Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tie That Band Around Your Ankles And GO!

This morning, while busting my ass to get to the other side of the pool as fast as I could while my feet were bound together with bands and basically dragging along the bottom, I was thinking about how different my swim workouts have been since I've hired someone else to write them for me now. Yeah. I never would have put myself through that last year.

So while I think I write pretty damn hard swim workouts, and while they have been quite effective in getting my athletes and me to the finish line of swim races faster, I am open to the idea of change and how it will positively affect my ability to swim. See, the workouts I wrote usually involved a long w/u, maybe some drills and or sprint work, a long tempo/threshold main set of like 2000M (usually in a format I found easy to remember, like 4 x 500's or something boring simple like that) and then a c/d. Sometimes I'd get all wacky and switch it up a bit so the main set involved different lengths of swims, but only maybe like two variations. Otherwise how in the world would we remember the set when we were all oxygen deprived from swimming so hard with such little rest?

I've been paying attention to the way my new swim workouts are written (because I have to, what with so many different components to the main sets all with their own individual detailed instructions) and I have to say, almost begrudgingly, (because, um, how is it possible that someone would write better swim workouts than me??), they are brilliant. Without worrying specifically about all the little details, I see that I now get to wear myself out with lots of pulling with paddles, interspersed with very fast all out efforts, plenty of kicking, more short all out efforts, more rest than I used to give myself at the walls, and power building efforts involving tying my feet together. Finally, let's end that workout with a few more power building fast efforts with your feet tied together again. Ouch.

This morning, after like 2500M, we were all completely thrashed. I was actually joined by 3 other swimmers for the workout and they were like, who the hell is this guy writing these workouts and can we hit him?? Ha ha. Just kidding, Tim. And poor Nalani. While she is a fantastic swimmer and has crazy endurance, her power in the water is lacking and she definitely could benefit from building some strength. So these workouts are killing her even more than me. At one point when she was just totally falling off the pace, she said, "I'm here in spirit!" It was a classic Nalani statement. I think that's all she said for the whole workout. In her defense, she was super sore from the TRX workout she did yesterday... Nalani's New Year's Resolution get STRONG. Or maybe that is my resolution for her. Yeah. I think that's it.

Unfortunately we were not done even though we totally could have been and called it a great workout... No, we still had 4 more 100's max effort (ok, the set didn't say max effort but it said <1:25 which for me, in this long course pool, is the same thing). So Brett was all curious about our bands and put one on around his ankles even though the set didn't actually call for that. And if you've been reading this blog for a while you know how I like to challenge Brett even when I know I can't actually beat him... but in this case I really thought maybe I could... Brett with bands vs me without... hmmm... maybe I could get him! I said, "I'm going to beat you Brett." Out loud. Of course Brett took the challenge. GO! We freaking raced like there was no tomorrow and you know what? I swam 1:22 (!!) and Brett beat me. Bastard. Jennifer came up to the wall laughing because she could not believe Brett beat me with bands tied around his ankles. Yeah. That guy is amazing. But I tell you what- Brett yanked those bands off immediately and when I challenged him to a rematch on #3, he declined.

Anyway, I'm back in a place where I am thoroughly enjoying my swim workouts again. I mean, I liked my own workouts, but there is something really different and motivating about doing workouts someone else writes for you... and knowing that you have to report in whether or not you hit all those intervals under 1:25 (Yes! I did!). Good stuff.


Running and living said...

I love your energy! Love it! You seem so excited to train, and I bet 2011 is going to be amazing for you.

Molly said...

Oh yes, the ankle bands (old bike tubes work well) sorta learn to love them after a while but they are really hard the first few times!!!

Regina said...

Those bands are brilliant! And all that pulling you had me do a few swim workouts ago was tough and I felt my core for sure!! I don't know if my recent swim workout is a reflection of the training you are doing (trickle down effect?), but it was hard. I was already feeling really tired and heavy in the water, but that workout was tough and I feel my upper body today big time.

I like your new coach too! ha!

Ange said...

1:25 Long course meters??? NICE!
I LOVE having workouts from someone else. I could write swim workouts all day but it's NOT the same as having to report to someone else. I've been swimming w/ my feet tied together's Tough!
great job...!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Nice job!! And now you get Training Peaks "Christmas" too :-) (you're right, it totally feels like it.) Fun stuff.

Kim said...

WOW! 1:22 is awesome Michelle!! Sounds likes these swim workouts are the bomb! I would love to see some more and hear more about it! Way to go getting out of your comfort zone (lol.. I had to laugh because I just did 5 x 500 yesterday as my first real swim back after IM Coz! It was boring)!! Glad all is well!

Teresa said...

More toys...more fun!!!

Beth said...

Sounds awesome!! The band kills me too. I just learned about the band this year - ouch. But fun!! Gonna be a great year! :)

Sarah Giacomarra Schrader said...

I am assuming this is a band without a buoy? Sounds tough. I may have to try that one. Thanks!

Angela and David said...

You know how I feel about swimming but this post made me want to get in the pool.

Aimee said...

Awesome! It sounds like you got a great swim coach! I wish I could get to a place with my swimming where I felt great about it. Maybe this is my season! :)

kerrie said... you need to get any stronger on the swim. i think you should eat cupcakes instead.

Mary IronMatron said...

I cannot do the band. It is so hard, so depressing, and I flounder.
So cool that you are being coached by TIM! I have always been curious about his coaching, and now I can read about it. Yeah! :)
Have I ever told you how unbelievably cute Moana is in that picture on your header?
(you are cute, too, of course!!! )