Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pull Me Under

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2011
Time: 4:35 p.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Short Course Yards/Short Course Meters
235 days to Olympic Trials

Tonight I swam with Coley Stickels' group at the Phoenix Swim Club, though the turnout was sparse, because most of the swimmers were preparing for the state high school championship. Prelims begins tomorrow, and a few of the kids were at the pool doing some final prep. It brought me back to my days as a high school swimmer, getting pumped up for the state meet in Missouri.

Tonight's workout wasn't exhausting or extremely difficult, but I did wish the intervals were slower, just so I didn't feel like I was rushing through some of the sets that I wanted to take my time and work on technique. Some sets felt like a straight 1,200 or 1,000 yards, with only enough time to take a couple of deep breaths for what was usually an underwater swimming or kicking drill. Most of the sets that gave me trouble involved breaststroke pull with a pull buoy. This has always given me trouble. I find that most people do a large dolphin kick when they do breaststroke pull with a pull buoy, and I used to always get yelled at by my coach for doing that in high school. I can't say for sure that most of the kids (and the postgrad swimmers) were doing dolphin kicks, but I was well behind them on breaststroke pull sets, but I had no problem staying with or ahead of them on breaststroke swim sets.

In any case, the reason I love going to Coley's Thursday breaststroke workouts is because it allows me a lot of time to concentrate on the finer points of my breaststroke. Today, I thought about my hand pitch when I began the insweep, making sure my fingers were pointed downward. I also tried to think about my kick, and I could feel a difference kicking "the old way," compared to the way Tako tried to teach me last week. If my legs weren't so fried from yesterday's workout with JR Rosania, I might have been able to put more effort into kicking today.

I won't try to re-create the workout for you, as it involved lots of drills that defy easy written explanation. But we did 4,900 yards/meters in about 110 minutes. For the final set, we moved from the main short course yards pool to the six-lane short course meters pool for 1,200 meters. The water was warmer, the pool is shallower and the intervals didn't slow down to accommodate for meters, so the final set exasperated me. But, on the bright side, my heart rate was at a steady 150 the entire time.

I'm not sure how my legs and lower back will feel tomorrow morning. I saw Mark Rankin at the pool tonight after workout and warned him that I might opt to swim during the main kick set tomorrow, if my legs haven't fully recovered. I hope they do, because I plan to do some race pace swimming tomorrow!

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