adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Posts tagged ‘swim’

Mighty Mac Training Week of 3.23.15

So this week was better and slightly more consistent than the previous two weeks. I hit most of my key workouts, with the exception of my early in the week swim- it just didn’t happen on Monday. My workout schedule basically goes lift/swim/lift/swim, etc. I mix some kettlebell swinging and other kinds of “finishers” into my lifting days. You could say I have a hard time following a strict regimen, so although it’s all written down, I don’t always follow it to a “T”. I do a lot of listening to how I feel, how much sleep I have had, or how my eating is going. For example, Monday I was supposed to swim, but I didn’t get to it in time to hit it before the aerobics ladies got in the pool, and there were several annoying incidents that led to that delay, so I was pretty irritated by the time I got to workout. So I put myself through a pretty grueling set of swings, followed by a few rounds of tabata, some intervals on the Jacob’s Ladder, etc. I felt a million times better after that– something I probably would not have achieved swimming.

On that note, Friday’s quickie swim was another example of listening to your body. After a week of little sleep and busy schedules, I felt a little depleted today. I figured I could knock out an intense, shorter session with the time I had available. The main set was supposed to be 12×100, sets of 4, descending 1-4 (meaning each one is faster than the one before). By #6, my HR was sky high and I was tired. I knew I should scrap the set and so I did. I swam for the remainder of the time I had left very slowly and resolved to get a better night’s sleep for Saturday’s morning swim.

Saturday was a treat because I took a friend up to Hartland to swim at the “real” pool– the one with salt water and 6 WHOLE lanes. We got there right on time, and I plowed through as much yardage as I could make in an hour.

Saturday, March 28
400 WU
800 Time Trial — this is one of my progress meters. Todays time: 10:52
2×400 – 50 swim, 50 drill
4×200 pull
400 Cooldown- backstroke/ breastroke

So about 2 miles in an hour.

From Wednesday, March 25:
500 WU
Variable Speed 50s Pyramid- 50, 100, 150, 200, 150, 100, 50 (speeds were fast, medium, slow in a made up pattern)
4×200 IM- 25 drill, 25 swim (because let’s be honest, I don’t think I could swim a whole 50 fly very pretty) 😉
200 Cooldown

My shoulders feel excellent. They are not tired after a 3000+ yard workout anymore. That’s a very good sign of progress.

Even though my energy was a little low this week from terrible sleeping, I did have some motivation arrive in the mail. Since our swim is a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity, I have received a couple of letters and pictures from the families that we will be helping. This one arrived this week, and it gave me goosebumps!

hfh photo

Happy swimming!


Mighty Mac Training Monday 3.9.15

Monday I was back in the pool after the weekend. Today got time crunched (as usual, this will become the story of my training), and thus possibly a little shorter than I wanted.

Today was drills and skills, and some intervals at the end. If you don’t do drills, start. Swimming drills are great because you are still logging yardage while getting some actual skill improvement in. If you avoid drills because they’re hard, don’t. If you skip drills because all the ones you know are easy, try some harder ones (like the one below).

Skills development is meant specifically for open water. With open water, you have to consider the environment- where the sun is in relation to you, the direction the waves are headed, sighting, and size of waves. You can still practice skill development in the pool!  So Monday’s workout consisted of A LOT of drills and skills. I occasionally like to do a big set of these, and today was one of those days. I won’t explain every drill now, but will add a video or two every post to explain what I mean.

Monday’s workout:

  • 500 warm- up, every 10th lap backstroke
  • 4×100 drill/swim, Single Arm Freestyle, hand at side 25 R/ 25L, 50 Hypoxic breathing 5-7
  • 4×100 drill/swim, 1Arm Extended Freestyle kick on side 25R/25L, 50 breathing only one side 25R/25L
  • 4×100 drill/swim, 50 sculling drill, 50 heads up swimming half length, heads down other half
  • 4×100 drill/swim 50 high elbow drill/50 backstroke or breastroke
  • 6×100 swim freestyle, hard, consistent times, 30 seconds RI
  • slow backstroke-you should be pretty gassed after the last set

So the most important drill you can do in my opinion is Single Arm Freestyle, first with the non-swimming arm extended in front of you, and progress to the arm at your side. When I first did the arm at your side as an adult, I felt completely inept. But that one drill is the best thing I have done to exaggerate and focus on the rotation of the hips as you swim. Good swimmers swim on their sides, not on their stomachs. This pattern is the aquatic gait, similar to running. If you don’t think the gait is significant in swimming, try swimming double arm freestyle for a length. If you like it, then dry off, get dressed, and try running with your hands at your sides. Let me know what you think. 😉

Check it out- as he mentions, the first single arm drill serves a different purpose than the second:

I will post up more drills and videos in the coming workouts as necessary, but hit me up with questions!  🙂

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