull w/ snorkel
    3 x 100 on 1:45 as 75 swim, 25 fast
    - went 1:15s
    1 x 300 on 5:00 pull w/ snorkel
    6 x 50 kick on 1:15

    Set 2 [400/3400]
    100 easy
    6 x 50 1:15 choice easy/fast
    - went 32's on #2 and #4. No time on the last one as Coach Li was standing in front of the clock. I think it must have been about a 28.

    200 easy warm down [200/3600]

    Will continue to cut back tomorrow, with and emphasis on pace swimming for the 1500 and 400. I'll attempt to focus on those races, since they are the first events each day. I tend to do better in the longer distances, although I have difficulty with that last half of the 1500. I do OK in the 800-1000, but that extra 500 or so is tough.
    Tags: taper
    Swim Workouts
  18. 7/6 5:30am LCM

    by , July 6th, 2009 at 08:37 AM (FREEDom)
    Swam solo. Water was warm again.

    This is a bit of a middle taper workout. I'm swimming in the St Pete Masters LCM meet next weekend. I've entered the 50, 100, 200, 400, and 1500 free, and 50, 100, and 200 back. The 1500 and 400 and the first events on Sat and Sun, respectively, so they may wipe me out for the other events. I hope I swim better than I did today. I'll continue to ease up the rest of the week, since this may be my only LCM competition this year.

    Warm up [600/600]
    600 choice

    Set 1 [600/1200]
    4 x 50 on 1:00 drill
    1 x 200 kick/swim by 50
    4 X 50 on 1:00 BUILD

    Set 2 [800/2000]
    2 x {
    1 x 200 on 3:15 -- pull, no paddles w/ snorkel
    4 X 50 on :45 desc 1>4
    Set 3 [1400/3400]
    4 x 200 on 3:30 broken w/ 10 sec rest

    1. 50-50-100
    2. 50-100-50
    3. 100-50-50
    4. 50-50-50-50

    4 x 100 1:50 broken w/ 5 sec rest

    1. 25-25-50
    2. 25-50-25
    3. 50-25-25
    4. 25-25-25-25

    4 X 50 on 1:00 choice easy/hard by 25

    Set 4 [400/3800]
    2 X 50 on 1:30 FAST
    4 X 25 on :45 FAST

    200 EASY
    Tags: taper
    Swim Workouts