Thursday, May 16, 2019

Swimming with paddles, fins, and cross training with a Prone Paddle Board

It's been almost a year since I've posted a workout, but I've been training consistently for the last 9 months and I'm a bit faster than 3-4 years ago.  At our Spring championship meet, I was able to swim a 1:02 100 Fly (SCY), and I was our age group's high point award winner.   I used to scoff at a 100 Fly of 1+ minute, but at age 57 now I am going to have to continue to ramp up training to get back under 1:00.

I've tried to swim 6 days each week, and complete the entire workout of about 5200 SCY / 4800 LCM.   In addition to pool work, I've been prone paddle boarding and have even competed at a couple of local races.  The competition is exciting, but I've learned where to find real waves here on the usually-flat Gulf of Mexico, so the "Total Body Confusion" happens because it's so much fun!

Here's what we did today, at 5:30am workout in the pool... it was loaded with a lot of work with paddles and fins. 

8 x 125 warm up on 1:52

3x (4 x 100 kick on 1:35
     (4 x 75 drill on 1:06

5 x 400 pull on 5:20

100 swim down

Total 5200 scy

On the pull set, I was able to descend from about 5:00 to 4:40 on the last one.  Eric Herman was there stroke-for-stroke as we pushed each other to the finish. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Easing Back Into Butterfly Training

Shoulder pain made me stop all Butterfly training in 2017.  This year, I have been easing back into Butterfly training, and today's workout was the first time I was able to swim more than 1000 yards of Butterfly in a single practice since my right shoulder operation in 2015.  

The 75's were not easy to finish, but I was able to hold about 1:04 on most of them.  The last 75 fly was a couple of ticks under 1:00.   

6 x 150 warm up on 2:15

8 x 75 kick w/ brick on 1:50  (everyone else wore fins and kicked 100)

6 x 100 ba/fr/br/fr on 1:35 (everyone else swam free)

3 x  (4 x 75 fly+50 easy free on 2:00)
       (200 easy on 3:00)

20 x 25  fr / fly on :30 (held 16 & 17 on each Butterfly)

100 cool down

Total: about 4000 (everyone else totaled about 5000)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Legendary Marathon Swimmer Makes Tampa Bay Look Easy!


December 31, 2017 - Official Results

Marcy MacDonald's New Year's Eve 24 Mile Swim of Tampa Bay a Success

Tampa Bay, Florida, USA -  One of Marathon Swimming's greatest stars completed a rare Winter long distance swim on New Year's Eve.  Marcy MacDonald swam the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in a swift time of 9 hours, 13 minutes.
The water temperature was 64F (18C), but the colder temperatures do not bother the veteran swimmer.  After all, she's completed 15 successful English Channel crossings, the most of any American in history.

The swimmer was supported by handler/coach Janet Galaya, kayaker Derick Brown, and escort boat pilot Philip Nunez.  They began their journey at 6:20am and finished at 3:33pm, for a time that ranks as the 4th fastest for a female at The 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim.  Air temperatures began in the low 50s, but the sun came out and warmed to 78F in the afternoon.  Winds calmed during the day, but the early morning colder winds of 8kts. caused a slight chop for the first half of the swim.

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

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