Sunday, March 30, 2014

Tri-ing to be...a Swimmer?

Last week I decided that I would try something different with my swimming.  I've been working on the basics for years now, and after trying out that Masters class last year, I knew that a true swim workout would give me more to focus on than just how many laps I was swimming.  I searched on the ol' Google, and ended up with a simple plan from USA Triathlon.


I wrote out the workout, taped it to my water bottle, and headed off to the pool feeling like a real swimmer.


Watch out, y'all.

HERE IS THE BREAKDOWN.

Warm Up 5x100 with 10-20 second rest

What it means:  Swim 100 yards (2 laps), rest 10-20 seconds, repeat 4 more times.
The goal:  Get the blood moving through the muscles and loosen up the joints to get ready for the workout.
How I did:  I warmed up.


Typically, that's about half my regular swim workout.

Form drill 6x50 with 20-30 second rest

What it means:  Swim 50 yards (1 lap), rest 20-30 seconds, repeat 5 more times.
The goal:  Improve technique which will lead to faster swimming
How I did:  Since I have no idea how my form is, I just went with the usual swimming deal: move my shoulders, kick from my hips, work on bilateral breathing...and then essentially forget everything as I try to concentrate on it all.


While working on said form, I got whacked mid-thigh by another swimmer...who was not even in my lane!


I wasn't even mad, I was impressed.

Main set 10x100 higher effort than steady swimming with 10-30 second rest

What it means:  Swim 100 yards at near lactate threshold, rest 10-30 seconds, repeat 9 more times.
The goal: Increase effort to 90 percent maximum range.  In other words, swim as hard and as fast as possible without drowning.
How I did:  I did not drown.


I was like an iceberg: lots going on under the surface but barely anything to see from above.

The further I got into my set, the more I struggled to keep track of my laps.  I had to calculate how many total laps I would be at once I was done with the set, including the warm up and drill.  Then I had to look at my watch to see how many laps I had actually done, and figure out how many were left.


I don't do math well at the best of times.  This was not the best of times.

Kick drill 1x100 kicking

What it means:  Kick only, I assumed with a kick board.
The goal:  Don't ignore kicking.
How I did:  I may or may not have totally cheated on this and scissor-kicked a bunch of times to get to the end.


Kicking is hard.

Cool down 1x100 easy swim

What it means:  Swim as effortlessly as possible.
The goal:  Cool down.
How I did: This was very interesting as my body felt pretty floaty, but otherwise it was just a normal couple of laps.


At the end of it all I had swum 1950 yards, or 1.107955 miles (I looked it up). Which is a lot for me.

And it took me an hour.


So, who knows some good swim workouts for someone who only wants to do front crawl/freestyle??

UPCOMING POSTS: YOGA, RUNNING, MORE RUNNING

32 comments:

  1. Great job! Swimming is a whole other language of its own, right? Here's one swim workout that I kind of love. http://www.lovelifesurf.com/swim-intervals/

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    1. Thanks Christine! Yes, it's definitely its own thing and I'm just starting to understand the lingo! Thank you for the link; I will be saving your workout for a day when I am ready to swim that far!

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  2. Any swimming is good for me! I'm quite impressed with swimmer kicking you. How tall were they????

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    1. Crazy, right?? He must have been at least 7 feet tall. Or he had go-go-gadget legs!

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  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR POSTS AS ALWAYS.
    me? I am actually a swimmer from way back.
    I guess I do still have some secrets even though I OVERSHARE :)

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    1. Thank you, Carla :D Oh, a swimmer, are you? That is impressive!

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  4. hey, swimming no matter how much or how fast means you're a swimmer! that's my believe about any sport! :) :)

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    1. Well that is true, Linz :) But I don't want to spend an hour in the water, and then have to bike and run!

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  5. Swimming's my jam! I built an app (for iPhone)... https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-tri-swim-coach/id582095481?mt=8

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    1. Sweet! Thanks Carrie Jesse, I will check it out.

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  6. Reading this gave me scary flashbacks to high school swim team. Those 10x100s are brutal.

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    1. Yeah, I think in high school I would not have survived them!

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  7. Ack! Tried to post last night, but my ipad seems to not let me comment on blogger sites. Seeing if I can remember what wonderful words of wisdom I tried to share....sorry, and they were good words too.

    Reading your post makes me remember why I don't swim. Loved reading it as usual. The math part made me think of my 16 mile run, when I was trying to figure my turn around point, and kept getting different answers as I tried to to the math. Wouldn't want to do extra, now would we?

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    1. Oh man, I hate when blogger sites eat comments :( Sorry to hear you don't like swimming, though it has taken me *years* to start to enjoy it. And oh my gosh, math-inducing exercise is the worst. I never get it right!

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  8. So, remember when I did a triathlon last year and did awful on the swim? Last summer, I followed a program by put together my Dan Empfield over on the forums at Slowtwitch.com. Search the main forum for "Guppies" or "Guppy Challenge" to find the materials. Here's the link to the Week 1 file. The actual forum posts include videos that are helpful when thinking about form. As an adult self-taught swimmer, this program worked incredibly for me. By the end of it, I didn't feel like I was floundering. (Guppy Week 1: http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/beginner/Guppies/Guppies_week1.pdf)

    By the way, the part about being an iceberg is the best thing I've read all morning. :)

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    1. I remember that you won your age group! :D But thank you, this is awesome! As you can probably guess, I'm an adult self-taught swimmer as well, as I forgot everything I learned as a child once puberty hit! And I am so glad you liked the iceberg comment :)

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  9. Oh goodness, I'm getting flash backs to my horrible swim "training" for my one and only tri. I never got the hang of it, always felt out of breath, and don't know if I improved anything. And here I am thinking I should do another. You go for doing a real swim workout, that is so hard!

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    1. That's how I was training for my first too! And my second. I think by my third year I was starting to get the hang of it!! Don't give up, Adrian :)

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  10. Your posts are awesome.
    As for me, I am NOT a swimmer. I'm more of a dipper...of the feet. I do like to play in the waves too lol

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    1. Thanks Kierston! Foot dipping and wave frolicking is very fun.

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  11. LOVE just looking at your graphics!! ;) I was a great swimmer as a kid BUT with curly & frizzy hair, I learned to hate it as an adult! ;)

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    1. Thank you Jody :) Honestly though, you should not let your hair stop you from anything!

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  12. HA! I wish I could give you some tips for swimming, but unless you want to swim slower than a log.... Don't come to me! LOL!

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  13. You say so much in so few words and with simple pen strokes. Cracking me up!

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  14. Swimming is my nemesis. There is no way I could keep track of my laps. No tips here;) But that workout looks great!

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    1. That is one of the hardest things about swimming for me these days! Along with all the technique and stamina issues, of course.

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  15. Swimming is great, but I have the problem of knowing what the right pace should be. Maybe I also need to know proper breathing techniques. Sometimes I reach near lactate threshold and as I'm swimming milk just starts spewing from my nipples with wild abandon. That's how you know you've been going too fast, right? You pass the lactate threshold? (I have no idea what that means.)

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    1. Here I thought you were going with a serious comment, but no. (I'm much happier that you aren't.) Lactate threshold is basically going as fast as you can while all your muscles are screaming and you can barely breathe. At least that's the scientific explanation as I understand it.

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  16. Not sure if you've ever checked it out, but Total Immersion Swimming is supposed to be one of the best training programs around. I have seen and heard so many improvements that have come out of even just viewing their videos on Youtube. Here is the site - www.totalimmersion.net and here is a sample Youtube video of Part 2 on How to 'Work Less, Swim Better' in Traithlon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzV2Le3awy4&list=TLX1KRFh4UP-DgOB4kZbU9HJvIhCchN80z

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    1. Thanks Rebecca! I actually have watched their videos but it's been a while. Might be time for a refresher!

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