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aztimm's training blog

I've been swimming with USMS teams since 1998. I lifeguarded and played water polo in college, but never really swam as a sport until I began masters swimming. I swim mostly just for exercise and the benefits that provides. I do occasionally swim in meets, but really enjoy open water swimming.
Currently I train with a small local team, along with some solo swims.

I also lift weights, mostly to complement swimming, and to give my upper body some form. Nearly all the time I lift at one of the local 24 Hour Fitness locations.

This blog has some info on my swimming adventures, with some real-life experiences thrown in. I love to travel, and usually try to fit in swimming/working out in different places.

  1. Wed 02262020

    by , February 26th, 2020 at 04:54 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    AM solo swim @ Sendero Springs Pool (SCY)

    when I got there no one was in the pool. they had just done a water change (they were starting on Saturday when I swam). lifeguards told me that the water temp was about 76F. I think they were hoping that I'd leave and they could stay in their warm room, but I said, "that should be fine," and I got in the water. compared with Barton Springs (around 70F) it wasn't bad. I adjusted my workout a bit, not as much rest, to keep myself moving.

    warm-up: 2000 (at the 400 point I was doing 75 free/25 stroke, and did 75 moderate/25 fast toward the end)

    100 kick w/fins + board
    4 x 125 w/fins, done as drill/swim/stroke/swim/drill
    100 kick w/fins + board
    900 swim w/fins (done 175 free/25 stroke, with 100 swim at the end)
    25 swim w/fins
    25 fly w/fins
    150 swim w/fins
    100 kick w/fins + board

    850 free (overshot that one)

    50 done breast/free
    50 done free/breast
    50 free
    50 breast
    50 easy

    400 pull w/Agility paddles + buoy

    200 w/d

    TTL: 5600 yards, 91 minutes (my breaks were quite short!)

    butterfly: 25 yards
    backstroke: 350 yards
    breaststroke: 450 yards
    freestyle: 4475 yards
    kick: 300 yards

    kind of a boring workout. I almost just did a long straight swim, since I really didn't want to stop. but after a few hundred yards the water temp didn't feel so bad, especially considering that I swim in 70F regularly. I have a rule that I need to do at least 10% of my pool workouts of non-free, and some of every stroke. sometimes I'll do more fly, but at least 25.

    I did about 5-1/2 miles (about 3 hours) at Barton Springs on Sunday, and it was wonderful! I've started to mix in a little stroke, usually after I push off of the dam (usually on even laps). otherwise my hands will sometimes start to fall asleep from the constant freestyle (well they still do anyway, and I kind of shake them for a bit during my stroke). I felt like I was the only person there for most of it.
    unfortunately (well overall it is a good thing), Barton Springs is closing for annual maintenance starting on Saturday, for 2 weeks. I might do a rare weekday swim there on Friday. Deep Eddy (has basically the same water, but into a pool that is 33-1/3 yards long) will have extended hours, and I'm sure I'll go there to make up some training. I was hoping Lake Travis would be warm enough by the time of the annual maintenance, but I don't think so.

    On Monday, since Sendero was closed, I ended up in the gym pool for just 4500 yards. it is 2 lanes/25 yards, but there was a rather large person in the other lane (created more turbulence than I get at Barton Springs), and someone shared the lane with me for a bit. I'd rate that as a tougher swim than today.

    after treadmill/weights on Tuesday, I just did 1600 yards in the gym pool. had it to myself and it wasn't bad, other than going in somewhat fatigued.

    overall, I feel much better going into SCAR this year than last. last year I only swam at Barton Springs once before SCAR, and this year I've swum there 5 times already.
    I'm at 110 miles for the year, last year same time about 90.
    In addition to getting to Barton Springs more, I want to get to a real lake (probably Lake Travis) a few times for something closer to real conditions.
    last week I got in about 30,000 yards and hoping to peak at about 35-38k before I begin my taper (just have to stay healthy!)
    Swim Workouts
  2. Building back up

    by , February 11th, 2020 at 05:40 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    After not swimming as much in December and January, I'm ramping my swims back up for the year.
    I registered for the first and last legs of the SCAR swim in late April. That's 10 miles, then a 10k. And I'll be paddling for another swimmer on the 3rd day (Apache, about 18 miles!)

    I had a nice 4.25 mile swim at Barton Springs this past Sunday morning. My goal was to swim for about 2 hours or 16 laps. I did that and thought, "why not one more just for kicks?" So that added an extra 1/4 mile The swim took about 2:15.
    Water temp is about the same all the time there; my guess is about 70F. Because it is winter, and weather that day wasn't the best (gray, steady drizzle, with a few downpours), I counted 10 swimmers (including myself) when I got in, and 6 when I got out. The lifeguards did not look happy.

    I had a whirlwind trip to Australia in January, and as luck would have it I did some o/w swims there.
    A friend from a Facebook swim group met me at the airport, I stayed at an Airbnb about a 10 min walk from his house (and 3 minutes from the pool). He carted me around, and even dropped me at the airport when I left Melbourne. Arrived late on a Thursday:

    1. Friday AM: early LCM swim @ Brunswick Baths (3500m), with their masters team

    2. Saturday: he had registered us both for the Portsea 2500m Gold Swim: I liked it so much that I then self-registered and swam the 1500m shortly after. Due to currents, I recorded my best swims ever for those distances. 2500m (26:07) 1500m (16:32, started a little late and had to catch the group).
    The 2500m was a mass start, about 400 swimmers, into some serious chop, and water temp about 68F. I hadn't done that in a while, and it kind of freaked me out at first. I took (and I'm sure gave) some punches, kicks, and had to stop to adjust my goggles once after a serious blow. But once we got going, I was able to break free of the mosh pit and chased people nearly the whole way to the finish, with some major current assist.
    After I finished, I toyed with doing the 1500m, and as my friend said, "how often are you in Australia with a chance to do this?" That sold me, and I paid the same-day fee (a bit costly for a 1500m!), and got on a bus for the start. By the time I figured out where to go for the start, they were already starting, and I nearly ran into a buoy line. But once I got into it, I was chasing down a bunch of fast guys (this was men-only, 50 to 69 I think).
    Here is the map for the 2500m swim; the 1500m was the same course but started after that first bay (where you see that notch):

    3. The morning I was flying out of MEL (to BNE), my friend took me to Williamstown Beach for more o/w swimming. We swam out quite a bit, and were headed back (against the current), when he spotted a jellyfish. I was swimming along after that and thought I bumped my friend; I stopped only to see him too far off to have bumped him, and I was a bit freaked out at that point. I stuck near him and we headed into shore. Only got in about a mile, but it was still nice to see some local haunts. Here is the map of this swim:

    4. First morning in Brisbane, I swam at Centenary Aquatic Center (LCM), and historic pool in town.
    Got in 3200m

    5. Before leaving Brisbane, I decided to try a different pool and ended up at Valley Pool (LCM) for 3300m:

    6. Flew to Adelaide, had an incredible lunch at Star of Greece, and couldn't resist the water; after walking along the beach for a bit (to recover from lunch), I changed and got in just a short o/w swim. Water was beautiful! Could see the sandy bottom from the surface even at 20 feet deep, and temp was about 75F. Since I had swum that morning, I just did a short swim:

    And here is what that beach looked like:

    After that trip, I had a short trip to London, and of course had to swim in the 2012 Olympic Pool:

    It is a 10-lane pool. They had the right 4 lanes reserved for a team. The remaining 6 lanes were organized by speed, 2 easy, 2 med, 2 fast, with the left of each as counter-clockwise, the right as clockwise. I went in lane 4 (the leftmost is lane 0), the fast counter-clockwise lane, and swam 3300m.
    It was probably the best indoor pool in the world that I've ever been in (the Brown Univ pool in Providence is pretty good though...) I was just wanting a shake-out workout, but I still felt fast in the water. The water temp was a little cool for a pool, I'm guessing about 75F.

    Now to get serious about training! ScaR (just Saguaro and Roosevelt) in April, then I did get into Swim the Suck in October. Maybe a 10k over the summer to round things out.
    Swim Workouts