March Review Mirror: Swimming

Quarter one is over and Spring is just about to arrive and yet I swam less in March then usual.  We've had the warm weather but I was more concerned with training and then running the LA Marathon.  So swimming took a back seat.  I did swim and swam a total of 36,775 yards for the month.  But compared to February when I swam 53,250 and January when I swam 46,750 yards it was almost like not even swimming.  So far for 2010 I have swam 136,775 yards and one LCM workout of 3,150.  

It does seem like we are getting more yardage done in the morning workouts so hopefully April will be a turn around month for me.  I know it's not about the yardage but the quality but I do feel the more I swim the better I feel in the water.  So the more yardage the better.

Feeling Like A Slug In The Water

I am still recovering from my cold last week.  It's sorta been a odd cold since it seemed to have gone away then crept back.  Over the weekend I was tossing, turning and coughing at night but feeling better in the day time.  Last night was the first good night sleep I've had in days.  So much so that I didn't want to get out of bed.  I had planned on an early morning jog to the gym and then do some weights.  But I hit the snooze button.  And then again and again.  Then I started bartering with myself first by saying "i'll just read the morning paper then go" then it was "i'll just have a quick breakfast and go" and then it continued to watching some tv, eating lunch and finally around 2pm I just gave up.  So then I told myself I'd go to swim practice tonight.  Which I almost missed as I fell asleep watching some Law & Order.  Doh!  

I did make it to the pool.  I got in for warm up and felt sluggish.  But I am always a bit sluggish in warm up but told myself to suck it up and keep going.  I swam about a 650 mixing it up with some fly, back and freestyle.  

Then we did a warm up set.  I struggled with this set.  I just couldn't get out of feeling like a slug.  

200 Pull breathing 3/5/3/7.  This is when recovering from a cold really hurts.  Normally 5 and 7 are hard but tonight even 3 was killing me.  People who I normally am ahead of were kicking my ass.  I just had nothing.  

4x50's Drill IM Order

100 IM drill

then I think 4x25's.  Doh i don't remember it all.  think we may have some choice fast 50's too.  then we did a modified repeat of the warm up set all over again.  My 2nd 200 pull was even more of a struggle.  So we are about 1,650 plus a bit so far in yardage.

Main Set:

4x50's choice of 50 (i did backstroke)

2x100's IM on 1:30 2nd one faster then the 1st

2x200's free on 2:45 2nd one faster then the 1st

8x25's on 30 choice with numbers 3 and 7 being sprints

take an extra 30 seconds rest 

4x50's choice of 50 (i did backstroke)

2x100's IM on 1:30 2nd one faster then the 1st

2x200's free on 2:45 2nd one faster then the 1st

8x25's on 30 choice with numbers 3 and 7 being sprints

I really had no speed in me.  I was tired and just couldn't get any speed.  With both 200's the first one was brutal while the second I was able to get some speed but nothing like I'd normally be able to get.  It wasn't that I was feeling sore from a hard workout in fact I didn't.  I just felt blah and couldn't find any speed in me.  I'll blame it on being sick.  Hopefully I'll be able to find my speed back.  This set was 2,000 yards.  I really like this set.  This was two workouts in a row that I enjoyed the set and workout but just had nothing in me!  

At this point in the workout it was 8:15 so I did a 50 warm down and got out.  I figured I was tired so maybe I needed to take it easy.  I had planned on swimming to 8:30 but figured if I'm struggling then maybe I just need to ease back into it.  No need on making myself get sick again or sicker.  The pool will be closed tomorrow morning so there is no swim practice.  I want to get in at least one hard swim in later this week.  Maybe two.  It's just so hard to be motivated when your body just wants to sleep all day.  Total yardage tonight was 3,700.

Oh I forgot to post this yesterday but it just dawned on me.  After the morning workout I thanked the coach for the workout and commented how the intervals were perfect.  The coach commented something about how it's easier to figure out intervals when it's not as busy.  And it dawned on me that for every I gripe about a too fast or too slow interval it's really not about me and my ability it's the coach trying to find a balance between the various swimmers.  Something for me to think about the next time I am bitching about something.  As I've said several times I'm lucky to have some great swim coaches.  Each one of them brings something different to swimming so no matter who is on deck I'm always in for something different and challenging.  

Swimming Again.

Another month is coming to a close.  Funny how time flies.  I went to bed somewhat early last night hoping to get a full night sleep in.  But since my cold is lingering around I spent most of the night tossing, turning and coughing.  Finally for the 2nd night in a row I just gave up sleeping and watched some tv.  I've come to realize that watching Law & Order SVU at 4 am is creepy.  Once 5 am rolled around I started to get my swim stuff together.  I figured I'd swim and if I started to cough or felt like crap I could just slow it down or get out.  Luckily today's workout was challenging but not impossible.  I had no speed but at least I stuck it out and finished it.

Since I was even early to the pool I got in and started to warm up right away if not a minute or two early.  I did a 600 mixing it up with some stroke but mostly pulling the whole 600.

We then did a warm up set:

3 Rounds

25 freestyle kick w/o a kickboard on 30

50 freestyle catch up drill on 55 (i think)

75 IM drill (i don't remember the interval)

100 IM swim (hmm...maybe on 1:45) (750/1350)

We then went right into our main set.  It was the perfect set.  It had an easy pattern to follow.  Even the intervals followed a pattern and would square up the clock making it that much easier to keep track.

100 Free on 1:20 (100)

150 Free on 2:00 (250)

200 Free on 2:40 (450)

2x75's Stroke on 1:15 (did backstroke) (600)

100 IM on 2:00.  (had extra rest built in) (700)

150 Free on 2:00 (850)

200 Free on 2:40 (1050)

250 Free on 3:20 (1300)

2x75's Stroke on 1:15 (did backstroke) (1450)

200 IM on 3:00 (1650)

200 Free on 2:40 (1850)

250 Free on 3:20 (2100)

300 Free on 4:00 (2400)

2x75's Stroke on 1:15 (did backstroke) (2550)

300 IM (300/2850)

And that was it.  The freestyle pattern was adding a 50 to the distance and 40 seconds to the interval.  I was slowing up at the end.  I tried to pull it together for the 300 Free but failed.  But from not swimming much and being sick I am glad I was able to stick it out.  I so wanted to stop and give up a few times but I just kept swimming.  I didn't want to finish up with the 300 IM.  I was getting sore and super tired.  But I figured it was only a 300.  This set was 2,850 yards.  Pretty good for a set.  The total yardage today was 4,200 which is damn good for 75 minutes of swimming.  I wish we could get in this much yardage every morning swim.  My only complaint really is with myself in that I wish I wasn't recovering from a cold.  I really enjoyed the set and since it was a simple pattern I think I could have swam it a bit harder.  Next time.

Back In The Pool

I decided I was feeling pretty good so I'd try and swim tonight.  When I got to the pool I hung out with some of my mates and we talked about the marathon.  When I swim at night I try to get on deck a bit early to chit chat since a few people also show up early.  In the morning I am too tired to be chatty.  Once warm up started I didnt think I was going to swim the workout.  My left foot felt sore like it did during the marathon.  Also my legs in general were sore and pulling my legs up to do a flip turn hurt.  As workout went on I felt a bit better.  At the very end I got a cramp in my leg and called it a night.  But I did swim 60 minutes and finished the main set. 

Warm Up

400 swim / 100 kick (500)

We did a drill/swim set.  I missed part of it for a pee break but here is what I did:

50 swim / 25 drill / 50 swim / 25 drill/ 50 swim (200/700)

100 then 2x50's all kick.  this didnt hurt as much as I thought it would.  (200/900)

300 pull!  YEAH!  (300/1200)

Main Set:

4 Rounds

50 on 45

100 on 1:15

150 on 2:05

150 on 2:05

100 on 1:15

50 on 55

2,400 yard set.  The three of us in the fast lane are pretty close in speed.  Actually the other two are faster sprinters.  I went 2nd but since we were on all top of each other I went 10 seconds after the 1st person. The guy behind me stayed 5 seconds behind me and didn't like the fact I was going 10 seconds behnd.  He said it made him so far behind.  I didn't really care since I knew he'd skip parts of the set anyways which he did.  After two rounds the 1st swimmer got out so I started to lead.  By then end I had the lane to myself.  I felt pretty strong for the whole set and had plenty of rest. 

Total yardage tonight was 3,600 yards.  When I was sore and tired kept reminding myself that I finished a marathon so this workout is nothing.  So need to keep doing that when workouts get hard!

Daylight Savings Blah.

After sleeping most of Sunday away I didn't sleep much last night.  I woke up around 4am and just layed in bed.  Eventually I got up and went swimming.  Which was a mistake.  I was tired and groggy and had a terrible swim.  I ended up leaving early.

400 Warm Up (400)

3x200's 50 kick / 50 drill / 50 swim / 50 kick (600/1000)

400 Pull (400/1400)

500 on 6:30 (500/1900)

5x100's on 1:15 descend. (500/2400)

And that was it.  I got out.  At least I got some sort of workout done.  Hopefully I'll get back on my normal sleep cycle.  Tomorrow is a short run and gym time.  The rest of today is about relaxing!

Butterfly Killer Swim Set

Killer Butterfly or Butterfly Killer, either way I did a bit of butterfly tonight.  As I am now moving into my taper period for the LA Marathon I figured I'd put in one hard swim.  Next week I plan on swimming two or three workouts but plan on holding back.  I figured I'd swim tonight and get a good night sleep before my last long run tomorrow.  Although my legs are a bit tired so don't know how tomorrow will go.  During the kick set I almost regretted showing up for swim practice.  But I was in the pool so I stayed and swam for 70 minutes before getting out.

Warm Up

400 Swim / 300 Pull / 100 Kick (700)

Then we did a warm up set of 3 rounds:

50 Kick 

50 kick / 50 Drill

50 Kick / 50 Drill / 50 Swim

Round one I did butterfly, round two was free and round three was back.  I did skip a 50 kick to take a pee break.  (850/1550)

Then I think we went right into the main set.  I don't remember another warm up set so I guess we did.

200 Free on 2:50

2x100's IM on 1:30

4x50's Choice on 50 descending (i did these butterfly)

8x25's Fly on 30 descending 1-4 then 5-8

take an additional 30 secs. rest

200 Free on 2:50

2x100's IM on 1:30

4x50's Fly on 50 descending

8x25's Choice  on 30 descending Fly on 30 descending 1-4 then 5-8 (i did these butterfly)

there was one more round like the first round but I did 100 warmdown and got out.  I was feeling tired.  I don't know if I could have done another round all fly.  Maybe if I had mixed it up but really wanted to get home.  1600 yards plus the 100 warmdown (1700/3250)  

The workout was 3,250 yards.  Not bad.  The funny thing was that we only had 3 fast swimmers.  Tonight's coach was the usual Monday coach who switched with the new Thursday coach.  I also thought it was funny that none of the "fasties" who complained that the old Thursday coach was too easy showed up tonight.  Bunch of fucktards!

Tomorrow I'll sleep in a bit and go on a run of some sort tomorrow.  I have a few ideas in mind so we'll see how I feel.  Figure I can always go on a long run on the Sunday and really really taper for the rest of the week.  But I should get the run out of the way tomorrow. 

A Quick 4,050 Yard Morning Workout. Despite The Chilly Morning Air!

Someone needs to show Mother Nature that it's almost spring time here in Los Angeles.  It's clear that winter still has a strangled hold over the weather here the last couple of days.  Yesterday when running it was a bit chilly in the shade.  I kept trying to run on the sunny side of the streets.  After my run my shirt wasn't even really wet due to the cold windy winter day.  This morning when I got up to go swimming it was even colder.  I am so glad that I decided to run yesterday and swim today.  I was going to swim last night and then run early this morning but damn I would never have ran in this cold.  

Since I was freezing on deck I jumped in the pool right away.  I did about a 450 warm up.  The first few laps I spent more time underwater then swimming as the water was toasty.  After that we did 7x100's alternating kicking a 100 then drilling/swimming a 100.  We did an interesting drill today that was a combo of catch up and finger tip drag.  Since I can barely chew gum and walk at the same time this drill was difficult for me.  A few times while doing this drill I struggled to remember to breath and when I should breath.  Funny thing was that the coach commented to me that my stroke looked really good in the drill.   I find that crazy but will have to work on this drill in the future.  I took a pee break during one of the kick 100's to even out my yardage.  1,100 yard warm up.  

Then we did two more quick short warm up sets.

100 IM drill 

50 on 50 (i did backstroke)

100 IM swim

50 on 50 (i did backstroke)

100 IM swim 

50 on 50 (i did freestyle)

I don't remember the intervals.  (450/1,550)

Then we did 3x50's descend (150/1,700)

Then our main set.  I sorta liked the main set but wish we hadn't pulled the first 400.  Think we should have swam it.  Also we were all on top of each other the first round of the set making it annoying to me.  One of my many neuroses is being crowded in while swimming.  The first round everyone seemed to be going fast so at the wall I'd turn and see the next two people behind me right there.  I had to stop during a 200 to let them past so I could just swim without having people on my ass.  The second round of the set it seemed to get better as we all had a bit of distance between us.  I felt better and was able to concentrate on swimming and not worry about the person in front or behind me.  

400 pull on 4:50

300 swim on 3:40

200 swim on 2:30

100 swim on 1:30

400 swim on 4:50

300 swim on 3:40

200 swim on 2:30

100 swim on 1:30

A 2,000 yard set.  I do sorta wish I had stayed 2nd and just dealt with having someone right behind me but whatever.  During the 2nd round when I went 3rd in the 400 and 300 the person behind me died during the 400 then skipped the first 50 of the 300 then was on my feet for the rest.  That was a bit annoying.  Whatever. If the first person wasn't so fast we could have gone 10 seconds apart making it more enjoyable swim.  The 2nd round for the 400 and 300 I just swam it at a sustainable pace and really was able not to worry about anyone on my feet.  (2,000/3,750)

We then did a final set.  50 easy / 25 sprint / 75 easy / 50 sprint / 100 easy...there was a 75 sprint but i just got out.  it was the last thing and really a 75 sprint, who cares. (300/4,050).  I am amazed we got that much yardage in 75 minutes of swimming.  Wish that was the case all the time!  I think the more stroke we do in a workout the less yardage we get to do.  All I know is that I liked the main set I just wish we went 10 seconds apart or swam in a long course pool every morning.  Ahhh....long course!

Monday Morning Slow Poke Swim

Yesterday I didn't do anything but watch tv in bed.  I should have gone on a long run but I didn't.  I am so giving myself and F in my Marathon Training.  Since I had a day off as a recovery day I really thought swimming today would have been a bit easier then it was.  I was tired, groggy and just never seemed to get my act together in the pool.

Warmed Up

450 Some of which I pulled

Then we did 3 Rounds

50 Swordfish Drill

50 Drill (one arm, catch up and finger tip drag)

100 Swim

I skipped the first 50 of swordfish for a pee break.  (500/1,000)

500 Pull (300 DPS / 200 breathing by 50 3/5/any/7)

After that I moved to my own lane as I lapped my lane mate twice in the 500.  (500/1,500)

Main Set:

4x100's on 1:10

take an additional 15 seconds rest

3x100's on 1:15

take an additional 15 seconds rest

2x100's on 1:20

take an additional 15 seconds rest


The point was to get faster in each group of 100's.  That so didn't happen.  My first 100 of the 4x100's I made the interval.  Then after that it was touch and go.  Even the 3 on 1:15 started to become a challenge.  But by the last 100 on it's own I did a 1:06.  Not ground breaking fast but at least I was able to rally from what was becoming a really bad swim set for me.  (1,000/2.500)

50 easy

Stroke Warm Up Set:

25 Kick

50 drill

50 swim

75 kick

I goofed off on this.  Knowing I was going to be swimming some butterfly next I just used this as a resting set.  (200/2,750)

Stroke Set:

100 on 1:30

2x50's on 50

4x25's on 1:35

I did this all fly.  It was okay.  A bit slow and sluggish but this whole workout was just like that.  (400/3,150)

then I did a 50 easy followed by a 200.  The 200 was 25 fast sprint butterfly / 25 easy free for the whole 200.  I liked it.  It was tough but the recovery 25 free really helped me.  After that I swam a 100 warm down.  Total workout was 3,500 yards.  Hopefully by Wednesday I'll be a bit faster.  My arms were killing me this morning and well like I already stated I was groggy.

Change of Pace - A Morning Swim In The Sun

Last night I meant to set my alarm to wake me up and even went kept reminding myself to do just that as I was getting ready for bed.  But alas I didn't.  Luckily about at 6:10 am I heard a @ mention alert noise on Tweetdeck which woke me up.  Noticing that sun was peaking in the window I desperately searched for the clock. Doh!  Realizing I missed the 6am practice I debated on sleeping in some more and swimming tonight, or just get up and head to the 7:15 am practice.  A third thought of getting up and going for a run entered my head but was quickly dismissed.'s cold out.  I ended up getting on my bike and cycling over to the 7:15 am practice.  Boy was it crowded.  I almost turned around and went home.  

As people were getting out of the 6:00 am workout I kept hearing about how there would be lots of butterfly and a few mates told me I'd love the workout.  Hmm...maybe I'll stay after all.  But butterfly in a crowded lane, oy!I got in the water for warm up and kept thinking that I'd just get out since it was so crowded.  I also hoped looking at my lane compared to the other fast lane that we'd might get easier intervals. I warmed up a 400 swim, 300 pull (without paddles since the lane was crowded) then a 100 kick. So an 800 warmup.

The coached moved a few folks around and it became clear that indeed we just may get slower intervals in my lane.  But first a warm up set in which the intervals were the same.

3 Rounds - Round 1 & 3 Butterfly / Round 2 Choice (I did backstroke)

100 Kick

75 Drill

50 kick on your side

25 swim

I forgot the intervals.  (750/1550)  We then did a 50 easy rounding up the yardage to 1,600.

Main Set: 

4 Rounds -

50 Recovery on 50

100 25 Free / 25 Fly & repeat on 1:40

150 Free on 2:10

200 with the repeating pattern 25 free / 25 fly on 2:50

The first round was okay but the second round I felt like crap.  But then I recovered and grew stronger in my butterfly.  By the fourth round I had gotten into the butterfly.  Of course we were down to 3 in our lane so it was easier to swim butterfly  I'm glad I swam in the slower lane as I don't know if I could of hacked the faster interval.  My body was breaking down in the slower fast lane.  For whatever reason I'm not good at transitioning between strokes.  A 200 all butterfly would have been easier then the 25 free / 25 fly.  I always felt that by the time I got to the wall my stroke settled in and then it was time to switch it again.  (2,000/3,600)

I then did a 50 warmdown and got out.  The rest was some sprint kicking.  I'd rather save my legs for running.  Plus I find kicking sets pointless.  I don't kick much if at all when I swim and all the kicking sets in the world won't change that.  I need more drills that will teach me to be able to swim and kick at the same time.  If that is even possible.  I mean I can't chew gum and walk at the same time.  

Total yardage was 3,650.  That will be it till Monday for swimming.  Saturday I will hit the gym and then Sunday I'd like to run.  Depending on the rain storm that is expected.  Due to Elton John's Oscar Party the pool will be closed since it's right at the make shift tent.  Damn Oscars!  

Sorta Sprint Workout - Wednesday

I took Tuesday off from swimming hoping that a day off would stop the cramping in my right calf that I've been getting.  So when in bed this morning with the alarm going off I had no excuse not to wake up.  After 15 minutes of battling with the snooze button it was time to wake up.  Even when I got to the pool I had a hard time of waking up. I pretty much goofed off during the 10 minute warm up period.  

Warmed Up

400 Swim

Then we did a warm up set.

200 IM kick (i think or something like that)

100 IM drill

200 IM 25 drill / 25 swim

Then we did a 300 Free Pull.  I went easy during this as I went 4th and I shouldn't have.  Oh well.  It's a warm up.

Then we did a warming up to get the heart rate up.  I don't remember what it was.  It was freestyle.  It was something, then 50's then 25's.  I know it was 3x50's then 4x25's descending 1-3 then an easy 25.  But I think we did something before the 50's or not.  Doh!  

Main Set:

Three Rounds - 1st Free / 2nd Stroke (I did fly) / 3rd Choice (I did fly)

75 Fast (1st round 1:10 / 2nd 1:20 the third round the rest of my lane did free so I told them we could do the faster interval)

3x25's easy (1st round 30 / 2nd round 35)

2x50's Fast (1st round ? / 2nd round 55)

2x50's easy (1st round ? / 2nd round 60)

3x25's FAST (1st round ? / 2nd round 35)

75 easy on 1:40

Since I didn't lead the 1st or 3rd round I have no idea what the interval was.  We had 5 people in our lane today which sucked.  Really at 6am?  Go back to your 7:15 people.  Kidding about that but I loafed a bit at the beginning of workout while warming up.  After that I never did seem to work up any speed.  My 25's fly were off by a second or two from my normal sprint workout time.  Oh well, maybe I'll swim Thursday night to get a hard workout or just wait to Friday morning.  Hopefully we'll be less crowded!

That was 2,950 yards.  The coach gave one last set which was a kick set so I got out.  I don't kick!  Plus after the running yesterday and Sunday I didn't have any calf cramps but my quad's were killing in the butterfly.  Enough was enough.  For today swimming is the only workout planned.  It's all recovery.  Thursday will be weights and running.  It will rain tonight but be sunny tomorrow.  I may make a late start to my gym and running due to the weather.  It may run all weekend which may put off my running.  I'll wait and see.  I will be on Running Alert and be ready to run at first break of the storm!