by, February 27th, 2009 at 06:29 PM (2504 Views)
Thanks to his wife Colleen's good luck at winning an office lottery, where the grand prize is a weekend retreat at a local resort, our regular coach Bill is not going to be at practice tonight.
This has left an opening for me to resume my erstwhile position as beloved Player-Coach of yesteryear's Sewickley YMCA Sea Dragons, Aging Division.
Actually, Bill said he could leave a workout unless someone else wanted to write one, and before anybody else could object or emit a peep, I said, "Me! Me me me!"
Unlike a "professional" or "paid" or "respected" coach of the sort that wins "USMS Coach of the Year" "honors" or avoids being "fragged" by his "swimmers" or "shivved" in the "showers," we Player Coaches have our own way of writing workouts.
I shall write tonight's practice right now, and show you our technique while doing so.
Really, it's not that hard.
I quickly consult my voluminous library of swimming manuals, cross referenced according to energy systems and training volumes indexed according to different phases of the microcycle within the current macrocycle.
Three to seven seconds later, I am thinking: Are you out of your mind?
Practice starts in an hour, and just trying to remember the definitions of all this physiological gobbledegook--Krebs Cycles this, intensity coefficients that--is so far beyond my soylient green-fed brain as to be laughable.
I decide to rely on the thing that made me such an emininently forgettable coach in yesteryear: my intuitive feel for what we swimmers need. Well maybe not we swimmers, exactly.
Consideration No. 1: Ask yourself, what do I feel like I need to accomplish in swimming tonight?
It might be nice to wake up a little, but to do this in such a way as to not make it hard to fall asleep later tonight.
It might also be nice to allow the stretched and cranky cartilaginous sinews in my right shoulder and left knee, respectively, settle down.
We have a meet on Sunday, and I signed up for the 100 IM, 50 and 100 fly, and 25 something, breaststroke maybe? Anyhow, no point in swimming these things tonight. Gotta rest up the various micromuscles involved with the off strokes, as I like to call them: fly, back, and breast.
I need, in other words, the taper equivalent of a farmer rotating his crops. We planted sorghum, cranberries, and alfalfa on Wednesday and Thursday. Tonight, it's time to go back to planting petunias, that is to say, freestyle.
It is also Friday, and Friday is sprint night. 100s freestyle seem kind of long to sprint. They actually seem absurdly long. 25s might be good, but you really do have to sprint a 25. I mean it's hard to fool anyone doing a half-assed 25 freestyle and trying to pass it off as a sprint.
The good player-coach, like the good Lt. fresh out of the military academy and shipped to Nam, needs to lead by example. Otherwise, the odds of getting fragged by the troops, or shivved by the swimmers behind you in your lane, go way up.
Don't I know it!
The last time I player-coached a sprint practice, it seemed like it would take forever for the stab wounds in my feet to heal.
Okay, so 50s it is. Or, more grammatically, 50's it are. Or, even more grammatically, 50's they are.
With this settled, we come to...
Consideration No. 2: Do you want to reinvent the wheel?
Of course not!
And with this in mind, I locate and copy a favorite 50 workout written by another coach, who actually is all the things I am not: professional, paid, respected, and--to add just one more characteristic to the list of attributes thatTeam Pitt's great masters coach, Jen Michaels, has that I do not--competent.
Since Pitt has 1.5 hour practices, and we in Sewy get only 1 hour, I include much shorter warm ups and cool downs and just use in tact her main set:
10 x 50 on 1:00 easy
1 min rest
8 x 50 on 1:00 odds easy, evens 200 pace +2 *
1 min rest
8 x 50 on 1:00 odds easy, evens 200 pace +1
1 min rest
8 x 50 on 1:00 odds easy, evens 200 pace +0
1 min rest
8 x 50 on 1:00 odds easy, evens 200 pace -1
1 min rest
8 x 50 on 1:00 odds easy, evens 200 pace -2
1 x 200 on 4:00 ez cool down
* divide your best 200 time by 4 to get your average 50. Example: if you swim the 200 on 2:00, your race pace 50s are :30. Your fast ones should thus be :32, :31, :30, :29, :28.
I will let you know how it goes. Sewickley swimmers, with a few exceptions, have demonstrated an antipathy for math that would make the average 7th grade Airhead Sorority seem geekish in comparison.
I preminisce no shortage of mayhem, especially in C lane, where the new-to-swimming triathletes are, under the best of circumstances, concentrated in an arrogant frothful cauldron of rudeness and disorder, as if they sense that learning to throw elbows and climb over one another in a frenzy is actually a better use of training time for their chosen sport than swimming itself.
Just kidding guys!
Really, put those shivs awy!
I shall keep you posted.