Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning

Date: Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Time: 5:45 a.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Long Course Meters
188 days to Olympic Trials

1600 warmup

Four rounds:
100 back on 1:45
100 IM on 1:45
100 free on 1:45
(all aerobic)

10 minutes:
25 double arm backstroke
25 breaststroke -- 2 strokes, 1 pullout
25 fly kick on stomach with arms at sides
25 free swim
(Did 600 meters)

200 back easy (with stretching)

Total: 3,600 meters (75 minutes)

I didn't sleep very well last night. I woke up once each hour, and remember looking at the clock on the nightstand each time. When I saw "4:45," I groaned. I felt horrible, because I hadn't really gotten much restful sleep. My partner, Geoff Glaser, tosses and turns a lot in his sleep when his lower back hurts, and I think that was the case last night. I think we need to get one of these beds.

When I got to the pool, I was feeling awake and alert mentally, but I wasn't sure how my body would react to the workout. I should have held back on the set of 100s on 1:45. I was averaging 1:21 for the backstroke, 1:20 for the IM and 1:17 for the freestyle. My heart rate at the end was 180, which is a little high for that set. Part of that could be attributed to doing the first long course workout in a month, I suppose. My body needs a few days to adjust to that.

Just a little update on stroke technique: Everything feels better in the water, especially my breaststroke. I feel like I have a better handle on the stroke, particularly at the "turn the corner" part of the stroke, when the hands do the insweep. Pulling wide is something that might be unusual, but it works for me, and I'm sticking to it! As for my backstroke, my left arm felt weak. I need to do lots of strength exercises for those shoulder and back muscles on my left side, and this Friday, I'm getting some body work done in that area to help spread out the muscles and increase range of motion. I can feel like my left arm doesn't want to dig as deep as it should on the backstroke pull, and plenty of stretching and strengthening will help that.

At the gym (5 p.m.)

20 minutes elliptical machine

Sitting bench press (15 @ 110, 12 @ 135, 10 @ 145)

Hamstring curls (15 @ 70, 12 @ 80, 10 @ 100)

Backstroke cable pull (10 @ 15 each arm, 10 @ 20, 10 @ 25)

The backstroke cable pull is a new exercise for me. I saw it in Swimming World Magazine some time ago (can't remember the issue), and had always wanted to include it in my repertoire. The exercise is quite tough. Not only do you have to replicate the backstroke pull with each arm, but since you are laying on your back on a therapy ball, you are using your abs to keep you stable. This exercise will be very good for strengthening my shoulder and back muscles. I just need to get used to the exercise. I would definitely recommend starting light, just to get used to the exercise motion. And plant your feet firmly on the ground, with your knees bent at 90 degrees for better balance.

I didn't do my abdominal exercises today, since I was running late to see the movie "Shame." I had read a lot about the movie, especially that it was rated NC-17. The movie was just OK. The character development was lacking. If I had known nothing about the movie, I would have had a hard time wondering where the conflict lied in the main character. Just so you know, the movie isn't extremely pornographic, though the sex scenes were slightly graphic.

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