Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Anything You Can Do

Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Time: 5:50 a.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Short Course Meters
68 days to Olympic Trials

1300 warmup (including 15-meter sprints)

75 free fast from push (42.6)/175 easy on 6:00
25 breast fast from dive (13.2)/175 easy on 5:00
50 breast fast from push (32.3)/100 easy on 4:00
75 free fast from push (42.6)/175 easy on 6:00
25 breast fast from dive (13.2)/175 easy on 5:00
50 breast fast from push (31.9)/100 easy on 4:00
25 breast fast from dive (13.3)

225 easy, freestyle and sculling drills with snorkel

Total: 2,750 meters (75 minutes)

Today was one of the best workouts I've had in a long time. It took a while to wake up and be ready to swim fast, but once the main set came around, I was mentally ready, though I wasn't sure my body was ready to do what my mind wanted. During the 15-meter breakouts, my breaststroke didn't feel so good, a little choppy to be exact, but during the main set, my goal was to grab as much water as possible during the outsweep and hold it through the insweep. On the fast 25s I was trying to get into my stroke quickly. Sometimes I don't feel like I am "ready to swim" until about 20 meters, but I was trying to be ready on the first stroke, not the fourth.

The times were very good. I didn't expect to go 32.3 on the first 50 breast, and knowing I was rushing my stroke too much, I felt I could go under 32 on the second round. I was so glad I did. I haven't swum short course meters in a while, but this is definitely an improvement across the entire spectrum. As a comparison, the last 50 on my world record swim in the 100 breast in 2009 was 32.0, so add a few tenths for the turn, and I'm already going faster! If you want to compare apples to apples (instead of techsuit to jammer), then let's go with my 1:01.86 from 2010, when my last 50 was 32.3. Here's a video of that race:

The keys are my much-improved pullouts and, of course, improved swimming strength.

My freestyle felt great as well, and I don't want to forget about training that stroke. I plan to swim the 100 free at the Masters nationals after Olympic Trials, and I will need to be on top of my game for that race, since it's definitely not one of my primary events.

I kept the energy from today's pool workout going this afternoon in my dryland training with JR Rosania. I'm always excited about working with him, but today, I even got excited about the exercises that I despise, including the dreaded leg extensions. Do you want to know why I hate that exercise so much? Here's video proof:

This next exercise has become one of my favorites, even though it's the reason I can barely lift my arms the next day. I don't think there's an official name for this exercise, but it definitely was designed (by JR?) to help strengthen the muscles needed for the breaststroke outsweep:

Yesterday I found a video of Ryan Lochte performing various drills with the battle ropes. He makes it look so easy, but that's because he's Ryan Freakin' Lochte.

I've been doing this exercise for a couple of weeks as I start the power phase of training. After today's workout in the pool, I felt pretty close to invincible, and I was certain I could work the ropes better than Ryan. I leave it up to you to decide:

I suppose I have a long way to go before I can do anything as good as Ryan. Maybe that's why the breaststroke leg on his 200 IM is almost faster than I've ever swum the second 50 in a 100 breast!

Workouts like today don't come along very often for me. There's always some negative aspect of the workout that overrides the positives, but today, I couldn't find anything negative in the pool or on land.

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