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Of Swimming Bondage

Trend break strategies?

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by , April 30th, 2015 at 06:04 PM (80 Views)
So, while part of me is happy (enough) that I haven't appreciably slowed down over the last 14 years as a Masters swimmer (http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?358...Age-of-Adaline) and, in some cases, gotten faster, the big question is this: what can I do to break the trend and, at least for sometime, get appreciably faster?

I know the basic answer is this: don't keep doing what you're doing; do something different.

The challenge is figuring out what that different thing or things must be? Some initial musings below, nothing rocket-science here:
  • Karl_s made a comment about my "goals" post a few days before San Antonio (http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?357...Track-to-Goals) -
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S
    Um, I though goals were something you set at the beginning of the season.
    - and he is right. Since 2012, I haven't had the right mix of focus, predictability of my end-of-season plans or commitment to really plan a season and stick to the plan.
  • Mark Cox and I were talking one day of Nationals about what leads to great swimming / racing / results and the elements were pretty simple (to write) - consistency in training regimen and a great coach on deck (if possible).
  • Though the results from 2009/2010 were confounded by the miracle of tech suits, I was far more consistent about a combination of weight training, core work and some other form of aerobic work outside of the pool (e.g., vs. recent non-existence of dryland work). As I talked at the meet with Sam Perry, a former AZ Masters guy who decamped to Fort Worth, we both lamented the loss of strength that comes with age ... unless you do something about it.
  • In the process of training for some measure of strength, I can afford to drop 5-10 lbs ... gotta lug less lard.
  • I did learn, though, from this past season that I don't need to do high volume to swim fast enough ... race pace training and race pace training at shorter repeats can work. I don't think I'm ready to jump on the USRPT bandwagon, but I rarely did a fast repeat over a 50 or a 100 this season and managed to produce solid times from the 200 up to the 1000.
  • From watching both the pros at events like the Arena Pro Swim Series and speedsters in San Antonio, as well as from feeling what seems to produce the most power and speed for me in the water, I am committed to once and for all learning how to swim freestyle breathing only to one side, every two and with a strong kick.


I still have to ponder this all more. The one thing I am going to do, I am really, truly going to attempt, I swear, is to not focus on a "big meet" until Greensboro next spring. Whenever I think there is the next big meet in X weeks, I get focused on only swimming, fearing that anything I do outside of the water might detract from the time and effort in the water. I will still probably do a small meet this summer where I rest and swim some fun events, and I imagine I'll do the same in the SCM season, but I really want to devote a long cycle to building strength, re-configuring my freestyle, dropping a few pounds and oriented towards a longer-timeframe.

This week has been a week of transition that included:

  • Monday - hot yoga and a smooth 3 x 500 SCM pull at home
  • Tuesday - a nice 2,600 SCM workout with my spring-to-fall sometimes training partner, Peter.
  • Wednesday - In SCM, a quick 750 warmup (300 IM k/d, 3 x 100 descend w/snorkel, 6 x 25 odds fast from block) followed by 10 x 50 on 1:00 attempting to hold 30- while breathing every two (made 3, then was 30+ on 4th, easy on 5th; repeated) and then a 150 easy
  • Thursday - core class at the JCC followed by the same workout as Wednesday with the fast efforts breaststroke (aiming for 0:38 from a push in SCM, but ended up doing 1 at 0:39/0:40 followed by one easy and never saw 0:38)


I'll put something more concrete in place for next week, the summer and the year ahead of Greensboro. I just wish there was an order of events up for Greensboro so I could create a theme based upon the likely events I'd swim, e.g.,
  • "Get 3 Under 2" - break 2 minutes in each of the 200 fly, back and IM
  • "Go For States at Nats" - while the National records are beyond reach for me, there are a couple of AZ State Records that are either possibly achievable (e.g., 1000 is 10:09) or a reach that would be fun to go for (e.g., Paul Smith's 4:45 in the 500).

... it is far enough away that I don't really need the OOE, but it would really fit well with my desire to think long term if it was there to plan for!

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Updated April 30th, 2015 at 06:12 PM by pwb

Categories
Swim Workouts , Planning

Comments

  1. The Fortress's Avatar
    It does take awhile to build strength, partly bc you need to proceed really cautiously.

    Aren't there just three order of events for nationals that are rotated? I seem to recall that from some rule. If so, it would be the same order of events as Indy 2013 (which is my personal fave OOE).
  2. pwb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    It does take awhile to build strength, partly bc you need to proceed really cautiously.
    I will definitely do so. I am actually looking at this as a two year process to get ready for the big 5-0

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    Aren't there just three order of events for nationals that are rotated? I seem to recall that from some rule. If so, it would be the same order of events as Indy 2013 (which is my personal fave OOE).
    Wow! I clearly don't pay attention enough, but, if that's the case, I think I've found my focus:

    Thursday - 1000 free
    Friday - 50 back, 200 fly
    Saturday - 50 fly, 200 back
    Sunday - 200 IM

    "3 under 2" is the theme with the BHAG of "1 under 10"
  3. Water Rat's Avatar
    I like the idea of establishing your goals now and publicizing them. I wonder though about putting so much pressure on one meet so far away. One of the things I'm going to do is compete more "in season" and not worry about my times as much as my racing strategy. It sounds like you have a similar philosophy. Bottom line is that I think you have to really believe you can be faster. That you can bust through mental roadblocks and then you will. but you're right, you do have to change things up. Repeating patterns and expecting a different outcome? isn't that the definition of insanity?
  4. scyfreestyler's Avatar
    Your comment about wanting to swim freestyle breathing to one side, every two strokes and with a strong kick is interesting to read. Not too long ago, Josh Davis wrote an article on SwimSwam about this very subject and backed it up not just with his own swimming, but with that of some of the biggest names in freestyle swimming right now. When I've talked to swimmers and coaches about this, it hasn't been met with a lot of enthusiasm, which I found a little odd. Certainly in races beyond a 100 Free it would seem that more air, if not impacting your stroke and efficiency in a negative way, would be a big plus. I'll be curious to see how it works out for you.

    I've had this breathing pattern since I learned to swim as an adult and use it for everything but a 50. Having never used an every 3 or 4 pattern, I can't comment on making a change to every 2.



    http://swimswam.com/5-tips-for-breat...f-5-olympians/
  5. pwb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat
    I wonder though about putting so much pressure on one meet so far away.
    Yeah, I get that, but the very best meet of my Masters career (tech-suit-fueled meets excluded) was 2012 in Greensboro when I put a lot of emphasis and pressure on myself to try to peak for that.
  6. pwb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by scyfreestyler
    Your comment about wanting to swim freestyle breathing to one side, every two strokes and with a strong kick is interesting to read. Not too long ago, Josh Davis wrote an article on SwimSwam about this very subject and backed it up not just with his own swimming, but with that of some of the biggest names in freestyle swimming right now.
    Yeah, I read that article when it came out and it backed my anecdotal experience watching the fast swimmers, be they the uber-elites (e.g., Ledecky, Jaeger) or even the fast age group kids I see these days.