Sunday, March 12, 2017

Training to Swim in Darkness


Erin O'Leary of Jacksonville, Florida traveled 4 hours south and across the state to Clearwater Beach for a 6 hour training swim on Saturday morning, March 10, 2017.  She's a seasoned open water swimmer, and she has signed up for an attempt to swim the 20 miles from Catalina Island to the mainland of California.  The Catalina Swim is one of the jewels of the "Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming," and the most challenging part is that the swim is done almost completely at night.  Swimmers board their support craft in Long Beach around 8pm, motor over to Catalina, and then jump off a perfectly good boat and into Pacific waters sometime around midnight.

When Erin arrived at the starting point at Clearwater Beach, it was 3:45am.  I let her know beforehand that we may have one or two other swimmers show up and we were surprised that all of our other local Catalina aspirants were there to train alongside.  Ian Tarrant, Maureen Montgomery, and Serbo Simeoni also have plans to swim Catalina this September, and their presence was invaluable.  For a swimmer training in darkness for the first time, swimming alone allows the mind to wonder and fear can become a major factor.  But the pod of 4 swimmers set off together at 4:22am, without hesitation, into the dark 70F waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  

The full moon was setting and the wind was kicking up a 1-2 foot chop as we all headed north for the first 2 hour segment. Erin's stroke count held steady at 58 spm, and she showed no fear at any point, even when one of the other swimmers would occasionally bump her.

Serbo was the first to break away and swim by himself, just before sunrise.  Then Maureen and Ian paired off and swam together at daylight.  So Erin completed the rest of the 6 hour training on her own, never complaining, and steadily advancing with the same stroke count the whole time.
 





Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thursday Fly Day

video

Sunrises are spectacular next to the pool at this time of year.   Here's Judge Beach looking over Tampa Bay yesterday, January 18, 2017.  

After yesterday's 5700 scy workout that included 7 x 400's, today I had to leave workout early.  So I decided to take advantage of the longer intervals and concentrated on Butterfly this morning.  I've signed up for a swim meet next month, so I am preparing for 200 fly, 400 IM, 100 fly, and some sprints. 

4 x 300 warm up on 4:25

8 x 100 on 2:00  alternating easy free & fly on the 100's.  Fly: 1:20, 1:21, 1:18, 1:17

8 x 25 fly on :30

3 X {8 x 25 fly on :40
       {4 x 75 on 1:30  50 fly, 25 free

100 swim down

3800 scy

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Speedwork Throwback Thursday

Coast Guard Blue Dolphins - 1976

Today's training included longer intervals and some sprint training. 

2 x 250 warmup on 3:30

5 x 200 kick on 3:30

20 x 25 fly on :30


3 x   (4x50 on :50
         (4x75 on 1:20
         (2x100 on 2:00  fastest: 1:07, 1:08
         (1x100 easy recovery on 2:00


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wednesday with Paddles

Coast Guard Blue Dolphins - 1977






40 years ago, swimmers we beginning to use more equipment during training.  When I first joined a swim team in 1973, I remember that some people didn't even use goggles.  Nowadays, there are many options for eye wear, hand paddles, drag suits, fins, kick boards, pulley and stretchband resistance systems etc. 

I am feeling about 90% strength and fitness, after having shoulder surgery 11 months ago.  Weight lifting has helped recovery, and so has training 6 days per week.  Lately, I have been able to swim a decent 50 butterfly and can hold OK intervals when doing freestyle sets with hand paddles.

8 x 125 warmup  on 1:50
12 x 75 kick on 1:25
12 x 75 drill on 1:12
6 x 400 pull on 5:40 (held ave of 4:56 ~ 1:14 per 100)
200 swim down
TOTAL 5300 scy


Monday, October 10, 2016

Taiko-kun Virtual Ten/Ten Run... er.. SWIM!














Taiko-kun Virtual Ten/Ten SWIM workout

Today is October 10th, so it's 10-10 and has been dubbed "Taiko Day."   To celebrate, taiko players world-wide have entered a virtual distance event for fun, with a portion of the proceeds going to the National Endowment for the Arts in support of arts and art education in America. 

Official Web Site for Taiko Day:   http://www.taikoday.com

More about Taiko Day:
https://www.facebook.com/taikokun
https://www.facebook.com/events/245077885873249/

While most people run a 10k or 5k, I am a taiko player that is also a swimmer, so today's swim training workout was rounded up to total 10,000 yards.  For my effort, I received an event T-shirt, pin, bib, and a medal. 

8 x 125 warm up on 1:50
12 x 100 kick on 1:35
8 x 75 drill/swim/drill on 1:10
12 x 200 free on 3:00
200 easy
600 free  (rest :15 before 50's)
12 x 50 on :45
500 free
10 x 50 on :45
400 free
8 x 50 on :45
300 free
6 x 50 on :45
200 free
4 x 50 on :45
100 free
2 x 50 free on :45
8 x 25 fly on :30
200 swim down

Total 10,000 scy

www.TampaTaiko.com
www.Facebook.com/TampaTaiko
www.Facebook.com/RonCollins

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Recovery from Shoulder Surgery (Jan 29, 2016)

The swim meet that I was preparing for last December was the last swimming competition that I have entered.  The "Florida Senior Games" was one of the worst performances of my mediocre swimming career.  At age 53, muscles weakening as I got older, I was dangling a right arm that needed surgery.  Training was difficult, and I was not enjoying it much at all...

The beginning of 2016 turned a page for me, as I visited the surgeon and scheduled shoulder surgery for the end of January.  Since I had already recovered once from my left shoulder surgery in 2011, I felt confident that I could go through the recovery/rehab period successfully.  But there were complications when they discovered the severity of the procedure, and when they wounded me and my soul at the urologist's office. (sorry, no pictures)  February and March were mostly dry months while I visited the therapists almost daily for massages, stretching, and eventually strength rehabilitation.

Back in the water 6 times weekly starting in April, my fitness and strength has slowly returned.   Today, at 8 months after surgery day, I am about 80% of my former self... But is that 80% of myself as a 40 year old that was close to a 2 minute 200 scy butterfly, or am I 80% back to being a weakening 54 year old that seems to pull a muscle within 30 seconds every single time I dive off the blocks?

Today's workout is typical for me lately, except that I have slowly added fly back into the mix. It's been much more fun, a lot less painful, and I occasionally feel frisky on sprints and middle-distance sets.
 
8 x 150 warm up on 2:15
6 x 100 kick on 1:50
12 x 75 drill swim drill
3 x ( 4 x 25 fly on :30, 200 easy on 3:00 )

8 x 200 pull on 2:55
100 easy
6 x 25 fly on :30
100 cool down

TOTAL 5500 scy
We recently shot a promo segment for NBC's Daytime tv show and it will air in 100+ markets in the US on Wednesday.  Check your local listings for to see when it airs in your area.  Come experience our big, loud drums at Sushi Battle on Thursday, September 29th in St. Petersburg's iconic Coliseum.     Tickets are $45 and $75.  More information available at www.SushiBattleTampa.com









Friday, December 18, 2015

10 x 125 warm up on 1:45

5 x 200 kick on 3:15

8 x 75 drill swim drill

7 x 100 } on 1:24, - 2 on 2nd & 3rd
2 x 75   }

5450 scy

Marathon Swim shirt on PBS