View RSS Feed

I swim, therefore I am

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rate this Entry
by , January 29th, 2013 at 05:44 PM (1070 Views)
SCY@Fort Myers Aquatic Center
Air temp of 75, pool at 80, 100% water clarity.
Sunny skies with humidity at 67%

Warm up
300 FR Kick
500 FR as 5(1x50 Kick on :50, 2x25 Swim on :20)

  • 50 Kicks were 45-43, 25s were 14s, last two 13

*Set 1*
400 BR Kick as 100/bd, 100/snorkel
300 BR 50 Kick/50 Swim w/snorkel
6x50 BR on :20 rest 25 K/bk, 25 Swim DPS ABPT

*Set 2*
400 BK Kick as 25 steady/25 FAST w/8-10 SDK
200 BK as 50 Double Arm (DA) DR/50 Swim w/strong kick
200 BK Swim as 25 steady/25 FAST w/agility paddles
2(4x25 BK on :40, 1:00 rest)

  1. 16-15-15-15
  2. 14-14-14-14

300 DPS FR ABPT w/agility paddles

*Set 3*
400 D Kick as 100/bk, 100/bd
4x150 FLY on :30 rest as 25RA/25LA/50DA-on-bk/50 Swim
---1,3 w/agility paddles - 2,4 without
2(4x25 Fly on :30, 1:00 rest, then on :40)
---each round; 2x25 w/agility paddles, 2x25 without

  1. 14-14-14-14
  2. 13-13-13-13


*Set 4*
3x300 FR on 1:00 rest w/snorkel-agility paddles
steady state swimming ABPT

*Set 5*
8x25 FR on :20

  • 13-13-13-14-14-13

3x50 FR on 1:30

  • 28, 28, 27

Warm down

Disclosure - below are rambling long comments, so feel free to skip if found to be tedious, boring, nerdy and self centered.

Sore from speedwork with/without paddles during the recent seven days, dryland was mostly core, stretching, bands, and some maintenance strength, but no heavy stacks. Returned to the full dryland program last night, which along with yesterday's swimming workout led to some soreness and fatigue coming in to today's swimming session. Frequent brief band sessions, stretching, managed nutrition, and good sleeping certainly help to minimize what could be far more soreness and fatigue.

Warm Up - The 500 FR with 50 kick then 2x25 on :20 was challenging and fun to do and will do more variations on that. The increase in kicking sets during last several weeks was obviously to get stronger and faster in kicking, but the real mission is more than just fast kicking in itself, but to use that kick consistently when doing the full stroke. A strong steady kick makes my overall stroke more effective, efficient and faster - also at a cost of more energy, so at least for the 1650 and down, training to use a solid kick all the way.

Set 1 - While my breaststroke is basically good form, in no way am I a natural at the stroke. I could not do it in high school, and it was only after playing two seasons of college waterpolo, then club polo for several more years, that I became proficient in BR kicking. Today I did BR drills, moderate swimming, but no BR speedwork. That is because this last weekend in the little community pool, when starting some fast 12.5 BR bursts after doing a lot of FLY bursts, I went too hard with too wide a kick on the first one. It was not very smart, more like a novice - should have known better. The result is one minor subtle strained groin in the right leg. I have been fortunate over the years to avoid most kinds of swimming related wear and tear on the body, but I know how these things can linger. So now doing a very narrow BR kick being careful not to engage that vulnerable area, along with stretching it, rubbing in muscle relief lotion before, during, and after the workout.

Set 2 - My backstroke continues to improve even though I do not work on it during the weekends in my little pool. However my SDK capacity is not any better and it was a struggle to even get to 8 SDKs off the wall. I will have to write some specific SDK into the program more consistently. Did the 25s without any paddles, not having done BK speedwork recently. The first round of 25s doing 15 was good, then after 1:00 rest, it was all 14s on the second round - and they were not 14s turning to 15s, but 13 coming in with 14 at the touch - an excellent effort. Somehow this year I have found a way to engage a bent elbow catch or EVF as soon as my arm slides in the the water.

Set 3 - The agility paddles are the only paddles I have ever been use to swim butterfly. These paddles, with careful focus, can really help set up the EVF catch with elbows near the surface without excessive undulation. They slow down my tempo a bit for now, but over time I expect to come closer to the tempo without them. Today the 25 times were the same with/without because without the paddles the tempo more fluid and faster. But the paddles really facilitate the hand feel for a fast quick high elbow catch. Have said all that, today was also the first fly speedwork (other than 12.5 bursts on the weekends) in a long time, so while the 14s were good, the 13s made me smile.

Set 5 - On the days with more speedwork, doing lots of carefully managed warm down between sets prevents the quality of the next set from being diluted with too much residual fatigue. A good warm down really does clear the body more than hanging on the wall. The little freestyle set of 8x25 on :20 followed by 3x50 on 1:30 is designed to do FAST swimming for speed with quality form when tired and weary accumulated over the workout. The warm down after that is very important to leave the pool only when the stroke feels good at the ABPT level.

Submit "Tuesday, January 29, 2013" to Digg Submit "Tuesday, January 29, 2013" to Submit "Tuesday, January 29, 2013" to StumbleUpon Submit "Tuesday, January 29, 2013" to Google

Updated January 29th, 2013 at 09:26 PM by fdtotten

Swim Workouts


  1. jaadams1's Avatar
    Disclosure - below are rambling long comments, so feel free to skip if found to be tedious, boring, nerdy and self centered.
    I read them to find out how I can be better at this.
  2. The Fortress's Avatar
    I enjoyed the nerdy ramblings!

    Fly with agility paddles sounds difficult to me.
    Updated January 29th, 2013 at 08:43 PM by The Fortress
  3. fdtotten's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jaadams1
    I read them to find out how I can be better at this. :)
    I am sure that there other more superior examples out there for you to read too. :)
  4. fdtotten's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    I enjoyed the nerdy rulings!

    Fly with agility paddles sounds difficult to me.
    Thanks for the affirmation of my nerdy-ness! Now here comes a long drawn out nerdy reply!

    I have read your workouts that include using agility paddles, it's clear you are very familiar with them. What I have found in doing butterfly with agility paddles is that it was more about hand positioning that occurs when doing the stroke, over power or strength.

    The agility medium size hand paddles are for hands measuring 7-8" circumference just above the thumb. My hands are exactly 8", so the medium paddles are just slightly larger. That is good in my case for doing Fly, Bk, Breast, as well as Free.

    I tried them first in my little 12.5 yard community pool, going slowly across, no breathing, more flat. Then experimented with RA/LA Drills leading to alternating drills and full stroke. It also helps to do sculling with the paddles getting the elbows high with fingers/forearm pointed downward in the double EVF position. Sculling is an essential skill development for all strokes in my opinion. Obviously the agility paddles will fall off or slide around if not being held against the hand by opposing water pressure.

    FYI - Recently I finally learned to swim fly with the snorkel, which for me was harder to do than swimming fly with agility paddles. To swim and undulate the fly without drowning in water from the snorkel took some practice.
  5. The Fortress's Avatar
    I like the agility fins for sculling as well, and agree that sculling is important. I've tried them for single arm fly drills, but didn't love them. I may re-try. I've also tried them for breast and that didn't work. I think the issue is that my hands are too small for them. (No measuring device on hand, but I'm guessing 6+ inches.). I had read that Finis was going to produce them in a smaller size, but haven't seen any to date. I use my 12 year olds's small paddles for evil occasionally.

    Fly with a snorkel sounds dreadful!
  6. fdtotten's Avatar
    It does appear that paddle size is a significant factor in your case. The small agility paddles are 6.5 inch in length compared to medium size length of 7.25. I recently brought agility size medium at Amazon for 15.99, and just now I also saw the small size there by searching "agility paddle size small amazon".

    I did fly with snorkel because I wanted to prove to myself I could do it, but it will not be actually used that often.
  7. The Fortress's Avatar
    Thank you! I am off to purchase them!

    nope, I only see a medium.
    Updated January 29th, 2013 at 11:04 PM by The Fortress
  8. fdtotten's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    Thank you! I am off to purchase them!

    nope, I only see a medium.
    On Amazon it is confusing as there are several versions of Finis Agility Paddle product page and product numbers, which usually Amazon discourages. Amazon itself only offers medium size, but a few other vendors listing through the Amazon Marketplace appear to have Agility paddles size small. Try these links;


    Swimming Supply

  9. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Do you have any shoulder soreness using them on fly. I worry about the effect on my joints of the impact of the paddles on the entry. Just curious.
  10. fdtotten's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by StewartACarroll
    Do you have any shoulder soreness using them on fly. I worry about the effect on my joints of the impact of the paddles on the entry. Just curious.
    Here is my answer - far more than you asked for, but I will post anyway...

    The potential overuse effects of paddles usage of one's upper body musculoskeletal system are a very real concern that should be considered on an individual basis according to one's previous swimming history, body type, and current levels of fitness.

    Paddle size is the first factor to consider. The larger the surface area relative to hand size the greater the resistance means that it's better to start smaller work up to larger if desired. I will not talk about the pros and cons of various paddle sizes, but comment that I have found paddles just slightly larger the one's hand is the best all round choice for the doing the four strokes, skill enhancement, some strength adaptation, and being able to switch often to swim with and without.

    To reduce the possibility of "too much too fast", which always leads to rapid tissue breakdown and painful soreness, the common sense approach is to start with low intensity swimming, low volume of usage, and build from there. The next most important point would be swimming with ABPT "as best possible technique". Larger paddles will make ABPT more difficult to do at first, so as possible, paddles that fit just right being slightly larger than the hands will provide enough enhanced kinetic feedback for skill adaptive skill refinement and some resistance for a modest strengthening component. Frequent sculling drills with and without paddles is a great skill development process along with injury prevention benefits.

    The Agility paddles work better when using an EVF technique that keeps the paddles pressed against the hands, and that is generally the technique that provides more efficient propulsive results. Again, just like swimming any of the strokes without paddles, one's usage volume and intensity (speedwork) should start out in small amounts and be gradually built up.

    Finally, soreness is never completely reduced particularly in strong training cycles. Soreness is the result of the adaption process. The key is not to get too sore for too long. Soreness can be greatly minimized with frequent moments of gentle ballistic & some static stretching and band work in the morning, before, during, after workouts, and in the evening. Nutrition is a key factor for recovery of tissue consuming easy to digest protein after workouts and before sleeping, well balanced meals, creatine is useful, lots of water, and most important - quality sleep.
  11. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    I agree wih your response. I incorporate paddles into my workouts and really enjoy them. I have never used them on fly due to my concern related to double hand entry and the effects on my shoulders. I was curious specifically on fly if you did anything special?
  12. fdtotten's Avatar
    The is nothing special that I did that I can think of, but the agility paddle size almost the size as my hand, and the paddles shape seems to make more possible to do Fly with them. The daily sculling contributed to being stronger at the very front of the Fly catch. Also, doing the stroke undulation as a linear forward long body movement minimizing vertical up/down.