Thursday, February 16, 2012

Freeze Frame

Date: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Time: 5:50 a.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Short Course Yards
130 days to Olympic Trials

4x200 on 3:00 every fourth 25 no free

6x50 on 1:00 – 25 kick/25 swim

200 scull

Four rounds:
2x125 free on 1:40
4x50 breast pull on 1:00 – 25 head up/25 regular (no pull buoy)
:40 rest between rounds

6x25 on :40 from middle of pool, underwater kick off wall

200 easy

Total: 3,450 yards

My legs didn’t feel very good this morning. I was happy we were doing breaststroke pull, because I don’t think my kick would have been very productive after yesterday’s workout. To be honest, I don’t think I properly took care of myself after the workout. I drank a lot of water during the workout, but I didn’t drink very much the rest of the evening. I think I drank a cup at most, when I should have had at least twice that much to help my body flush out the lactate and help with recovery. When I woke up this morning, my legs felt heavy, and the first 1,300 yards of the workout were used mostly to recover from yesterday.

I didn’t push the main set too much. I averaged 1:23 on the 125s and :37 on the 50s. For the most part I was working on my technique. During the warmup, Mark Rankin told me he noticed that my left arm was crossing over my body on freestyle, and had some underwater footage to back it up on a nifty underwater camera. He wasn’t the first to tell me that recently, but I thought I had fixed it. Apparently not! So I used the 125s as an opportunity to concentrate on my left arm. I lost my snorkel many months ago and had not made any effort to get a new one, but I think I should so I can see exactly what’s going on with the left arm.

Also, Mark filmed my breaststroke head-on, and I noticed at the end of the recovery, I was pointing my fingers down instead of straight ahead. I was even able to freeze the image and see the exact angle I was pointing my fingers. What this does is cause you to have to angle your hands back up closer to the surface for the next pull, and that’s wasted energy. This is something you don’t necessarily see in race footage filmed from the side, and I was grateful that Mark was able to show this to me. I worked on bringing my hands forward and keeping my fingers pointed toward the wall, and though it’s more work on my shoulders to keep the arms closer to the surface, I think it sets up the next pull better.

Today stressed the importance of getting your stroke filmed. You always think you are doing something right, but the camera does not lie! I took for granted all the opportunities I had to get underwater filming when I was part of the USA Swimming Resident Team in Colorado Springs in the late 1990s. The last time I was filmed was about this time last year, when I saw many mistakes with my start and turn, particularly that my head was not in the right position on the entry and on the push-off. I fixed it in time to do well at the Masters nationals, and later when I made my Olympic Trials qualification time. If you have the opportunity for someone to film your stroke, please do it. And if you have access to an underwater camera (like this one), which is what Mark used for filming me this morning, even better!

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