Rearview Mirror: Swimming in 2009

These year end numbers are not exact as I may not have logged every workout into my ongoing log totals.  But from what I have logged I have swam a total of 533,344 yards for 2009.  That is using a total of yards and meters and then having the log on the USMS website figure it all out for the Go The Distance login. 

The year itself was an okay year for swimming.  Swam at the USMS SCY Championships and had an okay swim meet.  Had a few personal best times.  Had 2649_82409939736_629204736_1617688_1175793_n some okay times.  But I swam and didn't get DQ'ed which is half the battle.  For SCY Season I ranked 10th in the 1650 for Men 35-39 in USMS Swimming.  Not too shabby.

Then I sat out LCM season with no swim meets.  Not that I swam many meets in 2009 in any pool length.  I swam at 4 SCY and 2 SCM meets.  That is more then enough.

When SCM season rolled around I gotta admit my swim meet swimming started off pretty bad and kept on getting worse.  I swam a meet at UCLA and in my 100 back and 100 fly did some of my slowest swims ever.  I alsn my 1500 i did my 2nd fastest time but it was so far behind my best time that I wasn't happy.  My 400 free, 200 fly and 200 back were also not very fast times for me.  On the last day of the meet I finally got into my grove and did a personal best in the 800 free.  Guess 2009 was the year of the 800 free for me. It'll be a few months before any Top 10 times are released but looking up my rankings I have a few but those can and may change as meets are still being loaded into the USMS database. 

Overall it was a good year.  As for 2010 and my goals you can read that post LINK that I typed up on my flight to Florida last week. 

I Could Get Use To The Medium Lane

Late this afternoon on my way home I stopped at the LA Fitness in Hollywood and did some weight training.  Going later in the day when the gym actually has people is motivating me to push myself.  Not in the typical macho bullshit way of trying to keep up or show off.  But as compared to going at 6am half awake with very few people the gym is more alive in the afternoon.  Which gets me motivated.  I did about 50 minutes of my circuit routine which now includes leg work.  I said this the other day and I'll say it again "working my legs for my push off the walls is a top priority for me this year!"  Hell the 1650 has a lot of those damn walls.  I need to work each one of them.  After the gym and about 2 hours recovery I decided to hit the 7pm swim practice.  I jokingly earlier emailed someone that I'd be swimming in the medium lane tonight and when I got to swim I did jump in the medium lane.  The fast lanes filled up pretty fast and I would have been in the wall lane with 4 other swimmers.  But in the medium lane I'd be in the middle with only 3 other people.  Ding, Ding, Ding, we have a winner.  Swimming in the medium lane was an easy choice.  And it turned out to be harder than I thought it would be. 

Warmed Up a 250 swim and a 350 kick.  Yup, I kicked!  Part of the whole working my legs thing.  I still have issues with kick sets as I'm still trying to kick and swim at the same time in freestyle.  Right now I'm doing a one beat kick instead of the typical 4 or 6 beat kick.  But I'm working on it.  (600)

Warm Up Set:
100 (75 catch up / 25 finger tip drag)
100 (75 fist / 25 swim)
75 kick
50 kick
25 kick fast (700/1300)

Then we did a 300 pull breathing by 25 3/3/5/7/3/5/5/7/3/5/7/7 OY!   (300/1600)

Main Free Set:
4x75's on 1:25/1:20/1:15/1:10 (300)
200 on 2:50(200/500)
4x75's on 1:25/1:20/1:15/1:10 (300/800)
200 on 2:50 (200/1000)
150 on 2:10 (150/1150)
4x75's on 1:25/1:20/1:15/1:10 (300/1450)
200 on 2:50 (200/1650)
150 on 2:10 (150/1800)
100 (100/1900)
Yes the intervals were pretty easy.  Yes I got extra rest.  But I worked every turn and every push off the wall.  The one thing that was crazy was that the pool was so wavy that when I did come up I was pushed right against the lane line.  I have the battle marks to prove it.  I really worked this set so by the end of it my arms were sore.  Even my legs were sore from pushing off as hard as I could and kicking underwater.   (1900/3500)

I took a pee break while the lane did a 50 easy

Stroke Set:
100 IM on 1:50
75 on :20
50 on 55
25 on 35
100 Fast on some interval I forgot. 
The first round I went backstroke and the second round I did butterfly.  My butterfly is so out of whack.  The 200 butterfly is looking more and more unlikely at this point.  (500/4000)

Then I warmed down a 50.  So tonights total yardage was 4050.  Total month and year to date yardage is 64,440.  That may be it for the month but who knows. 

Sleeping In And Not So Much Butterfly

OH my lofty goal of waking up and hitting lap swim was a big failure this morning.  When my alarm went off on my iPhone to wake me I could feel the coldness of outside sneaking in from the window above me bed.  At that point I hit snooze.  And then again.  And again.  Finally I decided to sleep in.  The extra few hours were overdue for me.  Last night I was so tired that I couldn't even stay up to watch Lost.  I crawled into bed an watched Days of Our Lives on iTunes.  While I was watching I wrote up a little workout to do based on a previous workout.  It would be heavy on the 100 butterfly since I have the 200 SCY butterfly at the Rose Bowl Meet in 9 days.  The main set in theory was this:

1-4 1 fly / 3 free all on 1:30
5-8 2 fly / 2 free all on 1:35
9-12 3 fly / 1 free all on 1:40
13-16 all fly on 1:45

I figured that interval was doable considering the whole workout was pretty much that set plus a warm up set.  Warmed up was about 1,500 then the set.  So I figured I'd put 100% into the set.  I think I've done this set or one very much like it at least twice before so I knew I could handle it.  Even with being a bit out of shape on the butterfly.  I was hoping that the 6:30am lap swim wouldn't be so crowded so I'd have my own lane and the pool would be pretty calm. 

As for my actual workout plans for today I'm still debating.  I need to do my weight training later on since I didn't even bother to muster the energy to do that either this morning.  I figure I'll hit the gym on my way home which should be around 4 today.  Maybe a bit earlier.  Then maybe, just maybe I'll hit the 7pm workout after.  I wish I had a crystal ball and could see who will show up and how busy the lanes will be before I commit myself to swimming tonight.  I guess I could go and if I feel too crowded in the pool just take it easy and work on technique.  I got over 10 hours to think about that.

Almost Too Cold To Be Outdoors Today In Los Angeles

This morning after the second time I hit the snooze button I told myself I needed to stay in bed.  After an internal struggle of sleeping in or going swimming I ended up facing the freezing temps (40 degrees F) and biked to swim.  Nothing is more fun than running from the locker room showers, wet in a speedo on deck to the pool.  Of course the pool temp was a little toasty so at least during the warmup the warm water felt good.

Warmed up a 400 on my own.

5x50's Kick on 60 (250/650)

The 500's:
500 as follows 50 Drill / 50 Swim no interval.  The drills were modified swordfish, on arm, 3 free / 3 back, 3 strokes / kick / 3 strokes and finger tip drag.

500 Pulling on 6:30 (1st 200 breathing 3/5/any/7 by 50 then a 300 DPS)  I only counted my strokes for the last 100 of the 300 DPS.  I was leading so counting laps and remember my interval was in my head to the last 100.

5x100's on 1:20.  Pace.  I did #'s1, 3,4 & 5 on 1:12 and #2 on 1:11

we took a short break before launching into

2x500's on 7 mins.  I did the first one on 6:12 and the second one on 5:50.  The second one was suppose to be faster and I worked it.  Doing that was a bit tough.  With the lane lines slowly becoming just wire in between the lanes and the lane over having swimmers doing butterfly it was like swimming in the ocean.  Every so often you'd catch someone's wake and it was like you went backwards.  I will admit since the lane lines are without plastic markers for the first 10 yards off each wall it is really making me work on my underwater streamline to avoid the big wave areas.  So some good comes of this somewhat disaster of a pool. (2500/3150)

50 easy (50/3200)

2x75's easy-ish on 1:15 (150/3350)

3x25's off the block (with 2x25's easy back ot the blocks) (125/3475)

The yardage for today's swim was 3,475.  I was tempted to do a double with freestyle as my first workout then hop on over to the stroke lanes for the 2nd but I was feeling a bit sore and tired.  Plus I looked and the 7:15 workout had about 6 strokers in the fast lane and just that many in the free lane so I decided to bail.  I'll work on my fly on Friday.  Really, I will!  Hey, I did a 25 sprint fly off the blocks.  That is some fly!

Total yardage month and year to date is:  60,350.  With possibly 2 more swims left this month i should come in just over 65,000 yards.  Although one of those swims may be a LCM swim.  Maybe.  I plan on swimming Friday morning and Saturday.  Sunday will be my recovery day instead of Saturday as it is Super Bowl Sunday.  Have a party to attend at the same time as the afternoon swim so the party wins out.

Fore! Swim Golf Drill Day

It is almost too cold to be swimming outside but of course I still swam anyways.  I met up with a team mate of mine and we did a quick little lap swim workout.  It was time to try 9 Hole Swim Golf!  In between swimming today I was able to meet a reader of my little blog and fellow swimmer (Arthur) who was vacationing from South America. 

Here was the workout:
300 Swim
200 Pull No Paddles
200 Pull with Paddles
100 Swim (700)

2x25's Free pn 20
1x50 Free on 40
1x100 easy 9200/900)

Golf Swim
Do one 50 on 2 minutes freestyle.  Count your stroke and get your time!

9x50's on 60.  Counting your strokes and getting your time for each 50.  (500/1400)

100 easy (100/1500)

5x100's  1:45/1:40/1:35/1:30/ all our sprint on the last one (500/2000)

Warm Down Set:
50 Kick
50 Swim
100 Kic
50 Kick
50 Swim (300/2300)

For the Golf Swim I went to find a cheap white board like those that we all use to have on our dorm door but didn't want to pay 10 bucks.  So then I figured I'd use our teams board as it would be just on deck collecting dust.  But since it was just the two of us I figured I'd use my notebook and jot the score (stroke count + time) down.  Well water and ink don't go well together even more so on wet paper.  I got some of them down on paper:

The first 50 is to set the par.  My par was 74 and Sarah's was 60.  My stroke count for the 1st 50 was 38 which is pretty good for me.  I have a very high stroke count.  But I'm working on that hence this set.

On Hole One I did much better with a score of 70 while Sarah did a 59.

On Hole Two I was able to get down to a 68 while Sarah would be up to a 60.

On Hole Three I was back up to a 71 and Sarah was up to a 61.

On Hole Four I was down to a 69 and Sarah was settling in on a 60.  She pretty much kept to the 60 for the rest. 

On Hole Five it was deja vu with me coming in at 69 and Sarah at 60.

The next four holes you will just have to believe me as the paper was too wet to take nay more ink.  I did Hole Six at 68 before settling in around the 70 for the remaining of the course while Sarah kept on hitting 60.  The thing about the Golf Swim Set is that is makes you aware of your stroke count.  In our regular workouts we do a set from time to time when we count our strokes but to be honest by the time we get to the main set DPS is out of focus, out of mind and speed has taken over.  My theory is that if I do the Golf Swim Set on a regular basis I'll be more aware to my stroke count so when I do my main sets it will be ingrained in my mind and I'll have efficient strokes.  So like our 10x100's Monthly Check Set the 9 Hole Golf Set will be my monthly benchmark set. 

Speaking of the 10x100's Set next Monday is the big day.  I'm on the fence about skipping it yet again.  With the Rose Bowl Swim Meet just a few days after I don't know if I want to be sprinting 10x100's.  I won't be tapering for the meet but I also don't want to have been in a peek in my training a few days before. 

Today's yardage was a very lame 2,300 but it was a very good swim since it was all about technique.  My monthly and year to date yardage is 56,875.

Monday: Slowing It Up And Keeping Those Feet Planted On The Wall

Winding up this month of slow but thoughtful swims is almost coming to an end.  Next week I need to decide if I should be practicing at a faster pace or not.  To be honest when I start thinking back at my swimming over the last few years I think I end up swimming better at swim meets when I've been getting in more yardage but at slower intervals compared to less yardage at faster intervals.  Not that I'm advocating garbage yardage just for the sake of doing yardage but I'm thinking my body does better swimming at a consistent pace with more rest than sprint after sprint with little rest.  Maybe it's all in my head and I'm using it as an excuse to have easier intervals.  Either way I like rest and being able to take in some oxygen.  Go figure.

Today's workout started with a 350 on my own before we started the warm up set.  We did a 200 kick followed by a 400 pull.  I used paddles for the first 300 of that 400.  (950)

Main Free Set:
3x100 on 1:25
2x150 on 2:05
300 on 4:20 (i think i left on the 4 minute mark)
4x75's on 1:05
6x50's on 55
The fast lane which I didn't swim in today did the 100's on 1:15 and I don't know what the 150's were on.  I swam with a fellow 6am'er on slower intervals so she could make them while some 7:15'ers who came at 6am swam on the faster intervals.  I could have made the faster intervals but why bother.  (1500/2450)

75 Kick
50 Drill
25 Swim
IM order (600/3050)

Stroke Set:
3x IM order
75 (50 stroke / 25 free)
75 (25 stroke / 25 free / 25 stroke)
75 (25 free / 25 stroke / 25 free)
75 (50 free / 25 stroke)
The first two rounds we did them on 1:15.  The 3rd round which was the breaststroke round we only did the first 2x75's and did them on 1:20 (750/3800)

So today's workout wasn't the most grueling workout.  I actually liked the main free set.  Once again I really thought about adding some kick into my freestyle.  I'm not saying it's a natural part of my stroke yet but I'm working on it.  It's still more of a one beat kick that helps me rotate to my side so all in all it's helping me swim better.  I'm also actually working on my turns at each wall.  Remembering to keep my legs open and my feet planted on the wall apart as opposed to being super close to each other.  It's amazing that since I learned that how many swimmers I notice who like me keep the feet almost glued together in the flip and off the wall.  No wonder why I and many others get nothing off the wall. 

Total month and year to date yardage is now up to 54,575.  I have a lap swim workout ready for tomorrow morning that will mean that if I do that and Wednesday morning swim I should hit 60,000 for the month.  Which was my goal.

Sunday Swim

With two weeks to go before my 1st swim meet of the SCY season I am so not ready.  Not that I'm going to be tapering for this meet but I'm so not ready for it.  In theory my plan will be to swim 500 free, 1000 free and the 200 butterfly.  The 1000 free and 200 butterfly are back to back so for me it's going to be an interesting afternoon.  With that in mind today I attempted to add more fly into my workout.

Warmed up a 250 before we started our warm up set.
100 Kick on 2 mins
4x50's Kick on 1 min
100 Kick on 2 mins
4x50's Kick on 1 min
100 Drill
4x50's Drill  I mixed the strokes up for the kicking and drilling.  (600/850)

3x100's Free on 1:25
4x25's IM on 25
2x100's Free on 1:20
4x25's IM on 25
1x100 Free on 1:15
4x25's IM on 25 (900/1750)

Main Set:
100 Free on 1:25
3x100's Choice on 1:35 I did this round all freestyle
200 (150 easy / 50 fast)  I did the 50 butterfly
100 Free on 1:25
3x100's Choice on 1:40 I did this round backstroke
200 (100 easy / 100 fast) I did the fast 100 butterfly
100 Free on 1:25
2x100's Choice on 1:45 I did this round backstroke
200 (50 easy / 150 fast) I did the 150 fast butterfly
100 Free on 1:30 (was to be 1:25 but I wanted easy math)
2x100's Choice on 1:45.  I did one back and one easy free
200 Fast.  I did this butterfly.  I took the first 100 out nice and easy and looked up and noticed a 1:20 split.  I then picked it up a bit and did hte 2nd 100 on a 1:14 for a 2:34 200 fly.  Not the best 200 in my life but not bad.  It's the end of workout, I have a wall lane sharing the lane forced to do one arm drill excuse for my slowish time.  That and I'm so out of shape for the 200 fly.  I think I'll be sandbagging my 200 fly entry next weekend.  (2200/3950)

I then did a 50 warmdown for a toal of 4,000 yards.  That brings my month and year to date yardage at 50,775.  Depending on how much I swim this week I should hit the 60,000 mark for the month.  Or come close.

Play Nice

When the coach tells you to "be nice" when you share a lane with a new swimmer you gotta wonder what the coach meant by that.  The coach didn't want me to go all rogue and change the intervals like I did this past Sunday.  Although I was determined to move down a lane as our visiting swimmer asked me if I wanted to go faster than what was given as intervals for the the warm up.  After being sick in bed for 48 hours I was a bit concerned I wouldn't make the easy intervals never mind speeding them up.

Warmed up a 200 very very slow on my own.  (200)

Warm Up Set:
100 Kick on 1:50
75 Swim on 1:10
50 Drill
round 1 & 3 freestyle.  2 & 4 choice no free. (900/1100)

Get The Heart Rate Warm Up Set:
100 on 1:20
75 on 50
3x25's on 20 (250/1350)

Main Free Set:
100 on 1:20
200 on 2:30
100 on 1:20
200 on 2:30
75 don't remember the interval for the 75's
150 on 1:50
150 on 1:50
50 on 40
100 on 1:10
50 on 40
100 on 1:10
I was shocked that I made this set. I was still feeling achy and sore from being sick.  The first day back the muscles seem to be lacking oxygen or something.  While swimming it I didn't seem like I was going all that fast but over time I built up some speed.  (1350/2700)

Main Stroke Set:
75 IM (no Free)
100 IM on 1:30
75 IM (no Free)
100 IM on 1:30
50 Stroke (did this fly)
100 Stroke on 1:25 (did this back)
50 Stroke (did this fly)
100 Stroke on 1:25 (did this back)
25 Stroke (did this fly)
100 Stroke on 1:20 (did this back)
25 Stroke (did this fly)
100 Stroke on 1:20 (did this back)
I don't remember all the intervals.  The 100's were easy to remember as each round got faster by 5 seconds.  (950/3,650)

This was one of those workouts that you are swimming and before you know it the workout is over with.  While I was swimming the stroke set I told myself I'd get out after this set.  Then we were done with it, I looked up and workout was over.  I did a 50 easy between the free and stroke main set so the yardage was 3,700 today.  And I was nice to our visiting swimmer.  The coach thought he was a new swimmer but instead was only visiting.  So I guess I didn't have to be that nice.  But I was anyways. Total yardage month and year to date is 46,775.

I want to swim tomorrow during the morning lap swim to work on some distance per stroke and pulling.  Thinking of swimming only an hour and doing the Golf Swim Drill Set LINK

Sneezing Attack Hits Swimmer. Misses Kick Set.

It's now the 21st of the month and I either still have the cold I had back in the first week of the month or I've come down with another cold.  After a rocky night of tossing and turning even with store brand Nyquil I woke up and headed to swim.  I was hoping the chlorine would work wonders and I'd feel better after.  I don't know if that was a good thing or not.  All I know is that I'm going to spend the rest of today in bed.  Well maybe a trip to the store to buy some chicken soup.

Warmed Up a 300 on my own. 

Then we did a 200 Kick / 400 broken 50 drill /50 swim.  The drills were:  modified swordfish, one arm, 3 stroke drill and finger tip drag.  (600/900)

3 stroke drill is when you start in swordfish position then after oh let's say 6 kicks you do 3 strokes and then you are on the other side doing swordfish again. Or at least that is my understanding of the drill.

400 Pull (400/1300)

4x100's Pace on 1:15 going right into an 800 pace swim.  (1200/2500)  The 100's I was all over the map starting with a 1:10 and then back up to a 1:14.  My first two 100's in the 800 were on a 1:15 pace but then I was able to take it up a notch.  I think I did a 9:36.  Afterwards I went on a sneezing fit  I just couldn't stop sneezing.

50 Kick (it was 4x50's kick but i was sneezing and missed 3 of them) (50/2550)

400 Pull 1st 200 was breathing 3/5/any/7 by 50 & 2nd 200 was Distance Per Stroke.  The last 200 I was counting my strokes and at the last 50 removed my paddles and actually took off one stroke per 25.  (400/2950)

4x100's Pace on 1:20.  Descend.  Okay descending was just a theory as I ascended them. (400/3350)

400 Fast.  Fast is a relative term.  I did a 4:36.  Not the best time in the world but not that bad.  Considering I did swim being a bit sick with a cold.  (400/3750)

A few notes about my swimming of late.  First off I think that my turns have greatly improved.  Then again my turns were so bad that any improvement is a great improvement.  My streamline off the wall has improved tenfold.  Part of that is because the lane lines in the pool are in such bad condition that it's basically just the wire for the first 5 yards at both ends of the pool creating an open water swim like condition with waves and such.  So I'm going deeper to avoid swimming into my wake.  Which in turn is making me a better swimmer.  I noticed that on Sunday and Monday of this week.  Several times I go into the wall even with another swimmer and then with my turn and streamline come out ahead.  This has never been the case before.  As for adding the kick into my freestyle swim I'm really working on it.  Once again in workout today I made my little kick with my right leg.  By doing that one extra kick as opposed to my normal stroke of letting my legs flounder behind me has made me pivot more in my stroke.  All these little things is allowing me to improve my stroke.

Total monthly and year to date yardage is 43,125.

Medium Lane Times....Loving It!

Right now my swim training is at the level of just swimming.  Basically I'm just showing up and swimming so I don't get out of shape.  Let's face it I have many swims ahead of me up to Nationals in May to be pushed to my limits.  Right now I want 20 seconds rest on a 100.  With that said I only got in a 250 for my warm up before we started our warm up set.

Warm Up Set:
150 Free Drill
75 IM Drill
50 Swim
150 Free Drill
75 IM Drill
This was just the beginning of the end for me.  I started the first 150 drill doing one arm when I came into the wall it was time to go.  Since at this point I was by myself I said "Hell No" and took 30 seconds rest.  I then took 30 seconds rest between each set.  I fell behind the other lanes and didn't do that very last 50 swim as you can guess is missing from the pattern above.  Don't get me started about drills on tight intervals as when I looked over I swear everyone was just swimming during the free or doing finger tip drag.(500/750)

100 Kick
2x50's Kick
100 Kick
2x50's 25 kick / 25 swim
100 kick
2x50's swim
I know the 100's were on 150 but the rest I have no idea.  (600/1350)

Main Set:
2x25's Fly on 30
3x50's on 55 I did these backstroke (they were back/breast)
4x75's Free on 1:10 (I pulled these)
5x100's Descend backstroke on 1:45 (they were choice no free)
2x25's Fly on 30
3x50's on 55 I did these backstroke
4x75's Free on 1:10 (I pulled these)
5x100's Descend Free on 1:30
2x25's Fly on 30
3x50's on 55 I did these backstroke
4x75's Free on 1:10 (I pulled these)
5x100's Descend backstroke on 1:45
You might notice these intervals are a bit slower than usual.  That is because we did the Medium lane intervals.  It wasn't that the fast lane intervals were all that fast I just didn't feel like doing them and after consulting with my lane mate we decided to go on the slower interval.  The only thing was that we didn't tell the coach and she got upset.  Also the other lanes got confused but I'm not a babysitter and they should swim for themselves and keep track on intervals.  There was only one fast lane swimmer besides me anyways so it wasn't such a big deal.  (3000/4350)  Next time I'll consult with the coach.  Bad swimmer, bad! 

Today's yardage was 4,350 making the month and year to date yardage total 36,100!