Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Change Would Do You Good

Date: Thursday, January 19, 2012
Time: 4:40 p.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Short Course Yards
158 days to Olympic Trials

Today's workout with the top group at Phoenix Swim Club was tough! We churned out about 4,500 yards of mostly breaststroke in one hour and 45 minutes. The group had been increasing yardage since coming back from the Austin Grand Prix. I was not aware of this until Coley Stickels mentione dit to me as I walked into the pool complex. I wasn't sure we were going to do lots of yardage on breaststroke day, but when he started spewing out a 2,400-yard final set, I knew he meant business. The set was basically an IM set without the butterfly (thankfully), but after about 3,000 yards of mostly breaststroke before that, all my other strokes weren't feeling up to the challenge.

What was even more challenging about the final set was that it was supposed to be at 75 percent effort, which made me happy, but I think I was the only one swimming at that pace. Everyone around me seemed to be going close to 95 percent effort. For example, I swam 50 yards of breaststroke in 35 seconds in the middle of the set, and I knew it was close to 85 percent effort -- and there were three others ahead of me! I swam a 50 free in 29 seconds, knowing there was a freestyler right on my heels behind me. I think when you're a kid, you don't really know what the various swimming pace efforts are. If someone tells me to go 75 percent effort, I feel like I can approximate that very well. Seventy-five percent effort for 50 yards of freestyle for me is in the 35-second range.

In any case, today's workout was about putting more concentration on breaststroke pullouts. In the past 24 hours, many people have sent in suggestions for fixing my pullouts, and most have suggested a longer glide on the dive/push-off. After today's workout, I think they might be on to something. I was so afraid of losing speed quickly because of my bad ankles, but I think I hold speed pretty well. The new pullout seemed to work well, but I'll have to do more work with it to feel comfortable. And not gliding too long after the kick on the pullout feels good, too. Again, more work needs to be done on it before I fully embrace it.

So, thanks to everyone who has offered their suggestions. In the next few days, I will tinker with my pullout a little more and see if the changes are good or bad for me.

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