Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Hard Day's Night

Date: Thursday, Ocotber 13, 2011
Time: 4:40 p.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Short Course Yards
256 days to Olympic Trials

400 warm up (75 choice/25 scull)

Three rounds:
2x50 on 1:00, done as 25 breast pullout and one stroke repeated/25 three kicks, one stroke, three pulls, one stroke)
2x75 on 1:15 (back/breast/free, with no more than five strokes on breast)
4x25 on :30 (odd: breast pull with flutter kick, even: three kicks, three strokes)

Two rounds:
2x100 on 1:45 (75 breast kick with arms in varying positions/25 breast pull) Note: This was supposed to be done with a snorkel but I did not have one.
2x50 on 1:00 (one breaststroke kick, one breaststroke stroke, one kick, one pull)
2x75 on 1:15 (back/breast/free)

Two rounds:
1x150 on 2:15 (back/breast pull by 25 for 100, then back/breast by 25 with no buoy on last 50)
1x100 on 1:30 -- 75 free/25 breast at 500 free aerobic pace plus 5
2x75 on 1:20 (25 breast pull/25 breast kick underwater/25 underwater pullouts)
1x100 on 1:30 -- 75 free/25 breast at 500 free aerobic pace plus 2
3x50 on :40 (1 back, 1 breast, 1 free)
1x100 on 1:30 -- 75 free/25 breast at 500 free aerobic pace

200 warmdown: 25 double-arm back with breast kick/25 scull for 150, then 50 feet-first scull on back

Total: 4,000 yards (80 minutes)

Today's workout with the age groupers at Phoenix Swim Club was physically tough and mentally challenging, as you can see. The final set was very grueling, especially since I did not know what my 500 aerobic pace really was. I think it's around 1:05 .. but I went :58 on the final 100 in both rounds. Maybe a little too fast, but I managed to be one of the few to not only make those 50s on :40, but be able to do that final 100 well. My heart rate was 180 at the end of the set. A little high, but not out of the ordinary for me.

During the first set, Coley Stickels, the head coach at Phoenix Swim Club, was surprised that my breaststroke pull is so wide. I told him that many have remarked on that, but no one ever told me to make my pull narrower. Since my breaststroke is very reliant on my upper body strength, I feel the need to get a wide pull to grab more water. I have never felt like this slows me down, and the wider pull does not put pressure on my shoulders. On the second set, I pulled narrower on some of my strokes to see how it felt. I didn't think I was getting very good distance per stroke. It is something I will explore, just to see if a narrower pull will translate to faster times.

I was worried that my body wouldn't want to do any fast swimming after a long day at work, but it responded very well to everything I asked of it ... although the chicken salad I had for lunch wanted to join the party a couple of times.

By the way, Coley really thinks I can go 1:02 in the 100 breast at Trials. Ha! Of course, nothing's impossible, but that is a major mountain to climb. My lifetime best is 1:02.46, and to imagine that I could go a best time at 38 years old in my best event seems preposterous. But isn't that the job of a good coach, to make us believe that anything is possible?

This weekend could be a step in that direction. I'll be racing for the first time since making my Trials cut, and while I don't expect fast times since I won't be shaved or rested, I will use the meet as a barometer of what needs to be done in the remaining seven weeks of the season.

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