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Alex's swim journal

Training for 400 IM LCM...

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by , May 27th, 2013 at 12:12 AM (2353 Views)
... and is open water training even thinkable in WI right now? It's already Memorial Day weekend and none of the area lakes are even close to opening for swimmers... only two weekends ago they were postponing opening day of fishing in MN, because there was still too much ice cover on the lakes. I'm hoping that the water done here in southern WI is warming faster than the air temps; we've had highs in the 50s for a few days now, but at least it's sunny. Morning swims with air temps in the mid 40s to mid 50s won't be so bad if the water is in the 68-70 range, but I have the feeling my local lake might not get that warm for another few weeks. Would love to know where my fellow Southeast-Wisconsinites are doing their OW training right now; Lake Andrea doesn't look like it will open this week and I don't have a wet suit, so I'm not going to brave the 40-degree temps in Lake Michigan.

So, I'm stuck at the Y in the SCY box for now... which means I'm getting a little worried about being ready for the LCM state meet on 6/23. I'm trying to compensate by adding distance and working on endurance for fly, back and breast. For two weeks now I've managed to get in (per week) at least three 4000-yard days, and three 2-3000 yard days; I'm still managing about 12 miles/week. Here are some of my favorites from the last couple of weeks from the 4000-yard range:

OK, Tuesday 5/14 was 4000 in about 90 minutes; focus on 200s:
6 x 200 alt fr w/ pull (buoy and paddles)
4 x 200 fly on 5:00
4 x 200 bk on 4:00
4 x 200 br on 4:30
400 EZ (4 x 100 fr/pull on 1:45)

Two days later I did this one, 4000 SCY in 85 minutes, focus more on turnover, being quicker, but still 800 on each stroke, my endurance is getting better:
400 EZ on 7:30
4 x 100 IM on 2:00
200 IM on 4:00
1:00 rest
10 x 50 fly on 1:05
10 x 50 back on 1:00-1:05
10 x 50 br on 1:05
10 x 50 fr on 1:00
200 IM on 4:00
4 x 100 IM on 2:00
400 EZ

Two days after that one, Saturday 5/18, I did this monster endurance workout; Scotty thinks I'm crazy for doing 800 IMs... I think I'll be glad I did them when I'm doing 400 IM long course for the first time:

400 EZ on 7:30
4 x 800 IM on 16:00 (15:10, 15:05, 15:01, 15:20)
400 EZ in 7:00
--I finished this whole workout, 4000 SCY in only 78 minutes

This week I also had three 4000+ days; Tuesday's was painful (4200)... 450 IMs? I'm trying to account for that extra 40 yards in the 400 meter version:

6 x 200 on 3:30-3:20 (alt. fr/pull)
6 x 450 IM on 9:00 (8:20-8:45)*
CD: 300 EZ

*reps 1-2 = 125 fly, 125 bk, 100 br, 100 fr; reps 3-4 = 100 fly, 125 bk, 125 br, 100 fr; reps 5-6 = 100 fly, 100 bk, 125 br, 125 fr

Thursday was also an 85 minute, 4000-yarder with a lot of stroke work and drill... one-arm fly drills are really helping my flow on the full-stroke fly.

Saturday, I came back for another 4400 and swam a decent 10 x 200 IM set... felt pretty strong the whole way through:

WU (700):
200 EZ fr
100 bk
100 br
100 fr
100 3r/3l fly
100 fr

MS (3200):
10 x 200 IM on 5:00 (3:25-30)
6 x 200 on 4:00 (alt. fr on 3:30 and bk on 4:00-4:30)

CD (500):
2 x 100 fr
4 x 50 fly (1, 3 in :48-:49; 2, 4 3r/3l fly)
100 EZ

Today I had something of a break-through with breast... I finally found my caterpillar... after struggling with rhythm on breast and what seemed like a really slow turn-over, never seeing my times come down (busting a gut to swim 50 in under a minute), I swam a :49 50 br today after some pull drills... now I know why it's a short-axis stroke! I had been putting way too much energy and focus on my arms and shoulders, trying to get a stronger pull, when really it's all about the abdomen and back, timing with the kick and streamline. Today, for the first time, I felt like I was doing it right!

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  1. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Now I realize how lucky I am with the weather in Texas(at least until July). Brrrr that's cold.

    Those IMs are great. Nice progress. Great to see you blogging again Alex.
  2. Karl_S's Avatar
    4 x 800 IM on 16:00
    What were you thinking? That's twice as many 800 IMs as I have done in my entire life.

    6 x 450 IM on 9:00
    I see where that is coming from.

    I think that for many folks, the loss of (half or more of the) turns going from SC to LC is a bigger issue than the extra distance. One strategy for preparing for this is to intentionally turn too far from the wall on every other turn so as to get no push-off. For example: swim a 100, but only push off on turn #2. I've tried this. It is unpleasant.

    To simulate an LCM 400 IM in SCY, one might push off only for the middle turn of each stroke 100, and for the stroke-switching turns. I've never tried that. It sounds hideous, which now that I think about it probably is very good preparation for the 4IM.

    One thing I have done a lot is swim SCY 225s. The strategy is somewhat different than for a 200 LCM, but the pacing is very similar. My advice - think of them in thirds.
  3. __steve__'s Avatar
    You are much tougher than I to consider even swimming in 70⁰F water and 50⁰F air. I was shivering and developed leg cramps yesterday from swimming in 78⁰F H2O!
  4. jaadams1's Avatar
    Soon we're going to see Alex doing the 10x225 IMs (or whatever) as Fly-Fly-Fly-Back-Back-Breast-Breast-Free-Free; Fly-Fly-Back-Back-Breast-Breast-Free-Free-Fly; Fly-Back-Back-Breast-Breast-Free-Free-Fly-Fly; Back-Back-Breast-Breast-Free-Free-Fly-Fly-Fly; etc. etc.

    Where is That Guy at anyway???
  5. mcnair's Avatar
    That 10 x 225 IM set sounds pretty cool; I'll have to try it! Thanks, even if you were being ironic, James, for the idea. I also like Karl's idea of turning early SCY 4IMs and only pushing at the start and the 50, 100, 150 etc. turns. I'm much more concerned about what the "missing" wall is going to do to me than the extra 40 yards in LCM.