Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Almost There

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Time: 5:45 a.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Short Course Yards

300 warmup

6x100 on 1:45
75 free/25 no free

9x50 free on 1:00, overkicking at various points

Two rounds:
1x100 on 2:00 easy
4x25 free on :30 breath control
4x50 on 1:00 best average
Round 1 50s were free, averaging 27.1
Round 2 50s were back, averaging 29.2

6x50 easy :15 rest

Three rounds:
50 fast (breast from dive: 27.0, back from push: 25.5, breast from dive: 27.2)
50 easy, then 1:00 rest
25 fast (breast from dive: 12.0, back from push: 12.3, breast from dive: 12.1)
25 easy, then 1:00 rest

100 easy

75 IM from dive (41.3)

225 easy

Total: 3,300 yards (75 minutes)

Today marks 31 days until the Arizona State Masters Short Course Championships. It's almost here! Nothing special happens at this point in the season, but the realization did give me a little jolt.

I liked today's workout very much. It had an element of endurance sprinting with the best-average set, but also had a race-pace set at the end. And the remarkable thing is that the rest was already built into the race-pace set! Those rest intervals were not decided by me.

I was very happy with my sprinting today. Despite the warm water making my muscles feel rubbery (felt like 82 degrees), my times were right on target. I was hoping to go under 12 seconds on one of my dive 25 breaststroke, but I'm happy with two times in the 12-low range. I don't think my starts were all that good, though. I felt like I was losing speed too much after my body entered the water, but I wasn't sure if it was my naturally inflexible ankles or something that could actually be fixed. Or were my legs just too tired to spring hard from the block?

I was feeling a big knot in my left rhomboid muscle through the entire workout, and no amount of stretching could remove the knot. When I got home tonight, I tried to work it out on a special wooden kneader that I have, but it's still there. I'm going to put some Ben-Gay on it before I go to bed, and hopefully that will help. The only problem with putting Ben-Gay on at night is my cat is attracted to the smell, and she tries to lick the cream off me, even if I have a shirt on. She won't take no for an answer, so I might have to shut her out of the bedroom tonight so I don't have to wake up at midnight to her trying to get to that strange aroma emanating from me.

I had a very good session with JR Rosania today. Someone asked if my sessions with him are working on building muscle mass. Absolutely not. Some of the exercises use very little weight, and work instead on the explosive speed in my muscles. For example, I do back extensions while holding an eight-pound ball. When I lift up, I throw my arms forward while holding the ball, similar to the breaststroke recovery. The weight of the ball isn't heavy, but the hard part is getting my arms forward in an quick motion.

Another great exercise I do there is standing on a platform about knee height. Holding a 15-pound ball, I throw it down to the ground, imitating the motion of a breaststroke pullout and butterfly pull. The key, JR said, is to lift the shoulders to engage more back and shoulder muscles, and to throw the ball hard to the ground. When I'm in the pool, I try to replicate that motion on my breaststroke pullouts. These exercises and all the others he gives me have a swimming specific purpose, and usually I discover that purpose in the pool the next day.

Jason Lezak does a similar type of training, and it seems to be working well for him in his mid-30s!

Tonight I was so tired when I got home that I couldn't find the energy to practice piano. I need to do so, because my final recital is the same week as the state meet, so I have essentially two championship performances in one week. I am trying to play the song "Scarborough Fair" (which repeats 17 measures five times) and while I have the melody down, it's hard to play the chords. I didn't have much desire to work through that tonight, but I'll make up for it tomorrow.

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