Thursday, June 22, 2017


I know my cousin Shay thinks I have the half mile swim at the Heart O' Dixie in the bag. However, I recently learned that nothing is ever in the bag. But, you protest, after swimming for 23.8 miles, how can a mere 800 meters be a problem? Trust me, it can.

First, a 23.8 mile swim is conducted at about 65 to 70% of maximum heart rate/Vo2max. A half mile swim, on the other hand, if done properly, is swum at about 90 - 95%. Big difference. To use running as an example, it is like training for and completing a 100 miler then going for a fast time in the 5K. The distance is not the issue, the pace is.

I have the endurance base and can literally swim all day. What I need, however, is to do a lot of work at the lactate threshold pace and faster. The problem is, I am recovering from that last big swim.

A quick check of the calendar shows that including this one, I have five weeks to train and one week to taper before Heart O' Dixie. How much of that will I be able to give to the high quality sets I need? Only time will tell. But to get the time down into the thirteen minute range, I have to do some tough sets, the kind that make me breathe hard and make my muscles burn, and right now I don't dare.

But I digress.

I opened this post to tell you about my Monday afternoon swim. The dogs and I went to the pond. First, I did 3 X 16 X 8 tricep kick back. I carry some dumbbells around in the back of my truck so I can do some assistance exercises at the pond. The tri kick back was done to pre-warm the muscle and create some lactic acid and fatigue in the before I began to swim. The reason for this was to maximize my distance. Since I am recovering from a really irritated shoulder, I am swimming slow and swimming short. The weights on the front end gives the muscles a lot more work and it does so without going through the shoulder. Almost all upper body weight lifting goes through the shoulder. The triceps kick back and the curl, however, don't and these two exercises target muscles that are very important for swimming.

I swam an easy lap, stretched some and then did an over, rest, and back. Following that format, I know my exact distance even though I don't have a Garmin (I have one ordered and on the way). That gave me .89 miles or 1432 meters. Then I put on the fins and did a kick set over and back. After all of that, I did 55 X 10 dumbbell curls.

Although it was a pretty light day, I call it training, light training but training nonetheless. 

Tuesday I swam a little more and a tad harder. I did not do any lifting before hand. But I swam two full laps (2,400 meters), and I did some pickups along the way probably hitting 80 to 85%. I slowly built to 26 strokes. Yeah, that's not much, but it's a start. And that is counting on one side, so I built to 52 strokes or about 50 meters. Then I did four crossings (112 meters each) kick with fins.

After that I did 

20 X 8 tkb, 
15 X 5 lr, 
20 X 8 tkb, 
60 X 10 curl, 
20 X 8 tkb, 
25 X 5 tkb

I am feeling more like myself everyday both overall and in the arm that fell off. Caution is still the buzzword, but slowly my mind is releasing the fear and the hold back it has on my body. Thank you, Jesus.