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  1. 200s Day; 400 IM PR

    by , February 3rd, 2013 at 01:06 AM (Alex's swim journal)
    It's been a 6K weekend already. Last night I got in late for an EZ 2100, all freestyle. The Y was nearly deserted, but I had to swim off a pint. Probably could have taken the day completely off, but didn't want 2/1 to go by without doing something. Ground Hog day would have to be something more extraordinary. 2/2: Anthony's birthday... we celebrated by going out for a burger at lunch. Swimming this afternoon with a burger in my belly... pretty out of the ordinary!

    I needed to have a good distance day, but I did not want to overdo it. I woke up this morning feeling really tired, and since doing a couple of 6000-yard+ Saturdays in a row I figured I could hold back this week. I still wanted to do 4-5K. What to do? Since most of the week I've been doing 25-, 50-, 100-yard segments of 200 IM... trying to increase speed, I decided on straight-up 200s, with a smattering of longer IMs. Here was the plan I finally went to the Y with this afternoon after the hamburger went down:

    3 x thru
    5 x 200 on 4:00
    400 IM

    And here's how I did:

    5 x 200 on 4:00 (desc. 3:15-2:58--basically the warm-up)
    400 IM (7:20)
    5 x 200 on 4:00 (2:53, 2:53, 2:52, 2:44, 2:44--Scotty joined me for this set and I started pushing pretty good)
    400 IM (6:58*)
    5 x 200 (first 2 backstroke, broke 3:30! last 3, free 3:06-3:10)
    400 IM (7:10)
    Cool-Down:
    6 x 50 EZ free w/ a lot of dolphin kicks

    Total: 4500 SCY

    *I've probably done fewer than a dozen 400 IMs lifetime, so I was super stoked about breaking 7:00. My free leg was pretty strong (1:28), which means that my endurance is getting better on the strokes (I wasn't dog-a$# tired after 100 of each!) and, though the times on the strokes weren't blazing, they also weren't terrible... breast is now definitely the slowest. So, actually, the 400 IM PR was not that surprising... I've only been putting the pieces together for about a month and I should be improving it all the time. What did surprise me was the two 200 frees in the mid 2:40s in the second set. That's pretty close to a PR in 200 free for me and I haven't been doing 200 frees very much lately. The 200 Back in 3:29 surprised me too... I've been doing that in 2:40s-2:50s of late, so my technique and endurance is getting a lot better in that stroke. A couple of months ago my back stroke was ok, but very slow turnover... I would usually give myself 5:00 to finish a 200 back in my warm-ups and cool-downs, for example.
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  2. 2|2|13

    by , February 2nd, 2013 at 07:24 PM (Blog)
    Weights then SCM at club

    Worked everything except abdominals and core briefly and explosively. In the water I did easy swimming of mostly free and drills. Also tried my first pair of sweedes. There is no going back to $20 goggles now, the vision is unbeatable, comfort and leak proof is above average. It did take a few hours of custom fitting using 600 grit sand paper, 0000 steel wool, then polishing with a dremmel cloth, but it's worth it.
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  3. 02.02.13 - Saturday double

    by , February 2nd, 2013 at 05:03 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam at the Hsv Nat w/ Dave, Dave and Hunter. A bunch of others were there but they were on different intervals and most truncated the workout. Swam solo at Dublin this afternoon. Pretty much found my limit. On my last 50 kick, my calf seized up and I was done. Felt strong for the yardage put in.

    Morning - SCY

    600 Warm up

    12 x 50 Kick w/ fins - :50 odds on side, evens choice
    12 x 25 - :30 2 easy/2 hard
    6 x 100 - 1:20
    6 x 100 - 1:15
    100 Easy

    12 x 25 - :30 2 easy/2 hard fly, back, br
    12 x 100 Stroke - 1:40 (IM Order x 3)
    200 Cool down

    (4500 Total)

    Afternoon - SCY

    600 Warm up

    Only had an hour so I packed in as much as I could. Did a lot of IM so I could practice my back/breast turns.

    20 x 100 IM - 1:30 (Made all on 1:23-1:25)
    50 Easy - 2:00
    16 x 100 - 1:20 (These got tougher as I went but most were 1:15-1:16)
    50 Hard - 1:10 (Made :35)
    6 x 50 Kick w/ fins - :45
    100 Cool down

    (4700 Total, 9200 for the day)

    Updated February 2nd, 2013 at 05:28 PM by pmccoy

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    Swim Workouts
  4. Week 17 - Saturday

    by , February 2nd, 2013 at 04:50 PM (After a long rest)
    I was hurting pretty bad last night after yesterday's workout. Beat, is the only word that really described how I felt. Today was my birthday(43) and I felt much better. My wife(who really should be nominated for saint hood due to her ability to look after her three kids - my daughter, my son and me) brought me breakfast in bed. As the morning went on I felt much better. Even my English premier league team, Arsenal, won. I had an early lunch and headed to the pool. I took one of Pat Brundages workouts and adapted it.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup drill

    Main set
    All done with bouy and agility paddles
    100 on 1.10
    200 on 2.20
    300 on 3.30
    400 on 4.40
    500 on 5.50
    500 on 5.50
    400 on 4.40
    300 on 3.30
    200 on 2.20
    100 on 1.10

    Warm down
    300 done in 50 back, 50 free

    Total 4000

    I always seem to feel better pulling and held 1.03 pace again. Unlike yesterday this was much easier. I was excited to hold 5.15 and then 5.12 on the two 500s. The extra rest on the longer sets felt great too. I feel a little tightness in my right shoulder so will take some ibuprofen at home.
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  5. Trying to get it in before the kids meet

    by , February 2nd, 2013 at 03:18 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    A desent workout, stronger than expected.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    5x200@3:00 free w/paddles & bouy long and strong went 2:50, 2:46, 2:45, 2:44, 2:41
    300 breast kick
    300 catchup at hips w/snorkel
    400 drills

    Total 3000 yards
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    Swim Workouts
  6. Thwarted, Feb. 1-2

    by , February 2nd, 2013 at 02:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Friday:

    Drove to the pool to try to get in an easy swim before prelims of the HS Regional Champs. But I got a call that I had forgotten to leave my dome cap for Teen Fort, so I had to bring it back home. No swim. It was well worth it though as Teen Fort had an awesome meet. She dropped almost 2 more seconds in 100 evil, clocking in at 1:07 to make her State and Sectional cuts. This is a kid who hasn't swum USS in 3 years and only has a few months of masters coaching under her belt. Happily, our master coach, Cheryl Ward, was there watching her own kid, so got to see Teen Fort race. Teen Fort was very touched to get a slew of congratulatory emails from the team. I told her that masters swimmers are the best!

    I did get in a massage today. I asked for it not to be too deep, but I feel pretty beat up today.


    Saturday:

    Drove to SpringHill Rec and it was closed for a swim meet. Grr ... I did not have time to make it to the gym pool. Have to feed Teen Fort and stand in line to get into Regional finals. Oak Marr has a strict capacity limit with a cop there to enforce it. Last year, there were parents would couldn't see their kids swim. Not ideal to be out of the water 2 days before a meet, but it's just a fun meet so no big deal.

    Updated February 2nd, 2013 at 02:52 PM by The Fortress

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  7. Sat., Feb. 2, 2013 8:00-10:00am

    by , February 2nd, 2013 at 02:11 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    Warmup:

    600 (25 Free/25 V-Sit Scull)
    (600/600)

    Insane Kick Set: (I used long fins today...had to just to make the intervals!!)

    4 x 100 SDK on back @ 1:20
    3 x 100 SDK on back @ 1:15
    3 x 100 SDK on back @ 1:10 (made the 1st one, missed the other 2)
    (1000/1600)

    Main Set:
    I had a lane to myself, so I modified the set today and did bonus yardage

    4 x 200 IM @ 5:00 MAX REST [4 x 300 IM @ 5:00] held just under 4:00
    1:00 extra rest
    4 x 200 Stroke @ 5:00 MAX REST [4 x 300 Back @ 5:00] held 4:05s
    1:00 extra rest
    4 x 200 Free @ 5:00 MAX REST
    [2 x 400 Free Pull @ 5:00] went 4:30/4:32
    [1 x 300 Free Pull @ 5:00] went 3:30 I knew I had to move over to combine lanes for the incoming workout group...
    [1 x 200 Free @ 5:00] went 2:10

    200 EZ
    (3900/5500)

    Team then went to deep tank to do:
    16 x cross pool sprints ~12.5 yards @ 1:00
    I did 4 Rounds of:
    • 75 Free Pull @ 1:00 (:49/:50s)
    • 50 Free Pull @ 1:00 (:35s)
    • 25 Free Pull @ 1:00 (whatever)


    After that I joined the group for the final 4 cross pool sprint 12.5s @ 1:00
    (650/6150)

    250 EZ cooldown

    -----------------------------
    6400 Yards
  8. 7500, Can I Nap Now? 2/2/13

    by , February 2nd, 2013 at 01:16 PM (Workout Swimmer)
    Nice and chilly this morning at 35 degrees (7:30am). Water a warmish 83. As promised, no goal sets. Relays instead, which I politely declined - which 15 year old really wants a 50!+ year old lady on their relay? Talk about a handicap!! Got in -7500yds anyway, kids probably did 8000.

    600 back/free
    3 x 200 IM twitch on 2:50
    8 x 100 Pull on 1:20
    200 easy
    500-400-300-2x200-4x100 DeMont set on 1:20 base interval
    300 easy, stroke/free by 50
    8 x 100 Kick on 2:00
    200 easy choice
    20 x 50; free, choice by 5's; 3 on :50, 2 on 1:00, #4 drill/swim, #5 hard - he stopped us a couple of times and gave us some great stroke technique advice & drill ideas
    100 easy
    Relays, which I skipped
    2 x 300 Pull
    300 breast/free cool down
    Total 7500SCY

    **very tired now. On the bright side, back on pace for the GTD!
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  9. Saturday, Feburary 2, 2013

    by , February 2nd, 2013 at 10:52 AM (I swim, therefore I am)
    SCY@Catalina Isle Community HOA Pool (1 Length/12.5 yards)
    Air temp of 48, pool at 78, 100% water clarity.
    Sunny sky with humidity at 42%

    Warm Up
    500 FR DPS ABPT
    250 FR Kick, build 100-100-50
    250 FR Kick w/EVF Scull, build 100-100-50

    *Set 1*
    2(250 FR K, 250 FR S/snorkel) build 250 100-100-50
    8x25 FR on :30 Rest, Fast Kick with Fast EVF Scull
    4x50 FR on 1:00, 2(12.5 Fast K/Scull, 12.5 Strong FR Swim)
    6x12.5 FR Bursts on :20 rest, 1-3-5 K/Scull, 2-4-6 FR Swim

    *Set 2*
    250 DK
    6x50 Fly on :15 rest, as 2(12.5 DK, 12.5 DK/Scull) w/snorkel
    300 Fly DR/S as 8(12.5/RA, 12.5/LA, 12.5/FAST w/snorkel
    6x12.5 Fly Bursts on :20 rest, 1-3-5 DK/Scull, 2-4-6 Fly Swim

    *Set 3*
    250 BR K
    5x50 BR on :30 rest, steady tempo

    *Set 4*
    2(4x12.5 Bursts on :30 RI, 1:00 Rest)
    a round each of FR, FLY,

    Warm Down
    400 FR DPS ABPT, 200/snorkel, 200/without

    Comments
    No paddles, lots of band stretching before-during-after, fast sculling with kick.
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    Swim Workouts
  10. Sat, Feb 2 -

    There is a swim meet at the Huntsville Nat today so we had to be out of the pool by 7am. Still, I got a nice workout in. My arms still feel weary - I could go just so fast. It's not that I got winded and couldn't go, my arms (particularly my upper arm into my shoulders) just wouldn't pull harder/faster.

    Dave, Dave, and Peter were there along with Hsv's Carol, George, Bob, Carmen, etc. But I had a lane to myself and did my own thing.

    3 x 200 Free on 3:00
    3 x 500 Free on 7:30 (7:00, 7:03; 7:05)
    3 x 200 Free on 3:00
    12 x 100 Back w/paddles on 1:30 (30 second extra rest between 6 & 7)
    6 x 100 Free w/paddles on 1:30

    4500 yards
    73 minutes
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  11. Sat with the team

    450 (100 fr/50 stroke)
    100 ez kick
    6 min kick
    -30 sec ez, 20 sec sprint
    -IM order

    2 x through
    50's at 90%, pulls are cruise with perfect form
    2 x 50 @ 45
    100 pull @ 1:45
    4 x 50 @ 50
    200 pull @ 3:30
    6 x 50 @ 55
    300 pull @ 5:00

    Hot Tub

    We had another set to do but worked on starts instead. I felt better today than I have the past couple of weekends. This will help my confidence level leading into our state meet next weekend. I am starting to bet excited about next weekend and am happy with the spacing of my events. I think that I only have two events each day that will be back to back. Time to go to work to make a little extra cash for our Sarasota trip in June.
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  12. Fri, Feb. 1, 2013 7:00-8:30pmish

    by , February 2nd, 2013 at 01:02 AM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    Had a "sub" coach tonight...just one of our assistants. John is off at the H.S. boys district meet this weekend watching his son and the others swim this weekend. We had strict orders to follow the written workout, and any deviations or whining about it would be noted by the assistant. <-- that'll be us on Monday when John is back.
    The practice actually went along pretty well, and was a tough one.


    Warmup:

    300 Free
    6 x 50 Kick w/ board @ 1:10
    6 x 50 Free Pull @ :50
    (900/900)

    10 x 100 Kick w/ fins (25 "core kick", 25 SDK, 25 core kick, 25 Str. Flutter Kick) @ 2:00
    (1000/1900)

    Main Set: he gave us each set as we went along, so we didn't exactly know what was coming...though I had a hunch after a bit.

    10 x 100 Free @ 1:30 (held 1:10/1:11s)

    2:00 rest

    10 x 100 Free @ 1:20 (held 1:09/1:10s)

    2:00 rest

    10 x 100 Free @ 1:10 (1:07/:09/:09/:09/:09/:12/:08/:08:/:07/:06)
    (3000/4900)

    This was basically the end of practice at 8:30pm...we did do some bucket pulling relays and a 400 cooldown as well, but that was it.

    -------------------------------
    5500 Yards


    The first 5 100s of the last set were touch n go after #1. I missed #6, and knew it about halfway through that I wasn't going to make it. So for #6, I ended up going @ 1:20, then dropped back to the 1:10 interval for the last 4 of them.
    The other 2 girls in my lane didn't make any of them after #1. They did swim them all, and managed to stay out of my way as I was coming which was nice. It was a good set...just not something my body was truly ready for tonight. With my change of job at work, I'm walking a lot more now around a huge packing line, so my body is tired. Have to work at 5:00 in the morning, and will see if we can get the job done so I can make practice at 8:00am as well!
  13. Friday, Feb 1 - Getting February Started

    After Tuesday the main group starts tapering for Auburn - of course they can taper a while before they get down to me - speed wise, not distance. It was a small group today - Peter, Dave, Dave, and Roger were there and I swam with Keith.

    This was a tough weekand I still felt some weariness. But Friday ended on a good note and a one big area of stress was lifted. I spent a lot of this week just saying - "Lord, my trust is in You."

    Some of my speed and endurance was back and I felt pretty good about the workout. I held pace fairly well; but, I couldn't speed up - my arms just going go faster.

    2 x 200 Free on 3:00
    5 x 300 Free on 4:30 ( 4:05; :08; :07; :07; :02)
    100 Kick
    5 x200 on 3:00 (2:40; :40; :42; :46; 47 - just couldn't hold 2:40)
    150 Kick
    5 x 100 Free on 1:30 (1:18; :19; :21; :21; :21)
    100 Kick
    5 x 100 Back on 1:45 (kept below 1:30 - no paddles!)
    100 Kick
    500 Back w/paddles (7:13)
    500 Free w/paddles (7:08)
    4 x 100 IM (1:35 descended down to 1:30)

    5850 yards
    110 minutes
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  14. 2|01|13

    by , February 1st, 2013 at 08:31 PM (Blog)
    Dryland stuff (1|31|13) at base gym

    isolateral leg push
    • 3 sets of (9, 6, 4) reps of (185, 230, 275) lbs on each leg


    leg curls
    • 4 sets


    calves
    • 4 sets


    30 situps with purple elastic resistance

    various purple band shoulder movements

    lat pulldowns
    • 4 sets


    band loaded dips
    • 2 sets of 10



    SCY

    1925 yards

    WARMUP

    • 500 with snorkel


    SET I
    500 kick with some fins that were laying on the deck

    • ~8:30


    SET II
    2 x 50 @ 1:00 FLY with fins

    • 38, 42


    SET III
    2 x 25 @ 1:00 FLY with fins

    • 15, 13


    SET IV
    5 x 50 @ ~1:30 Free from block, easy sprint

    • muscle memory for start, sequence, breakout, and form


    SET V
    27 x 25 @ ~ 1:10 Free from block
    • same as above



    A practice for next week's SCY meet. Fins were very helpful in assisting the fly however they were an old community pair, and kept being kicked off. Can't wait until mine arrive.

    Taxes filed with turbotax today, rest of my winter will be much better compared to previous years (green digits this time).
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  15. Workout 02/01/13:

    by , February 1st, 2013 at 07:47 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Feling a bit better, but still clogged up from the neck up. Had a meeting at the corporate office this morning, stopped by my wife's grandma's house on the way home to visit, then got to the pool for a swim:

    w/u: 200 FR/200 BK/200 IM drill

    4 x 100 on :10 SR with snorkel
    - odds = kick with board
    - evens = FR with agility paddles

    Go four times through:
    - 2 x 25 on :05 SR (odds = underwater SDK, even ez FR)
    - 50 FAST IMO by round, into
    - 100 FR stroke/stretch
    - :10 SR bwt round

    200 BK with agility paddles, talked to a tri guy looking for stroke helps
    4 x 50 on :15 SR with snorkel and pull buoy, fast turnover focus
    2 x 100 with snorkel, dolphin dives in deep
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2600 yds/55 min)
    ---------------------------------

    Still not pushing the intervals too much until this head cold clears up, but it felt really good to get into the water. I am now off for a week from work; plan to do come projects around the house (not too many, I hope ) and visit Emma in Philly for a few days. Tom, when does the group meet at Ridley on Thursday or Friday, and can I drop in?

    **Breaking news ***
    Harvard meet info (March) is now posted. See thread here: http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...and-22-24-2013
    I am trying to get the weekend off to compete, but since my boss is on vacation the chances of this happening are near zero.

    Updated February 1st, 2013 at 09:03 PM by rxleakem

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    Swim Workouts
  16. Friday, February 1, 2013

    by , February 1st, 2013 at 06:41 PM (I swim, therefore I am)
    SCY@FGCU Aquatics Center
    Air temp of 57, pool at 79, 100% water clarity.
    Sunny skies with humidity at 48%
    Solo, coach Chuck on deck for Set 1,2&3

    Warm up
    200 FR DPS ABPT
    200 BK as 25 smooth/25 Fast
    4x100 Kick IMO by 100
    4x50 FR Swim on :50; 33-32-32-30

    *Set 1*
    5(4x100 on 1:15, 1:20, 1:30, 1:40, 1:15) 1:00 rest per round

    1. on 1:15 - 1:09, 1:09, 1:08, 1:07 HR130
    2. on 1:20 - 1:07, 1:07, 1:06, 1:06 HR160
    3. on 1:30 - 1:06, 1:06, 1:06, 1:05 HR170
    4. on 1:40 - 1:05, 1:05, 1:04, 1:03 HR180 (took xtra min rest before round 5)
    5. on 1:15 - 1:06, 1:07, 1:07, 1:06 HR180

    300 BK DPS ABPT
    400 Fly DPS DR/Swim
    300 FR DPS ABPT w/snorkle/agility paddles

    *Set 2*
    6(3x50 on 40, 45, 50, 40, 45, 50) 1:00 rest per round

    1. on :40 - 33/33/32
    2. on :45 - 32/31/30
    3. on :50 - 31/30/30
    4. on :40 - 32/32/31
    5. on :45 - 31/31/30
    6. on :50 - 30/30/29

    100 BR kick w/bd
    200 BR as 50 kick/bk,50 Swim
    200 FR DPS ABPT

    *Set 3*
    500 FR for time, no dive
    First 100 cannot be faster than 1:10, total time 5:45 or better

    1. 1:10.4
    2. 1:08.3
    3. 1:08.1
    4. 1:07.0
    5. 1:06.9 (5:40.7)

    300 BK DPS ABPT

    *Set 4*
    1000 FR Steady State Swim, breath 3rd stroke
    300 Fly as 25RA/25LA/25Swim w/snorkle

    Warm down
    400 FR DPS ABPT

    Comments:
    Pace control 100s & 50s FR on variable intervals, 500 FR for time w/slowest 100 first. Before 500TT, did band stretches, drank water. No speedwork today, will do bursts and short FAST swims over the weekend.

    Updated February 1st, 2013 at 07:02 PM by fdtotten

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    Swim Workouts
  17. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -02/04/2013

    by , February 1st, 2013 at 03:56 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    SCY
    WARM UP:
    2 X 200 3:00 3:00
    4 X 75 1:15 1:05
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 200 kick 4:15
    5 X 100 kick-second 50 fast- 2:15
    1 X 100 swim

    2 X 75 1:30
    4 X 25 fast:40 #4 on 1:20
    Four rounds. Round 1 fly, 2 back, 3 breast 4 choice/no free

    3 X 200-negative split- 3:00
    4 X 50 descend 1-4 1:00
    Two rounds, pulling freestyle

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    5000Y
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    Swim Workouts
  18. Fast Fri Feb 1st, 2013 scy

    by , February 1st, 2013 at 03:39 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Fast Fri Feb 1st, 2013 scy

    Days Till SC Zones

    went to Lady Gaga last night in Houston, it's 170 miles from my house
    we got home at 2 am then I woke up at 5:40 am to go to fast friday

    Whitney Coached
    6:30 - 8:00 dove in around 6:32
    SCY UT Swim Center main pool, north end
    Swam with Mike David, & Pat
    Beside Tyler Todd, Keith, Chris

    Warm up
    swim till 6:18
    dove in 1st which rarely happens

    Main Set

    10 x 50 on 1:00
    odds fast evens easy right into

    5 x 100 on 2:00
    2 fast 1 easy 2 fast right into

    10 x 50 on 1:00
    odds fast evens easy right into

    5 x 100 on 2:00
    2 fast 1 easy 2 fast right into

    10 x 50 on 1:00
    odds fast evens easy right into

    rested several minutes
    100 K no board from a dive
    went 1:02

    did flutter kicking with a board
    10 x 25
    odds easy evens fast



    Next Meet:

    2013 South Central SCY Zone Championships
    Fri Apr 5 - Sun Apr 7
    UT Austin, TX
    Days Till
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    Swim Workouts
  19. Swimming

    by , February 1st, 2013 at 01:35 PM (After a long rest)
    Over the last ten years I have thought about improving my health, and from time to time have done different things about it; however nothing really seemed to drive me to make life altering changes. I joined and rejoined a local gym, like others I made and broke New Years resolutions, but nothing really stuck. Something happened this past year, I dont really know why, but I do know what. Swimming some serious swimming.

    In April 2012 my daughter joined a local swim team. I had wanted both my kids to swim, like I did. My twelve year old son tried a few years ago but swimming was not for him. My daughter on the other hand was a natural, where my son swam with feet down in the water dragging his body through the water with as much effort as his little body would permit, my daughter was horizontal, flat, effortless, and could get from one end of the pool to the other without breathing. I was excited when she took after her old man and joined a swimming club, but still I did not have any desire to get back in myself. Mid-year my company entered the Dallas corporate challenge, and despite being intrigued by the idea of a corporate swim team, my displeasure at my body weight and shape put a road block in my participation. I was never a really big guy, and despite not really feeling like I was a vein person, vanity took over and I did not volunteer when the initial email went out. Several weeks went by and one of my colleagues asked if I was interested in participating in the swimming. I struggled with directly saying know and instead told the truth that I was supposed to be out of the country on a Business Development trip in the middle east. An email from HR asked if they could put me down as an alternate if the trip was cancelled. The week before the event my trip did get cancelled, but still I did not feel compelled to notify anyone and was trying to avoid the event. My colleague found out about my trip cancellation and I received an email from HR letting me know that the corporate challenge started at noon on Sunday. I was cornered!!!

    At the event I wore board shorts to cover my belly, and hoped in and out of the warm-up quickly despite others at the event having similar looks and bodies. The corporate challenge went very quickly but as my event approached butterflies that I used to get when I competed in college came back, and I started to get the old but familiar buzz associated with a swimming race. My particular event came and went in a flash. The dive went fine, and the first length was unremarkable, the turn was over in a flash and as I broke the surface out of the corner of my eye I saw another swimmer. The second length hurt and continued to hurt the close to the finish I got, but I also felt something I had not felt in 20 years, the desire to win. Obviously swimming is not mortal combat but for a brief couple of seconds, nothing else mattered except winning. The pain went to the back of my mind, still there but second to the desire to hit the wall before my competition. Honestly at the end of the race I could not tell you whether I won, instead I felt a buzz, the buzz of racing, the hurt of competing and the thrill of completing something more meaningful than a race. I had reconnected with an inner self I had left behind 20 years earlier.

    It took me a few weeks to realize I wanted more of this feeling, and signed up for the local masters team. Again I was embarrassed by the belly and not necessarily what others thought but rather what I thought of myself, my own lack of self-image. This time however I had a different feeling, I had the inner feeling fresh in my mind from the corporate challenge and this was stronger than the shame of my belly. I joined the local masters team and at my first practice it was hell, pure hell. I was lapped more than once, but there was encouragement. There were people who had similar stories to mine. People who wanted to feel good about themselves, people who meditated in the pool, crazy men and women who got an adrenalin rush at 4.30 in the morning at the thought of jumping into 74F water and burning 1000-2000 calories over the course of an hour or two. I know its probably hard to believe but I even woke up early excited at the thought of going to the pool.

    A comment from the team coach about a team rule requiring men to wear briefs or jammers instead of board shorts even motivated me to buy a pair of size 36 swim jammers. Further I was motivated to lose weight for the first time in my life, despite the feeling of embarrassment about my increasing waistline over the last ten years. In my desire to lose weight was not motivated by vanity, but rather a desire to swim faster. Before setting myself any swim goals, I set myself a weight target. I wanted to drop from my starting 223 to 190. My coach had indicated he felt that I needed to drop 30lbs to get to where I wanted time wise, so one day I just decided to do it. I did not wait for New Year or the following Monday, I just said I am going to do it. I used myfitnesspal on my iPad, and challenged my wife to join me. I wanted help; because I knew I had some serious food and drink vices. My pension is for dairy products, bread, and beer. Somehow I managed to get through the initial urges and after a week the diet became much easier. Not intentionally, but again somewhere deep inside I made choices like, an extra 15 minutes of swimming vs. a beer(after all they both have the same number of calories), one is calories in, the other is calories out. I stopped focusing on the goal and instead did small things, made small choices always with the intent of swimming faster.

    Gradually my swimming became easier and my weight loss became more apparent. First I went from 36 jammers to 34s, and then to 32s, my weight dropped at 3-5lbs per week, my workouts went from the one being lapped to the one doing the lapping.

    On Christmas Eve I stuck around an extra 30 minutes to drop a few extra calories and weighed in at the end of practice. I was nervous thinking I would not hit my target, but I hit it. I weighed in at 188.8. I had made my goal. I felt even better about myself. In hindsight, whether I hit my 190 goal or not I had made a life style change. I was having fun, I had enjoyed the journey, I was swimming fast. Not as fast as I wanted but I was swimming fast!

    Over Christmas I decided that I wanted to take the next step in my journey, I wanted that feeling I had at the corporate challenge; not just the feeling I got from practicing, I wanted that feeling I got when I raced.

    I emailed my coach and asked him if he could help me develop a program aimed at competing at the US Nationals in May. He responded very quickly and suggested I stuck around after the next practice. After practice we discussed my desire. He pressed me on what I really wanted and I responded that I wanted to be competitive at Nationals. He pressed me again and I finally said I wanted to win Nationals. He smiled and said he would help me. We developed a program based on 3 week cycles. The idea was to build up my pool time and yardage over the course of several months. Swimmers typical build yardage throughout the season and then taper for major meets. This usually involves building yardage over an extended period of time and then reducing yardage and increasing speed training over a much shorter period, the net result being that for a short period of time you end up with a ton of energy that you can channel into very quick races at your desired competition. We worked out that we would do 6 cycles culminating in a 1 cycle taper prior to US Masters Nationals on 9th May in Indianapolis.

    With the training program set I still needed to get qualifying times to make it to Indianapolis and compete in the events I wanted to compete in. I have always been more of distance and middle distance swimmer, than a sprinter, however I wanted to swim in as many events as I could and decided to compete in all freestyle swimming events, this program was always called the ladder; consisting of the 1000, the 500, the 200, the 100 and the 50. Unlike age group swimming, where there is a swim meet nearly every weekend, masters swimming has far fewer events and competing requires traveling further. I signed up for my first event in Bryan, Texas on 19th January, and entered the 200, 100 and 50 free events. Once of my team mates had warned me that the events went very quickly and not to enter too many events or else I would be doing nonstop racing. Race day finally came and my daughter, my mother and I left Rockwall at about 6.30am and headed down to Bryan (near College Station). The pool was at an Aerofit fitness center on the outskirts of town. Luckily it was easy to find. Unfortunately the pool was rather old, the facility was cold, but worst of all the pool was shallow; so shallow that I hit my hand on the bottom of the pool on a couple of turns. With all that I still had a blast, I won all three races, made all three qualifiers and even had people telling me how inspired they were by my swims (talk about an ego rush).

    Despite work being hectic, I have yet to miss a morning practice and have made time after work and at the weekends to increase my workouts and my swimming yardage. Even when I went away with work I went to the usms.org website and found masters teams who I could train with. I have swum with teams in Alexandria, Toronto, Omaha and Tampa so far. I even discovered that there are international teams if I travel internationally. Where once I struggled to get out of bed and go to the hotel gym while traveling, I would now set my alarm for 4.15am to make it to the pool at 5am to swim with a group of people I had never met before. All to jump into cold water and bust my ass, all in the search of that feeling; my lungs screaming for more air, my muscles and joints burning, that resulted in an inner calm I craved, that inner rush of swimming fast.

    I dont know if this feeling will last and honestly I am not thinking that far ahead to even really worry about it. I do have lofty goals but for the first time in a long while I am living in the moment, I am having fun and I am swimming fast.
    Categories
    Weight loss
  20. Wek 17 - Long friday

    by , February 1st, 2013 at 01:11 PM (After a long rest)
    This was a wooping. I got back from DC at around 10pm and did not get home til closer to 11pm. The alarm came early but I felt good in the warmup. The main set was a 4200 yard high quality long set, that absolutely tore me up.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on 45

    Main set
    1x100 on 1.03
    6x100 on 1.20
    2x100 on 1.03
    5x100 on 1.20
    3x100 on 1.03
    4x100 on 1.20
    4x100 on 1.03
    3x100 on 1.20
    5x100 on 1.03
    2x100 on 1.20
    6x100 on 1.03
    1x100 on 1.20

    Warm down
    300 easy

    Total 5000

    I held most of the 1.03s but then struggled on the first of the next set on the 1.20s. This hurt like nothing I have done in my comeback to date. With that said I felt good I did it. I am going to sleep all day tomorrow.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts