View RSS Feed


  1. Thursday, Nov. 10

    by , November 10th, 2011 at 04:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    ART, 30 minutes

    Wasn't as psyched as usual about going to ART as I'm still not feeling well. But the timing with heavy weights yesterday was good. He worked on the muscles around my elbows and my back, which was a bit sore from the squats/deadlifts. He used something called an arthur stem along my spine: [nomedia=""]Arthur stem adjustment - YouTube[/nomedia]. We also talked a bit about LED light therapy for athletes, which is very cutting edge.

    -- tired, wore fins

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main Sets:

    15 x 50 @ :50
    1-5 = free w/paddles
    6-10 = flutter kick w/board
    11-15 = free w/paddles
    50 EZ

    15 x 50
    1-5 = fly/back @ 1:00
    6-10 = dolphin kick w/board @ :50
    11-15 = breast/free @ 1:00
    50 EZ

    15 x 50 @ 1:00
    1-5 = single arm fly
    6-10 = 25 shooter + 25 EZ
    11-15 = single arm fly
    50 EZ

    Mini Speed Set:

    10 x burst 25s @ 1:00
    6 swim, 4 flutter kick w/board

    100 EZ

    Total: 3350


    Not really any better. Doubling up on mucinex, Metagenics cold & flu and echinacea tea. Feeling somewhat better after the swim though. I wanted to do That Guy's IM pyramid set today but IMs seemed too exhausting. Hopefully, I can do some real speed work tomorrow. Need more

    I wore my 2XU compression tights last night for a couple hours. Very different and tighter than the Skins. My legs felt pretty good today as a result despite all the squats & deadlifts.

    20 Most Overrated Supplements:

    Updated November 10th, 2011 at 08:37 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , ART
  2. Back to the Gym, Tuesday, Nov, 1

    by , November 1st, 2011 at 07:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC exercises
    HS hi row, 160 x 1 x 8, 170 x 2 x 8, 180 x 1 x 6
    HS bench press, 70 x 1 x 8, 80 x 1 x 8, 90 x 1 x 8, 95 x 1 x 6
    Deadlift, 95 x 1 x 8, 105 x 1 x 8, 115 x 1 x 8, 120 x 1 x 6 (hands slipping)
    HS leg extensions, 50 x 1 x 8, 60 x 1 x 8, 65 x 1 x 6
    overhead squats, 45 x 3 x 15

    back extensions w/25 plate, 3 x 15
    russian twist on incline bench w/25 plate, 3 x 25
    power wheel pike ups, 2 x10
    altitude drops, 10

    ART, 30 minutes

    Erg, 30 minutes

    -- 2 x 15 w/1:00 sprints
    -- then had to drive CC carpool


    One further thought on the meet: As I noted, I was doing more kicks UW than usual and not getting very good distance per kick. I'm wondering if this is a reflection of the fact that I've switched to a more upper body oriented dryland workout and relied somewhat more on in pool leg strengthening? I'm inclined to think so. So I plan to return to regular deadlifts and squats. (I can visualize a Jazzy smirk here.)

    I've also decided that I need to try compression tights again. I've read that wearing them for even an hour after workouts can help speed recovery and reduce inflammation. I wasn't that thrilled with my now old pair of Skins, which has been coopted for use by Fort Son and Mr. Fort anyway. So I'm opting for the more deluxe model: 2XU Recovery tights. Hopefully, I can be diligent about wearing them post workout for the next month to see if they make a difference. May also wear them at NE Champs between events. Saw Kurt Monster Dickson doing this at LCM Nationals, but then promptly forgot about it until recently when I was dwelling on recovery again.

    I saw that Natalie Coughlin swam a 56+ 100 back in SCM. She hit the lane line at the finish and was excited that she had "room to improve." Sounds familiar ...

    I also saw chocolate covered potato chips at Trader Joes today. Wow ...
  3. Thursday, Oct. 27

    by , October 27th, 2011 at 04:40 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various
    6 x 25 shooters

    4 x 50 kick no fins @ 1:00

    4 x 40 torque drills @ 1:30
    2 w/paddles, 1 without, 1 easy

    6 x 25 bursts @ 1:00
    2 free, 4 dolphin no fins

    100 EZ

    4 x (25 AFAP w/fins + 75 EZ)
    2 free (10s), 2 shooters (9s)

    100 EZ

    Total: 1900

    ART, 30 minutes


    Met up with Speedo and Josh (Machine coach) for a quick speed workout to prep for the meet. I felt somewhat sluggish and not sharp. Hopefully, the fast bits of yesterday and today will wake my body up a bit. Almost recovered, just a bit tired and stuffy.

    We chatted about Speedo's bikram "experience." Josh does bikram and heated vinyassa. After my groupon for bikram is done, I may check out the Down Dog -- free the first week!

    Hadn't been in for an ART session in awhile. Need to do it more regularly ... Had a chat with my doc about gluten. He recommended the book "Wheat Belly," which apparently explains in part why there seems to be a demi epidemic of gluten intolerance and why gluten is bad stuff. We also discussed the increasing number of elite athletes in many sports adopting a gluten free diet. I'm not religious about avoiding it anymore, but I don't eat much gluten. (It has a negative impact on thyroid function anyway.)

    Swimmers vs. Bodybuilders:

    Info on NE SCM Champs is available at:

    Usually do OK with the order of events for this meet. Not so much this time ... I will have to do at least one split request. Absolutely no good time to do a 50 free. May have to do that at the Last Chance meet just to get a time.

    Updated October 27th, 2011 at 09:20 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , ART
  4. Recovery, Aug. 8

    by , August 8th, 2011 at 05:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    -- Used fins for most of it b/c of sore shoulders.

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main Sets:

    10 x 50 single arm drill @ 1:00
    odds = fly
    evens = back

    10 x 50
    odds = 25 back shooter + 25 front scull
    evens = 25 belly shooter + 25 back scull

    10 x 50 free w/"turtles" -- the Finis PT Paddles

    8 x 100 @ 1:40
    odds = back kick
    evens = back no SDK

    8 x 25
    odds = underwater "human" drill
    evens = russian breast drill

    8 x 25 breast kick

    8 x 25 chest press fly

    Total: 3500

    ART, 30 minutes



    1. My shoulders feel petty sore and beat up from the ballistic sprinting at Nationals. I was very glad I had scheduled ART for today to help speed recovery. My chiro said nothing seemed too inflamed, just tight. I need to get back to stretching and RC exercises. Didn't do any during Nationals.

    2. I tried Chris' "turtles today. They were interesting; no opinion yet. I think they can be used for breaststroke too to promote the EVF. I can't recall if Chris has used them for backstroke ...

    3. Mr. Fort won his age group at a duathlon (run 2, bike 26, run 4) yesterday. Over 600 entrants. I couldn't believe the schwag -- t-shirt, food goodies, an award plaque and a coupon for free Sauconys running shoes.

    4. Pete McCoy video'd most of my 50 back. Thanks Pete! It was very nice to see part of it. There didn't look there was much wrong with that race, from what I could tell. I was pleased with my reaction time on the start and had the perfect depth for my SDKs.

    [nomedia=""]‪colettem 50bk‬‏ - YouTube[/nomedia]

    Post Nationals Thoughts:

    Nationals provided me some valuable feedback for my training & tapering.

    1. I dislike training SCY for LCM, and hope to avoid a repeat. I don't need to swim long course all the time, but 2x week seems like a minimum to me. 3x would be ideal. If I have another season where I am relegated to SCY for whatever reason, I likely would stick with a local meet and only do the 50s.

    2. I should have altered my now quasi standard speed based training beginning in May. If I had a do over, I would probably have done less kicking, more "best average" lactate type sets > 50 and more timed swims > 50s. A few short rest steady state sets would have been fine too, though I still not persuaded that they're strictly necessary for long course sprints. I just needed to do more hard swimming in LCM to prep properly! Even 50s require some some solid sprint endurance training. Cue Geek laugh.

    3. I overtapered, I believe. Though the BluFrog coach asked me how this could be true in light of my backstroke record. I essentially followed my pre-Albatross taper and maybe rested even more. This was probably perfectly fine for yards, but not for LCM for me. Live and learn. The taper I did for the Indy meet was more gradual and had higher yardage the second week out. I don't recall dying on 50s in Indy like I did here. Though part of that may have been the tech suit effect.

    4. Long course fly is freakin' hard. This is evidenced by the fact that almost no one swam any of the fly distances in my geezer age group at nationals. And by the fact that my abysmal swim is currently ranked #3 in my age group. I'm retiring from the 100, as I said earlier. Others have suggested that it wouldn't be quite so deathly if I trained properly for it. But I'm not sure what "properly" is for that event. And I just don't have the proper stroke mechanics for it. My fly is power oriented. I'll stick to short course 100 flys where I can kick more.

    5. I've historically been faster dolphin kicking underwater on my back than my belly. But my dolphin kick on my belly has improved this year after focusing on it more in practice and doing scads of 15 meter bursts. Last year, I was popping up sooner, especially in the 50. This year, I've taken more kicks in both the 50 and 100 in meets. And I've been kicking 15 meters on the start pretty consistently. I'm going to keep working on this during the short course season.

    6. I have to concur with Water Rat about the food at nationals, including the Gold Medal Sponsor room. I could never find any fruit! Not even a banana. And the meals were not friendly for the gluten free crowd. One day there was nothing but pasta to eat. I was grateful to have my own stash of energy and rice krispie bars.

    7. I wish the water had been clearer at nationals. It was pretty murky for a state of the art pool, which I think may also have hampered judging the finish.

    8. Jeff Commings has asked me to be on the Swimming World TV Morning Show on Wednesday. Should be fun!
    Swim Workouts , ART
  5. Tuesday, Aug. 2

    by , August 2nd, 2011 at 06:35 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various

    4 x 25 single arm fly

    10 x 25
    odds = shooter
    evens = drill

    1 x 25 burst -- dive from side + fast dolphin kick
    50 drill
    1 x 25 burst -- backstroke start + fast dolphin kick
    50 drill

    1 x fast 25 free + 75 EZ

    1 x burst breast fast hands drill + 75 EZ

    Total: 1450

    ART, 30 min

    Chiro said I was looser than last week, and no inflammation anywhere. I asked about my hips feeling a bit creaky. He said that is a phenomenon he sees in runners that are tapering. I use my hips a ton when dolphin kicking and I kick a lot, so perhaps that explains things. ART takes the place of stretching today. I'll probably do my RC exercises in front of the TV as I did last night.



    Woke up today feeling energized instead of lethargic as I've been for a week. Also felt pretty good in the pool -- much better than yesterday. And I screamed at two inanimate objects today. So I think I'm ready to go! I've only swam at Auburn once, back in Feb 2009. But I had 6 PBs at that meet, helped along by the emergence of the tech suit, I'm sure. Still, good mojo.

    My flight leaves around noon tomorrow. I may drive straight to the pool to get a very short loosen up swim. Not sure if I can get there in time for the 30 minute swim in the comp pool after Wed's events end. Hope so!

    Spoke to Susan Dawson-Cook of Swimmer magazine about meet prep and the difference between short course and long course. I love me some long course 50s, but I have to say short course rocks because of the walls!

    Updated August 2nd, 2011 at 07:05 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , ART
  6. Wed., July 27

    by , July 27th, 2011 at 04:40 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    ART, 30 minutes

    No swim today. Too busy. The swim team had a "splashathon" to raise money for a local charity, and helping with that killed my morning. Appointments and errands in the am, including to see my beloved chiro.

    He says I have a RC strain. Grr. It really pisses me off -- I try to be so careful with my shoulders. I can't think of anything that caused it apart from the deep tissue, although possibly that exacerbated a previous undetected twang. And it's in an area I've never had problems with before. Anyway, he worked it over and I am now clad in pink kinesio tape. One more week for it to heal. Will be using my nifty activewrap to ice the shoulder.

    Happily, I am having a belated birthday dinner with my BFF tonight. However, I am now stumped over what to wear with the neon tape ...

    Updated July 27th, 2011 at 05:19 PM by The Fortress

  7. Swim w/Speedo & Jazz, Thursday, Jan. 20

    by , January 20th, 2011 at 05:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY @ OakMarr

    Met up with Speedo & Jazz Hands today at OakMarr. Jazz has a problem shoulder and Speedo is still nursing his lasik eyes, so we focused on kicking.

    Warm up:

    600 various or so

    Main Sets:

    9 x 50 aerobic kick w/fins @ 1:00

    Jazz & Speedo were doing a flutter-flutter-dolphin combo. I did them all hypoxic dolphin kick on back breathing only between flags and wall. Went 30-32.

    50 EZ

    5 x 50, ascending intervals (2:00-3:30, leaving lots of time to chat and sit on kickboards Ande style while waiting to go again)
    25 AFAP kick, get time, 25 EZ

    -- I did them all backstroke shooters, no fins, from a push. Went 13, 13, 13, high 12-13, high 12. Was pretty surprised by and stoked with these times.

    50 EZ

    5 x 50 @ 2:00
    burst 15 + 35 cruise
    -- I did them all backstroke from a backstroke start, power kicking to 15 meters. Started to cramp a bit.

    Jazz & Speedo left and I carried on for a bit.

    100 EZ

    1 x 50 AFAP backstroke from the blocks, no fins -- or that's what I intended. I was curious to see what I'd go after the fast 25 kicks. But I got a double calf cramp on the start and had to stop at the 25. It doesn't seem to matter how many electrolytes I dump in my body ... May go back for another magnesium injection.

    50 EZ

    10 x 50 recovery @ 1:15
    odds = breast pull
    evens = front scull

    5 x 50, done as 25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ

    50 EZ

    Total: 2650

    ART, 40 minutes:

    Went in to get my shoulders worked on again. (I will use this as an excuse to forego my RC exercises tonight.) Chatted about various things. Trying to figure out how to put some lean muscle on Fort Son. He recommended Pro Gain by Metagenics. He thinks the PRP will eventually get me back in high heels, and my foot does feel somewhat better after the second treatment. Although apparently "it's good I'm not a runner." (Sigh. Grr.)


    Rather enjoying my week without drylands thus far. Even felt like I had some easy speed today. But it will be back to the grind starting Sunday.

    Updated January 20th, 2011 at 07:54 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , ART
  8. Wed., Jan. 5

    by , January 5th, 2011 at 06:32 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes:

    Class was vastly easier for me today and I felt energized instead of exhausted afterward. Don't know if I'm slowly adjusting to the heat or if it just wasn't as hot today. In any event, I had a very good practice, stretched out my sore muscles, and was a balancing maniac. (I slowly but surely am becoming quite adept at standing head to toe, which was my nemesis for awhile.) In addition to bikram being the best type of yoga for swimming IMO, it also provides an aerobic workout. Your heartrate is elevated throughout the workout, especially the last half, with the effort of holding the poses in the heat and humidity.

    ART, 30 minutes:

    After bikram, I dashed home to shower and then off to ART. I hadn't been since Dec. 3, and I really needed some upper body work. I am now clad with scads of blue KT all over my back and shoulders. I'll wear it the next few days in the water and will, as before, find it utterly un-performance enhancing.


    I did sleep like a log after that magnesium injection yesterday.

    Had a great day today and it was topped off by my son getting a fantastic thumbs up from the Dartmouth lightweight rowing coach. He basically guaranteed admission if Fort Son will commit to Dartmouth and rowing. I think it's a no brainer, but Fort Son will have to give up his first choice school where he was deferred EA. He has to make a decision very soon, and we may be making a trek up to Hanover. Kinda psyched about the possibility of my son going to my alma mater.

    (Not that Hanover is a joy to visit in the winter.)

    Updated January 5th, 2011 at 08:50 PM by The Fortress

    Yoga , ART
  9. Tuesday, Nov. 10

    by , November 10th, 2010 at 09:54 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 various


    2 x (5 x 25) shooters
    back, belly, left side, right side, twirling

    8 x 25
    odds = build
    evens = EZ

    50 EZ

    Main Set:

    4 x 75 backstroke kick @ 1:30 @ 80%
    100 EZ
    2 x 75 fly w/fins @ 2:00 @ 100 pace, went 43s
    100 EZ
    1 x 75 overkick fast free, broken at 25s w/10 seconds rest
    125 EZ
    2 x 75 fly w/fins @ 2:00 @ 100 pace, went low 43s
    100 EZ
    4 x 75 aerobic back kick w/fins @ 1:00
    (too tired to go fast)

    Tried to focus on strong SDKs. In fly, unlike back, I've been wiggling a bit from the waist up in the streamline and lifting my head. Need to keep it tight and narrow. Much zippier that way.

    100 EZ

    Total: 2750

    Again, had to zip in and out to go to ART.

    ART, 30 minutes:

    Got a shoulder/hip/hammies tune up. Had my usual interesting convo with my chiro. He has post doctural training in functional medicine and nutrition. He was surprised by the sub-clinical nature of the vitamin deficiencies and DHEA deficiency. He (only somewhat jokingly) said I had the DHEA ( & RBC Magnesium levels of a dead person or someone with a serious illness.

    He also opined that perhaps I was not as consciously self selecting the sprint events as I thought. He thought it was possible that I simply don't have the vitamin or glycogen stores to train for endurance or compete in real endurance events whereas those problems don't manifest as much in sprint training/events. Food for thought. I have had difficulty lately even contemplating, much less doing, any short rest sets. Even sprinting a 100 seems daunting. So I'm looking forward to some serious performance enhancing as I get these vitamin and hormone levels back to normal!



    Meant to go to the gym with Mini tonight. But I had to drop her off and take our kitty to the vet. She was spayed 2 weeks ago and decided to start picking at her stitches. Antibiotics and the cone of shame for her.

    Will hit the gym tomorrow before going to PRP.

    Updated November 10th, 2010 at 11:10 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , ART
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	P1020940.jpg 
Views:	351 
Size:	199.5 KB 
ID:	6539  
  10. ART, Oct. 20

    by , October 20th, 2010 at 09:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Just went to ART for a 30 minute shoulder tune up. I love my chiro; our conversations are always so interesting and educational.

    Didn't feel like swimming.

    I was extremely honked off today after having a doctor, who obviously had no interest in my specific circumstances whatsoever, tell me to "exercise more and eat better." WTF?! I intensely dislike one-size-fits-all busy doctors. So glad you can review and comment on doctors on line now.

    Updated October 20th, 2010 at 10:17 PM by The Fortress

  11. Turned the Corner, May 14

    by , May 14th, 2010 at 08:46 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    ART, 30 minutes:

    Mostly just worked on the kinks in my neck and loosened everything up. My shoulders are feeling pretty good, despite slacking on my RC exercises. I will try and sneak some in over the weekend though.


    Warm up:

    500 various
    300 fly drills

    Main Sets:

    6 x (25 shooter easy speed on back, no fins + 25 EZ)
    took about 18 kicks on the shooters, not bad for me

    3 x through:

    1 x 50 double shooter on back
    1 x 50 russian breast drill
    1 x 50, done as 25 easy speed fly @ 100 pace + 25 EZ
    1 x 50, done as 25 AFAP free + 25 EZ
    1 x 50 EZ

    2 x starts off side with breast pullout to 14 meters or so

    100 EZ

    Total: 2000



    Finally! I think I turned the corner on this feeling like s*** thing. I didn't feel great in the water, but I definitely felt stronger and felt the promise of easy speed. Way better than the rest of the week! This put me in a great mood leaving the pool. I think I will take a page out of Geekity's book and wear my FS Pro in the pool all next week. Maybe my B70 for one day.

    Mr. Fort says he's feeling better after seeing his trainer. And Fort Son's boat made the semi final at the Stotesbury Regatta in Philly. So all is good. We leave tomorrow morning after my kid's soccer game for York PA. Although I'm not sure we'll have the soccer game after 2 hail storms today. WTH?! In May?

    I've heard that Arlette Godges is not coming to Nats. Bummed, as I was looking forward to meeting her and racing her. But that does leave me the #1 seed in the 100 fly. I need to alter my usual 100 fly thoughts from "just get through this race without a huge piano" to "kill it without fear." I need to channel my age group love for this event.

    More on Deep Tissue:

    Got a PM from a friend saying it can take up to a week to recover from a deep tissue massage since you're breaking down muscle fiber. I definitely felt better today (although perhaps predominantly from a good night's sleep), but not fully recovered at all. My neck at least feels much better.

    More on Detox:

    I mulled over the Ultra Clear detox some more. I noticed that it does not have the warning box that comes on most supplements -- "This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA." This likely means that there is, in fact, clinical testing for UltraClear and the other Metagenics products that I use. Whether this clinical testing meets the rigorous standard of Jazz and Q is another issue ... I also found out that Metagenics is the only supplement brand sold in the Mayo Clinic pharmacy in MN. It cannot be bought on line; it is only available through medical practitioners such as chiros and docs. If you see it on line, I'm told it is likely a Chinese knock off.

    I asked my chiro about my reaction to coconut oil today. He agreed that it's likely a fat malabsorption issue, and that this issue is common among people with a gluten intolerance. So I am eliminating it from my smoothies forever.

    No need to fear yoga!
    Swim Workouts , ART
  12. Swim+ART+Yoga, April 30

    by , April 30th, 2010 at 03:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Just a short active recovery workout:

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Short Axis Drill Set:

    4 x (3 x 50 drill) @ 1:00

    3 fly drill (caterpillar, chest press, single arm), 3 breast drill, 3 fly, 3 breast

    50 EZ

    Drill-Shooter Set:

    10 x 50 @ 1:15

    odds = russian breast drill (1st 25 focus on underwater pull, 2nd 25 focusing on shortening or eliminating insweep, i.e., smaller pull)

    evens = double shooter on back w/fins

    100 EZ

    Total: 1850

    ART, 40 minutes:

    Went in for some end of the week body work. I plan to do this every Friday leading up to Nats and the day before I hop on my plane. Now covered in pink kinesio tape all over my back.

    As usual, I had the most fascinating chat with my chiro. He had just gotten back from a SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) Conference at the Titleist Sport Rehab Center in San Diego. He is thinking of expanding his practice to include this this type of assessment and rehab. See Gary Cook is apparently the preeminent authority.

    As I understood it, SFMA is a way to diagnose and cure injuries by spotting dysfunctions in muscles other than just the one injured. This seems to make sense since muscle/fascia travel in spiraling patterns around the body. And pain in one area can actually be caused by pain in another area -- sclerotogenous pain. In any event, they put the subjects through 7 compound movements (squats, vertical jumps, balancing positions) to make an assessment of dysfunctional/neurologically disfunctioning muscles and treat those. He gave an example of a pro golfer who was there who woke up and couldn't rotate his body to the right. They put him through the battery of tests, diagnosed the problem, did exercises and ART to treat the dsyfuntional muscles (which did not incline spinal manipulation) and within 4 minutes he was fine. Black magic! I would LOVE if my chiro eventually included this in his athlete heavy practice.

    Another topic we discussed was cryogenic saunas. These are found in Europe and heavily used by pro golfers, rugby players and soccer players. The protocol is to enter the chamber for 60 seconds at -60 degrees, then re-enter and walk around for 3 mintues at -140. (Temperatures approximate; I can't remember for sure.) The cryogenic chamber has the effect of increasing levels of testosterone and growth hormone and, more importantly perhaps, decreasing all inflammation from a hard workout, injury, etc. These are not yet legal in the US b/c the FDA has not approved the safety of cryogenic gas. However, apparently pro golfers and other pros use something else called an icool chamber. This consists of alternating between a hottub and super cold plunge pool. Basically an ice bath on steroids. Anyway, I found this all fascinating as I'm always interested in recovery.

    He also asked if I was able to do push ups now without pain. I said yes, though I will sometimes feel it in my shoulders if I've done a lot of them. (Though this is perhaps a normal reaction.) He believes that the yoga I've been doing has helped strengthen the core and improved my balance and alignment -- all of which lead to a reduction in shoulder pain. Very nice, as I'm heading out to a hot yoga class at 6:00 tonight!

    Hot Yoga, 90 minutes:

    Hope I get a good instructor tonight!

    Note: I reviewed my 3 weeks before NE Champs. I stopped hot yoga 3 weeks out. So this may be my last foray... I may do some stretching/yoga at home. I did no drylands of any sort in the 3 weeks leading up to the meet except a bit of core work during the first week of taper. Interesting to go back and look ...

    Edit: Had a great class and actually felt energized after. I may persist and go on Sunday and 1x next week. I'll see how I feel tomorrow. My legs aren't quite as tired as usual since I rested some before Zones.

    P90X in the Washington Post:


    I ordered 2 pairs of Speedo speed socket goggles in clear from Amazon where they were actually on sale. I also ordered a couple packages of these protein recovery products: (watermelon flavor).

    I also decided to cut my fingernails for Nats. They've been long for awhile, and I put a tiny slit in the thigh of one of my suits last weekend. Better safe than sorry!

    Natalie Coughlin on flip turns:

    Updated April 30th, 2010 at 09:55 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga , ART
  13. Thursday, Apr. 22

    by , April 22nd, 2010 at 05:44 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    ART, 40 minutes:

    Went in for a tune up. He worked over my scapular area and my tight left psoas & hammie muscles (this was a by product of bikram too, I think).

    We chatted briefly about extreme isometric holds. He had not heard much about them as they are still pretty cutting edge. However, he agreed that the total fiber recruitment involved would help speed/strengthen short arc contractions.

    We also chatted about protein consumption. I told him my son was having trouble gaining/sustaining weight for crew despite lifting, protein consumption etc. He said that the protein won't be adequately absorbed without the green veggies. It's super hard to get teens to eat enough of these ...


    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main sets:

    8 x 50 fly drills @ 15-20 RI

    8 x 25 breast pullouts, working on shooting arms forward and keeping hands under body

    50 EZ

    2 x (25 build free + 25 EZ)

    1 x (25 fast evil + 25 EZ)

    150 EZ

    Total: 1550


    Ready to race already. Getting totally bored with the brief rest.

    I don't really have any goal times for this weekend other than not to suck and not to get DQ'd. I would like to break 26 in the 50 free, but I realize I'd never done that without a full taper. I don't swim the event that often; and I have a love/hate relationship with it.

    Speaking of 50 free, I've swum 2 this year -- 1 in SCY and one in SCM. The SCM one converts to exactly the same time as I swam in yards. One was in a full body B70 nero comp and the other was in the new B70 kneeskin ... Interesting ... I'm sure there were other factors at play.



    Here's an article supporting a link between drylands and improved swimming performance, which is much more recent than the short lived Costill study Jim selectively cites. :-P

    It's from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Here's the abstract:

    ABSTRACT. Girold, S., D. Maurin, B. Dugue ́, J.-C. Chatard, and G. Millet. Effects of dry-land vs. resisted- and assisted-sprint exercises on swimming sprint performances. J. Strength Cond. Res. 21(2):599605. 2007.This study was undertaken to com- pare the effects of dry-land strength training with a combined in-water resisted- and assisted-sprint program in swimmer ath- letes. Twenty-one swimmers from regional to national level par- ticipated in this study. They were randomly assigned to 3 groups: the strength (S) group that was involved in a dry-land strength training program where barbells were used, the resist- ed- and assisted-sprint (RAS) group that got involved in a spe- cific water training program where elastic tubes were used to generate resistance and assistance while swimming, and the control (C) group which was involved in an aerobic cycling pro- gram. During 12 weeks, the athletes performed 6 training ses- sions per week on separate days. All of them combined the same aerobic dominant work for their basic training in swimming and running with their specific training. Athletes were evaluated 3 times: before the training program started, after 6 weeks of training, and at the end of the training program. The outcome values were the strength of the elbow flexors and extensors eval- uated using an isokinetic dynamometer, and the speed, stroke rate, stroke length, and stroke depth observed during a 50-meter sprint. No changes were observed after 6 weeks of training. At the end of the training period, we observed significant increases in swimming velocity, and strength of elbow flexors and exten- sors both in the S and RAS groups. However, stroke depth de- creased both in the S and RAS groups. Stroke rate increased in the RAS but not in the S group. However, no significant differ- ences in the swimming performances between the S and RAS groups were observed. No significant changes occurred in C. Altogether, programs combining swimming with dry-land strength or with in-water resisted- and assisted-sprint exercises led to a similar gain in sprint performance and are more efficient than traditional swimming training methods alone.

    Triathlon swim starts:

    Ran across this article on triathlon swim starts. The training methods all seem to contemplate an all out sprint at the beginning. That threw me into lactate shock last year and I was looking for a different approach ...

    Sports Nutrition:

    Swim Workouts , ART
  14. Thursday, March 18

    by , March 18th, 2010 at 06:09 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    200 kick
    200 fly drills

    Hypoxic Set:

    10 x 50 double shooters w/MF @ 1:00

    50 EZ

    Speed Work:

    4 x 25
    odds = fast evil w/ MF
    evens = EZ

    100 EZ

    1 x 50 AFAP evil w/MF
    went high 29

    100 EZ

    4 x 25
    odds = AFAP free w/fins
    evens = EZ

    100 EZ

    1 x 50 dolphin kick w/board & MF
    went 23
    tons of calf cramps, ouch
    forgot to take magnesium (Sports Legs) before working out

    100 EZ

    Total: 2050

    ART, 30 minutes

    My doc commented that I was tight. Not surprising since I've been too tired and lazy to stretch. hehe And there was some soreness in the "fly-back" muscles. I think this is just due to the fact that I spend about 75% of my swimming in a streamline position.

    He did say it was good that I laid low and didn't overdo it this week. I only hope I can overdo it next week! I'm penciling in a bikram class for the day after Albatross.

    We discussed supplements again briefly in light of the "snake oil" articles from the Post. He hadn't read them, but did say that the problem with the supplements used in those studies to test disease prevention is that they are of OTC not medicinal grade strength. I wish there was more research done on the benefits or lack thereof of supplements for athletic performance. But, gee, I guess disease is more important.

    Here's an article I saw about nutrition (as opposed to supplementation) for athletes:

    I read some of the comments on this article. It seems runners are using the following for post workout recovery: Advocare,, exFuse 7 PROformance,, and Body Fortress Advanced Whey Protein, Looks like a couple of these have creatine in them. I didn't realize Advocare products had that ingredient ...

    Jimi is pitching a story to Men's Health on PRP.; As far as I know, I'm the only masters swimmer that has attempted that for shoulder repair. But, sadly, since I am a chick, men's health doesn't care about my experience ... lol. So Jimi may try to experiment on himself!

    Article on Caffeine:

    Article on late night snacking:



    I am bored to death with feeling sickish, tired and doing dreadfully dull workouts. I'm mostly recovered, but now feeling allergy symptoms in the ENTs. I'm reverting to an Ande-ism and have resolved to just "act as if" I'm perfectly healthy and ignore all symptoms of any Jimi type malaise. So there.

    I'm not looking forward to trying on my kneeskin, which I hope does, in fact, arrive tomorrow. Julie Mulie already tried hers on and was traumatized by the experience. I expect to be as well. I've always said that kneeskins were NOT the way to go!

    Updated March 18th, 2010 at 10:59 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , ART
  15. Day 3 of Laziness, Wed., March 3

    by , March 3rd, 2010 at 04:44 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Planned to go to hot yoga today, but I couldn't make it in time for the noon class as I was at ART (see below).

    So, I put in the Yoga Shakti DVD and customized my own program using the yoga matrix. It was about 75 minutes long, and I liked this routine better than the preset 90 minute routines. I only used one set of sun salutations and skipped all the dancing warrier series. I added the ab series, which was interesting. But I need yoga blocks for some of these moves, they're so difficult. The spine twisting series were great. This seems like a great adjunct to the spine strengthing series in bikram and all the twisting core work in the gym.


    Given my malaise, I decided a tune up and visit to my ART doc was in order. I spent the entire 30-40 minutes grilling him about nutrition, as he's rather an expert on that with advanced non-ART degrees. Here's a summary:

    1. Supplements good. HA! He says that all high performing, high level endurance athletes use them and need them. He says there are growing studies that support their efficacy. Perhaps they aren't the years long well controlled double blind studies that docs rely on. I may email him and ask him for the studies.

    2. We discussed my difficulty with workout and recovery drinks (can't use whey products, gatorade give me heartburn). He said (a) I should always use an electrolyte drink if exercising more than 35 minutes; (2) I should try Endura again, which is a medical grade and very pure electrolyte drink powder without additives (so it shouldn't upset my seemingly delicate GI system). I have heard that Lance Armstrong started using Endura and ditched Hammer products after a recent "bad batch" of Hammer products came out.

    3. With respect to whey, he said the hemp protein I'm using is very good. However, pure compounds of whey are the best for building and maintaining muscle. Once I get the gluten issue under control (still suffering symptoms, blech), we can try a very fractionated type of whey that will have very little, if any, lactose in it.

    4. He approves of my smoothies! And says that, yes indeed, they may have been keeping me healthier this year b/c they are loaded with immuno-system-boosting nutrients. He suggested adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to my smoothies, as that is a superior recovery agent. I did mention what Quick had said about type O blood types being sensitive to coconut. He said, once I get the gluten out of my system, I should try one tsp and see if I get a reaction within 4-6 hours. If not, put it in the smoothies. He seems to buy about 70% of the blood type diets.

    5. He loves Michael Pollan's rule that one should not eat anything that doesn't rot.

    6. I'm going to add another ingredient to my smoothies as well: InflamX360, which is referred to as a "medical food." Anyway, he thinks this will help with recovery and help calm down my traumatized GI system as well. It apparently tastes very nasty, but hopefully all the berries will disguise the flavor. InflamX also has L-Glutamine in it.

    7. Soy is poison for me. I checked to make sure the Paul Newman salad dressings I often use don't have this or any other hidden gluten ingredients in it. Luckily, they do not.

    8. My shoulders are stable. Yay! He approves of my new routine of lighter weights + core intensive/body weight exercises + yoga. The heavier weights do put a lot of strain on the shoulders. But he certainly found some "hot spots." (Jokes already made about this phraseology. )

    Core Stabilization Exercises:

    Here's some good core work to do at home I think you could also do it at the gym with 2 benches.

    [ame=""]YouTube- Core stabilization[/ame]


    I'm hoping these last 3 recovery days are enough to jolt me back to normalcy. I want to be able to kick Speedo's ass in the pool tomorrow. If not, I'm going back to HTFU.

    USMS on Youtube:

    Never knew we had this link:

    Updated March 3rd, 2010 at 09:33 PM by The Fortress

    Yoga , ART
  16. Sleep is F'in Awesome!, Wednesday, July 29

    by , July 29th, 2009 at 05:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Did a workout that I did about a week before Auburn.

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    150 kick
    150 fly drills
    3 x 25 build
    25 EZ

    Speed work:

    5 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)
    Felt like I had slightly increased DPK & DPS on these.

    50 EZ

    1 x 50 back AFAP w/fins
    Went 24ish, my fastest practice time ever. But I did go past the 15 meter mark on the first 25.

    150 EZ

    1 x 50 dolphin kick on back AFAP
    Went 23ish, mistimed turn

    150 EZ

    4 x (25 AFAP free + 50 EZ)

    100 C/D

    Total: 1900


    30 minutes of ART for some body work. I bought a tube of traumeel. I've tried many topical creams before, and thought they were all ineffective. This one seems to work and penetrate into the shoulder capsule. Of course, it could just be the placebo effect too, as it is with so many things ...

    My chiro noticed I was congested, and my throat has been swollen too. Apparently, there is some mold spore going crazy at the moment. That would certainly explain my reaction as I'm allergic to mold too.


    Didn't feel too bad in the water today. Didn't feel too sluggish from the deep tissue. And didn't have that "feel like crap" taper feeling yet. I'm wondering if this has been countered somewhat by the increased/better sleep? Just had my 3rd night in a row of 8 hours of sleep. Very odd stuff. I don't even have the taper bitchies yet! On this note, my doc told me to stop taking B complex vitamins, as that can contribute to insomnia.

    I'm thinking of lending my kid my speed suit for All Stars this weekend. After Chris' and Hulk's suit thefts, I'm a little leery of this though ... I do know many swimmers will be clad in B70s/LZRs. My B70 has also seen some use now. If the suits are legal until May 2010 or so, I may get a new B70 at Nats.

    Updated July 29th, 2009 at 09:08 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , ART
  17. Monday, July 20

    by , July 20th, 2009 at 05:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    30-35 minutes of ART working on scapular area and calves. Had to do it before swimming, though I prefer it the other way around.


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Hypoxic kick set:

    10 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:00
    10 SDKs off each wall

    50 EZ

    Main set with speed work:

    2 x through:

    1 x 100 single arm fly drill @ 2:00
    1 x 100 backstroke @ 2:00
    50 EZ
    50 back AFAP
    50 EZ
    50 flutter kick AFAP w/board
    50 EZ
    5 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)
    50 EZ
    1 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ+ 25 AFAP flutter kick shooter + 25 EZ)

    200 C/D

    Total: 3100

    Off to the last Monday night summer league meet of the season. Hoping it doesn't rain!
    Swim Workouts , ART
  18. Wednesday, July 15

    by , July 15th, 2009 at 10:03 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    AM Weights/Drylands:

    Quickie weight session while my youngest was swimming.

    bench press, 50 x 3 x 10
    seated narrow grip row, 60 or 70 x 2 x 10
    alternating hammers, 15 x 2 x 30
    total ab machine, 80 x 2 x 15
    crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    windshield wipers, 2 x 20
    seated straight arm dips, 45 x 2 x 25
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25

    10 minutes of stretching

    The explosive lifting at much lighter weights seemed easy. I'm done with leg weights, as Q suggests. Think I'll lift a couple times, lightly, next week. I've never tapered weights before. I also haven't lifted weights the week before a meet in about a year. Nor have I only rested one day. I guess I'll see how that works out this weekend ...

    PM Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Warm up:

    750 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic Set:

    8 x 100 @ 1:50
    odds backstroke kick
    evens backstroke

    Speed work:

    3 x (50 AFAP backstroke + 200 EZ)

    5 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    3 x (25 AFAP free + 50 EZ)

    100 C/D

    Total: 2950


    Went for an ART session right after swimming. As usual, I had an irritated left dorsal scapular nerve. My doc decorated me in pink, blue and black kinesio tape and sent me off to the movies that way. Took my little one to Harry Potter. Now she's a bit scared and having trouble falling asleep -- bad mommy! Still wants me to keep reading Books 6 & 7 though, of course.

    Updated July 15th, 2009 at 10:14 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , ART
  19. Endorphins Rock, Tuesday, June 23

    by , June 23rd, 2009 at 10:23 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    So glad not to be resting anymore! I feel like someone pulled a switch in my CNS.


    30 minutes of ART. Going to go more regularly the next month to keep the shoulders healthy and happy. ART doc agreed that I should not knock off RC exercises during taper. It can cause the humerus to move and lead to pain. He also mentioned that nutrition was more important the older you get. (Perhaps this is one reason why Dara is so committed to her amino acid regiment?)


    Hopped on my indoor cycle and biked for about 50 minutes during my little one's swim practice.

    10 minute stretch + RC

    LCM Swim at GMU:

    Went to my team practice tonight. Felt pretty good, despite the lack of aerobic work during taper.

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    6 x 50 kick @ 1:00
    200 IM drill

    Aerobic set:

    16 x 100, done as

    2 x through:

    2 x (25 scull + 75 build free) @ 1:45
    2 x 100 IM @ 1:45
    2 x 100 free @ 1:30
    2 x 100 kick @ 2:15

    (I used the kicks mostly as recovery cuz I was racing Wally on the other 100s. Coach said I was over-reaching with my left arm in free. Really focused on kicking during free.)

    50 EZ

    4 x 50 fly @ 1:30
    odds, 25 roll, 25 dolphin kick
    evens, 25 roll, 25 fly

    "roll" = 2 kicks on each side, then come up and 2 strokes of fly and repeat. I had trouble doing this drill, as I was nowhere near the surface after 8 kicks and didn't see the point in dolphin kicking close to the surface. So I did 16 kicks on the second odd "roll" and a 50 fly w/fins fast on the evens.

    50 EZ

    3 x (25 fast off the blocks + 25 EZ)

    I used these to work on my backstroke starts. I took 15 kicks to get to the 15 meter mark.

    Assigned: 600 pull
    Did: 5 x 100 dolphin kick w/fins @ 1:45, making sure to stay out of the way of my lanemates

    100 C/D

    Total: 3550 meters

    10 minutes hottub


    There was an article recently in the NY Times discussing the performance enhancing nature of increased sleep. It analyzed a small study done on runners. It seems like a no brainer to me that more sleep helps you recover faster and train/race better. I'm hopeful the rest of the summer I'll have a bit more sleep, as I do not have to wake up early to get kids off to school. (I've also been off the hook lately on the 4:40 am practices thanks to mono.) Now, if I could only sleep better during the night, I'd be set. Lately, I've been having trouble falling back to sleep after waking at 3:30-4:00 am.

    I discussed sleep with a teammate in the hottub tonight. He says he's been sleeping much better and has more energy during the day since banishing caffeine and alcohol from his diet. (This was difficult for him, as he's a foodie and wine connoiseur.) He believes that caffeine and alcohol interfere with melatonin and vitamin absorption. I only have coffee in morning, and typically have no other caffeine during the day except perhaps green tea, but I can't imagine giving up the morning java ...


    Breakfast: blueberries, plum
    Snack: yogurt
    Lunch: Salad with: romaine, steak, tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, peppers, flax seeds, pomegranate seeds
    Snack: cherries + G2
    Dinner: chickpea & lentil soup, banana
    Snack: Luna energy chews on way to practice
    Snack: balance bar & G2 (in car), slice of pizza

    Updated June 23rd, 2009 at 10:52 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Spinning , ART
  20. Thursday, June 18

    by , June 18th, 2009 at 07:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    No swimming today. Carrying on with the rest. My family sees all indications of the taper bitchies.


    I did go see my ART doc today, as my shoulders and calves are still twitchy. Not sure what the cause is. The doc says it could be tossing and turning in my sleep, or it could be the lack of weight lifting. Hulk thinks it could be that the overall workload on the shoulders is too high. He theorizes that this could cause a delay in the resting-discomfort phase, which is apparently a precursor to the happy rested phase. Hmm ... Seems like I've been kicking a lot and not doing pulls and chins ... Hopefully, they'll be happy on Sunday. They're not bad by any stretch, just have some "hot spots." (Pun potential) Walked around the mall today with day glo pink and blue kinesio tape.


    We also discussed the electrolyte issue. He agrees I'm likely dehydrated. He says, however, that Gatorade is "swill," no better than eating "bon bons and hohos. I told him about my travails with RecoverWrong. He suggested I try Endura. Used it today, seemed fine. Trying to drink more water.


    Checked the psych sheets for the Terrapin Cup.

    I'm right next to The [Speedy] Little Devil in the 50 back and Clay is another lane over. Hmm ... Will I drown in their wake or will they be so far ahead that I'll catch a draft? Jeff is seeded 3 seconds faster. Same situation in the 100 back. In the 50 fly, I have a good seed in the second to last heat right next to Fall Willdeboorse, who is a very speedy sprinter and kicks my ass in free. So that should be a good race.

    Haven't really formulated any specific time goals for this meet. Ideally, I'd like to go PBs in my 50 back and 50 fly ... we'll see if I rested enough and if I execute. I might be a tad disappointed if I don't go a 32+ in the 50 back. I went a 33.4 at Zones last year where I slipped some on the start. That's how 50s go sometimes.


    I am trying a new tech suit. As I've explained to a few of you, I don't feel comfortable with an old B70 and a fragile suit, and I need a suit for USA-S meets besides my "ratty" Pro. I'm trying the Rocket Science "Sprinter" -- brand new suit. (The previous version is still on back order.) This suit is on the 2009 FINA list and I'm told meets the new FINA permeability requirements for 2010. So I'm going to try on my size Youth Medium and see if it really fits. And, besides, who can resist that name? Picture attached below.

    I heard a rumor that B70 was handing out its new FINA compliant suits at the Santa Clara meet. They're not generally available now, but I wonder when they will be.

    Summer League:

    Stroke & Turn Question:

    I wasted my entire evening attending a stroke & turn clinic. Here, you must attend every 2 years. There was one question the instructor didn't answer satisfactorily, at least to my mind. I told Hulk I'd post it here, and he can give me his opinion, as he knows this stuff cold.

    Little kid approaches the wall for a backstroke turn. Kid first touches the wall on their back with their hand. Kid then realizes, OMG, I forgot to flip, so they spin and execute a forward flip turn. Is this a DQ? Once they touch the wall, does the kid then have to push off on their back to leave the wall and not be past vertical? Or even though they've touched the wall, can they hang their and remain in the "zone" of the wall, and you only assess whether they've pushed off on their back by watching the toes?

    Our team may get owned this weekend, as two of our best swimmers are off at summer camps. My Lil lil Fort is swimming her first A meet doing backstroke and evilstroke. I've been trying (very mildly) to encourage fly (though 8 & Unders don't do this in A meets.) I guess she could be my second evilstroker ... Whatever makes her happy, she hasn't liked swimming that much in the past.

    Updated June 18th, 2009 at 09:06 PM by The Fortress

    ART , Masters Swim Meets / Events
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	get-attachment.aspx.jpeg 
Views:	707 
Size:	132.1 KB 
ID:	6270  
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12