Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shock the Monkey

Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Time: 5:45 a.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Short Course Meters
166 days to Olympic Trials

1700 warmup

8x25 non-free on :30
    Done as 4x25 breakouts
                 2x25 easy
                 2x25 breakouts
4x25 free low breath count on :25
2x25 easy on :20
1:00 break
4x25 breast fast on :30 (averaged 15-high)
4x25 easy on :30
4x25 free low breath count on :25
4x25 free easy on :20

Easy 150

Four rounds:
50 fast/50 easy on 2:30
25 fast/75 easy on 2:30
Round 1: 27.1 50 free, 12.3 25 free
Round 2: All easy
Round 3: 32.2 50 breast, 12.3 25 free
Round 4: 32.0 50 breast, 13.1 25 back

100 easy

Total: 3,500 meters (80 minutes)

Some days it's easy for me to be a sprinter. Some days, it feels like my body just wants to swim slow. This was one of those days. I didn't get much sleep last night, and as such I was pretty groggy when I dove in. It took me nearly 40 minutes to feel like I was ready to do something worthwhile in the pool.

Breaststroke times continue to surprise me. To be in low 32-second range is pretty good, considering that it felt like my stroke wasn't fully clicking. I don't know if it's making the transition back to short course or if it's from being sick for a few days, but nothing has truly felt right since Thursday. I'm chalking it up -- for now -- to the long course to short course transition. When I swim short course, I feel like I have to have a faster stroke rate, and while that may not be true, it's what I'm feeling this week. We're supposedly doing long course tomorrow, so I'll be able to get a feel for long course again, which is the format I'll be racing in this weekend.

With the meet this weekend, JR Rosania decided it would be good to work on some explosive exercises, to get my nervous system ready to race. Specifically, these exercises could help me with my starts and turns, as well as get my muscles ready for real sprinting. Doing resistance jumps on a horizontal sled and push-ups with claps were just a few of the things I did tonight. I wasn't as tired as last week, when the goal was to do a lot of work in an hour, but I was pretty tired at the end. I don't mind if I'm sore tomorrow from it.

This afternoon, I got a very good package in the mail. It was an electronic muscle stimulator that is like an angel sent from heaven. This device is working to get my left rhomboid muscle back in working order. I believe that muscle has been in some state of disrepair for many years, though I do not know why. It is the major reason why I believe I got tendonitis two years ago. Because I had limited use of that muscle, I relied on other muscles to do the job of the rhomboid, which was a pathway to injury.

The physical therapy got it into some shape, but I think I needed constant work on my rhomboid to keep it working. That is the goal here. Tonight, I had the device do its thing for 30 minutes, and I can't say for sure if the muscle is better, but I could feel the electrodes shocking the muscle into action, which is a very, very, very good thing. I plan to do this once a week for 30 minutes, and with regular physical therapy work (using resistance bands), I could gain more use of the muscle, which has a major function in swimming, especially in arm recovery on breaststroke and the catch phase of backstroke.

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