Thursday, September 15, 2011

Go the distance

Date: Thursday, September 15, 2011
Time: 5:50 a.m.
Short Course Yards
284 days to Trials

Main set:
3x100 on 1:20
200 on 2:40
300 on 4:00
400 on 5:20
500 on 6:40
One minute break
500 on 6:40
400 on 5:20
300 on 4:00
200 on 2:40
3x100 on 1:20

Total workout distance: 4500 yards

As usual, its a crapshoot on Thursdays. You never know what kind of workout you're going to get. Coach Mark Rankin says it's "recovery day," but I never truly feel like the sets give the right opportunities for recovery. Today, I did my best to hold at my aerobic threshold and not push too hard.

On the way up the ladder of the main set (starting at the 100s all the way to the 500), I used a FINIS snorkel. This is a great way for me to work on my freestyle stroke, because I can watch my arms during the pull. I was trying to work on Matt Kredich's suggestion that the forearm powers the pull. For most of the set, I could do it, but as I was getting tired, I found myself un-flexing my wrist, which disengaged my forearm. I held about 1:12 on the way up the ladder. I don't go very fast with the snorkel on. I can never do good turns with it, and I'm too busy concentrating on my stroke. I went first in my lane, and my lanemates didn't seem to care about our pace.

On the way down the ladder, I swam normal. After the 500, I got a little bit of a second wind, but told myself to stay relaxed and aerobic, which was about 1:08 or 1:09 per 100. For me, aerobic means a heart rate of about 162-168, determined by the number of beats in a 10-second count. Alan Carter took off on the entire set, and I didn't care in the least that he lapped me on the 400s and 500s. Two lanes over, a semi-regular swimmer named Claire, who swims with us when she's not studying for a graduate degree at Stanford, was holding the same pace as I was. She helped keep me from slowing down when I felt like doing so (which was often), and got me concentrating on my turns in order to gain a little advantage on each length.

I was glad I did that set. Are you surprised that I would say that? I need to work on my freestyle for IM purposes, and sets like this help my endurance. On the upside I had a couple of nice songs from the Stephen Sondheim musical "Company" playing in my head during the whole set ("Side by Side by Side" and "Company") and I was only distracted from keeping count once!

At the gym:
Five minutes shoulder warmup exercises

Sitting bench press (15@110, 12@135, 10@155)

Sitting row (15@105, 12@135, 10@165)

Leg adductors (15@140, 12@160, 10@180)

Cable pull (bent at 90 degree angle, replicating breaststroke pullout) (15@15 per arm, 12@20 per arm, 10@ 30 per arm)

Four rounds of 20 box jumps

15 minutes abdominal exercises and stretching

Since I will not be swimming tomorrow, I decided to step up the weight workout a notch. The sitting row was tough, but everything else felt good. In two weeks I'll be starting my eight-week phase of power/speed lifting, which has been a very good addition to my overall program. 

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