Saturday, April 01, 2006

Swimming to the Pain, Part 2

Good thing I went into this morning's practice with SPEED = PAIN AND FATIGUE in my mind because oh MAN did it kick my ass. This is par for the course for Saturday mornings, since I swim with the age-groupers, but this was a real doozy. Perhaps part of the problem is that I had skimped a bit on Saturday practices when I was sick and after, and then there were a couple of meets in there, but still.

It is the main set that is of interest, although please remember this came after 3000 yards. Also please forgive me for forgetting the intervals, but I can tell you I was getting about 5-10 seconds rest early on, until the coach took pity on me:

500 free swim
1 x 150 IM fast (which I swam 25 FL / 25 BA / 50 BR / 50 FR)
400 free swim
2 x 150 IM descend 1-2
300 free swim
3 x 150 IM descend 1-3
200 free swim
4 x 150 IM descend 1-4

Apparently this is a set Janet Evans used to do. (FYI: the kids' free swims were 600/500/400/300.) I tried to really push the 50s of breaststroke in the IMs, since it is that stroke that I'll race at Nationals. And as we moved into the descend part (where each 150 is supposed to be faster than the previous one), I tried to think about the parts of the 200 breaststroke race, and treat the 50s of BR as if they were parts of that race. But my coach was also on me for not kicking enough on my freestyle (which was a problem in my 200 FR at the last meet).

According to the coach, I managed to descend the last 4 x 150, cutting about 5 seconds each time through. I was astonished to hear that, because all I could think about was "fly back breast free" and then trying to race the breast. And trying to move my legs enough during the free to keep him off my back.

The whole practice was 6800 yards, which is plenty for me, thank you. The excellent news is that the PP got a beautiful berry tartlet from the Fresh Market yesterday, and now he's frying up some sausage. Saturated fat be damned!


Joe said...

Gotta love those descending sets! Even worse are the "surprise" descending sets. You know the ones where near the start of practice the coach asks you to swim say a 100 m free ALL OUT. Then near, the end of practice, he says "Remember that 100 m free you did about 45 minutes ago? You have to swim it again now and BEAT your time or else you have to do 2 x 400 IM".

Joe said...


Thanks for the advice on the 200m freestyle. What breathing pattern do you use? I am debating between every 2nd stroke, every 3rd stroke or a hybrid (e.g. 2-2-3) pattern.