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  1. Strait of Juan de Fuca: training, part 2 of 2

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

    WooHoo! It’s taper time! [Cue Team America music, cleverly sing “Taper Time!” instead of “Americuh!”]

    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, I’ve 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 you’re 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, let’s 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. “My waterbottles aren’t filled,” was my first excuse that kept me in bed. Lesson learned. “Jellyfish,” was the next, and legitimately so. I’d 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 don’t hurt. The egg-yolk jellies sting so weakly they can’t be felt anywhere but on the thinnest of skin, which is excellent because by mid-June they were unavoidable. There were days where I’d 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 I’ve been working on, no, conscious of technique since then and it’s 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. I’ve been doing runs up the seawall stairs every kilometer, or swimming to the Anchor Park pier (2.5km), jumping off it, and swimming back. It’s very different than just doing 2, 3, or 4 trips to the lighthouse, and exactly what I needed to keep my focus as we approach…Taper Week! Woot!

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

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

  2. 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
  3. 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 – 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 – 4 are easy/fast by 50
    5 – 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
  4. 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
  5. 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