Blog Comments

  1. mcnair's Avatar
    Thanks guys! It really is gratifying to see the improvements and to be proficient in all four strokes (though some might debate whether what I call breast stroke is actually proficient). I really am starting to work the underwaters more off the back turns.... something I didn't used to be able to do that well after the start and maybe the first turn. I edged out Scotty in his 200 back by maybe a few inches and he said the difference was definitely in my back dolphins... though it was hard to stay under coming out of those last couple of turns, and I certainly wasn't getting as much distance off the dolphins at that point.
  2. jaadams1's Avatar
    You've made a lot of advancement in your swimming over the past year. I remember reading about your freestyle only long drawn out swims (non-stop 2 hours, etc.), and now look at what you're doing: 200 Flys and more off the blocks?!!? IM workouts!!! Congrats.
  3. __steve__'s Avatar
    Congratulations for marked progress in 200 bk. Were you working the UW's or just maintaining momentum from turns to breakouts?
  4. Karl_S's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mcnair
    .... I'm thinking that if I increase RI to :20 I might be able to complete a longer set... so, for now, 10 x 50 on 1:05 for fly (my goal pace for 200 fly would be :45/50) and then skip a rep when I miss the target... as Rushall prescribes. The other thing I'm going to try is to do the set 3 times over the course of a week... I would normally do a set like this once a week. But Rushall prescribes repeated exposure to race pace in order to produce the overload necessary for physiological adaptation. I'm willing to give it a try.
    Over the summer I was doing the 20x25 sets at least twice a week. Some day I'm going to write up about it and post to the "Ultra-Short Rushall" thread, but I've been too busy. It does seem appropriate/reasonable to do them 2-3 x weekly. Like I mentioned though, I found sets of Nx50 to involve too much lactic acid to do regularly. I'll be interested to hear about your experiences. Keep us posted.
  5. mcnair's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S
    I can't do anything close to 20x50@200 pace on :20RI. Even 4x50@200 pace is pretty darn hard. Forget what Rushall says about avoiding buildup of lactic acid. Any attempt at such a set is a lactic acid bath for me. His 20x25 is exhausting, but does seem to avoid lactic acid buildup. Your idea of building up from 5x50 seems reasonable. Rushall says to skip one when you miss the target, then get back into the set. When you can complete all 20, you need to tighten the interval or lower the target time.
    Here is a set I like:
    Nx{
    4x50@200 pace with interval set to give ~:10 RI (for me an example is 4x50 back/:45)
    something else (maybe 200 AR or 4x25 drill)
    }
    I'm plenty exhausted after N=4 or 5.
    I hear you. I have been using those 4 x 50 at race pace sets (usually on :10-12 sec rest) for 200 pace and I AM usually spent by rep #4. I'm thinking that if I increase RI to :20 I might be able to complete a longer set... so, for now, 10 x 50 on 1:05 for fly (my goal pace for 200 fly would be :45/50) and then skip a rep when I miss the target... as Rushall prescribes. The other thing I'm going to try is to do the set 3 times over the course of a week... I would normally do a set like this once a week. But Rushall prescribes repeated exposure to race pace in order to produce the overload necessary for physiological adaptation. I'm willing to give it a try.
  6. Karl_S's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mcnair
    I noticed in going back over the article that Rushall mentions :20 as the appropriate rest for 50s at 200 pace... maybe if I did my 50s fly or br on 1:05-1:10 instead of 1:00, to get that full :20; I could hold something closer to a :45 (or :50 for br) pace with good form, then begin extending the set out a little further each time I do it (5-6 x 50, then 7-8 x 50). What do you guys think of that?
    I can't do anything close to 20x50@200 pace on :20RI. Even 4x50@200 pace is pretty darn hard. Forget what Rushall says about avoiding buildup of lactic acid. Any attempt at such a set is a lactic acid bath for me. His 20x25 is exhausting, but does seem to avoid lactic acid buildup. Your idea of building up from 5x50 seems reasonable. Rushall says to skip one when you miss the target, then get back into the set. When you can complete all 20, you need to tighten the interval or lower the target time.
    Here is a set I like:
    Nx{
    4x50@200 pace with interval set to give ~:10 RI (for me an example is 4x50 back/:45)
    something else (maybe 200 AR or 4x25 drill)
    }
    I'm plenty exhausted after N=4 or 5.
  7. mcnair's Avatar
    Thanks for the comments, guys, I had read that Rushall piece last spring if I remember right; but I must have missed the bit about not mixing strokes. I have been incorporating more single stroke sets (as in 20 x 25 fly), but still like to work on all 4 strokes in a given workout (so 4 x thru 20x25--one set per stroke), mostly because two of them are still fairly new to me and I feel like I have to work at them constantly... but on the other hand, doing 50s and 100s on anything but back or free now, my form will fall apart too quickly (4 x on short interval seems to be the limit now for fly and br, but I can cycle back around to those strokes if I throw bk and fr into the mix; or recovery swims between sets). Maybe I should be modifying that.

    I noticed in going back over the article that Rushall mentions :20 as the appropriate rest for 50s at 200 pace... maybe if I did my 50s fly or br on 1:05-1:10 instead of 1:00, to get that full :20; I could hold something closer to a :45 (or :50 for br) pace with good form, then begin extending the set out a little further each time I do it (5-6 x 50, then 7-8 x 50). What do you guys think of that?
  8. Karl_S's Avatar
    I agree with pwb, but Rushall specifically notes that his US sets (nx25, nx50, etc) should be of one stroke, NOT mixed strokes. I'm not arguing that there is a problem with the set that you did, but it isn't UST in Rushall's definition. Note, "There should be no mixing of strokes as one might think appropriate for medley training." See: http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/swim/bullets/energy39.pdf
  9. pwb's Avatar
    Based upon my limited reading of Rushall's work on ultra short race pace training, that main set looks right on target for the kind of pace work he preaches -- and definitely the right thing to do to keep your form strong and connected.
  10. mcnair's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S
    For sure. In my experience a dry land session has a huge negative impact on the next 2 or 3 workouts. Dry land work after a break without dry land work doubly so.
    OK, good to know; I had hoped that was what was happening! I know the drylands stuff is good for me in the long run, but what a drag!
  11. Karl_S's Avatar
    I'm on a big-time plateau right now and I think it's been a while since I've been on one. I think one factor is that I'm just now re-incorporating the strength training and it's taking its toll until my body gets used to that again. ... I probably just need to give my body a chance to get used to the drylands in addition to the swim practices, and then the swim practices will come back together.
    For sure. In my experience a dry land session has a huge negative impact on the next 2 or 3 workouts. Dry land work after a break without dry land work doubly so.
  12. mcnair's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by StewartACarroll
    We all go through plateaus, so don't get demoralized. You have made huge progress this past year and have to keep reminding yourself of this. Commit to working on your strokes and drills, while continuing to do stretching, strength and dry land, while maintaining your yardage and quality sets. I would recommend setting some longer term goals and break the time to your longer goal down into shorter periods with short term goals. As I have mentioned previously we have chosen three week blocks where each three weeks we work on a specific distance, intensity or stroke. I think key is to stay positive. Despite feeling cruddy you won't loose all your positive progress overnight despite what your mind maybe telling you based on how you feel. Stay positive, set some goals and you will get your mojo back.
    Yeah, I'm on a big-time plateau right now and I think it's been a while since I've been on one. I think one factor is that I'm just now re-incorporating the strength training and it's taking its toll until my body gets used to that again. But, you mentioned stretching and that is an area I tend to ignore a lot... especially post-workout (I'm good at cooling-down, but not so good at taking advantage of the extra pliability of the muscles at that point to give them a good stretch).

    Today, as tired as I still felt, made me feel a little bit better about my swimming. Looking ahead, I think focusing on the 200 fly, back and free paces with shorter intervals (25s and 50s) will probably help everything else (400 IM, the 100s, maybe even 1500), but keep things short enough that I can keep my focus on form and not continue to imprint bad habits for now. I probably just need to give my body a chance to get used to the drylands in addition to the swim practices, and then the swim practices will come back together. I'll add the interval 100s and 200s back into the workouts later in the fall.
  13. mcnair's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__
    Have you tried recording underwater portions of your stroke for review? It's rather a distracting and consuming procedure but it quickly points out a perspective that would otherwise be unnoticable. Rest too, can also work for anything

    Enjoyed reading your article in the mag, Alex
    That's actually something the lifeguard mentioned today... underwater perspective would help pinpoint the issues; and every now and again my training partner and I watch each other underwater to give feedback, but we haven't done that in a while. So maybe I'll ask him to take a look the next time we workout.

    And thanks! I had fun writing the "Both sides of the Lane" piece.
  14. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    We all go through plateaus, so don't get demoralized. You have made huge progress this past year and have to keep reminding yourself of this. Commit to working on your strokes and drills, while continuing to do stretching, strength and dry land, while maintaining your yardage and quality sets. I would recommend setting some longer term goals and break the time to your longer goal down into shorter periods with short term goals. As I have mentioned previously we have chosen three week blocks where each three weeks we work on a specific distance, intensity or stroke. I think key is to stay positive. Despite feeling cruddy you won't loose all your positive progress overnight despite what your mind maybe telling you based on how you feel. Stay positive, set some goals and you will get your mojo back.
  15. __steve__'s Avatar
    Have you tried recording underwater portions of your stroke for review? It's rather a distracting and consuming procedure but it quickly points out a perspective that would otherwise be unnoticable. Rest too, can also work for anything

    Enjoyed reading your article in the mag, Alex
    Updated September 10th, 2013 at 09:16 PM by __steve__
  16. mcnair's Avatar
    Thanks; it WAS lots of fun and I'm just to blog our swim from this morning...
  17. rxleakem's Avatar
    That looks like a great swim! It was fun watching it materialize over in the forums. Safety is tops, so good scouting during the swim.
  18. jaadams1's Avatar
    Too bad you couldn't get in the full swim, but you still did get a good swim in, and it shows that your swimming is getting better all the time. Congrats.
  19. mcnair's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by StewartACarroll
    What a shame that the weather played havoc on your timed swim. That said, your progress is amazing and something to take great pride in. I also think you should somehow remind yourself on those dark mornings in December and January that your hard work will have even bigger dividends next summer. Great summer of swimming my friend. Well done.
    Thanks! I'm actually looking forward to those dark mornings and evenings in December from a swimming standpoint (don't get me wrong, I would love an endless summer!). Because short course meets start back up and I'll be able to gauge my progress in 400 IM, 200 back, etc (maybe even 200 fly) in a meet context... having that meet every month or so, and events to train for, really energized me last winter.
  20. mcnair's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by knelson
    Boo. Sad to see a good swim go to waste. No chance to try it again before the deadline?
    Probably not; this time of year is super busy for me and the next couple of weekends before the deadline are packed. Things clear up a little toward the end of September, so I'll probably just hold off and do the 6000-yard postal then. Slim chance I could do it next weekend, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
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