I started swimming again yesterday, and had all intensions on going again this morning, but an ice storm delayed the opening of the pool, which means the group wouldn’t have been swimming.

The group is very nice, and I think I’ll be able to meet some cool people through it. I got teased a little because of my wild jammers suit with tie-dye patterns, but of course, it made me feel right at home.

Here is the practice, if you want to do it yourself, adjust the intervals to suit your needs.

My first practice with the masters:

600 swim:
I just focused on staying long and smooth, and worked the distance off the walls. After the 1st 400, I decided to through in some long breaststroke.

8 x 50 on :50
This was to get everyone moving. My lane mates asked me how fast I was to determine who should go first. What do you say to that? So, I’ve learned, I just said I’m pretty fast, and the said, all right, you go first. They also informed me that if I was one of those guys who took this sport too seriously, I was going to have to get out of their lane. What the heck do you say to that too? The good thing is, I take teaching other seriously, I unfortunately, don’t take my own swimming too serious anymore, which meant I fit into that lane JUST fine.

3 sets of (200 free ascending interval starting at 2:40 followed by 100 pull descending interval starting at 1:35)
This was a nice challenging set. Since I LOVE to pull, usually, I would have focused on the pull part of the set, but instead, I tried a little harder to build my rhythm in the swim portion, and I took the pulling part much easier. My stroke count stayed pretty consistent, and the set was pretty easy.

2 sets of (3 x 150 – 50 fr, 50 fly, 50 fr – 50 fr, 50 bk, 50 fr – 50 fr, 50 br, 50 fr on 2:20)
Anytime butterfly is involved, it’s like eating, my eyes are bigger than my stomach… all right, maybe not a good example. But I LOVE to swim butterfly, so I jumped on the first 50 fly, and paid the price for the rest of the set. I worked my hips, and I tried to keep my eyes down, the 1st 50 fly went fine. Then on backstroke, I tried to keep my head back, and to finish the rotation from side to side each time. Then on breaststroke, the biggest problem is always lack of air. I usually only take 5 strokes a lap, which means only 5 breathes, which in the middle of a set, doesn’t seem like enough. Anyway, the 2nd time through the set, the fly REALLY fell apart. I could barely get my arms out of the water. So, in order to finish, I REALLY worked on my press into the water, and tried to breathe on every stroke. It was not pretty, and it was not fast, but it was as good as I could do. The rest went off without a hitch.

10 x 50 free descending interval by :01 on each 50. starting at the :52
As strange as it sounds, I love this type of stuff. I was very surprised to get it at this practice. To some, it seems silly, what does it accomplish? For me, it involves you BRAIN into your training. You have to do the math while you’re swimming. You have to figure out when you’re supposed to leave while your swimming, so that when you hit the wall, you already know you’re supposed to go on the :47, or the :32. When I was a good swimmer, we used to do a 100’s breaststroke set of 15 x 100 long course. 3 on 1:30, 3 on 1:27, 3 on 1:25, 3 on 1:22, and 3 on 1:20. This was one of the toughest sets ever, because the intervals were SO tough, you HAD to think about your stroke in order to maintain efficiency of speed at the beginning of the set, and then power and speed at the end of the set, all during this, you had to preplan when you were going to leave, because usually, you were only getting one to two seconds rest anyway… enough for a slow turn to glance at the clock.

Anyway, another 100 loosen down, and it was back on the road to head home and get back to work.

I’ll try to post more as I get back in to my own swimming, and if you want, maybe we can start supplying practices on the site. Let me know.