Monday 23 June 2014

His Majesty EMSC 7.0 and the test set!

Somewhere this morning I am sure I became ensnared in a time anomaly, at one point it was 11:30 and the next time I looked at my watch it was 12:26 and too late to make the Consett session.

No bother there's always the Newcastle session later this afternoon. I was just about to set off for Gosforth when something started to niggle at me. City of Newcastle and Newburn had recently morphed into Newcastle Swim Team and sure enough Sunday training was now at the Outer West Pool!  Original name right!

A bit of googling identified this as the old Newburn pool, I think I last swam there in 1989! Anyway I set off and promptly got lost! I was absolutely sure it was on the other side of the A1.

I eventually located the pool after a tour of such salubrious (sorry still in Swansea mode) suburbs as Cowgate, Westerhope. Kenton Bar and Etal Lane. Amazingly (I was only 12 minutes late)

His Highness the Royal EMSC 7.0 sniggered as I walked onto the poolside and advised me that I had selected a "test set" afternoon. Honest he was actually rubbing his hands in glee! Peter French was leading out our lane and he said that they do this roughly once a month and over the last 12 years he's probably swum around 100 of them. "It just charts my demise" he added. Know the feeling Peter!

As test sets go it didn't seem that bad although not being able to go under 80 for 100m max is a little depressing, maybe next time. Anyway a poor week with only two sessions and only 7000 metres swum, will need to make that up at sometime.

5 x 100 pull with paddles @ 2:00
12 x 33 @ 60
as 1-4 3 steady free 4th max 15 metres
    3-8 3 steady no 1 4th max 15 metres
    9-12 steady free  4th max 15 metres
Test Set
3 x 100 steady @ 1:50  95, 96, 96
166 swim down
3 x 100 threshold @ 2:00  88, 90, 90
166 swim down
3 x 100 (200 pace) @ 2:10 86, 85, 83
166 swim down
200 active rest
100 max  1:20
300 swim down
2,800 total

Sunday 22 June 2014

Binge Training Cheat try training in an old Kneeskin!

Tuesday 17th June 2014  Down to Gateshead this evening, where the heavy turn out for lane 2 continued see here. I therefore dropped into the top lane to mix it with the fasties.

I was late (as usual) and arrived in time for the EMSC 5.0 teckneek set. Which I really enjoyed, but then things became a little testing with this monster set of 200 repeats.

Swimming them all with paddles I succeeded in making the turn around times (much to my amazement as this was like a quantum leap in quality.) I suspect the fact that I couldn't find a training suit and grabbed an old kneeskin may have played a significant part in the improvement.

200 DPS stroke count
8 x 25 shark fin drill
200 shark fin drill 50 catch up 50 swim
200  DPS
4 x 200 @ 3.00 with paddles
4 x 200 @ 3:10
4 x 200 @ 3:20
4 x 200 @ 3:30
200 swim down
4200 total

Road Trip Day 3 British Champs Swansea

Having stayed awake for about 80% of the England match and then been woken up at 1:18am by the Duty Solicitor Service to advise me they had a case in Durham for me I decided that I would run the risk of the car park lottery and sleep in.

It must've been my lucky day as I still managed to snag a parking spot at about 9:30. First up was the 100 breaststroke followed rather quickly by the 800 free. I hadn't really any idea what time I was going to swim for this, so was fairly pleased with the 12:08 and it was a fairly controlled and comfortable swim (I know that it's a pants time really but it's a starting point.)

It was a long weekend with some long sessions, although I've decided Swansea is my favourite 50m pool (after Sheffield).

I  arrived home around 11:15pm feeling better than if I'd driven the whole way, I had some time to reflect on my performances, and it seems pretty clear to me that my recent spate of binge swimming is going to be wholly inadequate to enable me to be competitive in Montreal. The phrase "too little too late" springs to mind. It's fun trying though.

500 warm up
100brst 1:34.17
500 swim down
800 free  12.08.
200 swim down
2100 metres total

Sunday 15 June 2014

Road Trip Day 2 - Swansea Saturday 15th June

Interesting day today as the swimming started for me. Now, although I was in the first session there were an unfeasibly large number of heats of the 400 free to bash through so I reckoned it would be lunchtime before I swam.

My dilemma was whether to get out of bed to make the 8am warm up or to employ the  Binge advanced racing tactics as explained here.

It seemed to me that two factors were in play, firstly a warm up would enable me to add yardage to my swim log and hopefully end up with a green week, but more importantly I was just a bit concerned that car parking facilities at the pool were inadequate for the host of swimmers who were about to descend on it and rather out of character for Binge I chose the early start.

The great thing about nationals is that unlike most Masters meets the 50 m races are seeded, so all of your competition (in theory) is in your heat. I was therefore involved in a head to head with Spencer's star breaststroker Amanda Heath.

Actually I thought it was a three way shoot out with former world champion Pat Reilly, who won the encounter until I discovered that I'd moved out of her age group because I aged up this year.

Not too shabby with a 40.75 which is slightly slower than last year's European time so there's room for improvement in time for Montreal. The 200m wasn't quite as enjoyable (about 150 metres too far).

The evening found me heading into Swansea for dinner, I was with birthday boy Andrew Gristwood who was celebrating his 50th and had chosen as his companions for the evening a rather select band of women. By now I was beginning to navigate around Swansea and was even able to chuckle at the most inappropriately named "Salubrious Place" which appeared to be home to the local Premier Inn (go figure!)

Our restaurant of choice was Pizza Express who were desperate to get away for the footie and confused us all by bringing our starters and pizza out at the same time!

Warm Up
Session 1
650 swim
2 x 25 sprints (+25)
300 swim down
50 breast 40.75
200 swim down
Session 2
200 Breaststroke 3:27.33
500 swim down
2000 metres total

Saturday 14 June 2014

Road Trip British Champs Swansea 2014 Day 1 Friday 13th

A Road Trip to Swansea is no mean undertaking when your starting point is North West Durham (over 350 miles). (Whose idea was it to hold the British Masters Championships in the Welsh outpost?)

The thought of driving home after swimming an 800 free on Sunday night just wasn't appealing so I quickly came to the conclusion that a cheat was called for.

My journey started at Newcastle Airport on Thursday evening and I flew to Bristol. My cunning plan was to rent a car and drive to Swansea which would've been brilliant if I could've remembered which company I'd hired the car from.

I spent a frustrating 30 minutes bouncing between Eurocar and Enterprise car hire booths, (they were approx 800 metres apart) before collecting my car and asking Siri to direct me to Swansea (which he did brilliantly).

I arrived at the hotel around 11pm having left home at 6:30 which was a lot easier than a 6 hour drive.

The meet started as usual with the 1500m, on Friday morning. A record entry and an 8 lane pool (instead of a 10 lane) made for a very long first day. I felt a bit of a fraud as I hadn't actually entered any events, but I did have a legitimate reason for being there as I had a meeting with Geoff Stokes and our new Masters Swimming Officer.

To make sure I had something to blog about dropped in the warm up pool for a quick 1500 metres. Actually it was a pretty slow and lethargic 1500 metres (a Tesco set) interspersed with lengthy periods of chat as I caught up with mates.

There was a pretty late finish to the day and I found myself in the company of Eindhoven bungalow dwellers Janet (McLean the pain) and Lara  and 18 other Scots heading out into the Swansea nightlife (think Bigg Market but not quite as classy!) at 9:30pm to find something to eat.

So much for an early night and top class preparation for Saturdays efforts!

800 warm up
700 mixed drills

Wednesday 11th June: High Quality Tapering Set .... Not on your nelly

Now in a perfect swimming world with the British Championships coming up at the weekend this session should have been a focused high quality fine tuning work out.....

Of course readers of this blog will realise that the Binge swimmer's world is anything but perfect and therefore Wednesdays session was a bit more of the usual slog, my concession to the weekend was sciving off early and not completing the final 200 and 2 x 66's.

533 warm up
as 66 free
2 x 66  pull
133 swim
4 x 33 kick
66 swim
6 x 100 @ 2.00 70%
3 x 200 @ 3:45 80%
6 x 66 @ 90
4 x 100 @ 2:00 70%
2 x 200 @ 3:45 80%
4 x 66 @ 90
2 x 100 @ 2:00 70%
3200 ish

Just about caught up so coming up next a Binge Road Trip special at the British Championships in Swansea.... Friday's adventures once I've finished the 50  Breast

Tuesday 10th June Thank goodness for Swimming Paddles

For some reason at Gateshead Masters the middle lane (mine) are always the best attenders.

So for the last couple of weeks about 10 lane 2 swimmers have turned up forcing the brave (or stupid) amongst us to move up into the top lane with the speedsters and the big guys.

Not that I am in anyway accomplished enough to take the water behind the likes of Fairy Snow Baby and Proudy but they rather graciously put up with having to pass me every 8 lengths or so.

The only way I could come close to hanging on to tonight's turn around times was to wear paddles!

100 swim
8 x 25's fly @ 35 secs
8 x 50's @ 45 secs
4 x 50's @ 40s
200 steady
8 x 50's @ 45 secs
4 x 50's @ 40s
200 steady
8 x 50's @ 45 secs
4 x 50's @ 40s
200 steady
8 x 50's @ 45 secs
4 x 50's @ 40s
200 steady

* I know there's more in this set but I was late getting in and then missed a few of the repeats in need of rest.

June 7th: Oxford Masters and the quest for the early Masters session

A bit of a change to this weekend. My other half (fondly known in Triathlete circles as "Dr Bob") decided that he would become a weekend warrior.

Before you jump to obvious conclusions I can confirm that he hasn't been carried away by "Game of Thrones". This is much worse.

For some peculiar reason the "up highs" who run Blenheim Triathlon thought that people would be interested in spending a whole weekend doing back to back triathlons! (and we thought that 200 fly was the height of madness).

Of course my other half thought this was a spiffing idea, having been sidelined from competitions because of injuries he obviously thought he had some catching up to do and completing 6 sprint triathlons in two days would some how bring him up to date.

Anyway, I dropped him off with his warrior kit for the day (at stupid o clock) and set off to find the Oxford Masters session.

Oxford High School was the somewhat illusory venue and despite having a sat nav, finding it proved to be a quest of Arthurian proportions. (finding the bloody holy grail might've been easier)

I drove round and round managing to locate the Junior school and a Dragon School (wonder what they teach there?) with my sat nav rapidly turning into a sat nag!

Finally I located the place and after yet another false start found the pool, by this time there was only 35 minutes of the session left (don't you just hate it when someone tips up that late?) Their coach (too tall Adam) invited me in and suggested I joined the aerobic session rather than the skills and drills lot.

Thank you to Gabbie and Reine (and apologies if I've spelt your name wrong) for the company I enjoyed the work out (well what little I did of it).

I must admit I was struggling with the 16 x 25's IM order on 30 but as a guest I felt compelled to complete the fly (even if it half killed me).  But what a lovely pool and a very friendly squad. Thanks guys.

I had planned to be sociable and join them for their ritual Saturday morning breakfast at Costa but I was summoned back to the hotel to collect a bored teenage triathlete.

By now the weather gods had turned against us and my loyalty to my other half somehow didn't extend to standing in torrential rain sporadically shouting encouragement; so TT and I employed that well known tactic "when the going gets tough.... the tough go shopping". So feeling only slightly disloyal we headed out to Bicester Village.

The weather did improve!
700 free
200 steady*
4 x 50's breast @ 65 secs
2 x 50's kick
16 x 25's IM order @ 30 secs * *
50 swim down

*I can't remember if I imagined this but I did have it fixed in my head I'd swum 1650
**and yes I did all the fly (it was very ugly)

Friday 13 June 2014

"Thoughtful Masters Swimmer of the Year?" Thursday 5th June

Made it to the public masters session in Stanley for the Thursday session,  no sign of EMSC 1.0 or teenage triathlete for that matter (ensconced in A/S revision. )

Now I know I have a penchant for tarring all swimming coaches with the same brush, or rather describing them all as Evil Mutant's as a reflection of their sadistic tendencies, but the temporary coach we had this evening was far to nice and gentle to graduate to EMSC 8.0.

This little set was interesting I was in a lane with a guy (he might've been called Gareth but then again it was last week and my memory may be doing him a disservice).

Gareth (or whatever his name is) appeared to be (well actually there was no "appeared to be" about it he was) streets faster than me, much more natural speed but decidedly more unfit than me and no staying power (that's men for you isn't it?) After a while drafting on his feet, I led off and bless him about two thirds of the way through he volunteered to take over again so that I could get a tow off him.

Such a thoughtful fellow sufferer.

 200 50 free, 50 o/c
50 kick
50 pull
2 x 100 decrease stroke 1-4
300 @ 5 mins
2 x 25 @ 30s
2 x 150 @ 2:30
2 x 25 @ 30 s
4 x 75 @ 75
2 x 25 @ 40s
6 x 50 @ 50s
2 x 25 @ 50
300 @ 5 mins
2 x 25 @ 60s
4 x 50's @ 55,50,65

Wednesday 4th June Old Age and forgetfulness

Ahh but a Consett Wednesday session and EMSC one point zero doesn't disappoint so it's back to a full on freestyle set.

I'm not moaning honest because the truth is swimming other strokes requires way too much effort.

I've just realised that the problem with playing catch up blogging is that I can't remember anything about this session, and it was only last week!

Further signs of encroaching senility?

400 as 200 swim 166 pull and 66 kick
2 x 200 @ 3:30
4 x 100 @ 1:45
3 x 66 @ 1:15
6 x 33 @ 35
2 x 200 @ 3:45
4 x 100 @ 2:00
3 x 66 @ 1:20
6 x 33 @ 40
2 x 200 @ 4:00
2 x 100 @ 2:15
33 swim down

Wots with all the Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly malarky!

Tuesday 3rd June I've had a bit of a mad week so I'm playing blogging catch up.

What I didn't mention in yesterday's not very exciting post is that it was my 400th post, is that worth celebrating?

Well looking at this evening's effort you can tell I wasn't at a Consett session this evening as the work out contained copious amounts of strokes other than freestyle!

I can't say that any of it was swum with any speed, commitment or verve but I survived which was my primary focus.

4 x 50's back @ 65
4 x 50's breast @ 65
8 x 50's @ 50 progressive 1-4 & 5-8
32 x 25 fly @ 35 seconds
700 swim
24 x 25 breast @ 35 secs
500 swim
16 x 25 back @ 35 secs
400 swim
16 x 25 @ 30 secs
125 swim down
4725 metres

Monday 2 June 2014

The Computer Says Yes! i.e another uneventful post!

So I'm now five weeks into World Championship training and probably beginning to feel like I'm swimming as opposed to just plodding through the water. (even if it's pretty slow)

This weekend I received a bit of a confidence booster, as for the first time since February my swim log was telling me that my target distance for the year is a "sensible" one.  Now that's quite an unusual adjective to apply to me.

Eight weeks left before today's work out was orchestrated by EMSC 2.0 not sure where EMSC 1.0 had gone to but there was a bit of thought needed in the repeats and the hypoxic stuff at the end was lung busting. Why is it I can breathe every 4, 6 or 8 without too much difficulty but try a bit of bilateral work and I'm just hopeless?

200 Free warm up
4 x 100 @ 2:00  
no 1 easy
no 2 66 easy, 33 hard
no 3 33 easy, 66 hard
no 4 100 hard
3 x 66 @ 1:20 pull
no 1 easy
no 2 33 easy, 33 hard
no 3 66 hard
2 x 33 
no 1 easy
no 2 hard
4 x 133 @ 2:30
no 1 max 1st 33
no 2 max 2nd 33
no 3 max 3rd 33
no 4 max 4th 33
3 x 100 @ 1:50
no 1 max 1st 33
no 2 max 2nd 33
no 3 max 3rd 33
2 x 66  @ 1:20
no 1 max 1st 33
no 2 max 2nd 33
1 x 33 
4 x 100 @ 2:00
No1 breathing 
every 3 strokes for 1st 33, 
every 5 strokes for 2nd 33 
every 7 strokes for 3rd 33
3 x 66 @ 1:20
every 5 strokes for 1st 33, 
every 7 strokes for 2nd 33 
33 swim down
2500 metres

Sunday 1 June 2014

The Moody Blues mutate into X Men?

Now I'm giving my age away here but I thought Days of Future Passed was a 1967 Moody Blues Album; so I was a little surprised to be confronted at the cinema last night with a blockbusting X Men fest.

Hmm I wonder if Justin Hayward et al received any royalties for the name, although it hadn't passed me by that there was a slight difference with the Moodies preferring the verb and Bryan Singer the adjective or the noun.

As you might've gleaned we had a Binge Family outing to the cinema last night, and I'm still not quite sure it was worth sitting through the credits at the end for a glimpse of ..... well your guess is as good as mine but that's 5 minutes of my life I won't get back.

The evening out was preceded by a trip to the Mutant Tri session at Blaydon, I think I upset them being a bit bossy and whingy about the work out. Especially as my lane all stopped after the first 400 of the warm up (the clue was in the phrase "continuous swim" guys).

Note to self I should be less grouchy and more chilled about this stuff especially as it's often me that gets it all wrong.

I was pleased that I stopped Mick (our leader) changing the repeat time for the 50's to 60, 55 and 50 because although they looked deceptively easy, trying to hold the same pace on a decreasing turn around time was just a tad painful and somewhere during the last set I acquired 2 extra strokes per length.....not good.

1200 warm up as
3 x 100 swim, 100 kick, 100 swim, 100 drill
8 x 50 @ 65
6 x 50 @ 60
4 x 50 @ 55
4 x 25 @ 45
2 mins rest
8 x 50 @ 65
6 x 50 @ 60
4 x 50 @ 55
4 x 25 @ 45
400 swim down