Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In the Deep

Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Time: 5:45 a.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Short Course Yards
159 days to Olympic Trials

1100 warmup

16x25 on :30, descend 1-4 to 90 percent effort

Four rounds:
75 fast on :1:30
25 fast on 1:00
Rounds 1 and 2: kick with short fins (:50 on 75, :14 on 25)
Rounds 3 and 4: breast pull with short fins (:43 on 75, :13 on 25)

200 easy

10x25 on 1:00 fast
Odd: breast from dive*
Even: free from push
*After touching the wall on the odd 25s, I did 20 seconds of moderately aggressive vertical kicking.

Three starts

200 easy

Total: 2,600 yards (80 minutes)

Not a bad workout today. The water was a little too warm, though I could feel cool water coming out of the jets, which potentially means good things for tomorrow.

Since I was still thinking about Sunday's swimming, I had a goal of working on some problem points in my breaststroke, specifically my start and arm recovery during the stroke. That was the reason I did the main set with short fins, to focus only on the pull. I felt like my hands were faster on the recovery, and helped to set up the next stroke better. Doing this more often will help train my muscles to swim like this, especially when I get tired. Since I'm more tired than not in workout, I tend to slow down my recovery, for no other reason than the muscles responsible for proper recovery are usually very sore and don't want to do things correctly. I'm going to make sure these muscles are ready to swim correctly long before I step up on the blocks in Omaha. It starts today!!!!!

On the final set, I asked Mark to time me to 15 meters on my start. He timed me at 6.3 seconds on average, which is almost a second faster than I was in Austin. Why is that? I know my legs were tired in Austin, but were they so tired I couldn't push myself off the block stronger at 9:30 a.m. than I could today at 6:50 a.m.? I plan to get timed to 15 meters regularly. Hopefully, I will get under six seconds soon!

Felt great working with JR today. Lots of exercises geared specifically for breaststroke. Some of the better ones are not easy to explain, but they involve exercising the muscles while simulating parts of breaststroke swimming, like the arm recovery (!) and the pulldown. While it's also great to go the gym and do the standard bench press and so on, I like knowing exactly how these exercises will help me in the pool.

Tomorrow is breaststroke day with the elite group at Phoenix Swim Club. That's 90 minutes of pure mental focus on breaststroke. When I was in high school, I dreaded doing breaststroke in workout, but that was because I would usually do stuff like 10x100 on 1:20 (yards), and barely make the interval after number five. Now, every set with Coley on Thursdays pretty much has a purpose. Most of the time, that purpose is to fatigue me, and it usually works! Strangely enough, Thursday has become my new favorite swimming day.

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