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The FAF AFAP Digest

Meet Analysis + Swim, Monday, Dec. 7

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Swim/SCY/Solo:

Warm up:

400 swim
200 kick
100 fly drills

Pre-set:

8 x 25 back shooters

10 x 25
odds = easy speed fly
evens = easy

2 x (4 x 25)
#1 = long evil pullout
#2 = no breather free with overkick
#3 = burst free, fast to 15, then cruise
#4 = front scull

50 EZ

Bit 'O Speed:

1 x 50 back AFAP w/fins, 23.5-24
cramped: why?! I've been resting the damn legs.

150 EZ

4 x (25 AFAP free w/fins + 50 EZ)

100 EZ

Total: 2100

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Commentary:

Felt OK in the water today, though not so much on my fast 25s free. I'm done looking at the clock till the meet except for maybe one fast 50 tomorrow. As Ande would say, I've been swimming fast in practice, I'll swim fast tomorrow and the next day and I'll trust my taper.

F'in Grrr:

Like Speedo, I'm f'in grrr about the GMUP masters situation. I got yet another email canceling all regular Thursday-Sunday practices again for yet another USA-S meet. "Make ups" -- which cannot possibly be construed as "make ups" as they are of a drastically different nature -- are at either 4:45 or 5:30 am. No one is happy. Many are letting their membership lapse. It's idiotic; they could easily let us come during open lap swim without additional cost to the facility. They are apparently trying to gouge us by insisting we join the facility for an extra $750 per year on top of our monthly masters fee. Uh, no thanks. I understand we are going to approach management in January. I think it's a mistake; it should be dealt with immediately before it becomes a pattern and practice in management's mind. I'm really ticked off. Also haven't had a single chance to practice starts for the meet. Last went off the block at the Sprint Classic. Oh well, I don't need to tire out the legs anyway; I'll just go with JimRude's thought that practicing starts is overrated. Of course, I think, unlike me, he must have a good one.

Meet Analysis:

Here are my thoughts on my upcoming events. I don't really have specific time goals (except I do like PBs, who doesn't?). I'm just going to swim fast and see what appears on the timing board. I've trained to be intense and aggressive; I'll just do that in the meet. I hope I can find a cup of coffee halfway through the meet both days. Jolt gum is not an equivalent (sorry Jimby).

100 IM, seeded 8th

Last year at Rutgers CZ meet, I blew away my previous 100 IM time by over three seconds. This was a breakthrough swim for me. My splits were 32.50/39.30 (1:11.80) -- appalling. Evil was a challenge and I was pretty dead on free. I'd like to improve on my second 50 split this year. I think I can do this because my breaststroke pullouts are faster with the dolphin kick done first. I will breath more on the first length of fly this time as well, and try and nail a big underwater on backstroke. (I remember seeing Ande do this to good effect in Austin.) Bring it home fast on free no matter how much it hurts; I have a ton of rest before 50 back. I'd be very happy with a PB or around the same time.

50 back, seeded 1st:

Last year, I went a 31.7 at the IGLA meet in June 2008. It was my first meet with the B70 and after I began lifting. I hope I can improve on this time. I should be able to, if all goes well, because my SDKs are much better (especially on the second 25) with Fortina. No need to think about this event -- 13-14 SDKs each length. Try to hit the finish hard and not glide in, as I am occasionally wont to do.

50 free, seeded 7th:

I went a 28.5 at Zones last year, which was a PB. I seeded myself at 28.7 b/c I thought that was time from last year. I should be able to equal or better this as I went a 28.5 in LCM this summer. But you never know with a 50 free b/c of the start & turn. I'm not fond of turning on bulkheads, so sometimes go awry there. If I do, I will swim my 100 free for a 50 free split on Sunday. Plan on 2 breaths. Probably 6-7 SDKs each length. Think kick.

50 fly, seeded 3rd:

Last year at Rutgers, I swam a 29.99 in the infamous time trial that didn't count despite being authorized by the meet director and referee. Someone reading my blog made an official complaint about it, which ticked me off incredibly and almost caused me to stop blogging. My official PB is therefore 30.7 from June 2008. I think I'm capable of going faster than 29.99, since I went a 29.7 in LCM this summer. That swim was a huge drop for me though, and might have been my best swim at Nats. I don't think BU is as fast as Indy either. But hopefully I'll be in that range. Everything depends on how you hit the turn and finish in this race. I plan 8-9 SDKs off each wall, perhaps less. 2 breaths. I'll try not to look this time. lol

100 back, seeded 1st:

My PB in this event is from the Albatross Meet last March. I was racing Lisa van Pelt-Diller, and it was a fun race. My time was 1:10.94 with splits of 34.92 and 36.02. Very close together -- basically an even split given my start. At the time, I was trying to implement Jim Thornton's 100 free plan: strong fast first 50, hold or ease up slightly on the 3rd 25 and then barrel into the turn and bring it home. I did have a great last length, but probably should have taken it out faster.

I have a habit of being too conservative on the first 50 of a 100 back. I can honestly say I've never taken it out too fast. I guess the fear of paralysis stops me. However, I have recently heard the following advice: "Take it out fast and die; it's better than taking it out slow and dying" "You can't get back that first 50." "It's a 100, why are you dogging the first 50?" So I can only conclude this is evidence of my wimpy sprinterdom. So I plan to take it out somewhat faster.

As far as SDKs go, I'm going to take Quick's advice and think of it as a 50 swim/50 kick. I think I'll likely be gassed on the last 25, but I'd still like to swim it this way. (Last time, without Fortina, I didn't take as many SDKs, though the ones I did take won the race for me.) I'm thinking either 13-13-13-10 or 13-13-10-13. Thoughts?

50 evil:

Doing this as a split request on a 100 evil. My one and only SCM 50 breast was at NE Champs in 207 where I went a 41.52. Given that I went a 34.1 in yards at Zones in April, I'd like to be in the high 38 range. That might even crack TT. It all depends on my start. I have to avoid going too deep and flutter kicking to the surface. I've been working on this in practice by pulling up on the pulldown instead of straight ahead. I'd like to stay underwater as long as possible each 25, and then muscle my way though the swim. If no one scratches during positive check in, I'll be in an end lane. Yuck at BU.

100 free:

I seeded myself at 1:20, as I wanted to have the option of going for a 50 free split in this event. And, if I need to, I will. But I've decided that I will probably swim it as a 100 free. I haven't swum the 100 free in SCM since NE Champs in 2007, when I went a very slow 1:06.0. I recall feeling absolutely awful in that race. It was my first race of the day and was definitely a "shake the cobwebs off" swim. I recall Stud saying my arms were moving very slowly. Not desirable, as I am usually known for my fast turnover. If I do swim the 100 free, I'm going to make an effort to take it out somewhat faster than usual. (At Zones, I almost even split this event as a hard warm up.) I figure I can die like a dog on the last event of the meet. I have an end lane for this event as well, unless others don't show. Of course, it is perfectly forseeable that I will be too tired to want to die like a dog.

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Updated December 7th, 2009 at 11:56 PM by The Fortress

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  1. Chris Stevenson's Avatar
    "My PB in this event is from the Albatross Meet last March. I was racing Lisa van Pelt-Diller, and it was a fun race. My time was 1:10.94 with splits of 34.92 and 36.02. Very close together -- basically an even split given my start. At the time, I was trying to implement Jim Thornton's 100 free plan: strong fast first 50, hold or ease up slightly on the 3rd 25 and then barrel into the turn and bring it home. I did have a great last length, but probably should have taken it out faster.

    I have a habit of being too conservative on the first 50 of a 100 back. I can honestly say I've never taken it out too fast. I guess the fear of paralysis stops me. However, I have recently heard the following advice: "Take it out fast and die; it's better than taking it out slow and dying" "You can't get back that first 50." "It's a 100, why are you dogging the first 50?" So I can only conclude this is evidence of my wimpy sprinterdom. So I plan to take it out somewhat faster.

    As far as SDKs go, I'm going to take Quick's advice and think of it as a 50 swim/50 kick. I think I'll likely be gassed on the last 25, but I'd still like to swim it this way. (Last time, without Fortina, I didn't take as many SDKs, though the ones I did take won the race for me.) I'm thinking either 13-13-13-10 or 13-13-10-13. Thoughts?"

    First of all, the start is at least partly negated by the fact that it is a foot touch for the split; backstroke 100 splits are supposed to be closer than in any other race. (Freestyle is comparable with the foot touch but the dive is a bigger advantage). So your splits aren't quite as even as you think.

    As far as the kick thing, I prefer 13-13-13-10 over the other. I think your 3rd 25 should be your most aggressive, an all-out sprint and you bring it home with what you have left. If you do 10 on the 3rd 25 then I fear you'll not do 13 on the last one (unless you've saved too much energy).

    I also tend to go a little too controlled on the 1st 50. It is a fine line: on the one hand, you don't want to spin your wheels and waste energy that first 50. The strategy of building the effort over the 1st 50 and sprinting the second makes some sense to me, especially since adrenaline always adds a little extra speed going out.

    BUT it probably isn't a coincidence that my best 100 back/fly swims of the past few years have happened when I've been most aggressive. Yes, you die...but (in short course at least) the effect on the time isn't as bad as it feels. Mike Ross always seems to be very aggressive in his races; his first 50 is often just about the same speed as his 50 time. It works for him, obviously.

    But for pure sprinters -- and, though this is maybe a little controversial to say, I actually don't think Mike R. is as much of a pure sprinter as you are -- you have to be careful about this. Think about the Cavic-Phelps 100 fly race. Cavic sprinted from start to finish and died. Phelps, though, probably was only a hair slower than his top speed going out; it he had been too timid he would have lost.

    Bottom line: if you've been conservative in the past, be a little more aggressive (but still controlled) this time and see what happens. Heck, that's why you train: to swim fast even when it hurts.
    Updated December 8th, 2009 at 05:34 AM by Chris Stevenson
  2. SwimmerGirlKT's Avatar
    Forgive my ignorance, but what is Fortina? ...And how can I get some? Quickly.
  3. pwb's Avatar
    Given your LCM times in those 50s and the way you've been training, your 50s should be smoking. Though I know you've done some version of that "Be Like CVDB" training plan, you also train so consistently and so much that I think you can go out faster and die less on your 100s than you might think. You're in awesome shape, have speed and have more endurance that you like to admit.

    As for coffee, if you can stomach it cold/room temp, I often grab a double espresso from Starbucks before the meet and then shoot it at the appropriate point in the meet when you need your jolt. Meet coffee is notoriously bad, notoriously weak and you don't need all that extra water when what you're really after is the caffeine. Plus, while some people decry 'corporate coffee' from Starbucks, you can bet on its quality and consistency across practically any store.

    I might not know jack about sprinting, but trust me on the caffeine.
  4. Chris Stevenson's Avatar
    Purists will shudder but I prefer McD's coffee to Starbucks.
  5. qbrain's Avatar
    I don't like the long 75 strategy. It doesn't make sense to me that you ease up, even just mentally, before the final push. Essentially, you are saying that you have so much control that you can turn it back on, 100%, the last 25, after relaxing a little the 25 before. I think that will allow you to finish without dying, but I don't see how that can give you the best time. I predict that this actually hurts your last 25.

    As for 13 13 13 10 vs 13 13 10 13, go with the first. This leaves you with the option to do 13 13 13 13 if you have it, instead of saving up when you don't need it. Your conditioning, fortina and adrenaline make it likely that you might be happy to extend your underwaters to the max on the last 25.

    You better be 29 mid to low on the 50 fly. Otherwise, I will be really disappointed in you

    I would consider a thermos for coffee. With starbucks on every corner, they have fallen out of favor, but they will store coffee and keep it hot for hours. Patrick's suggestion of cold espresso shots is a good idea too.
  6. pwb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson
    Purists will shudder but I prefer McD's coffee to Starbucks.
    Actually, there was a Consumer Reports study that rated McDs better. I rarely drink coffee, only espresso, so I can't comment.
  7. qbrain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson
    Purists will shudder but I prefer McD's coffee to Starbucks.
    I think it really depends on how strong you like your coffee. McDonalds and Dunkin Doughnuts is too weak for my taste, but there are people who love it.

    Einstein Bros. and Panera make some really strong coffee as an alternatives to Starbucks. I think they are both nationwide chains.
  8. quicksilver's Avatar
    100 racing strategy...

    With your ability to kick the crap out of everyone and on every wall, you should do what you do best (stay down and kick), come up for air and do it again. It's only four laps. The way you train, it is more like a kick race than a swimming event.

    Have trust in this unique skill which you've mastered. And bring home the remaining few strokes on the last lap with those guns of steel.

    As far as non-gluten treats...forget the Powerbars. Try Rice Crispy snacks.. crunchy fiber, lots of sugar...and rice. A type O delicacy. Did I mention lots of sugar ?

    Re: Coffee...Starbucks blends are like warm motor oil. No matter how much milk you put in...it stays black...and tastes bitter and yucky. Home brew in a thermos is the way to go...or McDonalds as Chris suggested!
  9. Chris Stevenson's Avatar
    I thought I was the only one who favored Rice Crispy snacks at meets! A kindred soul. (And nice avatar, quickie.)

    I will second Patrick's comment about you being in shape, when you include the cross-training you work out harder than the vast majority of masters swimmers, including me. You'll get tired of course but I bet you'll still maintain speed.

    And if not, at least I get to watch...have to remember the camcorder...
  10. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson
    First of all, the start is at least partly negated by the fact that it is a foot touch for the split; backstroke 100 splits are supposed to be closer than in any other race. (Freestyle is comparable with the foot touch but the dive is a bigger advantage). So your splits aren't quite as even as you think.

    As far as the kick thing, I prefer 13-13-13-10 over the other. I think your 3rd 25 should be your most aggressive, an all-out sprint and you bring it home with what you have left. If you do 10 on the 3rd 25 then I fear you'll not do 13 on the last one (unless you've saved too much energy).

    I also tend to go a little too controlled on the 1st 50. It is a fine line: on the one hand, you don't want to spin your wheels and waste energy that first 50. The strategy of building the effort over the 1st 50 and sprinting the second makes some sense to me, especially since adrenaline always adds a little extra speed going out.

    BUT it probably isn't a coincidence that my best 100 back/fly swims of the past few years have happened when I've been most aggressive. Yes, you die...but (in short course at least) the effect on the time isn't as bad as it feels. Mike Ross always seems to be very aggressive in his races; his first 50 is often just about the same speed as his 50 time. It works for him, obviously.

    But for pure sprinters -- and, though this is maybe a little controversial to say, I actually don't think Mike R. is as much of a pure sprinter as you are -- you have to be careful about this. Think about the Cavic-Phelps 100 fly race. Cavic sprinted from start to finish and died. Phelps, though, probably was only a hair slower than his top speed going out; it he had been too timid he would have lost.

    Bottom line: if you've been conservative in the past, be a little more aggressive (but still controlled) this time and see what happens. Heck, that's why you train: to swim fast even when it hurts.
    Thanks Chris. I hadn't thought about the foot touch on the first 50. Good point. Still, I think if my 50 PB is a 31.7, I should be out faster than 34.4. I can't go out at 95% like you or Mike. I know my limits as a pure sprinter. However, I think I should be able to go out in a controlled mid-33, don't you think?

    As for the training, well, I don't have the same lactate tolerance skills as you, so I have to be a bit more careful. When my body shuts down (100 fly usually), it's ugly. I can literally stop forward motion.
  11. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SwimmerGirlKT
    Forgive my ignorance, but what is Fortina? ...And how can I get some? Quickly.
    Fortina = my nose clip (named by Geek). It's really helped with my backstroke SDKs.
  12. Chris Stevenson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    Thanks Chris. I hadn't thought about the foot touch on the first 50. Good point. Still, I think if my 50 PB is a 31.7, I should be out faster than 34.4. I can't go out at 95% like you or Mike. I know my limits as a pure sprinter. However, I think I should be able to go out in a controlled mid-33, don't you think?

    As for the training, well, I don't have the same lactate tolerance skills as you, so I have to be a bit more careful. When my body shuts down (100 fly usually), it's ugly. I can literally stop forward motion.
    Mid-33? Definitely.

    Break down your splits into 25s and work on hitting some controlled sprints at that pace to see what it feels like. (Just 1-2 at this point, don't tire yourself.) At the meet you'll be more jacked up, that should compensate for the foot vs hand-touch.

    Dying in fly is worse than in backstroke: it manifests more quickly and it affects your speed more.
  13. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pwbrundage
    Given your LCM times in those 50s and the way you've been training, your 50s should be smoking. Though I know you've done some version of that "Be Like CVDB" training plan, you also train so consistently and so much that I think you can go out faster and die less on your 100s than you might think. You're in awesome shape, have speed and have more endurance that you like to admit.

    As for coffee, if you can stomach it cold/room temp, I often grab a double espresso from Starbucks before the meet and then shoot it at the appropriate point in the meet when you need your jolt. Meet coffee is notoriously bad, notoriously weak and you don't need all that extra water when what you're really after is the caffeine. Plus, while some people decry 'corporate coffee' from Starbucks, you can bet on its quality and consistency across practically any store.

    I might not know jack about sprinting, but trust me on the caffeine.
    I think I'm an odd bird. I am a pure sprinter and race like one usually. But I don't always train like one. I have more of a triathlete mentality training wise. I love to train and work out. Sometimes this is counter productive as I probably do too much and wear out my body in a very un-CVDB way. I'm hoping the long taper counteracts this adequately.

    I was super super happy with my 50s this summer. They were all big breakhroughs for my in LCM. My 50s SCM times from last year were great times for me too, so they'll be harder to drop time in. But I will try to be aggressive and intense, and see what happens. Let the dice fly!
  14. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    I don't like the long 75 strategy. It doesn't make sense to me that you ease up, even just mentally, before the final push. Essentially, you are saying that you have so much control that you can turn it back on, 100%, the last 25, after relaxing a little the 25 before. I think that will allow you to finish without dying, but I don't see how that can give you the best time. I predict that this actually hurts your last 25.

    As for 13 13 13 10 vs 13 13 10 13, go with the first. This leaves you with the option to do 13 13 13 13 if you have it, instead of saving up when you don't need it. Your conditioning, fortina and adrenaline make it likely that you might be happy to extend your underwaters to the max on the last 25.

    You better be 29 mid to low on the 50 fly. Otherwise, I will be really disappointed in you

    I would consider a thermos for coffee. With starbucks on every corner, they have fallen out of favor, but they will store coffee and keep it hot for hours. Patrick's suggestion of cold espresso shots is a good idea too.
    Well, that strategy resulted in a big PB for me in the 100 back when I used it. But, based on my current speed, I should still be faster.

    I will pack my thermos and I'm fine with cold espresso shots. Stud tells me there is a little shop around the corner, but I don't have any recollection of convenience stores. I have a huge amount of time between the 100 IM and 50 back. I'd like to down some caffeine in the mid afternoon before the 50 back.
  15. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    I think it really depends on how strong you like your coffee. McDonalds and Dunkin Doughnuts is too weak for my taste, but there are people who love it.

    Einstein Bros. and Panera make some really strong coffee as an alternatives to Starbucks. I think they are both nationwide chains.
    Not sure about McDonalds, as I literally never go in the place. Dunkin Donuts coffee is absolutely disgusting.
  16. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    You better be 29 mid to low on the 50 fly. Otherwise, I will be really disappointed in you
    Yes, I should be capable of it. It all depends on the technical details -- start, turn, finish. These are often weaknesses for me.

    I spent all summer focusing on a specific time in one event. I'm not sure if that was wise or not. 50 fly I didn't think about except to hope for a PB at Nats. I was surprised and thrilled and shocked when I went under 30 and dropped a second.
  17. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by quicksilver
    100 racing strategy...

    With your ability to kick the crap out of everyone and on every wall, you should do what you do best (stay down and kick), come up for air and do it again. It's only four laps. The way you train, it is more like a kick race than a swimming event.

    Have trust in this unique skill which you've mastered. And bring home the remaining few strokes on the last lap with those guns of steel.

    As far as non-gluten treats...forget the Powerbars. Try Rice Crispy snacks.. crunchy fiber, lots of sugar...and rice. A type O delicacy. Did I mention lots of sugar ?

    Thanks for the rice crispie bar tip! I will purchase and pack some.

    I've never attempted the 100 as a mainly SDK event, so this will be a first. I'm excited about giving it a whirl. I am a little worried, I'll run out of gas the last 25. But c'est la vie.
  18. qbrain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    Well, that strategy resulted in a big PB for me in the 100 back when I used it.
    Maybe it works really well for drop dead sprinters.

    Also, what do I know

    Dunkin Donuts coffee is absolutely disgusting.
    You are not offending me, and if you dislike DD, you won't like McDs.
  19. SwimmerGirlKT's Avatar
    I'll try and get my act in gear and brew some Starbuck's and bring in a big thermos I'm doing the 800 friday but my next event isn't until 1 or 2 on Saturday.

    Fortina ... got it! If I ever get more serious about backstroke, I need to invest in one of those!
  20. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson
    I thought I was the only one who favored Rice Crispy snacks at meets! A kindred soul. (And nice avatar, quickie.)

    I will second Patrick's comment about you being in shape, when you include the cross-training you work out harder than the vast majority of masters swimmers, including me. You'll get tired of course but I bet you'll still maintain speed.

    And if not, at least I get to watch...have to remember the camcorder...
    I don't work out harder than you! lol. That's ridiculous. Your workouts are insane and the times that you do in workouts are insane. But thanks for seconding Patrick. It's always good to have a reminder of this during taper.
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