Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The First Time

Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Short Course Meters/Yards
215 days to Olympic Trials

Today's workout with the senior-level age group team at Phoenix Swim Club was definitely one of the most difficult I have ever done in my 33 years in the sport. The goal was to emulate race pace training while building up extreme lactate, and on a scale of 1 to 10, the lactate level was at 9 for the entire workout.

At Coley's request, I can't post the workout here, but the main set was about 700 yards of some very tough swimming using rubber tubing, swim parachutes and fins, in the span of about 45 minutes. Today was the first time I've ever used a swim parachute, and it is extremely tough to swim with one. You can't imagine that small device having the ability to keep you from moving forward, but when it first took hold of water, I instantly felt how effective it was!

The most difficult parts of the main set were the underwater kicks and the variations on what we call in Masters "wall-ups," in which you pull yourself out of the water multiple times. This time, instead of pulling ourselves halfway out of the water, we had to pull ourselves completely out of the water. My legs and lungs were screaming!

The part of the main set I found the most relevant to race pace training were the fast 50s, which were broken into separate components. Using smaller fins required you to work the kick more while emphasizing a faster stroke tempo.

At the end of the workout, I was ready to do a long warmdown. After 100 yards, I asked Coley if he could time me for a dive 25 breast. I went 12.3, which was pretty good given the tough hour I had just endured. I didn't have much leg power to push from the blocks, but my stroke felt strong.

I wasn't sure I could survive the workout, but when it was over, I found myself smiling. I could have done a similar workout with the Masters group, but it would have been essentially a set of push 50s or 25s that might have made me happy with the times, but ambivalent about the workout itself.

Can't wait to attend another lactate day at Phoenix Swim Club!

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