Monday 31 October 2011

Unremarkable 400 and encouraging 50 breast (Road Trip day 3)

So the final day of racing at Sheffield and a more relaxed schedule, no relays and 400m free followed by a quick 50 breast.

The extra hour in bed helped my recovery from the 200 free I'd swam the evening before where I managed, (albeit only just and by the minutest of margins,) to hold off a very fast finishing Maggie Smith. Who had generously given me over two and a half seconds start at the 100 mark.

For a Sunday morning swim the 400m  time was OK although  I was hoping to go under 5.20. Next time maybe.

By the afternoon session I'd lost the will to warm up and despite this my 50 breast was probably the best swim of the weekend as sneaking under 39 was encouraging. One other landmark I achieved over the weekend, was I finally broke through the 400,000 metres mark for my half a million metres. I'm becoming increasingly concerned about the prospect of swimming 50k per month in November and December.

600 warm up
400 free  5.21.49
200 swim down
50 breast   38.94
350 swim down
1600 metres

Sunday 30 October 2011

Proof Positive 800m Free and 200m Breast shouldn't be swum in the same session

So swapping the 800 for the 1500 seemed like a good idea yesterday, but the reality of this decision produced a bit of a scheduling snafu, as I ended up  swimming the 800 free, a team race followed by the 200 breast.

The 800 was pretty good, fairly even paced and a respectable 11.03. Funny how 3 and a bit seconds can make such a difference I would have been thrilled with 10 minutes something.....

I nearly stopped after the first 100 of the breaststroke. Producing a rather unremarkable time especially for the pain and effort which went into it. I was so close to stopping after 4 lengths..come to think of it why didn't I?

The Saturday session at Sheffield was probably the longest day of my life, I know that when the programme was set, the idea was to make Sunday afternoon deliberately short so we could all leave in a decent time. We certainly paid the price in enduring Saturday. An experiment that probably won't be repeated (stuffing more events into Saturday).

700 warm up
100 free 1.12.32
200 swim down
700 warm up
800 free  11.03.50
200 swim down
200 breast  3.18.84 bleargh
200 swim down
600 warm up
200 free
200 swim down
4,200 metres

Binge and the ASA Masters (Another (shorter) Road Trip)

In theory it was easy, leave the house at 9.45 and I should be in Sheffield in time for the start of the warm up; practice however turned out to be slightly different.

It was fatal to call into the office to tidy up some odds and ends and to expect teenage triathlete to be ready to go when I returned. Unfortunately....relying on a teenager to leave its bed before midday during a school holiday was always going to be a struggle. We eventually leave at around 10.45, not to worry can always telephone my confirmation for the 1500m.

Just passed Durham I hand the phone to teenage triathlete and ask her if she can ring in to confirm my swim, which astonishingly she complied with. The conversation did seem a bit bizarre when she was told that I had already been entered, but I thought nothing of it until I arrive at Sheffield to discover I've been missed off the start list........ and there were no more empty lanes.

I was fortunate because I managed to produce my phone showing the call recorded at 11.05am and ended up negotiating an entry into the 800 the following day. I was a little disappointed as I wanted to compare my 1500 from Leeds in June....but there's always next year.

So I had a pretty low key start to the event, and found myself swimming a reasonable 100 breast, without having 1500m in my arms.

600 Warm Up
700 Warm Up
100 Breast 1.27.25
200 swim down
1600 m total

Sunday 23 October 2011

Binge and the Taper

It's been a good few years (about 15 actually) since I've considered doing a Taper for a big event, that's because it's a good few years since I've done any training to taper from.

My normal National's build up is to swim sporadically in September have three weeks off and then die horribly in all of my events.

This year however, although I wouldn't quite go so far as to say that I've had a decent chunk of training leading up to the event, I have swum most weeks this year and today in the midst of a typical Consett Sunday afternoon session all of my 100's were 1.25 or under with a couple of 1.22's thrown in. Now I know that's pretty mediocre but it does represent a bit of a leap forward.

So it'll be interesting to see how I go, I'll try and keep the blogs going through the event. Now ideally I would like to get one more session in before Friday but that's looking unlikely and I'm not too worried about it if I don't.

266 warm up 
4 x 100 @ 2 min 
100 easy @ 2 mins 
4 x 66 @ 1.30 
100 easy 
4 x 33 @ 45s 
3 x 100 @ 1.50 
100 easy 
3 x 66 @ 1.20 
100 easy 
3 x 33 @ 40s
2 x 100 @ 1.40 
100 easy 
2 x 66 @ 1.10 
100 easy 
2 x 33 @ 35s 
166 swim down 
2833 metres total

Binge in IT Meltdown

Aargh new IT systems, they are supposed to make you more efficient aren't they?

The infuriating thing is even when they are creating absolute mayhem as they are being installed you can see ultimately they might just make things a little easier and it encourages you to believe (just a bit) that the carnage in the meantime is worthwhile.

At one point last week there wasn't a single piece of equipment in our office functioning...  so a valid excuse to dodge training all week.

Now with the count down to Sheffield* at the end of this week, I'm not too worried about this lack of swimming as it creates a kind of mini taper and I've been able to hit the weekend sessions to keep ticking over.

I'm really looking forward to the break, (although not the 1500m free or the 200 breast) (come to think about it after those two swims I don't think anything will be very pleasant). There's a record entry so it should be a great meet.

So Saturdays session was pretty sedentary really, although the 75's were meant to be fast and I swam the 1st and 3rd set breaststroke. Not very enjoyable.

6 x 200 warm up @ 4 mins
even numbers free
odd numbers alt 50 back 50 brst
8 x 50's @ 60 prog 1-4 & 5-8
12 x 75's swum as 3 sets of
75  25 hard, 50 steady @ 2mins
75 50 hard, 25 steady @ 2 mins
75  all hard @ 2 mins
75 steady
4 x 150's 50 kick 50 pull 50 swim @ 20 s RI
8 x 25 @ 40 s IM order 25 easy 25 hard
200 swim down
3,500 metres total

* ASA (not to mention British Gas) National Masters Championships at Ponds Forge

Sunday 16 October 2011

Where's Clarkie? (See what you're missing)

This is exactly what the last set felt like!
It's Sunday again and I'm faced with an Ian Frame session and I just know it's going to hurt. Having seen a status post on FB for Clarkie that he was sunning himself somewhere exotic and was "gutted" he wouldn't be joining us, I ended up chasing Sparkie with very little success in getting anywhere near his feet.

We completed the warm up and stopped to look at the white board which contained the sole phrase "4 x 100 @ 2 mins last one max."

Now it didn't take an IQ of genius levels to work out that there was more to follow and the reason it wasn't on the board was that it would contain a fair amount of pain. This left Sparkie and I to speculate on further sets on a decreasing time intervals and an increasing number of "max" efforts.

Unfortunately and somewhat uncharacteristically we were right, and I think our coach for the afternoon was having a laugh when he got down to 4 x 100 @ 90 all 4 max!  They were certainly max as my pulse rate shows in the now mended toosmartwatch printout.

400 every 3rd length drill 20s RI
266 every 2nd length drill 20s RI
133 every 2nd length drill
66 swim
4 x 100 @ 2 mins no 4 max  *
66 active rest
4 x 100 @ 1.50 no 3 & 4 max **
66 active rest
4 x 100 @ 1.40 no 2, 3 & 4 max ***
66 active rest
4 x 100 @ 1.30 all max ****
233 swim down
2900 metres total

* 1.24
** 1.24 & 1.22
*** all under 30
*** 1.25 for the first 1.30 ish for 2nd and we'll just not go there for the rest.

RIP Toosmartwatch (temporarily at least)

With the ASA Nationals less than two weeks away I thought we'd introduce a bit more quality, and after consultation with my other half who pointed out that we should be swimming the quality stuff nearer the beginning the 4 x 100's were put in straight after the warm up.

It was all a bit painful especially the 3rd and 4th rep and the exertion (pulse rate 160+) was obviously too much for the toosmartwatch which stopped working pleading "low battery". I know just how it felt!

As a result there is no print out today to fill out space in today's blog, however a trip to ASDA last night located a new battery and normal service will be resumed for Sunday's session.

warm up
12 x 50's @ 5 sec RI
8 x 25 @ 35 progressive 1-4 & 5-8
4 x 100 @ 3 mins no 1*
25 @ 30
50 @ 60
75 @ 90
100 @ 1.45
200 @ 3.30
300 @ 5.15
200 @ 3.30
100 @ 1.45
75 @ 90
50 @ 60
25 @ 30
6 x 50's kick @ 10s ri
6 x 50's drill @ 10s ri
6 x 50's @ 40s
200 swim down
3500 total

*no 1 was 1.39, no 2 was 1.38, no 3 was 1.42 and no 4 was 1.43ish

Sunday 9 October 2011

Smile Breathe and Go Slowly

Aargh teenagers! having been relegated to the position of taxi driver I spent a frustrating 15 minutes trying to encourage her out of the house on time and then a further 20 mins stuck in traffic fuming as the start of my swim session ticked past.

As it turned out I was only about 7 minutes late for the start and practising my Zen mantra helped except as I've mentioned before going slowly is a concept that just isn't recognised in this session and despite the late start I covered almost 3k in 55 mins which was more than enough for the afternoon.

I spent the session chasing a 16 year old (well a bit like yesterday trying to stop being lapped). Even with the painfulness of the session, it makes such a difference having a coach on the side calling out your repeat times as you come in. (even if they were getting slower!)

I think the aim of the set was to try and hold the same repeat time in the second set with less rest. Yeah right Martin!

200 warm up
200 @ 4 mins
2 x 100 @ 2min
3 x 66 @ 1.40
200 @ 4 mins
2 x 100 @ 2min
3 x 66 @ 1.40
400 free
2 x 100 @ 1.45
3 x 66 @ 70
6 x 33 @ 35
2 x 100 @ 1.45
3 x 66 @ 70
133 swim down
2933 total

Saturday 8 October 2011

Suicidal Badgers and Saturday Rugby Gloom

Bit of a technical malfunction this morning but normal service (normal?) is now resumed. Or at least it will be once I work out how to change the existing post for this one.

I'm recovering from dicing with death on the run from Teenage Triathlete's session at Wentworth last night, on the back road to Whittonstall the suicidal pheasants had taken the night off, only to be replaced by a suicidal badger who had obviously been taking lessons from them.

There would certainly have been a bit of a dint in my car if the brakes weren't working.

I'm not even going to mention the Rugby result, except to comment that as a Newcastle United fan I am well used to sporting tragedy and pretty desensitised to failure.

So this morning's Fairy Snow Baby (looking after the Fairy Snow Babies) or Matt the Cash, so it was left to me and I naturally chose a pull with paddles set. This went down well with Synchro Dad, I'm not quite so sure about New Guy or Awesome Emma, I moved over and tried to hang off Synchro Dad's feet it didn't work and it became a struggle to ensure that I wasn't lapped by him. The first 4 were comfortably under 6 mins but the last two drifted off to around 6.

700 warm up 25 free 25 back, 25 free, 25 brst
6 x 400 pull with paddles @ 6.30*
12 x 50's alt free and no 1 @ 60/65 up drill down swim
24 x 25 @ 35 in sets of 4, steady alternate with build, 1st half sprint, 2nd half sprint
200 swim down
4500 metres

* slight over statement here cos the first one was off 6.45 as Synchro Dad needed to sort his paddles out.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Binge Shopping?

When the going gets tough... now I had a coach who used to finish off that line with "the tough get going" I personally prefer... the tough go shopping so I was diverted via the metro centre this evening to lash out on an iPad.

I've been resisting the urge to buy one for months but finally cracked, consequently I arrived at the pool almost 40 minutes late and covered a mere 1000 metres. I also had a malfunctioning toosmartwatch as it only started to record my heartbeat in the second 50.

It was a fairly stupid way to start a session a steady 100 and then into eyeballs out sprints! They were pretty hard but not hugely quick, the last one might've just dipped under 40s.....aargh old age.

100 warm up
4 x 50's @ 1.30s
10 x 50's
200 swim down
1000 swim down

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Brownie Points for Binge

Usually my Wednesday evenings are spent sitting in the car outside Wentworth leisure centre waiting for Teenage Triathlete to finish her swim session. However having earned a load of brownie points collecting and taking Bob to the garage he had chosen to have his car fixed in which turned out to be in deepest darkest Crook miles from anywhere.

Would you trust your motor repair to a guy who operates from a place called Crook?

In a rare show of gratitude he volunteered to take my place and excuse me from the Suicidal Pheasant run, which left me free to dip into Consett where I was hit with this little set. It felt pretty smooth and controlled. I'm almost sure they were all comfortably under 60 seconds.

200 swim @ 4mins
200 66 swim, 66 kick, 66 swim @ 4mins
200 66 kick, 66 swim, 66 kick @ 4 mins
200 swim @ 4 mins
10 x 66 @ 85 secs
2 x 66 @ 90s Recovery
8 x 66 @ 80 secs
2 x 66 @ 90s Recovery
6 x 66 @ 75 secs
2 x 66 @ 90s Recovery
4 x 66 @ 70 secs
2 x 66 @ 90s Recovery
2 x 66 @ 65 secs
2 x 66 @ 90s Recovery
566 m swim down
4033 metres

Sunday 2 October 2011

So much for Sunday being a day of rest!

I can relate to that

Another Sunday afternoon of mayhem, sandwiched in between Clarkie and Cloughie, struggling with a Cookie set.

I'm not sure what you would call the main set (in polite terms anyway) but the time interval reduced dramatically just as I took over the lead and the second set saw rest becoming a  very brief rarity and completely disappearing by the time we set off on the final set.

I left the pool beetroot in colour, just a bit warm and staggering. A trip to Tesco on the way home and I was conscious of the concerned stares I was receiving from people as I must have looked like I was about to have a heart attack it certainly seemed like it in the pool.

As you can see from the following there was a pretty serious malfuction of toosmartwatch which neglected to collect any data from the first 35 minutes of the session.

The first part of the swim went pretty well and my first 3 x 100's were well under 1.30 which in Consett is a big achievement, but it was downhill from there as far as performance goes.....

266 free
200 up free down brst
133 up free down back
66 free
3 x 133 @ 2.20s
3 x 100 @ 1.50s *
3 x 66 @ 70s
3 x 33 @ 60s sprint
2 x 33 @ 60s sprint
2 x 66 @ 65s
2 x 100 @ 1.40s
2 x 133 @ 2.10s
1 x 133 @ 2 mins
1 x 100 @ 1.30s
1 x 66 @ 60s
1 x 33
200 swim down
2866m total

* 1.25, 1.26, 1.26

Saturday 1 October 2011

Bermuda Shorts, Big Belly Bradley and a Breathless Binge

Had yet another hectic week and ended up not swimming, until this morning. Arrived at the pool musing about the unseasonably warm weather which had brought out an interesting pair of Bermuda shorts on the kid's coach who then began heckling me. He was obviously angling for a nickname and a guest mention in this blog.

I think he's operating under the delusion that getting a mention in this blog qualifies him for celebrity status. Watch out Graeme, Binge Swimming one week, the next you'll be contacted by the Beeb as a body double for Russell Grant in Strictly.

After some discussion between Synchro dad and myself, it just sort of popped into my head..."Big Belly Bradley". Now I may have to reconsider this in the future because the triple B is on a bit of a health kick and if my eye's aren't deceiving me there is considerably less of him at the moment then there was 6 months ago.

Anyway, a fairly steady technical set, with a teensy weensy bit of sprinting.

400 free warm up
8 x 100 @ 1.45 bilateral breathing
8 x 75 @ 85 as 12.5 left arm, 12.5 right arm, 25 catch up 25 swim
8 x 50's @ 60 s turns sprint in and out no breathing in the red zone streamline & dolphin kick off wall
8 x 25's @ 45 first 4 sprint first 12.5m second 4 sprint last 12.5m
9 x 4 x 25 @ 2mins IM prog 1-3*
100 swim down
600 pull with paddles
4000 m total

* these kind of snuck up on you pretty painfully and was extremely hard work