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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Race Recap - Colonies Zone SCM Smackdown

This past weekend I swam in my third swim meet as an adult/masters swimmer.

Since my last meet I have been swimming 21,000-24,000 yards a week on six days while I slowly add in the running mileage (up to almost 40 mpw on six days). The series of workouts from Coach Brett have focused more on middle distance.

A sample workout is as follows:

1,000 warm up
1,000 for time
800 for time
500 for time
200 for time
100 for time
50 for time (rest as needed)
300 swim down

I steadily improved on the workouts over the five-six weeks since the Charlotte meet.

December 13-14 was the Colonies Zone SCM Smackdown at the Freedom Aquatic Center in Manassas, VA. I swam the same events as I did in the last meet (400, 200, 100, and 50 meters). My goal was to improve all of my times, particularly in the 400. Based on my times in the other events and my workouts, our goal was for me to go 6:10-6:15 (yes, for most swimmers this is still painfully slow). In the other events my goals were sub-3:00 in the 200, 1:20 in the 100, and sub-36 in the 50.

The meet did not start well. I only went a few tenths faster in the 400 and swam a lousy 6:37.33. I swam a faster pace for 500 yards in a workout. I felt my form fall apart by the midpoint and just hung on for dear life. I hate the feeling of being out of control and being slow:( About an hour later I rebounded in the 100 by swimming 1:21.00 despite feeling like I was swimming through mud the last 20 meters. Gave it my all for sure and swam almost two seconds faster than in Charlotte.

The next day I started with a decent 200 (3:00.92), knocking 3 seconds of my previous best. I will admit that I had hoped for faster. Earlier in the week I did a 200 yard interval all out in 2:40 (1:15, 1:25 (death the last 50!)) at the end of practice which is faster than what I raced. Grr!! The 50 was an hour later and although I won my heat by 2 seconds, I swam a touch slower than Charlotte, although comparatively the time is better than the others.

To sum up the meet, I came away with three PRs and a continued desire to improve. I need to learn to enjoy hitting PRs as they are rare these days in running. The process of improving my swim times is going to be slow and I need to be patient, something that is not one of my strengths.

Swim on,

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

In search of an online swimming log

Now that I am consistently training for swimming meets and have a training plan, I am in search of an online training log.

I want/need a few features:

1) An actual log where I can enter my yardage and not be forced to put in time (some calendars want total time, but when you are doing repeats there is rest between intervals that I do not want factored in when it spits out average pace per 100).

2) The ability to log meet results by event (SCY, SCM, LCM).

3) The ability to share my log with my coach.

4) The ability to post some workouts/races via email, Twitter, or this blog.

5) Charts illustrating training volume over time (weeks/months).

6) The ability to upload from a device (such as a Garmin) and enter activities manually.

7) A mobile app.

I currently use Training Peaks to log all running, swimming, and cross training activities, but it does not have the features that I want for swimming. I plan to keep using it for running since it is one of the ways that I communicate with my running coach.

I have been experimenting with a few other online logs, including Strava, but have not found one that meets my criteria yet.

I plan to continue searching/experimenting and post the results of the exercise on this blog.

Meanwhile, do you have a go to app for swimming? What features do you value the most in an online log?

Keep logging,