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  1. Week 94 - Thursday

    by , July 17th, 2014 at 05:06 PM (After a long rest)
    I fell asleep on the couch at 7.30 last night and ended up going to bed around 8pm. I ended up sleeping all night and even felt tired when I woke up. I felt pretty good in the pool today(probably all the rest).

    Warm up
    800 free with snorkel

    Main sets
    4x(200 free on 2:30, 2x100 kick on 2mins, 2x50 AFAP on 1:30)

    Warm down
    8x100 drill swim by 25 on 1:45

    Total 3600LCM

    I unintentionally descended the 200s by round going 2:24,2:22,2:20,2:17. Pic focused on relaxing and keeping my stroke long. On the kick piece I was slower on the first of the two 100s but held 1:45-1:47s. The 50s AFAP I held 30s until the last round when I went 29s. I felt good today. 17 more days.
    Swim Workouts
  2. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout-07/18/2013

    by , July 17th, 2014 at 12:44 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    2 X 250 4:30
    5 X 100 1:50
    4 X 50 faster 1:00

    1 X 200 kick 5:00
    6 X 50 kick 1:20
    50's: build each one

    7 X 100 2:15
    #1&#7: easy
    #2-6: @ 85/90%

    8 X 50
    odd: @ 100% 1:30
    even: easy 1:00

    12 X 100 pull
    1-5: 1:30
    6-10: 1:25
    11/12: swim down 2:00

    Swim Workouts
  3. Wed., July 16

    by , July 16th, 2014 at 04:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Swim/SCY/Solo @ Pitt

    Warm up:

    600 various
    100 scull
    5 x (25 scull + 25 free)
    50 EZ
    6 x 25 burst cruise @ 1:00
    100 EZ

    Main sets:

    5 x (25 AFAP + 75 EZ) @ 3:00
    -- unlike a few days ago, these were right on my usual time
    50 EZ

    8 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 2:00 done as:
    75, UW 15 m each 25
    25 EZ
    150 EZ

    20 x 25 breast @ 100 pace
    250 EZ

    6 rounds of broken up 200s w/fins done as:
    1 x 25 stroke @ 100 pace @ :30
    1 x 100 up tempo backstroke kick (hold 1:05 or faster) @ 1:30
    1 x 25 stroke @ 100 pace @ :30
    1 x 25 fast kick w/board @ :30 (hold 11s)
    1 x 25 EZ @ 1:00

    300 EZ

    Total: 5000


    As you can see, I'm trying to catch up with my GTD. Ha! No, not really at all. I just had a lot of time to swim today and plan on more aerobic work this summer. Feeling pretty beat after that actually. But considering it's only been 10 days since I've been back, that was a pretty good workout.
    Swim Workouts
  4. Week 94 - Wednesday

    by , July 16th, 2014 at 02:38 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a much better nights sleep last night and felt good in the water today. I still feel tired generally but feel good where I am relative to the taper.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup

    Main sets
    4x(2x100 on 1:20, 2x50 back on 1min)
    6x100 kick on 2:15
    12x50 with tempo trainer set to 16 seconds with the goal of holding 32 with one beep of rest

    Warm down
    5x100 free on 1:40

    Total 3600LCM

    The 100s on 1:20 were harder than they should have been. The kick I held 1:45s and felt pretty easy. The pace set was hard work. I held the tempo but it was a lot of hard work. The last two I picked up and finished with 30s on these. 18days to go.
    Swim Workouts
  5. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout-07/17/2013

    by , July 16th, 2014 at 01:02 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    2 X 150 3:00
    2 X 250 4:30
    4 X 50 faster 1:00

    5 X 200 4:20
    100 kick/100 swim

    2 X 200 broken @ race pace 7:00
    Broken :10 @ 100

    2 X 300 4:30
    3 x 200 3:00
    4 x 100 1:30

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  6. 7/16/14 ocean sprints

    start on beach and sprint out to buoys, float, sprint back to beach, lay in sand 30 min, repeat 3 x

    I miss chlorine
  7. Another great distance day

    by , July 16th, 2014 at 07:27 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Had to do a hard one today just because I don't know when I will get in the water over the next few days. Traveling to Atlanta for Age Group States.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers

    1500 free w/paddles & bouy was about 12:28 at the 800 and 23:13 for a final time my best times in the last 2 nationals were 23:48 and 23:49 so I am on track for Nationals. Swimming with paddles & bouy is usually very close to what I will do in a meet without them.

    500 free kick w/zoomers
    500 free w/snorkle

    Total 3500 meters
    Swim Workouts
  8. July Training Notes

    by , July 15th, 2014 at 07:11 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Aches/Pains and Assorted Gripes:
    Might as well get this out of the way so I can move on to more interesting things. A tendon in my right foot has suddenly become painful when I first kick in the morning. The pain is mostly in my big toe but I feel it all the way through the top of my foot. After warm up the pain goes away. Am I just getting old or is there some way to correct this?
    Ok... enough complaining...

    Swim of the Month:
    This wasn't a swim of the month for an extraordinary effort or particularly difficult set conquered. This was purely for the location. All the master's practices were called off on July 4th due to... well... July 4th! Pools were open but they were crowded and a proper workout just wasn't an option. That is until I got an invite from Bob and Don to join them at Monte Sano pool. I swam at this pool a couple times when I was little and then again a couple years ago due to a similar invite. So, when the chance came around again, I jumped on it. Like many pools in Huntsville, this one was built in the 60s era (maybe earlier). But this one has a little different design. For one thing, this pool is 25 meters long and probably the only 25 meter pool within a couple hundred miles. It also doesn't have the typical 'L' shape with a diving board in a deep end separate from the lane laps. But the big difference is the view!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The pool sits on top of Monte Sano Mountain at about 800 feet above the valley in the picture above. It is way too relaxing for any kind of serious swimming and Bob brought a pace clock that didn't work anyway. The clock was there mostly just to say we had one... and it provided plenty of fodder for non-functional pace clock jokes. There were about 8 of us from our team and the HSA masters team. Surprisingly, there were not more. We managed about 3000 meters of swimming and being Independence Day, we did a couple hundred cool down with our hand over our heart. Turns out that holding your hand over your heart is not an efficient way of swimming but it is patriotic... I think.

    When we were done, we got an invite for a 5th of July swim. Dave and I jumped on the opportunity but most of the HSA swimmers went back to the Nat for their normal Saturday morning workout.

    Painful Set of the Month:
    4 Rounds of:
    - 100 @ 1:30
    - 100 @ 1:25
    - 100 @ 1:20
    - 100 @ 1:15
    For each 100, pick from Fly, Breast, IM, Free, Free (yes, there are 2 free)

    I ended up "cheating" and did IM/IM/Free/Free on round 3 but went back to Fly/IM/Free/Free for the last one. I think this is the first time I've made this (or come close) wearing a drag suit.

    Top 10 Watch:
    The preliminary top ten is out and I'm on it for the first time (as an individual)! Of course, it is preliminary and anything could happen before final publication. I also got very lucky in that many fast swimmers just didn't swim the 1650 this year. I don't think my time would have been close the year before and I certainly wouldn't have made it in the age group above me (I get ranked with those animals next year). But I'm not complaining. With my lack of swimming background, I'm happy to be there at all. So, now I'm just hoping there are no missing swims and that all the pool measurements are valid.

    That's about it for July. Next month, I test the murky waters of the Tennessee River.
  9. Workout 07/15/14: noon

    by , July 15th, 2014 at 05:25 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Masters practice was canceled tonight due to an away age-group meet being moved to our pool due to weather concerns, so I emailed the group last night and went for a swim at lunch time after running some errands.

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill/200 kick-drill

    4 x
    - 25 b/c fr into 25 stroke IMO easy (then 100 easy)
    - 25 stroke IMO fast into easy free (then 100 easy)

    - 50 Fast Fr

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1650 yds/40 min)

    Good workout. I am feeling slow in the water, but still very much ready for the meet this weekend. I am planning to carpool with GregJS, and we discussed details at the pool this afternoon. We went in on a Keifer order and I was able to get some good deals on a USMS sweatshirt and caps, as well as a new endurance square-leg suit.

    Finishing organizing/honey-do-list's now before supper, then I'll get ready for a couple of days at work followed by a quick swim on Friday.
    Swim Workouts
  10. Tuesday, July 15

    by , July 15th, 2014 at 04:36 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Swim/SCY/Solo @ Pitt

    Warm up:

    600 various
    3 x 50 scull
    8 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :40
    100 EZ

    Main Sets:

    6 x 25 burst + cruise @ 1:00
    100 EZ

    20 x 25 backstroke @ 100 pace w/fins @ :40
    -- held 12 lows, UW 15 m each 25
    200 EZ

    mega kick set: 8 x broken 175 kick w/fins done as:
    1 x 25 DPK shooter @ :30
    1 x 75 up tempo dolphin kick on back @ 1:00
    1 x 25 AFAP kick w/board @ :30
    1 x 50 EZ backstroke kick @ 1:30

    100 EZ

    8 x 50 w/paddles
    odds = DPD free
    evens = DPS back
    100 EZ

    Total: 4000


    Made it to Pitt today and cracked 4000. Hmm ... can't remember the last time I did that. Aerobic sets rack up the yardage ...

    I heard last weekend that the Mason pool has been "saved." It was closed for 3 months for maintenance/repair this summer. They discovered the pool was sinking and they weren't sure if they could fix it. Apparently, they drilled holes in the pool and deck and used foam concrete and it worked to stabilize the pool. Good thing!

    Poor Teen Fort is having shoulder issues again and has a contrast arthrogram scheduled for Friday. They're not sure if it's a RC tear or just that she's suffering pain from her loosey goosey shoulders. I feel for her. I have the same shoulders. I don't think I'd survive in masters swimming if I wasn't a kicker/fin user/sprinter.
    Swim Workouts
  11. Week 94 - Tuesday

    by , July 15th, 2014 at 02:00 PM (After a long rest)
    I had another restless nights sleep last night and woke up pretty tired. I did some abs work after work last night which made me pretty tired and went to sleep very quickly but work up around 1.30am. I was hot and tossed and turned the rest of the night. I did not feel very good during the warmup this morning but finally got going on the first part of the main set. We did broken 400's which is a beating at the best of times but today I felt pretty strong despite my times being slower than I hoped for.

    Warm up
    6x200 with snorkel on 3mins

    Main set
    3x(2x50 free on :40, 1x100 kick on 2mins, 1x100IM on 2mins)
    2x400 on 10mins broken as
    #1 200,200
    #2 100,200,100
    with 20 seconds after any 200 and 10 seconds after any 100.

    Warm down
    4x200 on 3 mins with snorkel

    Total 3700LCM

    On the broken 400 by 200 I was 4:40 with even splits on each 200 which I was very happy with at this phase of the taper(day2) We still have 19 days so plenty of time to get some more speed, but my pacing was very good and I felt strong the whole way. The second 400 I did not feel as strong but my splits were still consistent and I went 4:38 add up. These are the best 400's I think I have done in practice so I cant argue with that.

    Updated July 15th, 2014 at 07:52 PM by StewartACarroll

    Swim Workouts
  12. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout-07/16/2013

    by , July 15th, 2014 at 01:40 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    1 X 200 3:30 3:30
    2 X 100 2:00 1:45
    4 X 50 descend 1:00 1:00
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 300 kick + 100 swim

    2 X 50 build
    1 X 50 @ 100%
    1 X 50 easy
    3 X 50 build
    1 X 50 easy
    1 x 100 @ 100%
    Two rounds choice with a break after round 1.
    50's on 1:20

    8 X 150 --pull or swim-- 2:15
    1-4: cruise
    5-8: 100 cruise/50 fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  13. July 12-14

    by , July 15th, 2014 at 12:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Saturday: Swim/SCY/Solo @ Oak Marr

    It was pretty crowded as is typical on the weekend, so I was lucky to get half a lane to myself.

    Warm up:

    600 various
    100 scull
    6 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :40
    50 EZ

    Main Sets:

    8 x 25 burst + cruise @ 1:00
    50 EZ

    10 x (25 AFAP + 75 EZ) @ 2:30
    -- I was off on all but one of these. I definitely have lost some speed during my break.

    10 x 100 kick w/fins @ 1:45
    -- hold under 1:08
    100 EZ

    That was all I had time for ...
    Total: 3350


    Monday: Drylands

    RC/scap ex
    kneeling ab crunch, 110 x 1 x 25, 120 x 3 x 20
    wood chop, 25 x 3 x 15 each side
    explosive leg extension, 90 x 1 x 15, 105 x 2 x 15
    seated row negatives, 80 x 4 x 8
    russian twists on incline bench w/plate, 25 x 3 x 25
    tricep press, 80 x 4 x 8
    explosive leg press, 175 x 3 x 15
    push press, 55 x 3 x 8


    Well, I got in four swims last week. I must say I've been enjoying goofing off and not focusing on hard training. And without a meet in sight, I'm still somewhat de-motivated. I just need to keeping going to the pool to get in more decent shape-- here I go now!
  14. Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    by , July 15th, 2014 at 10:10 AM (Trying to Train Smarter, Not Just Harder)
    First Weights, then a short swim. Felt kinda achy between the shoulders today, and kinda puny at weights. Was in a hurry, so I only did 2 rounds at each station, instead of three, and then at the pool, spent so much time talking I only went about 2500 LCM. Hurried over to the dentist for a cleaning then off to work. I have a lovely 55 minute drive, and the sky was lovely: sun shining, didn't see a cloud in the sky. 30 minutes after I get into work, the sky opens up & its suddenly pouring outside! Thunder - boom! Lightening! At this rate we'll lose power and all my charting will be paper - no EMR on these kinds of days, lol!

    1000 warm-up with 400 of it drills
    400 moderate
    400 pull
    100 breast
    400 pull
    100 breast
    300 choice/warm down
  15. Needed a recovery day

    by , July 15th, 2014 at 07:28 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    This was my recovery day today.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers

    4 times thru IM order
    4x50@1:10 for fl, bk, & br @1:00 for fr
    30 sec rest

    200 fly w/zoomers as 50 rt arm/50 lt arm/50 kick/50 swim
    300 free kick w/zoomers
    2x100 from block as 15m sprint then easy free #1 fly, #2 free

    Total 2500 meters
    Swim Workouts
  16. 7|14|14 OW

    3 swims, one long swim with fins and two brief swims without:
    1) 40 min (w/fins) doing 1 min high effort bursts of free and dolphin/flutter kicking on back. Back and breast recovery swimming between

    2) and 3) fly and free between laying around on beach

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    Legs are fried from alll the finned kicking and the bicycle has become quite painful.

    Water here isn't too clear. I like it clear without any surprises. Next week is vacation in Aruba where the water is clear, so I plan to taper it down here some.

    Updated July 15th, 2014 at 01:32 AM by __steve__

  17. How can I make my program more welcoming to new swimmers

    by , July 15th, 2014 at 12:00 AM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: How can I make my program more welcoming to new swimmers?

    A: Most experienced Masters coaches can size up a new swimmer with a high degree of accuracy the moment the swimmer walks on the deck. Most of us can tell quickly whether a new swimmer looks fit from various clues. Is the new swimmer wearing a bathing suit from the set of Magnum P.I.? Did he bring goggles bought from a discount department chain--if he has them at all? Did he bring a bag of swim gear purchased from a store that sells "dollar" items?

    Regardless of your initial assessment, you need to acclimate new swimmers into your program beginning on day one. If they don't have a positive experience right off the block the first day, the likelihood they will return diminishes.

    Here are some important ways you can make your workouts more inviting to new members:

    • Introduce yourself and shake hands. Repeat the new swimmer's name when he introduces himself. Call him by name frequently during practice.
    • Don't overwhelm the new swimmer with too many questions. If he has a positive experience, there will be plenty of time to understand his goals and motivations for swimming later. Simply ask him, "What brings you to the pool today?" In most cases your answer can be "You've come to the right place." If possible, let the new swimmer know others swim in your program for the same reason.
    • Ask how the new swimmer found out about your program. Knowing if there is a friend or family connection is important. Also, knowing how swimmers find out about your program is a valuable marketing metric.
    • Ask if he has swum before and when. This will help you gauge a new swimmer's fitness level, and whether he understands "swim talk" and swim etiquette. Make him aware that you are on deck as a resource for questions and concerns.
    • Before the swimmer enters the water, ask if he is a current USMS member. If he is, you can verify that membership on the website. If he is not a current USMS member, and you offer a trial or guest membership, have the swimmer complete a Guest Membership application. Guest membership to USMS may be used for up to 30 consecutive days and only once in a member's lifetime. Direct each nonUSMS member to the website for membership benefits and registration.
    • Make sure the new swimmer knows he can stop whenever necessary. If the new swimmer is sharing a lane, show him where it's best to stop. This will help reduce anxiety and increase safety for all in the lane. If the new swimmer doesn't swim all four strokes, let him know he can use whichever stroke is most comfortable.
    • Assign the new swimmer to a lane where he will experience the most immediate success. Attempt to reduce the frustration and fear of failing to perform the workout or the assigned tasks.
    • Introduce him to each of his lanemates. Most coaches know who is more welcoming to new swimmers than others. Connect the new swimmer with this "welcoming committee" as soon as possible. Often, new swimmers are less intimidated to ask a teammate a question than the coach.
    • Praise the new swimmer often. Tell the athlete what you see that he is doing well, even if that might be difficult to identify. Ask the swimmer how he feels and if there is anything specific he would like you to look at concerning his stroke.
    • Don't let the new swimmer exceed his workout capability. A good coach manages the athlete's expectations and ability levels. Keep the swimmer safe and comfortable. There will be plenty of time to challenge the athlete's will to succeed and improve later.
    • At the end of practice, congratulate him for finishing his first workout. Tell him you hope he had fun and invite him to return. If he does return, give him a welcome package complete with your program's information and team logo marketing materials (most often a cap). Better yet, include USMS marketing materials--bag tags, caps, stickers and brochures, which can be ordered from USMS (for free, with only a small shipping fee).
    • Lastly, never underestimate the power of a smile. Remember, you're a Masters coach. The first rule in making a practice fun for swimmers both new and old is to look like you're having fun and enjoying your time on-deck.
  18. Workout 07/14/14: evening

    by , July 14th, 2014 at 08:07 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    After a busy weekend of work and then activities at church, I was happy to get out of work early today and rest a bit at home before a swim this evening. The pool was a bit crowded so I was not able to get in what I had planned, but I was able to do ...

    200 Fr/200 IM drill
    200 kick

    2 x
    - 4 x (3 x 25 on traffic:, as sprint, sprint, easy, the 2 fast IMO)
    - 200 Pull with buoy fast

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1800 yds/40 min)

    I was able to get a 2 mile jog in on Saturday night, and I have been a little sore from the open water adventures last week. I'm looking forward to the Baystate Games this coming weekend at Springfield College in Mass. I am signed up for just Saturday, doing:
    400 Free
    400 IM
    100 Back
    50 Free

    Out to be an interesting day, befitting my first ever LCM meet. I haven't been very consistent with training over the past few months (and haven't been in a long course pool since last summer), but I am looking forward to the challenge of LCM! The 400 free swims around noon, and then the rest of the meet starts at 4:30 - I plan to use the 400 IM as an extended cooldown/warmup before the 100 back.

    Edit: found the psyche sheets here.

    Updated July 14th, 2014 at 08:34 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts , Planning
  19. Week 94 - Monday

    by , July 14th, 2014 at 01:51 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a rough nights sleep last night, I had a lot on my mind and was very hot all night. My daughter just missed a couple of individual TAGS times yesterday and she exited the 100 back in tears(which only lasted a few minutes), but my heart went out to her. We have always focused on personal best times and I was so proud of her when she came out of the pool and gave me a hug and said that she was pleased with her swim(you could tell she was upset with the start) because it was a best time. I almost teared up when she said that. I also learnt a lesson yesterday about what I must have put my own mother through as a child(sorry Mum). For the first time yesterday I realised that it hurts the parent and not just the child when your child does not get what they have worked so hard for. I have done my best to not coach and not put any pressure on her and have tried keeping the big picture of swimming for life at the forefront of all our conversations but you do second guess yourself and I kept asking if I was part of the reason she missed her time. I have no intention of mentioning her missing her goal but rather to continue setting goals and encouraging her toward her goals with the #1 part being to have fun. You can probably tell I am very proud of her.

    I was awake as the alarm crept toward 4.30am and just got up without the alarm going off. Todays workout felt surprisingly good and smooth. I did not feel very fast but I did feel strong and my times were pretty consistent today.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on 50

    Main sets

    4x(300 smooth on 4mins with paddles, 4x50 build on 1min)
    6x(100 kick with fins on 1.45, 2x50 kick with fins on 1min)

    Warm down
    6x100 on 1.30 with snorkel perfect swim

    Total 4500LCM

    I was holding 3:30-3:33 on the 300's with paddles and then built each 50 to 33-34 on the 50's. The kick was interesting and I held 1:15 on the easy 100 and then 30-31's on the fast 50's with fins. I felt good today.

    20 more days til worlds!

    Psych sheets were released today for worlds (there's a link on the usms forums) and I am ranked 3rd in the 800, 6th in the 200 and 2nd in the 400. I am also swimming the the 50 free(this will be interesting to see if I have enough speed to place top 10) and the 100 free. There are some very strange entry times in many different age groups. My event rankings seem to line up with what I know of the domestic and international competition. Looks like there are some really fast guys in my age(I suspect all ages). I am looking forward to some really fast racing.
    Swim Workouts
  20. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout-07/15/2013

    by , July 14th, 2014 at 12:06 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 2:00 1:45
    1 X 250 4:30 --
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 100 kick 2:40
    6 X 50 kick 1:20
    Build each 50 to fast
    1 X 100 swim

    6 x 100 2:15
    All 6 @ 85/90%

    10 X 50 1:15
    #3-6-9 @ 100%

    6 x 200 pull 3:00
    Descend in pairs

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts