I couldn't get use to this one swim workout a week thing at all. Yeah, it sounds all nice just swimming one day a week. But when I do actually get to swim it's like I haven't swam in months. How can 400 little yards hurt so much? Now I was sort of smart before I even got in the water by using some Rock Tape on my lower back area. What's Rock Tape?
Rocktape (www.rocktape.com) is a thin, stretchy hi-tech athletic tape that can be used to treat a wide variety of sports injuries such as shin splints, IT band, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendon, runner¹s knee and a host of others. It is the "Gold Standard" in Kinesiology Tape. It's lesser known use (to non-Olympic athletes) is that it can also can enhance performance by bringing blood flow to the taped area and creating muscle stability.
Rocktape can stay on for up to 5 days even with showering and swimming (for real).
In the past when I haven't swam and start swimming it's my lower back and shoulders that bother me. I didn't use the Rocktape on my shoulder mostly because I'm still learning how to put the tape on and didn't have anyone to assist me putting it on. Which I feel is the only thing that keeps me from using Rocktape more often. But with more practice on my own I'm sure I'll get to use to self applying
As for the workout itself. I printed up Joe's 4x's The Charm Workout LINK. It seemed easy enough. Well if I had been awake and read the workout properly I would have thought a bit differently. You can read the workout and explanation HERE but in a nutshell:
The workout is 4 times through the following:
800 pull (or swim)
2 x 200 IM
As for my swim…mum…sad and pathetic. Had my Garmin Swim on and deck clock on and ready to swim.
Joe's Round 1: there’s no warm up so right off the bat, the 800 is just your warm up, so make it whatever you want (I did a 200 swim/50 scull for 800 yards). The IMs are: #1 drill, #2 drill/swim by 25.
Joel's Round 1: 200 swim, 200 pull no paddles, 200 pull w/paddles, 100 something, 100 easy free then then 2x200's. Oh yeah that something was 100 swimming with fins. My normal back ache swim. I felt pretty good with the tape. But didn't want to push it with lots of butterfly coming up in the workout.
1 3:02.3 200 1:31
2 3:03.9 200 1:32
3 2:49.4 200 1:25
4 1:23.4 100 1:23
5 1:23.2 100 1:23
6 3:07.3 200 1:34
7 3:00.0 200 1:30
Joe's Round 2: the 800 is free is pull or swim. As ‘always’ focus here is on a consistent pacing (I broke mine miserably!!!) and maintaining. Watch the clock a bit (or use your watch) and maintain your pace for each 100. The IMs are: #1, kick, #2, swim/drill by 25.
Joel's Round 2: DOH! No data! Yeah, I forgot to start my Garmin Swim and didn't notice to the 18th lap. I looked at the clock around lap 16 and it was about a 5:30 on the deck clock. I was trying to do the math which prompted me to look at my Garmin Swim. I stopped in frustration realizing I wouldn't have my data. Rested a bit, contemplated continuing, giving up but finally decided to jump to Round 3.
Joe's Round 3: the 800 is broken at the 400 for 20 seconds and then negative split (so faster than the first half). The intention as with any negative split/descend/build is to make sure that there is still EFFORT on the first half so you can really feel the burn on the second half. The IMs are: #1 Reverse IM (ouch) #2 IM (yes, two 50s fly in a row)
Joel's Round 3: Call it frustration or boredom or just me being a wimp.
1 5:26.8 400 1:22
2 5:22.7 400 1:21
But I sorta felt discourage and unmotivated. I skipped the 200's and went into Round 4.
Joe's Round 4: the 800 is broken again, this time as 100s. Alternate 100 SPRINT / 100 smooth on 2:00. Do what you can to really work those SPRINT 100s. Even if you need a little extra rest. The smooth 100s should be recovery but not too sloppy. The IMs are: #1 Drill (yes, a bit of recovery) #2 IM, broken at the 50, 50s are build to hard then 5 seconds rest. On the last IM work on controlling your breathing in between each 50. Big deliberate breaths to help return your oxygen and ‘theoretically’ get your back ready to go faster.
Joel's Round 4: Ummm…I suck at this swim thing. Or at least swimming alone. I don't know how people do it. I need someone on deck or in my lane holding me accountable for my swim. I gave up after 4x100's.
1 1:11.6 100 1:11
2 1:20.7 100 1:21
3 1:13.5 100 1:14
4 1:23.2 100 1:23
Now I haven't been swimming much this month and last and the previous year. So this swim isn't horrible. Almost horrible. Just a base for me to improve on. 2,850 yards isn't bad for someone not swimming much. This month I really haven't been swimming at all 4.18 miles (=7,350 yards, =6,721 meters. I really got to sneak in some swimming this week. I can't finish a month below 10K yards! I'm subbing in a few spin classes on Monday and Tuesday but after that I should be able to squeeze in swimming. I gotta do it. As of now I'm probably going to NOT swim at any swim meets this year. Well maybe that small local meet in Ocala. But no IGLA in Seattle, no PanAm Masters in Sarasota or anything like that. I'd be too embarrassed to swim slow times.
As for the Rocktape I gotta give it good review. I haven't used it as much as I like. Two swim workouts, one run and one day at the gym. It seemed to do it's trick this morning with my back. Usually swimming with fins I feel a tweak in my lower back. Today nothing. Mind you it was only a 100. But and I hate to say that I have this really bad habit when tired in distance swimming but I do this odd butterfly kick into the wall and lift my head to breath before diving in to do my flip. Yeah, it's really bad form and a killer on the lower back. But today in my laziness I was doing it and no issues. I'm going to continue trying it out all month in swimming and running. I'll be back to running next week.
Rocktape - How to tape for general lower back pain LINK
DISCLAIMER: The fine folks at Rocktape gave me a roll of the PINK tape to try out. All the comments and idiotic review of the product is my own dumb opines and not of the fine folks at Rocktape.