all-call: swimmers ahoy!

Well, it appears that I can still - sort of - swim.
I (very apprehensively) went to the pool last night to test out both swimming and pool running.  Swimming seems to be okay - there is some slight awareness going on when I kick, which I think is from body roll, but it's pretty slight and I'm hoping I'm not making anything worse.  I'm going to go bazooka-insane if I can't do anything, so swimming it is.  Pool running was another story - I thought I would try it without the belt, because working the core is how this will heal, but I was a mess after 2 minutes so I went and got the belt.  With the belt, I was able to very slowly and gently cycle my legs without pain or discomfort.  But when I got out of the pool afterwards, things felt a bit weird and tight, so I think I might nix the pool running for a few more days.

However, I'm bored to tears with my current swim sets and would love some input on ways to mix it up.  Here's what I did last night:
- 1000yd warm-up (500yd free, 500yd pull)
- 500yd drill (5x100yd: single arm drill, fingertip entrance drill, body roll drill, catch drill, 3/5/7 breathing)
- 1500yd step-down ladder (increasing speed with each set: 400yd, 300yd, 200yd, 100yd, and then attempt to maintain the 100yd pace for 500yd, be ready to puke if you don't start carefully)

This is basically a variation on my usual swim - warm-up mixing free and pull, 500 yards of drills, and then some kind of sprint set - either a ladder (50/100/200/300/200/100/50 being a favorite) or a descending ladder like last night, or alternating hard/easy 50s with no recovery.  Usually I do a few kick sets, but not with the current state of body affairs.  But I'm getting bored, so I'm sending out a plea for help.  A few disclaimers: now is not the time to learn other strokes (back, breast, fly, side) because I want to not do anything new that might eff up my back.  I'm going to leave kicking out until I'm healed, and will probably do more with the pull buoy than usual to try and protect myself.  Otherwise, let me have it.  What are some of your favorite workouts in the pool?  


  1. I got nothing for ya being a non-swimmer, but I will say this, you sure iz purtay! :)

  2. I *AM* a swimmer but I got nothin' for ya since all my workouts are made up on the fly and generally are a variation on what you note above. Ultimately, it's not much different than do short and fast; long and fast; long and moderate; etc. Speedwork, tempo, long run. But in water.

  3. More drill sets? I like doing shorter pyramids of 25-50-75-100-150-200-250 and then back down. You could alternate free and pull. Or different types of drills.

  4. Unfortunately, I have no swimming advice, but since I am also stuck in the pool, let me know if you ever want to meet up to swim!

  5. Sorry the pool running hurts too..I had the same thing w/ my ITB--even that bothered it. Anyhow, go to Barnes and Noble and look for a cool little book there by Gail Bernhardt--it's waterproof and FULL of all kinds of workouts. It kept my sanity while I've been swimming all these months (sometimes up to 4,000 yds). Worth the money!

  6. Oh and there's also the US Master's swim site, which has lots of workouts listed as well.

  7. I have nothing for you as I'm usually the one asking you guys for swim workout advice. I'm excited about Miss Zippy's book recommendation though!

  8. swim with me! seriously. i like doing repeats and descending sets of whatever within them like 9x50 frees with each set of 3 getting faster. Or 5x100 each 100 faster.

  9. I keep myself from getting bored by switching strokes, which really doesn't help you. I think you also have all of my go to drills covered. Maybe throw on some paddles for some of the pulling? I always find them fun.

    Also, for some reason I find distances that have you stopping at opposite ends of the pool break up some of the monotony (75s, 125s, etc.). And they are also easier to count for people like me who get confused - you at least know if you have done an even or odd number of repeats!

  10. Ummm the last time I swam (like, laps) I was probably under the age of 12. And I would do the IM and the 25 fly. I used to love fly. And now... I don't even own a swimmer's swimsuit. Like, the kind that stays on in the water. Boo.

  11. HA, awesome input from Morgan.
    Picture is perfect, a caption would no doubt be hilarious. I wish I had some ideas for ya, but also a non-swimmer here, so I'm useless. :-/

  12. 25 sprint- 25 easy- repeat as many times as you like. (Of course you can vary this: 50 sprint- 25 easy; 50 sprint-50 easy; 75 sprint- 25 recovery, etc.)


    I'll do variations like: 100 free- 50 fists repeat 5-10 times (or whatever, depending on mood).

    My fave variation is: 100 fists- 50 free x 3. 100 free- 50 fists x 3. 100 fists- 50 free x 3. (repeat how many ever desired times).

    Sometimes I forget about it all and just focus on the stroke and mental aspect of swimming- find the rhtyhm and enjoy.

    I know you don't want to intro. new strokes, but I find breast and back helpful for counter strokes (e.g. 450 free 50 back or breast or 1000 free 100 back or breast).

    Agree with Allison on 75, 125, etc., but that always confuses me.... I do well with "1 up, 1 back; 2 up, 2 back"

    Hang in there! You'll heal! :-)

  13. Freestyle. That's pretty much the only swimming I do and the repetition is quite exhausting in a good way. But the kick might not be good for you. It's awesome you re spending more time in the water.

  14. I will never get tired of seeing that pic of your face smashed against the glass! Sorry chica, I'm no help in the swimming dept - but you sound so badass to me!
    Getting all caught up as best as we can, nice job on the long run! I'm so excited things are clicking, don't let this little set back sway you, you are just taking a little side route and all will work out - I have faith!
    Miss you!

  15. Ummmm...can you please post that photo as your profile pic? Just may be the best photo yet!!

  16. My favorites are listed here: Also, since you do lots of short distance, try adding a 30-minute or hour-long timed swim. Guaranteed challenge, as it's mentally tough!

  17. Great photo!

    I talk a lot about swimming on my blog- check out some of my old posts under "swimming" (I am so original) and maybe they will inspire you :)

  18. I really admire your attitude. A lot of people would have given up completely and just sunk into the sofa with a big bag of chips - never to see a workout again. But not YOU! You jump in that cold pool and stay determined. Wow. I'm so sorry you are hurting and don't have answers. I'm so sorry this came at such a bad time in your training. That all stinks. But you are controlling what you CAN control and that is hella impressive.
    Stay strong girl!


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