Monday's Workout Sneak Peek
Fox Sports: Cooking With Natalie Coughlin

That Was Harder Then It Looked On Paper

I am slowly getting use to my routine of going to bed early and waking up early to go swimming.  It only took a week but it seems like my body is getting use to it.  Luckily for me it comes just in time for me recomitment to swimming.  At least for now I've cut back the alcohol consumption to none and eating healthier.  Or at least trying as I am not about to give up brownies and cookies!  And although I haven't been drinking in a week I will have a cocktail from time to time just not when I have to get up and go work out in the morning.  This morning I woke up before my alarm went off and didn't need to hit snooze to get out of bed.  It was a bit cooler in my room when I woke up but I got on my Pink Gator brief swim suit and started to layer up.  While I was in the parking lot waiting for the pool to be unlocked I could see steam rising from the pool.  Wahoo!  That means the heater is on.  But how hot will it be?  Since I was first for once in the pool I got the honor of using the digital thermometer to test the water.  It read 80.1F.  Then another swimmer tested in mid-length in another lane and got 80F.  Not so bad.  With the air being about 40F I can live with pool water at 80F. 

Since the people left the pool without swimming yesterday the turnout today was very light and I had my own lane.  On the bad side was that I had to swim the workout on my own.  I don't know what the other lanes did but it wasn't what I did. 

What I Swam:
1x400 loosen

1x300 swim, kick, pull, build by 50 (300/700)

Main Set: Continious...
2x50 (100)
1x100 (100/200)
4x50 (200/400)
1x200 (200/600)
6x50 (300/900)
1x300 (300/1200)
6x50  (300/1500)
1x300 (300/1800)
4x50 (200/2000)
1x200 (200/2200)
2x50 (100/2300)
1x100  (100/2400/3100)

Do your 50s on :50 and your longer swims on 1:30.  The object is to swim the corresponding longer swims faster on the second half of the set.  Use the 50s to set up your pace.

1x200 easy pull (200/3300)

4x50 - easy/fast on 1:15 - use your legs! (200/3500)

During warmup I was feeling good.  Must have been the water.  I felt strong.  Hell I told myself that maybe I'd stay and do the main set a second time.  Ha!  Wishful thinking.  By the time I was done with the main set I was done!  I decided I'd try to hold at least a 35 for the 50's pace and the pace for the set.  For the 50's that was easily done for the whole set both up and down the ladder of the workout.  The first 100 I went pretty fast and came in at like a 1:08.  My first 200 I did about a 2:24.  My first 300 was I think a 3:34.  Or was it slower? Can't remember.  I do know that I was able to descend the 2nd half.  Which was methodology of the set.  To be stronger in the long swims.  I did a 3:30 for the second 300, a 2:18 for the second 200 and a 1:07 for the second 100.  The 50's towards the ends I was coming in at 34/35's.  Which was all I wanted to do for the 50's.  I wanted to hold pace and not use them as complete recovery swims.

A couple of things that the coach pointed out to me today were my feet.  I tend to drag my feet which I knew but almost like anvils.  I keep my toes pointed down created lots of drag.  So I was doing my best keeping my toes up pointing towards the wall.  The second thing was again with my feet and legs but off the wall.  I was really dropping my legs on my push off creating lots of drag.  So I had that in mind as I was swimming including all the other stuff with my head position, breathing, left arm entry and so many other things. 

Then after my very easy 200 pull I did the 4x50's.  I really worked on using my legs and kicking like crazy.  Since it was easy down and fast coming back I tried to engage my feet a bit during the easy part and let them rip in the fast part.  It's a different concept for me to move my arms fast while using my legs.  So this is a great set for me.  I need to do this more.  I was coming in under 35 seconds which ain't bad considering the first 25 was easy.  Showing me that using my legs is key.

The full workout was 3,500 SCY something I haven't done in a while but need to do.  Best Workout In Months!  Well till tomorrow!  I really do feel like I'm on a comeback just need to keep it going.


I so agree about the filming. My old masters team would have clinics and wed film before and after above and under water. I have a few of them on youtube and watch them from time to time. Its amazing what you remember after you see it. Back when I was a kid our age group use to film us and wed watch in on vhs. I dont really remember any of that except the camera was the size of a small car.

The other day I asked a friend of mine to film me while doing the freestyle. After watching the video I was shocked to see that at a certain point in my flutter kick I was kicking with the toes of my right foot pointing down towards the bottom of the pool. I was totally oblivious to this. So you might want to do the same and have a friend film you...

Believe me, when you see the flaws in your stroke by yourself, they get burned into your retina and you do work hard to get rid of them :-)

Sounds very good!

I agree with you that cookies are a wiser indulgence for the athlete than alcohol - I definitely do best when I limit drinking to once a week max...

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