Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Eyes of a Child

Date: Thursday, April 5, 2012
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Long Course Meters
81 days to Olympic Trials

Today was probably the hardest 3,300 meters I've done in months. I knew the workout with the gold group at Phoenix Swim Club would be tough, given my forced time off last week, but I did not expect us to do anything close to the final 1,500 meters:

2x100 pull on 1:25 (50 back/40 breast/10 free)
1x50 dolphin kick on back on 1:00
2x100 swim on 1:25 as above
1x50 dolphin kick on back on 1:00
2x100 swim with short fins on 1:25 as above
1x50 dolphin kick on back on 1:00

One minute rest, then repeat set with the following change:
2x100 on 1:25 (50 back/40 breast/10 free)

When you're a teenager, you can do sets like this and not be affected by it. When you're in your late 30s, you can probably get through the set, but you'll be hanging on the edge of the pool deck for a couple of minutes, wondering how the kids around you have the energy to laugh at a joke just told.

The worst part of the set was that it combined three of the things I am horrible at in the pool: pulling, dolphin kick and swimming with fins. For that reason, I went to the back of the lane, in case I found myself unable to make the interval. I was able to make the interval each time, but in some cases I was only able to "touch and go." It turned out to be pretty much a straight 750 meters. My heart rate at the end of each round wasn't as high as I thought (about 170), which made me feel good about how I did on the set.

The key of surviving a set like this and not get wrapped up in making the interval is concentrating on technique. For me, I worked on kicking more on backstroke and keeping my body line more parallel than normal. For breaststroke, I tried to think about my hand speed on the recovery and holding a good body line. It helped somewhat, but I still worried about making the interval and not looking like an old man in front of the kids.

My upper back was extremely sore today. Yesterday's workout with JR Rosania made swimming breaststroke difficult today, since many of the exercises focused on building breaststroke-specific muscles. I didn't expect to be back to normal today, but today was a good step back to normal. By Monday, I should be ready to get back into race-ready training, and I can't wait to do lots of sprint training!

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