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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. Tues Nov 25, PM Run

    by , November 26th, 2008 at 12:20 AM (aztimm's training blog)
    Tues 25 Nov, PM run
    I was determined to get in a run tonight. With turkey day quickly approaching, and my vacation starting next week, I want to try to prevent any unnecessary weight gain. I left my office in an attempt to get a haircut, but my barber had already left by the time I got there. Since the shop is on Mill Ave, I figured I might as well make the most of it and do a Tempe Town Lake run.
    Nike+ Graph detail: aztimm_run_11252008
    Run details-- distance: 7.86 miles, time: 1hr 3 min 58sec, pace: 8:08/mile, calories: 975
    temp at start: around 78, and humid (for here), at finish: around 75
    Some people say Tempe Town Lake is the best place to run in the area, others say it is the worst. I'm somewhere in the middle. A very nice benefit of doing night runs there is that it is extremely well lit. It is also fairly well marked, with markers ever 1/4 mile, if you want to do some sprints.
    I began with iPod trouble; I figured I'd walk down toward the Art Center while my iPod rebooted, and it took almost the whole walk. So I began at the Art Center, ran back to Tempe Beach Park, under the Mill Ave bridge, and up to the Rural Rd bridge (all along the South side of the lake). From there, I went up to the Rural Rd bridge, took it to the north side, went back down lakeside, and continued on my Easterly path. The Town Lake path converges with the Scottsdale Greenbelt. There are underpasses wherever roads meet (I went under both Curry and McKellips). Just North of McKellips is a lake in Scottsdale, I ran around that, then headed back South (it is close to McKellips/Hayden). Just as I was going under the McKellips underpass, I ran into a group of bikers, some kids with a guy--who turned out to be someone I swim with (I paused briefly but really didn't want to screw up my run).
    Overall, it was great to run in a different area, I think I had been getting stale doing the Consolidated Canal near my house most of the time. It was very busy when I started, not so bad once I got off the lake, and just a few people when I finished.

    Planning to swim tomorrow morning, lift tomorrow night.
  2. Tues Nov 25: AM Swim

    by , November 25th, 2008 at 05:52 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    Tues Nov 25: 6AM Swim workout with the team, ASU Student Rec Complex (SCY)
    did 60 pushups and held The Plank for 2 min before leaving home
    600 warm-up
    the following set (basically 3 rounds of 300/200/100):
    --300, 200, 100, all swim with 10 sec rest per 100, but all different strokes...I did free/breast/back, the others in my lane just did free
    --300, 200, 100, all pull with 10 sec rest per 100, I put on my paddles/pull buoy
    --300, 200, 100, all kick with 10 sec rest per 100, I wore my Zoomer fins for the 300 and 200. did the 300 fly kick w/board, the 200 fly kick on back (no board), the 100 just free kick w/board
    four rounds of the following:
    --50 swim, build on 1:15
    --25 swim FAST on :45
    --25 kick, build on :45
    --25 kick FAST on :45....I managed to take about 15 dolphin kicks, surfaced for a breath, then made it to the wall...really could feel my abs burning
    200 cool-down

    total: around 3100 yards

    planning to do a run tonight, haven't decided if I'll go home and do it there, or run near work.
  3. Mon Nov 24: PM Weights

    by , November 24th, 2008 at 11:51 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    Got home with just enough time to squeeze in a quick weights set before dinner....not quite my whole routine, but I'll take it:
    chest press (with machine), chest flys (machine), chest press (dumbells), chest flys (dumbells), triceps curls (dumbell), triceps pull downs (machine), lat press (machine), biceps curl (dumbell). Finished with about 70 elevated situps, 20 of them Rocky-style. Maybe 50 min or so; sometimes when I have a limited time I move faster, watch my rest times between sets more, and actually get in a better workout than when I have more time.

    Usually run on Tues mornings, but I'm doing field visits with a district manager, so I'll swim so I can get out to North Phoenix easier (beat the traffic from home into town). Depending when we finish, I'm hoping to get in a run late tomorrow...either near my office (around the zoo/botanical gardens) or along Tempe Town Lake.
  4. Mon Nov 24: Distance Swim

    by , November 24th, 2008 at 10:26 AM (aztimm's training blog)
    Mon Nov 24, 6AM Swim workout with the team, ASU Student Rec Center
    did 60 pushups and held The Plank for 2 min before leaving home
    air temp around 50, water around 78
    wore my usual very bright Speedo drag/swimsuit in 1 thing
    400 warm-up
    3 x 500 @ 1:30/100 pace, descending 1-3, came in around 6:40, 6:30, 6:25
    3 x 400 @ 1:30/100 pace, descending 1-3, came in around 5:25, 5:10, 5:05
    3 x 300 @ 1:30/100 pace, descending 1-3, came in around 4:10, 3:55, 3:45 (last is unclear as the coach unplugged the clock)
    200 warm-down
    total: 4200

    was all psyching myself up for an IM set (especially after reading about pwolf's weekend swims), then get a distance set instead. worked out well, my legs are still sore from my run yesterday, and the easier swims allowed me to stretch

    Sounds like no swimming on Thurs-Fri due to the holiday. I may make one of my rare Sat appearances, especially with beginning my vacation next week. All of a sudden that vacation I've been planning for a few months starts next Monday. I did contact a team for the first part of my trip, and may swim with them a few times. Not looking forward to a ~12 hr plane ride, but at least it will be over with.

    Planning for weights tonight, as long as I get home at a decent time. Tomorrow will be swim in the morning, and hopefully a run in the evening.
  5. Sun Nov 23: Long run

    by , November 23rd, 2008 at 02:03 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    Sunday Nov 23, long run morning
    did some stretching, 60 pushups, and held The Plank for 2 min before heading out
    temp at start around 45F, at finish around 60F
    wore my usual Nike Pegasus shoes, Reebok shorts, and sleeveless Nike top. yea it was a little chilly at first, but after 2-3 miles, I was fine. towards the end I felt like taking off my shirt, but didn't
    Graph from Nike+: aztimm_run_11232008
    Run details-- distance: 17.78 miles, time: 2 hrs 25 min 33 sec, avg pace: 8:10/mile, calories: 2206
    I said last night that I would try not to go out too fast, but with it being cold I wanted to warm up, and couldn't really help it. Then the some good pace music started...Meatloaf's, "Paradise by the dashboard light," lasted from mile 2 to 3, and then some other stuff continued. I stopped for water around 4.5 miles, 10 miles, 13 miles, then around the 15.5 mark. I did stop very briefly to use the restroom around 12 miles.
    Saw lots of people out today. For the last 1-2 miles there was a guy on the other side of the canal with a biker pacer who was going about the same speed, made a nice finish.
    This was my 2nd furthest run yet (furthest was 18.15 about 3 weeks ago). Thought of doing a 20-miler, but don't want to overdo it. Maybe next week, if not I'll work up to one just after my vacation. Really felt good, held a pretty good avg pace over the whole thing.

    Took about 20-30 min rest after I got back (when I wrote the above), then did about 25 min of intensive abs. Started with 70 elevated situps, then 600 crunches (300 with legs crossed each way), 150 with an 11 lb dumbell, another 200 regular (100 legs crossed each way), 300 obliques (150 to the right, 150 to the left), another 200 regular, 150 with a 5 lb dumbell, another 200 regular. My stomach was burning when I finished.

    Watched some of the AZ Ironman coverage on a local news channel. The weather gal was deployed to Tempe Town Lake, the looks on some people as they got out of the water were priceless. They still had the bike and run to go!
  6. Sat Nov 22, afternoon weights

    by , November 22nd, 2008 at 10:32 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    I was pretty wiped out last night, slept in until 8:30 this morning, and could have probably slept more.

    Got in a good weights set this afternoon. Had a late start, slept in and was busy cleaning, but still managed this set.... chest press (with machine), chest flys (machine), chest press (dumbells), chest flys (dumbells), triceps curls (dumbell), triceps pull downs (machine), lat press (machine), seated row (machine), biceps curl (dumbell), and biceps curl (machine). Finished with about 70 elevated situps.

    Tomorrow is a long run morning. Depending how I feel, I'll do at least 15, maybe as much as 20 miles. Just need to start out nice and steady and hopefully keep it.
  7. Friday Nov 21, evening workout

    by , November 22nd, 2008 at 12:14 AM (aztimm's training blog)
    Fri Nov 21, swam with the team, 6PM ASU Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, Short Course Yards
    air temp around 75, water upper 70s (maybe 78)

    50 warm-up (got there late)
    4 x 75 @ 15 sec rest
    6 x 50 @ 1min 10 sec
    main Friday....6 rounds of the following, fast swims all OFF THE BLOCKS
    1 x 50 @ 2min, FAST freestyle (I did a 100 on the last round)
    1 x 50 @ 2min, FAST non-free (I did them all breast)
    1 x 100 @ 2 min, easy recovery

    About 200 easy cool down

    Almost didn't get there, was working, then when on the way the light rail seemed to be in my way the entire way over. The traffic restrictions for the Ironman certainly didn't help. Then when I finally made it to the pool, I was in the locker room changing and realized I left my towel in the car, so ran out to get it.
    Even with all of that, I had one of the best swim workouts I can remember. I held 27 to 28 sec for the 50s free, and 34 to 36 sec for the breast
    So here's my story on the 100. I asked the coach towards the beginning when would be a good time to do the 100, he said at the end. So he's blasting some Rage Against the Machine from the music system thing, when he sent me off. I had a great start, but thought I should hold back a touch on the first 50, so I didn't do as many dolphin kicks, took a few extra breaths. On the 2nd 50, I pushed it pretty hard. When I came in, by the time I looked at the clock, it said 1:04, which is great for me, I was happy....then the coach came over and said I did a 1:02, I thought he must be joking (he said something like, "That's pretty good for you.". I couldn't believe it, I've never gone that fast....EVER. Originally I wasn't going to do the last 50, but I was so pumped then, I pulled myself out and still went off the block, and did a :35 for that last breast. Johnny (the coach) did tell me that he could tell I held back on that first 50. He thinks I can easily get a min (or less) by Mar/Apr.

    Wow, what a great week this has been. I recorded my fastest mile (7:22) since I've been using Nike+ (that's comparable to when I did triathlons, back in 1996...still a ways to go to my Army 5:15 tho). Then today, to do a 100 free in 1:02 in practice, a double at that, after working a full day in between. I should probably buy a lottery ticket.

    Edited to add:
    I wore a Speedo Aquablade brief. I usually wear it for our Friday speed sets.
    The Mona Plummer is a nice and fast pool. Outdoor but heated. It was quite a difference just diving off the blocks -v- at the Rec Center. I'd hate to become a pool snob, but I really didn't feel like I had to put in the same effort to get better results. I may have gotten a touch of draft, went 10 sec behind Doug (he's also on these forums).

    Updated November 22nd, 2008 at 10:40 PM by aztimm

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