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Swim Workouts

  1. It must have been the suit ...

    by , June 18th, 2009 at 04:05 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    ... that accounted for the dramatic change in my swimming performance between yesterday's and today's workouts. Let's diagnose the differences:

    • Yesterday, I was wearing one of those form-fitting, major muscle group compressing, water wicking suit from that infernal company responsible for brainwashing and turning so many elite swimmers into nothing more than "speedboat drivers."
    • Today, I was wearing an old school suit that swimming purists want us to retreat to, albeit with that wonderful meshing technology that allows trapped air to escape.
    • I swam at approximately the same time both days.
    • I swam almost exactly the same meterage both days.
    • I swam in the same pool and, in fact, in the same lane.
    • Heck, I even started swimming from the same end of the pool.
    • I wore the same goggles, the same speed goggles that Michael Phelps wears (didn't matter!).
    • I had the same number of espresso shots before I swam (3 over the course of the morning).

    So, with the only fundamental difference being the suit, a sampling of my times

    • Yesterday, I was like a flying fish floating through the water, cruising a 1:04 on a 100 free when I merely wanted to go a 1:10
    • Today, I was like a bloated, beached whale barely keeping myself from drowning, unable to hold a pace under 1:17 on a 300 free at the exact same point in the workout.

    It must have been the suit. Based upon this supremely designed scientific experiment, I'm contacting FINA to thank them for their assistance in running Nike out of the competition swimwear market (my briefs for today) and request for them to do a serious re-examination of the speedsuit known by its deceptive code name as the Speedo Endurance Jammer (my suit from yesterday).

    Yes, it must have been the suit ... I can't possibly be to blame for my crappy workout performance today, can I?


    • 1 x 400: 100 fr - 200 IM k/d - 100 fr
    • 3 sets of
      • 1 x 200: on 3:30, IM
        • goal was to go easy on round 1 and then hold low 2:30s
        • went 2:52, 2:52, 2:56 (UGH)

      • 1 x 300: on 4:30, free
        • goal was to go easy on round 1 and then hold 3:30 as my 1500 goal this weekend is to just get under 18:00
        • Went 3:51, 3:52, 3:58


    • 4 x 25: on 0:45, #1 to #3 were sprint halfway, #4 was easy

    TOTAL: 2,000 SCM

    Serious comments:

    • My original plan was to do that set 5 times, but I just felt like such utter crap that I cut the workout short.
    • WTH was I thinking entering the Brute Squad events (200 fly, 400 IM, 1500 fr) this weekend plus a couple of 50s when I've been doing my lazy, extended "active rest" phase since Clovis?
    • At least the weather should be nice in Tucson on Sunday and I'll get a nifty prize if I complete the Brute Squad events without getting DQ'd
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  2. Screaming @ altitude ...

    by , June 8th, 2009 at 11:10 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    ... does not constitute aerobic training. I had a great weekend cheering for my kids at their meet in Flagstaff, but my dog walks, stretching and cheering didn't really set me up for a great workout this AM. Thankfully, Cactus pool was set up for short course instead of long course:

    • 600 warmup: 200 swim - 200 kick - 200 pull
    • 12 x 50: 6 on 0:50, 4 on 0:45, 2 on 0:40
      • I did the 1st 6 back and the last 6 free

    • 4 x 25: on 0:30, fly
    • 4 rounds of
      • 3 x 100: on 1:20, 1:15, 1:10, 1:05 by round
        • I made the 1st three rounds, but did not make the round on 1:05

      • 2 x 50: on 1:00

    • 4 x 25: on 0:25, fly
    • 12 x 50: 2 on 0:35, 4 on 0:40, 6 on 0:45
    • 4 x 50: on 1:05, kick
    • 1 x 50: easy

    TOTAL: 3,850 SCY

    Commentary:

    • I might actually swim a bit more over the next two weeks than I had intended. My goal during this extended, active rest phase was only to swim 3 times per week and go about 10K to 12K yards with only one of those workouts each week being harder. I'll probably aim for 4 times this week and next, just so I don't totally bonk during the upcoming Brute Squad meet in Tucson on June 21st (http://www.azlmsc.org/forms/2009-Brute-Squad.pdf).
    • I'm flying back to the east coast this afternoon, but should be able to hit a noon core class at Lifetime before heading to the airport.

    Updated June 8th, 2009 at 01:01 PM by pwb

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  3. Cruise-day

    by , June 2nd, 2009 at 11:37 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    For a heat-lover like me, we're in the midst of my perfect weather season here in Scottsdale --

    • the mornings are warm enough to ride in shorts + t (around 70-72),
    • the afternoons are in that Goldilocks perfection range of hot but not too hot (right on the cusp of 100)
    • and after the sun goes down, it is positively exquisite weather for taking an evening stroll with the dogs.

    I was to have had another nice bike ride to the pool with my daughters, but a tire was flat on my middle daughter's bike and my wife has recently gotten some fancy bike pump for her tech bike with all sorts of contraptions and attachments that I can't figure out at 5:15am (I'm mechanically challenged). So, we drove and I cruised through this workout with Laura on deck:

    • 600 warmup: 200 swim - 200 kick - 200 pull
    • 5 x 100: on 1:35
      • 25 kick - 25 drill - 50 swim
      • I went fly, back, free, back, free

    • Main set:
      • 4-3-2-1 x 150 on 2:00
      • Interspersed with 2 x 50 on 0:55
      • Even rounds of 150s swim, odd rounds pull
      • All 50s were stroke and I did backstroke

    • 3 rounds of:
      • 4 x 25: on 0:40, SDK on back
      • 1 x 100: on 2:00, fly kick

    • 3 x 100: on 1:35 cool down

    TOTAL: 3,900 SCY

    Commentary:

    • I pretty much only worked on trying to snap my free turns and breathe to my left.
    • I did work the 100s kick (1:29, 1:25, 1:20) and half of the 25s kick.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  4. More active than rest

    by , June 1st, 2009 at 01:17 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I am really on an extended "active rest" phase until the end of June, only aiming to swim 3 times a week and go about 10K, but coupling that with other activities like running, spinning, core, etc. on the non-swimming days. My desire this week would've been to do two of the easier swim workouts during the weekdays and a hard one next weekend, but my travel schedule meant I had to hit Laura's hard Monday workout today (but back in SCY). While I felt good on the warmup set, fatigue from the weekend's workouts caught up to me quickly and I just focused on surviving, aiming to work my flip turns and trying to breathe unilaterally on my freestyle:

    • 550: warmup, 200 swim, 150 pull, 100 kick, 100 drill
    • 2 rounds of:
      • 2 x 25: on 0:40, 1 scull, 1 fist
      • 2 x 75: on 1:15, build
        • I was feeling encouraged at this point in the workout as I was building without much effort to 0:44/0:45

      • 1 x 50: on 1:00, 90%
        • Felt strong and was about 0:27


    • Main set #1:
      • 3 x 200: pull on 2:30
      • 1 x 100: swim on 1:30


      • 2 x 200: pull on 2:40
      • 2 x 100: swim on 1:20
      • 1 x 200: pull on 2:50
      • 3 x 100: swim on 1:10
      • My intention was to cruise 2:10s on the 200s and 1:00s on the 100s
      • Reality was 2:15s and 1:02 to 1:05

    • 1 x 50: easy
    • Main set #2:
      • 3 x 100: swim on 1:30
      • 1 x 50: kick on 0:55
      • 2 x 100: swim on 1:20
      • 2 x 50: kick on 1:00
      • 1 x 100: swim on 1:10
      • 3 x 50: kick on 1:05
      • I did work the kicks fly, but just focused on stroke & turns on the swims

    • 4 x 50: on 1:10, 25 no breath, 25 easy

    TOTAL: 4,000 SCY

    Commentary:

    • The upside to my fatigue is that my sleep is most excellent these days!
    • Looking forward to cruising a more aerobic swim tomorrow before I hop on a plane to Philly for work.

    Updated June 1st, 2009 at 05:57 PM by pwb

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  5. Run (kind of) & Swim

    by , May 28th, 2009 at 12:03 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Wednesday (Kind of) Run
    No Kenyans are shaking in their running shoes yet, but I "ran" another mile yesterday morning -- 4 minutes run, 2 min walk, 4 min run, 0:45 walk. My plan is to slowly (as you can see):

    • build this up to 3 miles, by adding half mile increments every other week
    • slowly increase the run portion of my run / walk ratio
    • eventually then build up to running 3 times per week

    My main issue with running in the past has been taking on too much too soon, generally leaving my knees in a sorry state.

    Thursday Cactus workout
    The workout was very light today (16 people across 8 lanes), but it was a beautiful morning swim. My older two daughters are out of school and had a morning workout option that coincided with mine, so the three of us rode our bikes together to & from the pool. Sweet.

    • 600 warmup: odd 100s swim, even kick, pull, drill
    • 16 x 25: no breath fly, 4 on 0:45, 4 on 0:40, 4 on 0:45, last 4 on 0:45, 0:40, 0:35, 0:30
    • 5 x 100: pull on 1:20, primary focus on snapping my turns
    • 4 x 50: on 0:50, DPS
    • 12 x 25: no breath fly, 4 on 0:45, 4 on 0:45-0:40-0:35-0:30, 4 on 0:45
    • 3 x 100: on 2:00, kick
    • 4 x 50: on 0:50, 25 power kick - 25 easy
    • 8 x 25: on 0:30, 2 each stroke
    • 2 x 100: on 1:30, IM
    • 4 x 50: on 0:50, 1 each stroke
    • 4 x 25: on 0:40, underwater no breath
    • 1 x 100: easy

    TOTAL: 3,200 SCY

    Commentary:

    • Thursday's yoga day, so I was mainly trying to focus on my stroke, especially fly.
    • I'm swimming my first masters' 200 LCM fly at the "Brute Squad" meet (http://www.azlmsc.org/forms/2009-Brute-Squad.pdf), so I have to get my fly in better shape. While I really enjoy the 200 fly in SCY, it's a completely different beast in LCM.
    • I noticed on the AZ Masters event site (http://www.azlmsc.org/events.htm) that it appears the dates for the Ron Johnson SCM have been set for Nov 20 to 22nd. If these dates hold, that will be my big taper meet for the year. If anyone is looking for a good SCM meet in the fall on which you could tack a great Thanksgiving vacation, I'd recommend this meet. In years past, warmups have been at a sane hour (e.g., 9am or so) both for sleeping and for getting some nice sunshine.

    Updated May 29th, 2009 at 12:41 PM by pwb

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  6. Aerobic Tuesday

    by , May 26th, 2009 at 01:09 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Got in with SDM @ Cactus with Laura on deck this AM for the 1st hour of the 75 minute workout and got in a nice 3,300 yards:

    • 1 x 800: warmup - 200 swim - 200 pull - 200 kick - 200 swim
    • 2 rounds of the following:
      • 1 x 400: pull on 5:00 (buoy, Hans paddles)
      • 1 x 200: swim on 2:40
      • 1 x 100: kick on 2:00
      • 1 x 200: pull on 2:40 (buoy, Hans paddles)
      • 1 x 100: swim on 1:20
      • 1 x 50: kick on 1:20

    • 6 x 50: on 0:55, IM switch (twice through fly-bk, bk-br, br-fr)
    • 1 x 100: easy

    TOTAL: 3,300 SCY

    Commentary:

    • Focus was trying to be right in a solid aerobic zone. I pushed the swims a little harder in the main set, trying to get to the 1:00/100 pace I'd like to be at in workout; made that on the 100, but 200 was slow. I went IM on the second round of that.
    • I didn't feel the spin class in my legs as much as I had thought I would ... guess I need to push myself a little harder the next time I spin.
    • The last set of 6 x 50 and 1 x 100 was supposed to be three rounds of that, but I had to get on with my day.

    Updated May 29th, 2009 at 12:41 PM by pwb

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  7. Trans Tahoe relay?

    by , May 20th, 2009 at 06:39 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    To freeze or not to freeze?
    I'm contemplating joining a mixed relay team for the Trans-Tahoe Relay event this summer (http://www.olyclub.com/html_general/...-frameset.html). I'd love to hear anyone's experiences with this race.

    • Why should I do it?
      • I've heard people rave about it and it's been on my growing "bucket list" of OW swims to do.
      • I'm not doing any other big competition this summer, so it won't mess with my training/tapering/etc.
      • That weekend is actually good for me right now.

    • Why shouldn't I do it?
      • I'm a noted cold wimp. The coldest water I swam in was Aquatic Park in San Fran a few times in the summer of 2006; both of these times were in a full wetsuit and I still felt cold.


    Amping up at Lifetime
    I did a mile run/walk this morning at home (3:00 run, 2:00 walk, 3:00 run, 1:30 walk) and then headed to Lifetime to do the following quality-oriented workout. I made up the main set on the plane last night as I was trying to come up with something that stressed me on a slightly longer repeat, had some really fast (at least attempted) short repeats and kicking. This was in SCM:

    • Extended, but faster warmup
      • 400 warmup: 100 fr, 200 IM k/d, 100 fr


      • 4 x 100: on 1:45, free descend
        • Aim for 1:20, 1:15, 1:10, 1:05
        • Went 1:14, 1:11, 1:09, 1:06



      • 4 x 50: on 1:00, free descend
        • Aim for 0:35 down to 0:30
        • Went 0:33, 0:31, 0:30, 0:29

      • 1 x 50: easy
      • 4 x 25: on 0:30, 1 each stroke, all-out/fast off wall to mid-pool, easy to wall
      • 1 x 50: easy

    • Main set: 3 rounds of
      • 200: free on 2:30
        • aiming for 2:15, 2:12, 2:10
        • went 2:18, 2:18, 1:41 thru 150 then my leg cramped

      • 4 x 50: on 2:00, FAST, reverse IM order each round
        • free: 0:30+, 0:30, 0:29
        • breast: 0:40, 0:42, 0:43
        • back: 0:31+, 0:32, 0:34
        • fly: 0:31+, 0:33, 0:34

      • 100: kick fast on 2:00, going 25 fly - 50 fr - 25 fly
        • went 1:27, 1:27, 1:29

      • 100 easy on 2:00



    TOTAL: 3,000 SCM

    Commentary:

    • This was VERY hard, but the kind of more quality-oriented workout I think I'll need to be doing on a more continuous basis during my training phase. I was very wiped by the 3rd round, as evidenced by my calf cramp on the 3rd 200.

    Updated May 29th, 2009 at 12:44 PM by pwb

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  8. Phelps: Education role model?

    by , May 18th, 2009 at 12:20 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    ... not in the way you would think, but I had a "swimming hits the mainstream" moment last night. I was at an event for our kids' school where Craig Barrett, former CEO & Chairman of Intel, was the keynote speaker. He's a big proponent of higher expectations and international benchmarking of our students (e.g., vs. watered down state "achievement" tests). At one point in the speech where he was arguing for international standards for student measurement, he said something to the effect of, "Michael Phelps didn't look around Baltimore and proclaim himself the greatest swimmer ... he went out and competed against the world and broke benchmarks -- world records -- that everyone in the world agreed measured excellence." It was kind of cool he mentioned Phelps instead of someone from a more "mainstream" sport; even cooler that everyone in the audience knew absolutely who he was.

    My swim this morning
    I wasn't planning on swimming this morning, but my wife's schedule changed so I could hit the AM workout at Cactus. I'm glad I did as Laura usually delivers a "thumping" on Monday mornings and I needed a hard workout after a weekend of sloth and bad eating habits while camping up north with a friend and our daughters:

    • 500 warmup
    • 2 rounds of
      • 2 x 25: on 0:40, no breather
      • 2 x 50: build on 1:00, 1 swim, 1 kick

    • We then did 5 rounds of 500 followed by 4 x 25 as follows
      • Round #1
        • 5 x 100: on 1:20, pace; I went 1:02's for the 1st 4, then pushed a 57+/58- on the last one
        • 4 x 25: on 0:30, fly

      • Round #2
        • 1 x 250: moderate on 3:15
        • 2 x 125: fast pace on 1:40 (went 1:13s)
        • 4 x 25: on 0:30, back

      • Round #3
        • 1 x 100: moderate on 1:30
        • 6 x 50: on 0:40, fast pace (held 29+/30- for the 1st 5, then 26+ on last one)
        • 1 x 100: moderate on 1:30
        • 4 x 25: on 0:30, breast

      • Round #4
        • 2 x 75: on 1:05, fast pace, went 0:45+, 0:42+
        • 1 x 150: on 2:10, moderate
        • 2 x 75: on 1:05, fast pace, went 0:46, 0:43
        • 1 x 50: fast pace, went 27-
        • 4 x 25: on 0:30, free

      • Round #5:
        • 5 x 100: on 1:15, fast pace, was all over the place going about 1:01+, 1:05, 1:02, 1:01, 57+


    • 1 x 200: warmdown

    TOTAL: 4,000 SCY

    Commentary:

    • After last week of easy swimming, it was fun to push this morning. Even though I'm considering this my "active rest" phase of training, I will still work hard on occasion. One of the things I want to do is to try to get my "base fast pace" per 100 closer to 1:00 and then get it under that. I approached that today; this workout felt good, but I was pretty wiped at the end.

    Updated May 29th, 2009 at 12:45 PM by pwb

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  9. Sprinting & more camping

    by , May 15th, 2009 at 01:44 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Friday workout
    Went to Cactus this morning to do some sprinting with Laura on deck:

    • 600 warmup
    • 4 x 125: on 2:00, 25 k - 50 dr - 50 swim, did one each stroke
    • 6 x 50: build on 0:55, alternated free on odds and other strokes on evens
    • Sprint set #1:
      • 2 x 50: on 2:00, fast from blocks, went 24.2, 23-high
      • 4 x 25: on 0:30, recovery
      • 4 x 25: on 0:30, fast, went fly odds from blocks, evens free
      • 2 x 50: on 1:00, recovery

    • Sprint set #2:
      • 1 x 50: on 1:00, fast from blocks, went 23.5
      • 2 x 25: on 0:30, recovery
      • 2 x 25: on 0:40, fast, went 1 free, 1 fly
      • 1 x 50: recovery

    • 12 x 25: kick on 0:40, 2 easy, 2 fast
    • 2 x 75: #1 scull-drill-swim on 1:30, #2 swim (set was 6 of these, but I got out)

    TOTAL: 2,450 SCY

    Commentary:

    • Had fun with this today as part of my "active rest" phase. Laura offered a mid-distance set as another option (which 5 of the 7 lanes did) that I considered. Once I jump back into a serious training phase in July, I'll opt to do more of those than the sprint sets based upon my analysis of this past season.

    Weekend Fun
    After camping with my youngest daughter last weekend in Yosemite, I'm heading out this evening to the Sedona area (http://www.lolomai.com/springs/tentsites.htm) to go camping with my oldest daughters, a friend and his two daughters. It's going to be a hot weekend so we're going to try to hit the "water slide" at Slide Rock state park on Saturday (http://www.pr.state.az.us/Parks/SLRO/index.html). It'll likely already be crowded, but hopefully the water (mountain runoff) will still be cold enough to scare off most people.

    Updated May 15th, 2009 at 05:44 PM by pwb

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  10. 400 IM is the perfect way to start a meet

    by , May 7th, 2009 at 05:09 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I might regret posting this tomorrow if I blow my 400 IM, but I'll say it anyway: for me, I think the 400 IM is the best event to start a meet with. It basically boils down to this: while hard physically, it is very straightforward (again, for me) strategically. Though I've certainly blown my fair share of 400 IMs in my career, as long as I control my fly and then build each additional 100, I generally swim well. Contrast that with the 200 free where I feel there are a lot more variants on strategy, tempo, kick, breathing, etc. Good thing for me that I start off with my fave event tomorrow.

    I got in the following at Cactus this AM:

    • 600 warmup
    • 8 x 25: on 0:45, with fulcrum paddle, single arm free and back
    • 4 x 50: on 1:00, free, gentle descend #1 to #3 (0:33, 0:31, 0:28) and then easy @#4
    • 4 x 25: on 0:45, 1 each stroke, explode off wall to mid-pool and then easy to the wall
    • 1 x 100: easy
    • 4 x 50: on 1:30, 1 each stroke, target 400 IM pace
      • went 0:28, 0:29, 0:35, 0:25

    • 4 x 50: recovery on 0:45, 0:50, 0:55

    TOTAL: 1,600

    Commentary:

    • Definitely feeling good. Almost wished I had gone over to swim the 1000 today.
    • I'll do an easy 400 to 600 in the competition pool later today.
    • I'll likely do the exact sets above as my warmup tomorrow.

    Updated May 15th, 2009 at 05:51 PM by pwb

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  11. Music to taper by

    by , May 5th, 2009 at 06:00 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Today I got in the following solo workout at Lifetime in SCM:

    • 600 warmup: 100 fr - 400 IM k/d - 100 fr
    • 8 x 25: on 0:45, 4 each free & back, single arm with fulcrum paddles
    • 4 x 25: on 0:45, with Z2 fins
      • #1 to #3: 12.5 fast / 12.5 easy
      • #4: all fast

    • 100: easy
    • 8 x 50: on 1:00, 2 each stroke, 1 drill, 1 moderate swim
    • 4 x 100: on 2:00, 1 each stroke, 50 FAST (90%), 50 easy
    • 4 x 50: ascend on 0:45, 0:50, 0:55

    TOTAL: 2,000 SCM

    Commentary:

    • Today was a variant of yesterday's workout and the same workout I did on the Tuesday before the state meet. By far, my freestyle feels the best of my strokes and my times on it are spot on. My back and breast feel right, but are still a little sluggish. My fly tells me that I can rest the rest of this week without worry (still tight).
    • I was feeling a need for some new music for the weekend, so I downloaded the new U2, Pet Shop Boys and Lily Allen "albums" on iTunes. I'm not too happy with U2 (too slow/mellow), but really digging the Pet Shop Boys and Lily Allen, each very different, but wonderful in their own ways. For those of you who enjoyed the late 80s cub/dance scene, the Pet Shop Boys seem to have hit that right mix between nostalgiac and modern. Lily Allen's just all snarky lyrics, great voice and nice background music to support her.

    Updated May 15th, 2009 at 05:51 PM by pwb

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  12. People smarter than me

    by , May 4th, 2009 at 02:51 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I'm so glad that people much smarter than me convinced me not to swim that OW race this Saturday. I was able to work my morning schedule today to swim solo at Cactus between 8:15 and 9:15, around the time I'll swim my 400 IM this Friday. I won't say that I'm feeling 100% ready (and I don't want to feel that way today), but I felt my first sense of easy speed since tapering for the AZ state meet.

    • 600 warmup: 100 fr - 400 IM k/d - 100 fr
    • 5 x 100: on 1:45, free
      • Plan was to descend 1 to 4 aiming for 1:10 - 1:05 - 1:00 - 0:55 and then go the 5th one easy
      • I did the 1st two at 1:07, 1:03 and then Laura (my coach) who was doing her own solo workout a few lanes over, stopped me for advice on my turns. I have this bad habit of gliding/kicking into the turn.
      • I started back up and went 1:05, 1:00 and then easy with more focus on my turns

    • 4 x 25: with Z2 fins on 0:45
      • #1 to #3: 3 hard SDKs and 5 hard strokes off wall, easy in
      • #4 all hard, no breath; went a pretty solid 0:10 flat from a push

    • 1 x 100: easy
    • 16 x 50: on 1:15, 4 each stroke
      • #1 to #3, descend to target 400 IM pace; #4 easy
      • Aimed for and went from a push
        • Fly - target 0:28, went 0:27
        • Back - target 0:30, went 0:29
        • Breast - target 0:35, went 0:35
        • Free - target 0:27, went 0:25+


    • 1 x 100: FAST, broken at 50 & 75 for 0:10
      • aiming for 0:50, went 0:51

    • 6 x 50: ascend recovery, 2 each on 0:45, 0:50, 0:55

    TOTAL: 2,500 SCY

    Commentary:

    • Felt really quite powerful today in the water. I know that Chris S. and others have said that it doesn't matter how you feel as you lead up to a taper meet, but I like the mental boost.
    • Admittedly, on the 50s, I pushed the free and back harder than I probably will be able to go in the actual race.
    • I still feel like I've got some extra speed to gain through the few more days of additional rest. At this stage, my endurance is what it is, so I'm just going to focus the remainder of the week on fine-tuning, swimming some fast broken swims, getting rest and treating my body well.

    Updated May 15th, 2009 at 05:51 PM by pwb

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  13. To bilateral breathe or not?

    by , April 14th, 2009 at 04:23 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Back in Arizona today and had time to grab a quick 2000 yard swim by myself after doing 3 rounds of 10 "speed" reps on arms only:

    • 600 warmup: 100 fr - 400 IM k/d - 100 fr
    • 16 x25: on 0:35, 4 each stroke drill, did back & free single arms with fulcrum paddle
    • 4 x 200: on 2:45, free, experimenting with left-side only breathing pattern and a gentle descend (2:25, 2:20, 2:15, 2:10)
    • 50 easy
    • 4 x 25: on 0:40, with Hans paddles and Z2 fins; 1st three half fast / half easy, last one all fast no breath
    • 50 easy:

    TOTAL: 2,000 SCY

    Commentary:

    • With four weeks until Nationals, my focus over the next three weeks is to start swimming faster in workout and to alternate days of more quality (ideally, M-W-F-Sa) with days more easy/aerobic (ideally, T-Thu). I'm laying off the leg weights completely and have reverted to a modified version of the "speed lifting" phase of the Lezak program.
    • The big debate in my mind right now is how to breathe on my 200 free at Nationals.
      • When I sprint a 50 or 100 and kick hard, I gravitate towards a left-side only breathing pattern.
      • A number of my coaches have told me that my left-side breathing is much smoother than my right-side.
      • However, I've got my entire swimming career of "muscle memory" devoted to bilateral breathing and tend to feel unbalanced after much more than a 100 of single side breathing.
      • I think I'll likely compromise and do a single, right-side breath off the turn and then switch to a left-side breath the rest of each lap, but this is something I'll play around a lot with over the next month.

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  14. 01-08: "Tech" Thursday

    by , January 9th, 2009 at 12:35 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I'm a day late again in my posting (& I imagine if I looked at my investments, many dollars short). I'll refer to yesterday as "Tech" Thursday, both for my focus on technique and because I might have finally found a tech toy that I will incorporate into my training.

    First off, I got in the morning workout with SDM for about an hour. Laura was on deck and it was a "yoga swimming" workout with lots of focus on drills and aerobic swimming. I actually can't remember the whole workout now, but the main set was a ladder (I can't recall if we went up to 400 or stopped at 300) with a hypoxic focus as follows: no breathing into the turn from the flags and no breathing off the wall until after two strokes. I tried very hard to do this and to do 5 SDKs off each wall. It was lung busting and I wasn't always successful, but felt good. I got in 2300 yards before I had to leave early.

    At lunchtime, I had a scheduled technique session with Anne Wilson (www.camelbackcoaching.com), a Total Immerson trained coach that I had worked with last fall on my freestyle. I give Anne a lot of credit for helping me rebuild my freestyle and have set up two sessions a month for her over the next four months, with a goal of focusing on a different stroke each month. January is backstroke for the simple reason that I don't feel like swimming butterfly and, being a long axis stroke like freestyle, the transition is more logical from the free work we were doing.

    I have a lot of problems on my backstroke:

    • flat handed entry on my right arm,
    • weak catch,
    • I swim crooked (lane mates watch out!),
    • feeling of little to no "grab" or propulsion of the water on my pull

    I've posted in other forums my aversion to using any types of toys in my training beyond my suit and goggles, but I might have found a toy that works: the Finis Forearm Fulcrum (see http://www.finisinc.com/products-tr-...mfulcrum.shtml). I worked with this on both single arm and regular stroke drills yesterday and the "corrective factor" I felt it forced on my backstroke was nothing short of incredible. I don't plan on using these on a daily basis, but will be doing one or two nearly completely drill-based workouts a week starting next week (on the days I lift weights) and plan to use these during those.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
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