Wednesday, September 28, 2011

If you're happy and you know it...

Date: September 28, 2011
Time: 5:45 a.m.
Short Course Yards
271 days to Olympic Trials

300 warmup

6x75 on 1:20
Odd: fast turns (backstroke)
Even: build (freestyle)
(At least 25 seconds rest on these)

8x25 on :35
Odd: two stroke cycles fast
Even: two breaths, freestyle

5x100 on 2:00, best average (about 200 pace)
Freestyle -- 56.5, 57.0, 57.0, 56.5, 57.0 (may have been a little too slow)

8x25 on :30 recovery

5x (100 fast/100 easy) on 4:30
Backstroke: 58.1, 57.8, 57.6, 58.3, 58.1

12x25 on :30 recovery

Broken 100 breast from a dive, five seconds rest at each 25
Time: 55-plus (according to the coach)

200 easy (with stretching)

I'm beyond proud of myself for today's workout. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, today's workout would be an indicator of my conditioning before I begin the sprint phase of the season next week. On the best average 100s, my heart rate was getting pretty low at the start of each repeat. I checked it after number four and it was 174 at the finish and 144 40 seconds later. That means I'm in shape (which is very good, since I've been training hard for seven weeks), and ready to do a lot of sprinting!

The fast 100/easy 100 is a staple on sprint day at Phoenix Swim Club, and the set has its advantages and disadvantages. I think the set should end after round three, but doing two more sets was not only a great physical test, but a great mental test. It wasn't easy getting my arms moving on the last two. When this set comes up during my sprint phase, I might do rounds one, three and five fast. That gives my body more time to recover and do actual race pace swimming. My backstroke times were about 1.5 seconds off what I did a couple of weeks ago in Tucson, so I know what's in me.

As for the broken 100 breast, I initially thought I had swum a 56, which was very good for the end of workout. Then, Mark told me he yelled out 1:10 when I touched the wall, but I heard "1:11." (Subtract the 15 seconds rest total in the broken swim to get your actual time.) So, 55 was a nice bonus to the day. I've been feeling crappy in my breaststroke this week, and today wasn't great in the technique department, but at least the speed is there, and I can take the time to find that technique. My breaststroke is the first to fall apart when my body is broken down, and during the sprint phase, there's usually some time I build into workouts for drill work, especially during recovery sets.

A reader asked me if I find it difficult to swim with Phoenix Masters, since I'm the only one going to Trials. The answer is an emphatic no. I might be the only Masters swimmer going to Trials (at the moment), but we all have a goal of being the best athletes we can be, and that makes workout fun, even at 6 a.m. If I'm doing fast breaststroke, I typically find someone a couple of lanes down the pool who is doing freestyle at my speed, and pretend we're racing. It is difficult being the only breaststroker, but that's nothing new to me. Growing up from ages 13 to 17, I was the only breaststroker on my age-group team, so I had to race against the freestylers a lot.

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