Not That Again. Damn 10x100's.

Workout started like every other cold winter morning.  Get down to our bathing suits, hop in the shower and run to the pool before we freeze to death!  I was a bit sleepy at first and took a nice and easy warm up to get the kinks worked out from yesterday's afternoon workout.

Warmed Up

400 (200 free / 200 IM 50 drill / 50 swim)

3x150's 50 kick / 50 drill / 50 swim.  I quikly took a pee break so I missed a 50 (400/800)

400 Pull (200 DPS w/ paddles, 200 w/o paddles build by 50) (400/1200)

6x25's working underwater streamlined (150/1350)

Then word came down from above that our team and this workout would go against the Geneva Convention rules on unusual and cruel punishment and have us do the 10x100's all out sprint "bench mark" or "break through" set.  The idea of these benchmark test sets to evaluate ability, find specific training zones, and plot future training targets.  Which in Masters swimming and the amount of people we have on our team is complete bullshit.  As a Master swimmer I know that I need to rely on myself for goal setting and setting any training targets as opposed to age group or college swimming when a coach would sit down and work with each swimmer.  For us it's more like the coach writes them down on this spreadsheet never to be seen again or at least not to the next time we do the set.  I decided to look at each one of the three reasons for doing a test set or bench mark set such as this.

1.  Evaluate Ability - This may be used by a coach to move up one swimmer from let's say the slow lane to the fast lane.  I noticed for example that going 2nd in my lane 10 seconds behind the 1st person I was catching up to most of the first group except for one swimmer.  My thought was that maybe that swimmer should move up a lane group.  I only noticed cuz' I was using other swimmers who left ahead of me as benchmarks to how I was doing.  And also as motivation to keep at it.  Played the catch up game to keep the drudgery of swimming 10x100's.

2.  Find Specific Training Zones - I'll interepet that as setting intervals in future sets.  You'd think that a coach would see his/her swimmers on a regular enough basis to be able to set intervals without the pure nonsence of 10x100's. 

3.  Plot Future Training Targets - Going back on Evalute Ability the coaches always say that we should use this set to check in with ourselves to see how we are in our training.  I guess that means after swimming the set I should take my times and think about what I'd like to do in future versions of this set.  Or maybe what splits would I like to hold in my 1,000 and 1,500/1,650. 

Hating the set I got to admit I did feel like I held my own better then previous past attempts at this set.  I was a lot more consistent if not faster.  Then again the interval changed a bit and was a bit easier this go around.  In the past I've done this set both on the 3:00 and the 3:30.  Today we started at 3:00 but at the 3rd or 4th one moved to the 3:30.

The first 100 I came in at 1:04.  The second 100 I came in at 1:02.  Then after that I pretty much held a 1:03 for all of them.  And by pretty much as I touched the wall and turned my head a few times it was just flipping to the 1:03 as I'd see the 2 for a brief glimpse.  So a few 1:02-highs.  I felt stronger a bit longer and didn't have my usual 100 that I sorta blow off and recover but then again it was on 3:30 and not 3:00.  But even then since I do keep my workouts on this handy dandy blog I did go to a few times when I did the 3:30 inteval and still had that one 100 that I dog it.  So maybe if I was to evaluate my ability I'd say I am doing well, feeling strong and being consistently on pace.  Let's just hope that as my last time doing this set was March of 2009 that we all take a nice long breather and do the set again in March of 2011. (1000/2350)

Afterwards I warmed down a 100.  Should have done more but wanted to come home and get warm and eat! (100/2450)

MTD SCY 17,300

Sunday, Sunda, Sunday: Superlane Swimming

Well the only thing that was super about the workout was how I am feeling strong in the pool.  Having and knowing when I am having good and bad days at workout make days like today feel so much better.  I did start off a bit sluggish but was able to rally a bit fro time to time. 

Warm Up was 10 minutes on our own.  Did a easy 200 free then a 200 IM drilling a 25 then swimming a 25.  Then pulled a 50 before having to hold up.  (450)

Then we did a warm up set: Three Rounds

100 Kick on 1:55

50 Drill Stroke 

50 DPS Free.  Forgot the intervals.  Skipped the 50 drill breaststroke round.  (550/1000)

Then we did descending 50's.  I know did them backstroke but don't remember how many.  Let's say 4 cuz' that is an even number.  (200/1200)

Main Set Part 1:

3x25's Free on 25

50 Stroke on 50

3x50's Free on 45 (messed up the first one.  I thought everything was in groups of 3 so when I thought was the 2nd 50 stroke was really the 1st 50 free.  I just kept swimming and caught up)

50 Stroke on 50

3x75's Free I don't remember the interval but thinking 1:05.

50 Stroke on 50

3x100's Free on 1:20

50 Stroke on 50

Then we took a quick break in which I took a pee break.  For Part 1 I did backstroke for all the stroke.  My times for the 3x100's got a bit better by each 100.  This part was 825 yards.

Main Set Part 2:

The same but the opposite...

3x25's Stroke on 30 (i did these butterfly)

50 Free on 45

3x50's Stroke on 50 or was it 55?  meh (did them 25 fly / 25 backstroke)

50 free on 45

3x75's Stroke on 1:15 (did these backstroke)

50 free on 45

3x100's Stroke on 1:30 (did 1st 100 fly /2nd 100 back /3rd 100 fly)

50 free on 45

I was going to do more fly but I didn't have it in me.  I wussed out and only did 2 of the 3 100's fly.  Once again this part was 850 yards so 1700 yard set.  (1700/2900)

Then a 50 easy.

Finishing Up With - 3 Rounds

75 build on 1:15 i think

25 easy on 30

100 fast on 1:30

All free.  For the 100's fast the 1st round was fast to 90%, 2nd round was fast to 95% and last round was all out fast.  I gotta admit I had to ask the coach the difference between 90 and 95%.  I get the concepts of building, ascending, descending but when you put exact %'s it's like yeah that makes sense, not.  The coach gave a good explanation and I just swam it the in a more of a descend to 100% don't know if I started at 90%.  (600/3550)

Add in a 100 warm down and today's yardage was 3,650.  It was a good workout.  I am beginning to enjoy Sunday afternoon workouts again.  When I was swimming crappy for a bit I was getting discourage by the harder Sunday afternoon workouts.  Hopefully I'm on a roll and will continue building on it. 

MTD SCY 14,850

I Hate Wall Lanes!

In theory I'm gearing up to swim at Saturday's Masters Swim Meet.  That all depends on the storm we are getting.  It's going to rain but how hard on Saturday is the question.  Swimming a 1,000 yards for time in the cold rain in an outdoor pool doesn't sound like much fun to me.  So we will see.  But in keeping the chance I may swim in mind I swam tonight so I can use tomorrow as a recovery day.

Warm Up


200 - 50 free kick / 50 swordfish / 50 one arm drill / 50 swim

150 - 50 free kick / 50 swordfish / 50 fingertip drag - we held up for announcements.

200 - 50 free kick / 50 swordfish / 50 catch up / 50 swim

I was swimming in the free lane and we were moved to the wall lane.  DOH!  I hate the wall lane.  There was only 3 of us but still.  I kept on hitting the wall with my hands or fingertips.  One of the guys in my lane was like 6'4" so everytime we passed each other I got taken by a wave. 

400 Pull (200 distance per stroke / 200 breathing by 50 every 3/5/any/7) (400/1350)

Then we did the main free set:

400 Free building by 100 on 5:45 (i think)

2x200's race strategy to 80% on 2:35 (i think with an extra 15 seconds after the 2nd)

4x100's on 1:20 descending 1-3 with the 4 as a recovery on 1:35

4x100's on 1:25 descending 1-3 with the 4 as a recovery on 1:40

2x200's race straegy to 90% on 2:45 (i think with an extra 15 seconds after the 2nd) (2000/3350)

I got a cramp in my right leg on the first one but continued on for both 200.  Then I got out and tried to walk it out.  But still felt the pain so got out after doing a 150 warmdown.  It was to be a 400 broken as a 200 dps then a 200 breathing every 3/5/7/9 by 50.  Everyone in my lane got out as it was 8pm.  Sorta wished that I didn't get the cramp so I could swim another 30 minutes alone.  I gotta admit swimming in the wall lane tonight was one of the worst experiences I've had in that pool.  The lane next to us was the fast stroke lane and when anyone did butterfly I felt like I was swimming in the ocean.  I went to breath one time one to have a wall of water land smack dab in my face.  Skipping around between night and morning practices means some weeks I get to swim at the wall all week.  Some folks I've never seen swim against the wall.  Note to self: become one of those people! Total yardage tonight 3500.

MTD SCY 11,200

Getting My Game Face On

It's Wednesday and with the possibility of a swim on Saturday I am trying to get myself in a good mental place.  I am using the word "possibility" for this weekends swim meet even though I have entered as it may rain and I don't know how I feel about racing a 1,000 free and a 200 fly in an outside pool during a rain storm.  The idea of staying in a warm bed sounds so much more appealing.  Last year I was going to swim at this meet but since it rained I stayed home.  But that was last year and this is this year.  I got to admit that I'm in a better mental state now then I was a year ago when it comes to pushing myself to my limits.  I am now running distances that I wouldn't even have imagined a year ago.  The last few swims I've pushed myself to complete failure and past my mental limits.  Even this morning at swim practice I stayed in the pool when I wanted to get out. 

As I have mentioned a few times this week I've started to do some ab work at the gym.  I will admit that my abs hurt big time.  Coughing, laughing and getting off the couch causes pain never mind working out.  Started the routine on Sunday and then yesterday at the gym I worked past the pain to do abnout 85% of the routine again.  When I first got into the pool today it was a struggle.  Swimming involves the core so much that it took most of the workout for me to stretch out and feel comfortable swimming.  I added in some extra fly to push myself.  I will admit I was swimming at very generous intervals today but I still made it past the pain and did the workout.  Well besides two 50's when I had to take a pee break.  Took an energy drink before swimming that really just makes me pee like a racehorse.  Not that I know how race horses pee.

For the warmup I did about a 500.  I really wasn't counting.  I was the second person in the pool and just swam with almost no chit chat.  I figured I needed to stretch out to let my body get use to the movements in the water.  I really thought I was going to get out.  We then did two freestyle turns into the wall.  Just what I needed to do with my abs.  OY!

Warm Up Set:

3x100's IM Kick

2x100's IM Drill

100 IM Swim (600/1100)

Main Set:  Five Rounds -

25 stroke on 30

50 stroke on 55

75 stroke on 1:50

50 easy free on 60

100 fast stroke on 2:20

Nice and easy intervals.  Here is how it worked Round 1 was butterfly, Round 2 choice (did backstroke), Round 3 was backstroke, Round 4 Choice (did butterfly) and Round 5 breaststroke.  I cheated a bit at the 100 breaststroke by finishing up the 100 by doing the last 25 butterfly.  Butterfly is easier then breaststroke for me. The set would have been 1500 but I took a pee break and missed a 50 at the beginning.  (1450/2550)  The first round of fly felt not bad so I went for another round.  By the end my ab pain was just a mild twinge.  I either got use to it or stretched out.  I am just glad I stayed in for the whole workout.  I could have swam the faster interval but no need to push it.

Then we did a 500 as follows 100 free / 100 im / 100 free / 100 im / 100 free.  Nothing special about it but just do it.  (500/3050) Then I did a 50 to even out the yardage to 3100 yards.  This week in swimming has been a bit tough but I've stuck with it and finished it.  In time I'll be thanking myself.  Hopefully with fast times at Nationals this year.  As for this weekend I'm just hoping for sunny skies!

Killer Abs & Arms = Interesting Workout

After Sunday's gym and swim time I decided to skip my Monday morning swim and get some recovery time.  Instead I swam the p.m. workout even though I was still feeling the Sunday workout.  I did ab workout for the first time in ages and well my tummy muscles ached.  Doing flip turns during swim workout was pretty painful so I sorta just did really bad flip turns even worse then my normal bad turns.  My arms were so and really had to dig in later on in workout to get any speed at all.  It was a super tough workout and being a bit sore didn't help any.

Warm Up

300 Swim

300 Pull

200 Kick (800)

12x50's Kick on 60 (3 fly / 3 back / 3 breast and 3 free) (600/1400)

2x200's IM Drill (400/1800)

I was struggling as my body was so not having it.  During the drill my arms ached from yesterday and I felt like I wasn't getting any traction.  Once I heard the main set I was afraid I was going to fall apart.

Main Set:

16x150's - Descending within each group of 4.

4x150's IM No Free on 2:15

4x150's Free on 2:00

We were then allowed some rest.  This was the part of workout when people started to get out.  I even wanted to get out but I didn't.  Next round

4x150's IM No Free on 2:20.  The one other swimmer in my lane who stayed wanted an easier interval. I did too but even though I was feeling the pain I didn't want too much rest.  I felt that I'd get lazier and lazier with more rest.  The 3rd 150 was hurting as my arms in the butterfly just didn't want to come out of the water.  But the 4th one felt a bit better. 

Too an extra 10 seconds before doing the last round.

4x150's Free on 2:00 Oy!  Knowing that workout was ending I was able to just slowly add a bit of speed to each one.  Maybe a second descend each time.  The last one I really tried to hold it together and just swim fast.  It hurt but I did it. (2,400/4,200)

We then did a 75 easy then some 25's.  First one was backstroke kick fast, then a butterfly kick on your back fast.  I think we may have done 7 more after that.  I know we did 2 of them butterfly.  Finished with a 100 easy.  (400/4,600)

Swimming the evening workouts are a bit tougher and are 90 minutes instead of 75 minutes.   It's amazing how much more yardage you can get with an extra 15 minutes.  Saying that I do think I'll be skipping Tuesday night swim to let my arms recover. 

MTD SCY 4,600