Thursday 1 January 2015

Out with the old in with the new! (or a change is as good as a rest)

I did make one 50 minute swim session in December on the Saturday after Christmas (foreshortened by an urgent need to collect teenage triathlete from work).

The session proved to be pretty difficult on two fronts firstly my lack of fitness, which slips away in no time and secondly technically, especially the single arm free, with your static arm down by your side and trying to breath on that side!

I can say that because of my slothfulness over the last two months I totally failed to make the mile a day challenge for the third year in a row, falling short by around 100,000 metres or so. I can't check up because I'm having a bit of a technology meltdown and can't access my slog! It's a long story and I won't bore you with it, but hopefully I should be able to access it next week.

In the meantime I have decided that this blog needs an injection of life so I've spent some of the Christmas holiday trying to refresh it and my first post of the new year can be found at this new address. I haven't worked out if it's possible to migrate the whole blog there yet, (another of my techno numpty failings)

300 warm up
4 x 50's @ 10 s RI up catch up  down easy free
4 x 25's @ 10 s RI single arm free, breathing on the static arm side
4 x 50's @ backstroke
4 x 25's @ 10 s RI breststroke underwater
4 x 50's @ 10 s RI Breast pull fly kick
4 x 25's @ 10 s RI Fly kick on back
10 x 50's but I can't remember

Wednesday 31 December 2014

Masters the Conference - a novel excuse ?

I've been full of good intentions to keep swimming after the Nationals but so far I've only managed one swim.

Tuesday 28th October, the reason for this fairly predictable cessation of swimming activity (well it's winter why bother?).

Actually I hadn't stopped swimming activity because the end of the week became a blur of preparation for 3 days at ASA HQ in Loughborough attending a series of meetings and finalising arrangements for the National Masters Conference.

That's before you take into account the hours I spent putting together my presentation,,, scary stuff I can tell you. I did take my kit and was planning to try out the university pool on Friday afternoon but was rather overtaken by events. The Conference turned out to be great fun, and ticked all of the boxes in terms of our objectives. Steve Bratt's explanation of what makes a successful Masters club, and Maggie Kelly's talk on her experiences as a swimmer, were entertaining, humorous.  and fascinating insights into our sport from their own perspectives.

The afternoon was focus groups and I was really impressed that in the groups I dropped into everybody was enthusiastic and contributing in a really positive way. Looking good for next year which is more than I can say for my swimming. Anyway for what it's worth I made the first Tuesday stint after the Nationals and it was down hill all the way from there.

250 metres
200 free @ 3:30
2 x 100 free @ 2 mins
200 free @ 3:30
2 x 100 free @ 2 mins
200 free @ 3:30
2 x 100 free @ 2 mins
200 free @ 3:30
2 x 100 free @ 2 mins
200 free @ 3:15
4 x 50 free @ 1:00
200 free @ 3:15
4 x 50 free @ 1:00
150 free @ 3:00
8 x 25 free @ 30
50 swim down
3000 metres

Sunday 26 October 2014

Road Trip ASA Nationals 2014 - Day 3

What a great weekend; fantastic craic, swimming going in the right direction, cracked the top 50 in the Decathlon and made it home in time for the Strictly results show, also picked up a few medals, it doesn't get any better than this.

Swiftish 50 breast in a head to head with Amanda, we obviously frightened off Maggie Kelly, (not sure why with her 50 and 100 split in the 200 being pretty close to what we swam in the individual)

Also a pretty good 800 almost a minute faster than Swansea, amazing how far a little bit of training will take you.

Now for a non contact sport I've returned from the weekend with a fair number of war wounds, a skinned finger, and pinch bruises from trying to put that bloody suit on and a fairly spectacular cut, bruised and swollen arm from slipping in the bath at the hotel on Friday night. I am also struggling to lift my arms above my head.

Maybe I need some time off to recover..... but some great memories to keep me going through the winter.

600 warm up
50 breast 39.75
250 swim down
800 Free
200 swim down
1900 metres

Road Trip ASA Nationals 2014 Day 2 Sleep in my Speedo?

A heavy day ahead. 400 free, 100 breast, and 400 IM what on earth was I thinking! The only credible explanation I can come up with was in that flood of relief of finally persuading the computer to say yes, I was clearly temporarily  mentally incapacitated.  (Have a look here and here and here there's more and the links are in the wrong order but you get the picture right!)

More importantly it was time to unleash my devious and cunning plan on my fellow competitors! or more accurately take the new bodysuit for a spin.

But first could I get into it? The answer was well sort of......with a little help from teenage triathlete. I had tried it on in the privacy of my hotel room, (as you can see from these ever so flatterring photos) to squeals of derision and hilarity from a hugely supportive daughter.

I'm not sure that the technique we adopted for inserting oneself into this garment is approved by Speedo but it worked for us. Although overcome by hysteria TT was able to place her foot on my hip (to brace herself) then grab the shoulder strap and pull whilst I was able to somehow contort my arm through the fiendishly small opening. Success I was in it (or most of me was!).

And yes I can just about bend over to start.
Now should I sleep in it to avoid having to go through that performance again?

Anyway the swimming, well the 400 free was fairly smooth and 3 seconds faster than South Shields last month, with the suit holding up well.

The 100 breast was next up, with Amanda Heath judging to perfection how much effort she needed to beat, me not a lot as it turns out. (a mere .06 of a second) well there's no point in overdoing things is there!

Then the 400 medley. Now how many opportunities are there to be dq'd in a 400 medley?I have to go back to 2001 to find the last time I swam this event and really I struggled with working out what entry time I should put in.

This was difficult because the last time I'd swam a straight 100 fly (here) it had been slightly disastrous and excruciatingly painful and more to the point I could finish after 4 lengths I didn't have to carry on for another 300 metres afterwards.

I ended up in the first heat and any delusions of grandeur I had because I'd actually hit the pads first evaporated when I got out to be critiqued by teenage triathlete who appeared to have morphed into Evil Mutant Swim Coach 9.0, tutting at my splits and announcing, "your fly was horrible, your backstroke hideous, breaststroke ok and free too slow" hmmm thanks for that, I was just pleased to have finished.

600 warm up
400 free 5:24.
200 swim down
400 warm up
100 breast 1:29.08
200 swim down
400 IM 6:29...
200 swim down
2600 metres

Saturday 25 October 2014

Road Trip ASA Nationals 2014 Day 1

So first day of nationals and I arrive at Sheffield realising that I am in desperate need of some racing suits.

Following the wardrobe malfunction in Montreal (see here) I was reduced to swimming in a vintage (2002) old knee skin and quite simply the baggiest saggiest Diana suit imaginable (which had a previous life as a Judy Hattle suit).

My first stop was the Speedo Shop where I discovered (with the help of the Speedo body scanner) that rather surprisingly l don't have the body shape for performance swimwear! Well you be the judge!

I spent the next hour trying to pour myself into two suits and failed miserably..I was knackered and by then the session had started and I realised I had a date with destiny....well ok 50 backstroke taking me seriously out of my comfort zone!

So it was on with the vintage Speedo and a fairly pedestrian 50 back, am I the only swimmer in the world who can swim 50 breast faster than 50 back? Followed by 200 breaststroke in the evening, a PB for the season with 3:18, a rubbish time but going in the right direction.

On a whim as I was leaving I decided that there was nothing for it but to buy the bigger of the two suits I couldn't get on, maybe I'll shrink this evening...... so I parted with a chunk of money and received new kneeskin and a free pair of goggles and a hair management system (swimming cap to you and me) although as I hate wearing hats I'm not sure whether that was a worthwhile deal.

Then it was back to the hotel for dinner with Sumo, Judo and Matt the Cash, our hotel was infiltrated by zillions of Norwich City supporters (well okay about 12), and Delia Smith was one of them dining in the hotel pressure there for the chef then "Lets be aving you!"

400 warm up
50 back 42 something
150 swim down
400 warm up
200 breast 2:18.
1200 metres

The Apprentice "You're Tired"

The die hard binge swimming fans (fan) out there may well be wondering if they were witnessing the birth of yet another non swimming binge as usually when overwhelmed by the pressure of the approaching National Masters Championships I stop swimming.

Fear not, just because I've had a blog less week doesn't mean I haven't been swimming; It just means that real life's intruded and instead of squeezing out the swimming I've had to skip the blogging.

As you can see from the photo I've had to do my share of being a grown up which included such onerous tasks as having dinner with the delightful Nick Hewer.

Anyway back to the point of this Blog, my swimming well of course I cleverly didn't write down last Saturday's session with the Ryton Triatletes or Consett's Sunday sesh with EMSC 1.0 and given that these took place at least a week ago there isn't a chance that I can remember the fine detail of the set except that I covered about 4000 on Saturday and 3000 on Sunday.

I did however make swimming on Thursday night, with Proudie, Sparkie Walton and Cloughie where EMSC1.0 had a three thing going on the fast ones were around 62's and the slow ones drifted off to 75's although they were generally around 69's. Bring on the Nationals.

Thursday 22nd October

250 warm up alt 50 f/c swim, 50 f/c pull, 50 f/c swim, 50 f/c kick, 50 f/c swim.
3 sets of 12 x 75
No 1 3 x 75 hard 1 x 75 easy @ 2:00
No 2 2 x 75 hard 1 x 75 easy @ 2:00
No 3 1 x 75 hard 1x 75 easy @ 2:00
150 steady swim down ( not that a swim down is ever anything other than steady!)
3100 metres

Sunday 12 October 2014

Deja Vu.......boring post redeemed by it's brevity.

It was another Sunday session and after getting off lightly over the last two weeks, Evil Mutant Swim Coach 1.0 didn't disappoint: our main set consisted of a mere  27 yes you read that right 27, 100's.

Although to be fair to him the fast sets were sort of broken up, it all started so well with nicely judged rep times, but I lost it a bit by the middle of the second set of reps.

There was only 5 of us in the Masters lane and no sign of the skiving Queenie Reid!

Proudie made one of his uncommon Sunday visits and led the lane out with Big Clarkie, we were able to swim down as widths that's why the yardage is 3.2k instead of the usual 2.7 - 2.9 ish.

266 warm up
3 x 100 @ 60-70% pace @ 1:45
3 x 100 @ 70-80% pace @ 1:50
3 x 100 @ 90% pace on 2 mins
1 mins rest
3 x 100 @ 60-70% pace @ 1:45
3 x 100 @ 70-80% pace @ 1:50
3 x 100 @ 90% pace on 2 mins 10 secs RI @ 66
1 mins rest
3 x 100 @ 60-70% pace @ 1:45
3 x 100 @ 70-80% pace @ 1:50
3 x 100 @ 90% pace on 2 mins 10 secs RI @ 33
33 swim back
200 swim down