Monthly Archives: November 2012

Masters swimming already paying off in a small way

I started swimming with the Masters group 4 weeks ago in hopes of picking up my pace and endurance through regular group swims and coaching.  Coach Megan has worked with me regularly to help fix the flaws in my stroke and I’m still working through making the correct movements feel normal.

Along with the Masters swimming, I joined into a 6 week swim challenge with a few friends.  The rules are many and I won’t get into that here, but drastically simplify the challenge I’ll just say that you try to never have 2 back to back days without swimming.  You do a test at the beginning and each two weeks thereafter.  The test is a 100 sprint for time and then (after a full recovery) a 400 for time.  Subtract the two, divide by 3 and you have your critical swim speed (CSS).

My CSS to start was based on my best swim times ever.  They were not performed back to back.  In fact they weren’t even done in the same week.  So, it was a little slanted there.  But, that’s the data I had, so I used it.  My CSS was 1:33 per 100.  I tested again 2 days ago.  My 100 speed was essentially unchanged, but I dropped my 400 time by 12 seconds.  Pretty healthy improvement for only a month of training.  My CSS is now down to 1:28.  I’m very happy with that.  Hope to see the jumps continue.  Until then… train hard!


Picture of the day

5 Essential Swim Stretches

5 “Static” Stretches Every Swimmer Needs – Swim With Science.

Pocket : Science of Performance: The Benefits of Peri-Workout Nutrition

Science of Performance: The Benefits of Peri-Workout Nutrition.

My thoughts and data analysis of USAT scores and rankings

Since my foray into triathlon is still relatively new, my historical database is relatively small as it seems quite a bit of the data generated is either destroyed or hidden from view at the end of each year.  Even simple race data from quite a few of the local triathlons are refreshed and written over each year.  USAT does the same thing.  During the year, you can see individual race data, but sometime during the beginning of the year (this year it was in the April or March timeframe), the individual race results are removed from public view and replaced with only the current year’s data.  So, unfortunately, I only have this year’s data with which to base the theories below.

For the guys/girls racing in the US, we get scores each race and then at the end of the year, your highest 3 scores are averaged to give each person a score that is then used to rank you within your age group nationally.  Theoretically the way this scoring system works, they are able to compare one individual to another even when they have never raced the same races.  You can see the challenge with coming up with such a ranking system I’m sure.

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The Secret To Effective VO2 Max Sessions | Ironman, Triathlon and Running Specialist Coaching – Kinetic Revolution

The Secret To Effective VO2 Max Sessions | Ironman, Triathlon and Running Specialist Coaching – Kinetic Revolution.

Master’s Swimming

I finally gave in and started Master’s swimming today.  I knew all along that if I stuck with this sport, I’d most likely have to join to try to get my swim more competitive.  I have a feeling this will do the trick.  It’s amazing how swimming with a group really drives you to push the workout.  Plus, there’s the added attention of the swim coach constantly watching and correcting your flaws.  The inclusion of pull and kick as well as strictly timed intervals are all quite new to me as I’m not nearly as militant in my workouts when I’m alone.

I swam with the middle tier group today and that was more than enough of a workout for me.  My swim speed is there, but my fitness is obviously inferior to the group I was with.  My base time today was 1:40 and at the insistence of the coach, I sat out 1 lap, but stayed with the group for the other 3650 yards.  I hope to drop my base time to at least 1:30 by next spring before the races start.  We’ll see how that develops over these next few weeks.