Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Lisa Malick's Challenging, Flexible and Polite Workout

Today's workout was written by my good friend Lisa Malick.  She is one of the very few people I know who love water sports as much as I do!

Practically speaking, workouts that help me achieve this have three components:
    They are mentally challenging.
    There might be some degree of choice or flexibility.
    They are polite to the people in the lane with me.


Stroke main set-
5X, descend each 200:
200 BK on 3:00
6x25 BK on :25

Distance- interval drops by 10 with each set of 3 (eg 7:20, 7:10, 7:00, 6:50)
Descend 1-3 in each set
Descend 3, 6, 9, and 12
(Ok, yes, this might be a little mind-numbing, but if you are into distance, this is actually a pretty cool workout…)

Some workouts I borrow in their entirety from @swimmingwizard, such as the 12x500, and sometimes I use them as a starting point and take my knowledge of energy zones to complete a workout and make sure it is balanced.


8x200 DR/SW - K/SW 3:30 [REC/EN1]

12x25 no free improve DPS 1-4 .25 [EN2]
400 FR descend 1-4 5:20
9x50 no free improve DPS 1-3 .50
400 FR 5:20 same
6x75 no free 1:15 improve DPS each 75
400 FR 5:20 same
3x100 no free 1:30 fast turns, good DPS all
400 FR 5:20 same

20x25 always kick 12.5/12.5 easy [SP1]

300 easy [REC]

Here, I pieced together two swimmingwizard sets (the EN2 main set and SP1 set) to make a complete practice, adding an appropriate warmup for the set.

"Stay safe, keep mixing it up, and remember that extraordinary things are achieved by doing little ordinary things when no one else wants to- so keep at it!" - Lisa Hertz

Lisa Hertz is a high school English and history teacher and has coached USMS, USA, and recreational swimming.

 After her F&M college swimming career as a sprinter, she began training for open water and marathon swims.

 She is an accomplished prone paddle boarder, surf skier, and has completed the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim.

 The next 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim will be held in April, 2022.  For more information, visit 


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Swimming with a Shark

We have a new team mate in our lane, just a couple years out of college and he's a world class athlete.  He is an extremely fast swimmer, and is also a great runner and biker so he's going to try to qualify for his "Pro Card" as a triathlon professional this spring in Florida.  Like many places in 2020, our lane space and time is very limited so I wrote up this sample workout to see how we could train together without getting run over from behind every 5th lap. There are two versions of this workout, written together but separated by a slash / .  The slower interval is for mere mortals in the group, while the faster interval is meant to challenge our faster team mate.  I chose to swim the faster intervals, but had to put on fins and paddles in order to stay on track.  

scy : 60 minutes

 2/3 x 200 on 3:15/2:30 Warm up  Catch up drill every 3rd 50, because #DistanceMatters
This is actually a shortened version of the usual 800-1200 warm up.  It's nice to get 1/3 of your yardage done early in your workout. Today's warm up was designed so that everyone finished at the same time and can start the upcoming set of 25's together.

-  short break between sets... In this case, :90 allows you to start on the top of the clock -

28 x 25 on :40 - Choice: Blast, Breakouts, Dive, press outs, underwater, drill, stroke etc.  
Heard on deck:  "Choose your own adventure"  Many masters swimmers have years of experience in the water or maybe even on deck as a coach, so whatever you need to work on, do it!

- 1 minute break.  Get ready, the next set is the main set -

2/3 x  [ 6 x 100 on 1:30/1:10     Challenging Interval!   
            200 Kick on 4:00/3:00 ]
This is the main set. It's meant to be done consecutively twice or 3 times through.  In order to stay in the lane with a much faster swimmer, I had to put on paddles and fins to barely make the interval. There's no extra rest when switching from the pace intervals to kick 200's.  The 6 x 100's are quick interval, and the kick is on a more moderate pace to allow for :20+ rest to get ready for the next set of 100's.  It's meant to be a full 1600/2400 yard set.

100 Swim Down

TOTAL 2900/3700 scy
I don't like to be the one that writes the workouts, mostly because I don't want to know what's after the set I'm swimming.  From past experience, I know that I will bag the current set if I know what's next.  Most all of the workouts in this blog were written by a coach or team mate. I wrote this to accommodate our new team mate when I realized he was truly a shark swimming with us minnows!


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Establishing a New Normal + Test Set to end the week

This week I'm settling in and it's starting to feel a lot like home.  This week was peppered with several short sets, with a test set on Saturday morning:  30 x 100 pull scy on 1:20.   The test set was almost done as a, "Dare" since coach Kelly let everyone know the night before via text. 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

3 Typical Workouts in November, 2020 : SCY & SCM

Thursday, 11.5.2020 SCY
400 warm up
8 x 50 Drill/Swim, Stroke/Free on 1:00
200 Pull
8 x 50 on :55  (IM order)
200 Kick
8 x 75 on 1:15 (Fr/Fr/Ch)
200 Pull
4 x 100 free on 1:40,35,30,25
200 swim down
 TOTAL 3000 scy

Friday, 11.6.2020 SCM
6 x 150 warm up on 2:45 (back every 3rd lap)

24 x 25 on :30  Fly/Free easy

4 x 100 on 2:00 Free Stretch
4 x 50 on :45 Free Pace
3 x 100 on 2:00
4 x 50 on :45
2 x 100 on 2:00
4 x 50 on :45
1 x 100 on 2:00
4 x 50 on :45

8 x 25 fly on :30

200 Pull

100 swim down
 TOTAL 3500 scm

Saturday, 11.7.2020 SCY
5 x 200 warmup on 3:15
400 IM Kick, Right, Left, Swim per 25
4 x 75 on 1:20, 15, 10, 05
300 Pull
200 Kick
4 x 100 on 1:50 IM odd, Fr evens
4 x 25 fly on :35
6 x 100 Pull on 1:20
200 swim down
 TOTAL 3500 scy



Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Year 2020 has been a challenge, but I'm Back On-Line: 4900 scm

A lot has happened in 2020.  A biopsy on my hand in early January meant that I was unable to train until mid-month. I was OK, diagnosed with just eczema and things were pretty normal through February and the Clearwater Valentine swim meet.  RESULTS>>

Then, the pandemic changed everyone's world in March.  The pools closed, but I was able to maintain fitness swimming open water and by paddle boarding almost daily. See: Paddle Board Playlist 130+ videos!

That plan was working out OK, until I was run over by a jet ski renter on June 18th.  The county sheriff and city police department didn't even issue the renter a citation, but he should have been cited for recklessness, lying, and abandoning the scene.   He got off without any charges, even though it was all caught on video:   VIEW jet ski assault video>>

I got a new right knee on June 30th, so I was unable to train in the pool until August.  Normally, that is my busiest time of the year working as a professional taiko performer, traveling throughout Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.  Like the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, the taiko events were all cancelled so my business essentially turned to dust.   What's taiko?  Visit my site to find out more: Tampa Taiko

So, during my summer hiatus, my mother-in-law became sick and we decided to visit central Virginia to help everyone deal with appointments, errands, cooking etc...  During one of the long hospital stays, both in-laws and my wife contracted Covid-19.  So we packed up the Florida house and came to Midlothian where I've been able to swim with an awesome group 6 days a week!   A lot of the workouts are for 60 minutes, so the yardage is typically about 3000.  But today's workout was outside in a short course meters pool for 90 minutes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

6 x 150 warmup on 2:30 (take 1 minute rest between sets)

4 x 25 fly on :40 (1 minute rest only)

400 free on 6:30 - no extra rest on these
2 x 300 free on 5:00
3 x 200 free on 3:30
4 x 100 free on 1:30  - I made them, Chad! 

4 x 100 kick on 1:45 

6 x 25 fly on :30 (no rest... go right into 1200 pull to simulate an open water race)
1200 pull

100 swim down


So, I'm able to see the leaves turn for the first time since I moved to Florida 32 years ago.  It's pretty amazing and I feel like I'm seeing everything for the first time.