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  1. Sat., May 16

    by , May 16th, 2009 at 05:45 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    16 x 25 UW shooters w/MF
    4 belly, 4 left side, 4 right side, 4 back

    50 EZ

    Main sets:

    Left home without a workout in mind. Decided after warm up to mix it up with swimming & kicking at various speeds: short rest, aerobic, best average, easy speed and AFAP.

    9 x 100 dolphin kick on back w/MF

    1-3 @ 1:25
    4-6 @ 1:20
    7-9 @ 1:15

    (Held around 1:10 except for last couple were a tad slower. First one was way too fast as usual at 1:06.)

    100 EZ

    8 x 75 IM @ 1:15
    1-4 = fly/back/evil
    5-8 = back/evil/free

    8 x 50 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:00, best average
    (held mostly 27s, couple 28s)

    50 EZ

    8 x 25 AFAP free w/fins + 25 easy @ 1:15

    50 EZ

    8 x 25 easy speed fly w/fins + 25 easy @ 1:00

    (Fly felt smooth for first time in awhile.)

    100 EZ

    Total: 4150


    Felt pretty creaky at the beginning after spending a lot of time in the car and getting up early for a soccer game. BTW, when the weather is good, regattas rock! They totally beat sitting inside a chlorinated swimming pool area.

    Tried out new fins today. I bought the standard rubber long blade fins from Speedo. These were much looser and more flexible around the ankle and the foot box. They were the right size, but I practically kicked one off once. Plus, I felt like my feet were permanently arched way past the 180 degrees point you might get if you were pointing your toes. Hmmm ... right now I like the stiffer fins better.

    Updated May 16th, 2009 at 06:48 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  2. Weights + Swim, Thursday, May 14

    by , May 14th, 2009 at 03:51 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    tricep press, 60 x 1 x 10, 65 x 1 x 10, 70 x 1 x 10
    iso lateral high row (Hammer machine), 130 x 1 x 10, 150 x 1 x 10, 170 x 1 x 10
    bicep curl w/BB, 40 x 2 x 10
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
    assisted dips, 1 x 10 w/40 pound assist, 1 x 10 w/30 lb assist
    hip adductors, 110 x 2 x 10
    chin ups, 3 x 10

    back extensions w/20 DB, 1 x 25, 2 x 15
    elevated crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    V Ups w/med ball, 2 x 15
    incline crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    hanging reverse crunches w/ab sling, 2 x 25
    hanging straight leg raises w/ab sling, 2 x 15

    5-10 minutes of stretching


    Warm up:

    600 variety warm up

    Aerobic set:

    Stole this set from Mr. Wolf's blog. This was the set he did with SCAQ, modified of course for my quirky training style. No fins.

    3 x 150 @ 2:30
    (25 UW shooter on belly, 50 kick, 50 free, 25 fly)
    3 x 125 @ 1:50
    (25 UW shooter on belly, 25 kick, 50 free, 25 scull)
    3 x 100 @ 1:45
    (25 UW shooter on belly, 25 kick, 50 free)
    3 x 75 @ 1:20
    (25 UW shooter, 25 kick, 25 free)
    3 x 50 @ :50
    free w/overkick

    100 EZ

    Speed work:

    10 x 25 UW shooter on back w/MF
    odds fast, evens easy speed w/large amplitude
    10 x 25 easy speed fly w/fins @ :40 + 50 easy after
    10 x 25
    odds AFAP free w/fins, evens easy, no interval

    200 C/D

    Total: 3150




    I like the iso lateral high row that Elise recommended much better than the seated lat pulldown. I had stopped doing the latter much anyway in favor of the standing lat pulldown. But I like the high row and will continue to do it.

    Stud scoffed at me via text for not doing pull ups. I tried to explain that I did the high rows as pulls instead. I didn't do the chins on an "interval." Didn't really know I was supposed to. :P I super-setted them with some of the crunches. I'm not that fond of strict intervals anyway -- does he think I'm a cross fitter or something? lol

    I did some assisted dips for the first time ever today. Decided my shoulders could take it. Felt very odd, sort of hard on the top of my shoulders, which must be relatively weak, I guess.

    Another convert to weight training: Katie Hoff, I think I need to do more push ups ...


    Really enjoyed the SCAQ set. My backstroke felt awful in warm up. So I skipped it entirely today. This is the first time I can recall not doing backstroke in practice ... Free felt pretty good though. Tried to work the kick consistently.


    I think I'm going to have more difficulty doing the USS LC meets than I anticipated. They seem to mostly conflict with my kids' activities. I am considering the FISH Invitational at GMU on June 13-14. My daughter has a dance recital on June 13, when I was going to swim the 100 fly, so that is out. I might sign up for the 200 back on Sunday to see if this is really an event I can hack in LCM.


    I haven't slept much the last two nights, so was worried that I would bonk during one or both of the workouts today. But they were felt pretty decent. I wanted to get them both in because I am leaving for Philly in a few hours for the very posh Stotesbury Regatta. (My son's boat qualified for this race by winning VA States. ) So tomorrow will be an off day instead of Saturday.

    Updated May 16th, 2009 at 11:50 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  3. Wednesday, May 13

    by , May 13th, 2009 at 04:10 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    3.5 mile trail run

    Meant to go a bit further, but ran into a runner friend and got distracted chatting. This might be a better distance than 10Ks for me anyway, I guess. Drove right to the pool and did:


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    20 x 25 UW shooters w/MF
    5 x 4 each on belly, left side, right side, back

    50 EZ

    Aerobic Set:

    3 x (6 x 50):

    sets #1 & #3 backstroke
    1 @ :50, 2 @ :45, 3 @ :40
    4 @ :50, 5 @ :45, 6 @ :40

    set #2, backstroke kick
    1 @ :55, 2 @ :50, 3 @ :45
    4 @ :55, 5 @ :50, 6 @ :45

    So, I did this "Quicksilver" fashion. I did appreciate the relative recovery of the easier interval after the fast interval, but I had a bit of trouble keeping track of the intervals on the clock. lol.

    100 EZ

    Speed Work:

    8 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)

    100 EZ

    50 back w/fins AFAP
    Missed the turn and didn't get a good push off, went 26.5ish.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3000

    Some stretching later at home + 3 x 15 push ups.


    Technique Notes:

    1. I'm focusing on going deeper on my shooters and SDKs. I think I'm often too shallow when racing in meets for maximum efficiency and speed. (Some of that could be tech suit related. Need to stop being so lazy and try the thing in practice more often.)

    2. I've been working on pressing my head and upper back back as I approach the break out on backstroke. (This was an Eddie Reese tip to Ande.) I think I'm getting better at this. But I feel like I often hesitate slightly upon breaking out before I start stroking. I guess I need to get my lead hand in motion sooner. Dave Holland noticed this hesitation at Zones on the 2nd breakout of my 50 back. Glad he told me!

    3. My belly shooters aren't as efficient anymore. I noticed this yesterday when I was doing easy speed 25 flys. I didn't get as far with the usual number of dolphin kicks and I was taking an extra stroke each 25. I'm speculating that this is due to my obsessive focus on backstroke shooters/SDKs with the nose clip the last month. So, this was a nice reminder to not neglect the belly and side shooters.

    4. I think my head is riding too high in my sprint frees. (See ehoch's last Speed Zone post) Made an effort to work on this today. I also think I'm still under utilizing my kick in the sprint frees. Need to do some over kick drills along with the AFAP 25 frees.


    Read this article in the NYT the other day:

    I have to say I've tried many of these creams (Biofreeze, ibuprofen cream). Aside from perhaps very temporary relief, they don't seem to do a thing for me.


    Flutter kick tip of the day from a USS coach:

    Kick as if your feet are in a 5 gallon bucket.


    The lower knuckles on my index finger and thumb are somewhat sore. I wonder if this is from lifting? Or the chinning maybe?

    Updated May 13th, 2009 at 05:16 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Running
  4. Tuesday, May 12

    by , May 12th, 2009 at 05:50 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    dead lift, 110 x 2 x 10
    narrow grip row, 110 x 2 x 10
    standing lat pulldown, 150 x 2 x 10
    alternating hammers, 25 x 2 x 20
    goblet squats, 40 x 2 x 15
    chin ups, 1 x 10 (I need to do these before the very end of my workout.)
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side

    hanging reverse ab crunches w/sling, 2 x 25
    elevated crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    russian twists w/med ball, 2 x 25
    twisting cable w/yoga ball, 40 x 3 x 15, both sides
    hip hinges, 10 DBs x 2 x 10, each leg
    forward lunges w/med ball twist, 2 x 20
    incline crunches w/med ball above head, 2 x 25

    10 minutes stretching

    15 minute break to drive to pool while eating a balance bar and ...


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    Aerobic Sets:

    The Quicksilver set:
    10 x 100 backstroke
    1-3 @ 1:25
    4-6 @ 1:20
    7-9 @ 1:15
    10 easy

    (Started off slower than last time, much slower actually, with a 1:14. I think I hovered around this time the whole set until the last couple. Much slower than last time. Still feel sluggish.)

    50 EZ

    8 x 50 dolphin kick w/board @ 1:00
    more rest on these intentionally
    went 27, 27, 28, 28, 28, 28, 29, 28

    50 EZ

    8 x 50 dolphin kick on back @ 1:00
    went 25, 25, 26, 25, 25, 25, 24, 23

    100 EZ

    Speed Work:

    4 x 50 @ 1:00
    25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ
    1 minute rest
    4 x 50 @ 1:15
    25 AFAP free + 25 EZ
    1 minute rest
    4 x 50 @ 1:15
    25 fast doggie paddle drill + 25 EZ

    200 C/D

    Total: 3500


    Still don't feel great. But then I guess in this early part of the season being broken down some is normal. I wonder if it's the aerobic work? Or it could just it may take awhile to get back after the illness/taper/time off around Zones and I should be more patient.

    In any event, I'm going to make sure I'm doing some speed work at every practice. Didn't feel like I had any speed at all.

    Got a few comments from some athletes I totally respect opining that yes, indeed, it is difficult to combine sprint swim training with running. But it seems like some aerobic running shouldn't hurt that much.

    Updated May 13th, 2009 at 04:14 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  5. Garbage Yards, Monday, May 11

    by , May 11th, 2009 at 05:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Woke up today and felt dreadful. Not sure if (1) I'm coming down with something, (2) I'm worn out from my 6 mile run in the bright sunshine yesterday, (3) stayed up waaaay too late, or (4) all of the above. Only did a recovery swim, which shouldn't be necessary after taking the weekend off swimming. It gives me some pause about trying to ramp up the running ... Over the winter, I wasn't running much -- just swimming and lifting (+occasional spin). I'm wonder if I can really fit much running in if I'm swimming (and doing more aerobic work) and still lifting heavy. I don't want my swims to become recovery for the runs. Well, just something to think about.

    I was chatting with Paul Smith about LC. He said he gets worn down if he swims LC more than 2x a week. I have been contemplating 2-3. More to mull over.

    Got this JMiller set in: It was total garbage yards aerobic work (though the set itself is good). I couldn't put in much of an effort today and even stopped early.


    700 variety warm up

    4 x 100 @ 1:30 backstroke kick w/fins, 10-8-8-8 SDKs off each wall
    6 x 50 @ 1:00 25 fly/25 back
    (tried to descend 1-3, 4-6, not much success)
    4 x 100 @ 1:30 dolphin kick w/board & MF
    6 x 50 BR @ 1:00
    4 x 100 @ 1:30 dolphin kick on back w/MF

    100 W/D

    Total: 2600

    Had my 8 year old with me. Swam another 500 or so with her, trying to teach her the evil kick. She liked doing backstroke starts a lot more!

    Edit: Did 40 minutes of RC exercises and stretching tonight.

    Updated May 11th, 2009 at 09:06 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  6. Sunday, May 10

    by , May 10th, 2009 at 06:32 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Happy Mother's Day to all mommy forumites, bloggers and lurkers!

    I took the day off yesterday. I was fully booked with soccer, a regatta and dinner with friends. Saturday is my usual rest day anyway.

    Today, I slept in, was pampered a bit and then went on a 6 mile trail run. I drove to a relatively easy trail so I wouldn't be a muddy billy goat. It was a gorgeous day for running -- bright sunshine, no humidity and 70s.

    I'll get back to the pool tomorrow. I'm having a great time following SCY Nationals this weekend. Lots of very fast swimming!

    I looked very quickly at the event rankings from last year to this year in 50 free, 50 back and 50 fly. (I realize they're not final yet, and more times will be added.) I noticed that there was a .3 drop in the 50 back (30.5) and 50 free (25.6) to make Top Ten. But there was a +.1 increase in the 50 fly. This does cause me to wonder, as I've mused, whether the B70 does not help as much in fly. I haven't looked at breaststroke yet, but I would wager that there is even more than a .3 drop there. Last year, my time of 34.1 from Zones would have been #7; this year that time won't make top ten.

    Updated May 10th, 2009 at 11:57 PM by The Fortress

  7. Engine Building, Friday, May 8

    by , May 8th, 2009 at 05:48 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Holy crap, I woke up this morning and was very very sore from weights. The back of the shoulders and upper back were especially bad. As usual, everything felt better after a swim, but it took awhile for me to loosen up in the pool.

    Today, I had some engine building scheduled. And I managed to do it. In fact, I did two of Quick's recommended sets. They weren't as bad as I feared. I might need harder intervals, I guess. No heart cramps or calf cramps to report.


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    8 x 25 dolphin kick shooters on back, no fins

    Aerobic Conditioning Sets:

    Quicksilver Sets:

    10 x 100 back, with fins
    1-3 @ 1:30 (went 1:08, 1:10, 1:10)
    4-6 @ 1:25 (went 1:10s)
    7-9 @ 1:20 (went 1:11, 1:10)
    10 easy

    10 x 100 backstroke kick, with fins
    1-3 @ 1:30 (went 1:09, 1:10, 1:11)
    4-6 @ 1:25 (went 1:09, 1:10, 1:10)
    7-9 @ 1:20 (went 1:09, 1:06, 1:06)
    (realized I wasn't working hard enough and kicked it into gear on the last couple)
    10 easy

    I still find it odd that my kicking is as fast or faster than my swimming. It must be the power of the streamline. Or I have more kick endurance. The kick set definitely felt easier than the swim set.

    50 EZ

    10 x 50 breast pull w/MF @ :55
    worked on hinging and lunging forward

    50 EZ

    10 x 25 easy speed fly @ :40

    250 C/D

    Total: 4000


    Very psyched for my teammates Brad Gandee and Pete von Loewe who are competing in Clovis. Pete dropped from 1:53 to 1:46 in the 200 free. Just awesome. I'm finding it a bit harder to sit on the sidelines than I thought!

    Updated May 8th, 2009 at 09:42 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  8. Weights, Thursday, May 7

    by , May 7th, 2009 at 04:30 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Worked all morning and hit the gym mid afternoon for weights. Did the following:

    standing lat pulldown, 150 x 2 x 10 (I've maxed out the cable machine on this one.)
    bench press, 70 x 1 x 10, 90 x 1 x 8, 100 x 1 x 6
    leg press, 330 x 3 x 10
    bicep curl w/BB, 40 x 1 x 10, 50 x 1 x 6 (50 was just too heavy)
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
    elevated crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    V-ups w/med ball, 2 x 15
    incline crunches w/med ball held w/straight arms over head, 2 x 25
    forward lunges w/med ball, 2 x 20
    hip hinges on left leg, 2 x 15 w/ 12.5 DBs
    hanging ab work w/ab slings:
    reverse crunches, 3 x 15
    straight leg raises, 3 x 15
    push ups, 2 x 15
    chin ups, 2 x 10

    The guys in the free weight room were coveting my ab slings. (In fact, it seems odd that my gym doesn't have them.) They were checking out my chin ups too. lol They actually didn't feel too bad considering I hadn't done them in 3 weeks.

    10 minutes of stretching


    I need new running shoes. I wasn't crazy about my last pair of Mizuno Wave Nirvanas #4 (though I loved the previous models). I read some terrible reviews of the MWN #5 on the Road Runner Sports site. So I'm in the market for a new stability shoe. I know many who like the Kayanos, but I think they're too narrow. Leaning toward ordering the Saucony Pro Grid Hurricanes.

    Finally broke down and ordered new fins online today. I've used the same fins for 4+ years, and I have this odd attachment to them ...
  9. Wednesday, May 6

    by , May 6th, 2009 at 03:47 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    4 mile trail run. Had the plods, as expected. Still good to get outside. Think I'm sticking my calves in a bucket of ice tonight.


    Warm up:

    400 swim
    200 kick

    8 x 50 @ 1:00, various short axis drills
    (one arm fly, caterpillar, doggie paddle, Geek's one arm BR drill)

    16 x 25, alternate shooter on back, no fins, and BR kick on back

    50 EZ

    Aerobic Sets:

    4 x 200 tempo dolphin kick w/board & MF @ 2:50

    100 EZ

    20 x 50 backstroke w/fins @ :45
    50 EZ after 10
    1-10 around :34-35
    11-15, :34s (cramped some in here)
    16-20, :33s

    200 C/D

    Total: 3600

    Good luck to all those competing at Clovis!!!!
    Swim Workouts , Running
  10. Thrashed Legs, Tuesday, May 5

    by , May 5th, 2009 at 04:23 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Was on a mission to thrash the legs today, and did a pretty decent job. Remembered to bring my weight lifting gloves and ab slings to the gym today. I like the gloves; the hands feel much better. Then I did a Tall Paul kick workout that I had saved a few months ago, waiting for the beginning of a new training cycle. I only hope I can run tomorrow ...


    deadlift, 110 x 2 x 10
    tricep press, 55 x 1 x 10, 60 x 1 x 10, 65 x 1 x 10
    standing lat pulldown, 140 x 2 x 10
    bench press, 70 x 1 x 10, 90 x 2 x 10
    squat rows on flat side of bosu, 40 x 2 x 15
    elevated crunches, 4 x 25 (2 w/med ball, 2 w/10 lb weight between feet)
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, both sides
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25
    alternating forward lunges w/med ball, 2 x 20
    hip hinges w/12.5 DBs, 2 x 15
    hanging ab work w/ab slings:
    reverse crunches aka knee raises, 2 x 15
    leg raises, 2 x 15
    twisting reverse crunches, 2 x 15

    (Forgot to do pull ups or chin ups. Need to get back to doing those.)

    10 minutes of stretching


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    6 x 100:
    odds, single arm fly drill @ 1:45
    evens, backstroke @ 1:40

    Tall Paul Kick Sets:

    6 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:30, cruiser speed

    50 EZ

    10 x 50 dolphin kick on back w/MF @ :50
    odds, under/over
    evens, over/under

    under = underwater shooter, no breather
    over = kick on top of water

    50 EZ

    200 kick for time:

    Did this dolphin kick on back w/MF, went 1:58, tried to negative split. I realize I've never done a 200 kick for time before ... Pain!

    100 EZ

    8 x 25, easy speed flutter kick shooters, no fins @ :40

    100 kick for time:
    Did dolphin kick on back w/MF. Cramped big time, but tried to kick through it. Went 52ish with bit of a roll start (from a push).

    100 EZ

    8 x 25 BR kick
    Started with board, but I was quickly reminded that I hate BR kicking with a board, so just kicked in a streamline position.

    50 kick for time
    tried this, cramped too much, had to abandon

    50 EZ

    8 x 25, alternate back shooter, no fins + 25 easy
    I have to say back shooters are pretty easy for me now with the nose clip.

    200 C/D

    Total: 3900


    Team for Nats:

    Still mulling over LC Nats. It appears that very few, if any, of my teammates are going. (Speedo?) And no chicks. So I would not be able to swim any relays. This would be disappointing to me, as Saturday is set aside as "relay day." I've always been a loyalist, and am very happy with my one and only masters team. I also am opposed to faux super team relays. However, I think it would be quite fun to swim on a team with my friends. So, for LC Nats only, I think I am going to switch team affiliations and join other Team Hottub members on the Academy Bullets team coached by Chris Colburn. Other friends are switching affiliations (Hulk, FlyQueen, Michelina, Imspoiled, Poolraat, maybe Jimby?) and I think we'd have a blast together in Indy. Plus, this means that we can have some Bad Girrlz relays. Who can resist that?

    Now I just have to figure out which events to enter ... Need to look at the order of events again. 100 fly is out because it's between the 50 free and 50 back on Sunday. So it could be a line up of 50 back, 100 back, 200 back, 50 fly, 50 free, and 50 breast. Hope none of them are back to back ... The only downside of mega relays on Saturday is that the 50 back is ONCE AGAIN virtually the last event of the meet. I could be half dead for it ... I sort of wonder why they put relays on Saturday rather than Sunday?

    Updated May 5th, 2009 at 10:17 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  11. Monday, May 4

    by , May 4th, 2009 at 02:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Still feeling sore. May have overdone the push ups the other day or it could just be function of the 2 week+ lay off from weights. I'm going to focus on weights/drylands and mostly aerobic work in and out of the pool the next few weeks as I reboot and re-periodize. Then, I'll start adding more of the usual race pace work back in.


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic Sets:

    5 x 200 dolphin kick w/board & MF @ 2:45

    50 EZ

    2 x through:

    6 x 75, 6 x 50 , 6 x 25, done as:

    6 x 75 @ 1:45, 50 back w/10 SDKs off each wall + 25 feet first scull on back
    6 x 50 @ 1:00, single arm fly, 25 right arm + 25 left arm
    6 x 25 @ :30, flutter kick shooters, alternate on back and belly

    50 EZ

    6 x 75 free @ 1:15, emphasizing 6 beat kick
    (kicking more makes me go faster, not slower, and raises my heart rate)
    6 x 50 breast-dolphin w/MF, working on streamlines and glide (3 strokes per length)
    6 x 25 shooters on back w/MF @ 10 second RI

    200 C/D

    Total: 3800


    Updated a couple of my events showing time drop progressions to include Zones:

    50 Back SCY:

    31.17 (poly tank)(10/05)
    30.25 (FS II)(4/06)
    29.92 (FS II (Nats)(5/06)
    30.45 (FS II)(10/06)
    30.15 (FS II)(4/07)
    29.80 (R-Pro)(11/07)
    29.55 (H-Pro)(4/08)
    29.34 (H-Pro)(5/08)
    29.16 (B70)(9/08)
    28.52 (B70)(2/09)
    28.06 (B70)(4/25)
    27.90 (very used LZR)(4/25)

    50 fly, SCY:

    29.8 (poly tank)(10/05)
    29.5 (FS)(4/06)
    28.8 (FS II)(5/06)
    29.3 (FS)(10/06)
    28.8 (FS)(4/07)
    28.8 (FS II)(10/07)
    28.4 (R-Pro)(4/08)
    27.6 (H-Pro)(5/08)
    27.5 (B70)(9/08)
    27.3 (B70)(10/08)
    27.24 (B70)(2/09)
    27.06 (B70)(4/26)

    Looking at these times, it would appear that tech suits help my back more than fly. This could just be the nose clip factor though. Clearly, staying under longer is faster for me in backstroke, at least in a 50. I do have an instinctive sense that the B70 doesn't help comparatively as much in 50 fly as other 50s for me. Perhaps because, like Chris S., I am a high recovery flyer? Not sure about a 100+ analysis. I've always felt the B70s helped more in longer events though.
    Swim Workouts
  12. Team Practice, Sunday, May 3

    by , May 3rd, 2009 at 12:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Dragged myself out of bed today. Pretty sore from weights. But made it to my team practice.

    Warm up:

    300 swim/150 kick
    300 swim/150 scull
    300 swim/150 choice

    (I did about 1000 of this)

    Main sets:

    8 x vertical kick @ 50
    20 seconds with hands at shoulders, 10 seconds with arms in superman streamline, squat jump off bottom of pool
    (4 flutter, 4 dolphin)

    50 EZ

    5 x 150 IM @ 2:30, drop 1 stroke (I dropped free)

    50 EZ

    5 x 150 kick @ 2:45
    50 no free kick+ 100 free kick
    (I did 3 that way and 2 all backstroke kick, only managed 6 kicks off each wall)

    50 EZ

    6 x 75 @ 1:50
    25 UW flutter kick shooter + 25 tricep finish drill + 25 AFAP free

    (We switched the interval from 1:40 to 1:50, so we could actually go fast on the last 25. I used fins.)

    200 C/D

    Total: 3200

    Sat in the hot tub with an ice pack ...

    Updated May 5th, 2009 at 09:24 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  13. Saturday, May 2

    by , May 2nd, 2009 at 06:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Run + Weights:

    Went on a 5 mile trail run today. Didn't feel nearly as bad as earlier in the week!

    Hit the gym for a quick workout. Forgot my weight lifting gloves. I'm going to have to stick them in the car or something ...

    squats on Hammer machine, 200 x 2 x 15
    standing lat pulldown, 130 x 2 x 12
    narrow grip seated row, 100 x 2 x 12
    alternating hammers, 25 x 2 x 20
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, both sides
    push ups, 4 x 15, 1 x 25
    elevated crunches w/10 lb weight held by feet, 4 x 25
    back extensions w/20 lb FB, 2 x 25
    hip hinges on left leg w/2 10 lb DBs, 2 x 15
    prone scapular scrunches w/3 lb hand weights for RC, 2 x 25

    (I think I did something else, but I can't remember ...)


    When you're doing body weight exercises like push ups or chin ups, does it make a difference in terms of strength how close together you do your sets? Should they be consecutive ideally? Can you cycle through them with other exercises? Can you do them throughtout the day and still have a strength benefit?

    I'm not really loving squatting with weights/barbells on my shoulders. The Smith machine was padded, but it still bothers me when things (like barbells) rest on top of my shoulders and traps ...

    Found a picture dictionary of some ab exercises. Pics are good! http://www.ab-core-and-stomach-exerc...exercises.html Really need to get around to purchasing an ab roller.

    Updated May 3rd, 2009 at 11:58 AM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Running
  14. Friday, May 1

    by , May 1st, 2009 at 04:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Back in the water now. Still taking it pretty easy. I think Sunday am will be my first real workout back. I seem to recall after the Auburn meet that my first post-taper workout at GMU was a killer!


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    6 x (2 x 25 UW shooter on back, no fins + 25 EZ)

    Played around with amplitude on these. Saw Mike Ross suggested this on the forum, and I think it's a good tip. Did first 4 shooters with a large amplitude, taking 18-19 kicks. LOVE doing these slow drilly dolphin kicks and going deep. Then did 4 going medium speed with smaller amplitude, took 20-21 kicks. Then back to 4 with 18-19 kicks.

    50 EZ

    Aerobic Set:

    10 x 50
    5 back @ 1:00 (10 SDK+ 8 SDK off walls)
    5 free @ 50

    Kick Mountain:

    Dolphin kick w/MF. Up the mountain w/board and down the mountain on back.

    1 x 50 @ :45
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 150 @ 2:15
    1 x 200 @ 3:00
    300 free
    1 x 200 @ 3:00
    1 x 150 @ 2:15
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 50 @ :45

    200 C/D

    Total: 3200


    Historically, I've always been happy when SCY season ended, so I could focus on LC. I've always liked LC, especially for free without all those turns. But not this year ... I feel like I've finally, after many months, made a breakthrough on my backstroke SDKs. Wouldn't mind a few more short course races.


    Ran in forumite NothinBut50s at the rec center. Great guy -- trains just like Jazz. He's getting back into the pool after a knee and back injury. We bemoaned not being able to use the starting blocks -- country regulation. He said the lifeguards sometimes let him use them at 9:00 pm when no one's there. Not my usual practice time anymore, though it used to be.


    Just planning a short run for tomorrow, unless it rains and all the kids' activities are cancelled.

    Will do some RC work now. Adding in hip hinges with dumbells on the left leg. Need to research some other balance exercises.

    Updated May 1st, 2009 at 04:28 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  15. Back to the gym, Thursday, April 30

    by , April 30th, 2009 at 03:48 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Back to the gym today! It felt like I had been away so long (really only 2 weeks) that I couldn't remember what to do at first ... lol Lowered the amount of weight on some exercises, as I reboot the lifting.

    deadlift, 90 x 2 x 12
    standing lat pull down, 120 x 2 x 15
    overhead tricep press w/BB, 30 x 2 x 15
    bench press (Hammer), 90 x 2 x 10
    bicep curl w/BB, 40 x 2 x 15
    leg press, 310 x 2 x 15
    cable twist w/ball, 35 x 2 x 15, each side
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
    alternating hammers, 20 x 2 x 20

    crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    decline reverse crunches, 2 x 25
    dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
    jack knifes on ball, 2 x 15
    stand on bosu with one leg and lower body (don't know what this is called -- one leg squat?), 2 x 10
    forward lunges, 2 x 15
    push ups, 1 x 15, 1 x 25

    10 minutes stretching

    Chatted with a serious masters runner who thought I was gumby. Runners always seem to think this, but they are often as rigid as a board! lol


    I am still really fatigued. My daughter's been waking up in the middle of the night for some reason, and that probably contributes. There is no way I would want to do a meet this weekend. I think the fatigue from Zones will put a permanent kabosh on any thoughts of back to back meets. In fact, thinking ahead to next year, I wonder if swimming Zones before Nats at Atlanta (assuming I go) is really a good idea ... Right now, it doesn't seem like it. I wish our Zones meet was not 2 weeks before Nats. Definitely too close for my taste.

    May hop on my bike for 20 minutes this afternoon. Going to the pool for sure tomorrow.


    I realized I had lent my B70 to my kid for a couple swims the last day of JOs when she was on her 16-17 events ... So my B70 #2 probably has 20+ swims now. I'm thinking I need a back up suit for LC Nats. I guess I still have my hineck Pro, but Mini-Fort has used that too ... Need to mull this over. Need to make my hotel reservations too.

    (Oh, she went 3 seconds slower in the B70 than the Pro. )

    Updated April 30th, 2009 at 05:52 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  16. Still dead, Wed., April 29

    by , April 29th, 2009 at 02:45 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Wow, I am still absolutely dead from the meet. Not recovering quickly at all. Am now glad I'm not going to the NY meet this weekend, as traveling sounds tiring ... Looking forward to a weekend with the family & watching my kids' sporting events!

    Was heading to the gym, but cancelled that plan. Just did RC and some stretching today. Taking Bobinator's advice and listening to the body!

    I am weary of all the tech suit haters. I believe that the suits make everyone faster, and that I have benefitted from my B70. Especially in my first set of unrested and tapered times. However, I have been wearing the B70 for a long now; I was one of the first masters to get it -- I followed Ande's recommendation immediately and spoke to Dean in Europe to discuss getting one. (This is consistent with my penchant for trying new things. No reason not to be adventurous.) I now have so many times in it, that I'm inclined to think I've seen most of the benefits from the suit and that my subsequent time drops are at least somewhat due to other factors. Even under Jimby's prior (and flawed! :P) analysis, I've dropped time since I last tapered in the B70 in February. This may be wishful thinking on my part, and some say it is, but I continue to believe that weights have helped me. How many times do you have to wear a suit before every single improvement ceases to attributed to it?! Right now, I feel like I'm comparing "apples to apples" since I always swim in a B70.

    My current B70 (#2) now has 18 races in it, plus all the warm downs. I also warmed up in it on Saturday of Zones, as I didn't have time to struggle into it before my first race. BTW, I disliked warming up in it and will try to avoid doing it again.

    Updated April 29th, 2009 at 03:02 PM by The Fortress

  17. Tuesday, April 28

    by , April 28th, 2009 at 05:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Still feeling simultaneously and

    Yesterday, I swam very slowly for about 35-40 minutes with Stud and sat in a hot tub. Stud has a very fancy state-of-the-art snorkle!

    Got a post meet deep tissue massage later. The therapist said my calves were a "mess." She was worried the cramping problems might indicate some vitamin deficiency or absorption issue. Dunno ... I try to be careful about potassium. I think the suspect, which I tend to blame for all post 40s negativity, is hormones. The alternative is that I am not used to swimming that many events and doing starts. All the starts might have been what did in my calves. Hamstrings are tight as well.

    I was also cogitating on WTH accounts for my 50 evil at Zones. I recently swam a 50 evil in LC in a B70 that converted to about my seed time. So I was not sandbagging and the drop is somewhat inexplicable. I haven't been lunging, which is apparently good for evilstroke ... I guess it could be just overall strength improvement. Or maybe it was a well-timed fluke!

    I do feel like a owe a big THANK YOU to everyone giving me advice and encouragement on my blog!!! It really helps! Special thanks to Jazz and QBrain for all the weight advice. Jimby may think the B70 is "magic," and I do love it, but I'm inclined to think weights are more magical.

    Today, I hobbled out in the sunshine for a 5 mile jog (the word "run" is not really applicable & I walked an "up" on mile 4). Legs were dead, but it felt fabulous to be outside.

    Uploaded pictures from the weekend. I think we have a new candidate for Speedo Man! lol. Remind me never to take a picture with Hulk again. He makes me look like a freaking midget.

    Updated April 28th, 2009 at 09:37 PM by The Fortress

  18. CZ Day 2: Swim Fast & Partay!

    by , April 27th, 2009 at 09:46 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    As expected, I was very excited and blissed out from yesterday, so didn't do that well in the sleep department. Fortunately, I slept in a wee bit because my first event, mixed 200 free relay wasn't until 11:45. But sleep wasn't the problem -- cramps! I woke up with crazy sore calve muscles. Had Mr. Fort give me a quick massage, which practically made me scream. I guess it was just the lactic acid build up from yesterday? Not used to swimming 6 events. That's what Coach Cheryl thought. I obviously need a "masher." lol. Not sure what else could have caused it ... I was eating bananas and drinking gatorade ... was warming down when I could between events (but maybe not enough with the crazy consecutive last 3 events from yesterday) ...

    Anyway, that effected the days events, as I cramped on every start and wall. This phenomenon obviously makes my dolphin kick, my major weapon, less effective. I was very happy that I didn't sign up for the 100 IM first thing in the am, as that is a heavy duty lactate event for me with all the switching of strokes. Didn't swim the 100 back, as I had just swum 2 crampy 50s and was hobbling. A bit disappointed, but glad I have my 1:02 split request on file, though I think I might have gone faster. Always another time!

    Despite this Day 2 issue, I had a great time at the meet, had a few good swims on Sunday, had a fantastic time watching all the fast swimming, and had fun at the post meet party. My team won the medium team championship for the first time in 5 years, so we were psyched about that.


    35+ mixed 200 free relay, 1:37, 1st place

    I went about 85-90%, shaking the cobwebs out. Split a 25.3. Two of my relay mates are swimming at Clovis in 2 weeks, and I wish them the best of luck!

    50 fly, 27.06

    Had 5 heats of rest. Only got 2 lengths of warm down. Took 9 SDKs off the start and turn. Cramped on both though, so I was kicking through pain and had to take one extra breath the second length. Stud said I visibly accelerated the last 15 yards, as the cramp subsided. Was super happy to see a 27.06 in light of this. This broke my Zone record from last year of 28.4.

    25 + medley relay, 1:53, 1st place

    Swam the fly leg on this relay. Had a break after my 50 fly, so felt more rested. Split 26.77 with a safe start.

    Was a tad bummed I didn't sign up for the 50 free, as it would have been nice to take all 4 50s. But you can't swim everything in one meet!


    Fort party was a blast. Hope everyone had a good time. I'll put up pictures soon. (Just so y'all know, we decided after John left that Wookiee looks just like Zac Ephron. )
    This morning, I'm going to have a warm down swim/hot tub with Stud. I also have a massage booked, which I had anticipated as recovery before the NY meet. But I could still use it. I think my calves need some work before I can go on my post meet run tomorrow. My shoulders/traps also feel a bit like someone took a hammer to them.


    Tech suit thoughts:


    First, don't sit in gum in a B70!! Holy crap, not sure where I sat in it, but it smeared all across my butt (I promised SwimRobin that I would actually confess this in public, lol) -- goopy pinkish stuff. I was kinda freaked out, thinking it had ruined my B70. Fortunately, it came out with some ice cubes, but I was required to make a tech suit change.

    I've told Chris this, but FYI guys, Mike Ross was much happier with B70 legs for back and fly than the full body B70. He did recommend it for ALL swimmers, but I remain content with my full body. lol And, WOW, it was fun seeing several of his swims! (He also lectured my on excess eventage, but got that it was my team zone meet.)

    On the Jimby front, he is still cogitating on how to spin the B70 science experiment. He wanted full Jimby credit for his swims and I am giving it to him!! Seriously though, in his big 3 events (100 free, 200 free and 500 free), he swam very very well, but the times (all age group PBs) were what (at least I) thought he was well capable of swimming in a fast pool. I'll let him do the time reporting, but it was much less than .5 per 50 in these events. He did swim a very very nice 400 IM as well and dropped a lot of time there.

    B70 vs. LZR:

    A few people from GMU conducting experiments using borrowed LZRs. I had a borrowed LZR with a recordbreaker back. It had been used for 10-12 swims. I decided to wear a B70 for one of my 50 backs and the LZR for the other to compare. They were, as reported, within .1 of each other. So, for me, I'm not sure there was much difference time wise. But perhaps the LZR would have been slightly faster if it had been brand new or if I had used one with a zipper? I think so ...

    I won't wear a recordbreaker back again though. I haven't worn an open recordbreaker back since my Pro pre-Austin. Yuck! I felt like I had water wooshing down my back. Very odd sensation. Might have been because I'm so used to the B70? Or because the LZR is cut very low in the back? I swam 2 relays in the suit and it was worse. In my 100 fly leg of the medley relay, I felt like I had water wooshing down the back and front. And that was a pretty mediocre swim.

    What I can say is that I don't think the B70 is any more of a "floatation" suit than the LZR really. The LZR has plenty of noticeable "float" in the bottom half where all the impermeable material is. Frankly, I think having more float in the bottom and less in the top (a la Mike's comments) might be the best for me as well. But, like others, I have major concerns about the fragility and lack of durability of the LZR. I really think it's basically a one meet suit. I saw a couple swimmers with whacking big holes in their LZRs. Of course, Hulk popped a big hole in his brand new B70 and my teammate and Mike Ross had runs in the back of their B70s. At least I only had the gum problem!

    Updated April 28th, 2009 at 12:33 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  19. CZ Day 1: 6 Events

    by , April 25th, 2009 at 09:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I survived my first day ever swimming 6 events. Yes, I am dead now, but fairly hyper as I had a nice surprise. We'll see about sleep tonight ... lol

    Here's how it went, including some nose clip magic:

    1. 100 free, 57.4

    Felt like utter absolute crap in warm up, wasn't too jazzed about swimming this event. Did 75 easy speed + 25 fast. And that felt horrible. Still, went 57.4. I was told my turnover was slow but powerful. Had trouble off the turns and with breakouts, confirmed by wookiee. I think it's likely because I rarely do freestyle in practice. Occasionally, I feel like crap on my first event of a meet and then go on to swim better. I think that is what happened here.

    I did loaf just enough to lose my Zones record by .05. Not overly concerned. Will now take another 2 year hiatus, as I'm not fond of this event. Got points for my team -- which is currently leading the medium team division!!

    2. 25+ 200 mixed medley relay, did back leg, went 28.06 (had a split request in)

    Led off the relay. After the 100 free, I was a tad worried about letting down my speedy relay teammates. And I decided to use my nose clip for the first time. Was very fast, 28.0, which is .5 faster than my time in Auburn. I was *told* *lectured* that I was *perhaps* a wee bit past the 15 meter mark. (It was my first real backstroke start ever with B70 + nose clip.) Just glad our relay wasn't DQ'd. I went very deep on the start. Our 25+ relay got 1st place. I think we went a 1:45 or so. Speedo had a great free leg.

    (I was really happy with my time cuz it put me .1 ahead of Sue Walsh this year. In fact, I was so happy I told a teammate that I didn't care how the open 50 back went (see below), as I had a PB/Zone Record. lol)

    3. 50 breast, 34.11

    I had exactly 4 heats of 50s after the medley relay for rest. But I sucked it up to swim my very very fav event. It had been almost 4 years since I last swam it and went 37+. But my recent LC time in a B70 converted to 37, which is why that was my seed time. Very surprisingly, I dropped 3+ seconds. I think the dolphin kick at the top of the pullout helps me. Couldn't figure out what to do between the flags and the walls and changed my tempo at both ends. Set the Zone record in this event though. Everyone go ahead and have a good laugh now.

    4. 50 back, 27.90, NR:

    OK, very shocked and happy to go under 28. WTH?! I was just hoping to go 29+ at this meet. Didn't think I'd touch my Auburn time. This time I was more conservative on the start and came up at the 14.8 meter mark. As I saw Jazz noted, nose clips are not just a fashion statement!

    Event 23 Women 45-49 50 Yard Backstroke
    ================================================== =======================
    ZONE: Z 29.34 4/15/2007 Vibeke Swanson
    NATL: ! 28.00 5/20/2007 K PIPES-NEILSEN
    Name Age Team Seed Finals Points
    ================================================== =======================
    1 Livingston, Les 47 GMUP 29.10 27.90! 9

    My coach told me I broke the NR. Didn't even know what it was before I swam ... Shocked! I think KPN has swum faster too since the last record book publication too, but still --- I believe we both get credit for being under the existing NR.

    Last year at Zones, I swam a 29.5, so this is a big drop in a 50 for one year. Definitely not all B70! In fact, Jimby just announced that he now thinks all improvement is due to monofin use and my kick workouts. Hahahaha.

    5. Women's 35+ 400 medley relay

    I had one heat of rest, one. This is not a good plan for sprinters. I think we need breaks between relays at this meet ... I swam the fly leg, went 1:03. Really tried to cruise the first 50. Couldn't seem to SDK at all, no legs. Died like a dog as usual the last 15 yards, but I had warned our freestyler that this would, in fact, and inevitably, occur. My team went 4:29, which is 4 seconds than we went last year in the same event where we grabbed the top spot.

    6. Women's 35+ 200 free relay

    One measly heat of rest. Went my all time slowest 50 free ever leading off the relay! Yay! But we won the event and got points for the team.

    Dined with friends at Red Hot & Blue. Many enchanting photographs were taken, which will be downloaded at some later point. Feeling a little tuckered, but very happy.

    Updated April 27th, 2009 at 04:31 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  20. No time to swim!

    by , April 24th, 2009 at 03:47 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    No time to swim today. Probably all right to have an off day. Instead, I:

    purchased massive quantities of food;
    answered numerous text messages from swimmers, lol;
    tended children;
    drank copious amounts of water and green tea;
    contemplated an ice bath;
    purchased daffodils and tulips
    stretched out Jimby's B70
    packed swim bag (with back up suit!)

    Ready for the meet and festivities! Expecting about 20 or so forumites, assorted GMUP teammates, spouses (they're very brave to tolerate all the boring swim shop talk!) and children on Sunday. Should be perfect weather, 85 degrees and sunny. Pool is open. No hottub for Team Hottub members though. Someone else will have to host that one! Thought we could celebrate Wookiee's birthday early. In lieu of a cake, he's requested kisses from all the beautiful ladies.

    Not nervous yet. I just read that a friend was nauseous before her meet. Doesn't seem terribly uncommon. Does this happen to anyone else? Do we swim better the more nervous we are or not? I've found that, for me, some nerves/adrenline is definitely good ... but I seem to swim just as fast relaxed with my bad ass sprinter attitude. I seem to calm down when I've got my first event under my belt.

    Updated April 24th, 2009 at 03:57 PM by The Fortress