Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sneaking in a Workout, Ended Up with a Flashback

Yesterday I took my high school girls to a meet and had a chance to sneak in a workout during the diving warm-up.  It was simple and short, of course, but no different than my normal.

My 200 breast USRPT target doesn't quite match my best time right now.  Notice, when I started this training I was at 2:12.3 for my best come-back race time, which translates to a 33.0 target.  I decided to leave my target there even after I improved since I had not mastered it yet by completing 20 repeats with no fails.

-8x75 warm up, mixing in speedplay.
-50's on 50 at 200 breast USRPT target (33.08) out to third fail.  My score was 8+2+2.  (My previous best is 11-4-2.)
-150 easy...

Since I didn't do my best score I decided to try to redeem it by doing a fast 200 breast from a push.  My best in a practice so far was 2:21, which I had done once.  Before that I had done a couple of 2:24's after target sets and I was hoping to take a shot at that 2:21 again.

Well, when I got to the 75, who did I see?  My old college coach from Missouri State, Jack Steck, standing at the end of the lane watching. He had showed up to officiate the high school meet.  He had his shoulders shrugged and a hand on his chin as though he was about to get on my case for something... so of course I dug deep.  I ended up hitting a 2:17.

It hurt like hell, but it was a great feeling having Jack watching me as though he was calculating how many points I was about to score.  It certainly added something to the workout.

Not sure I could handle that every day though. USRPT is mentally tough enough without Jack breathing down my neck. I felt like I was gonna die when I hit that wall!

Dammit, Klosterman!  You're swimming like you just got your ass bit by a Saluki!

Monday, January 26, 2015

VO2MAXimizer Pre-Kickstarter Campaign!

A few weeks ago I posted about a device I have started using, and I am excited to announce that it is going to make it's first big marketing push.  If you like VO2MAXimizer on facebook and check in at their website you will be able to follow along and see the actually using the device and showing off their results! I use this device and swear by it.  Remember, if you decide to purchase one, choose the Viking in the drop down menu at checkout to let them know I sent you.


**Attention** Your chance to be the first be one of the first to own the Best New Thing in Fitness Training is almost here!!!


Pre Kickstarter Sale Coming 2/23/15. Only 15 Units available at $200.00 off retail (even less than our early bird kick-starter pledge requirement).

The VO2MAXimizer is a new to the world product that produces guaranteed results that no other product can deliver!!! This product will change competitive sports!!!

Our beta users have all reported results including
1.) New personal best performances in each beta user's respective sport
2.) Measurable physiological changes including significant improvements in VO2 Max, Lactate Threshold, Pulse Rate, Blood Pressure, as well as 20% increase in Oxygen Carrying Red Blood Cells.


Over the next 5 weeks we'll be doing REAL TIME tests of the VO2MAXimizer and posting the progress videos and photos directly to Facebook Every Monday starting tomorrow. If you have doubts or are curious as to what you might be able to expect, stay tuned!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Pretty Awesome Morning Workout

I guess this will officially be my first training log post.  This morning was a pretty standard workout for me, but certainly outlines the way I have been making progress in my training.  Here's what I did with my team:

-10x75 on 1:30 easy free and breast drills, but mixing in speed-play to wake up the sprint.
-30x25 on 30 breaststroke in USRPT format.
-3 min. rest
-100 fast breaststroke from push.

My team went ahead and did another set after that, which was USRPT format for the 200 fly, but I don't plan to ever race that so I was done with my entire practice in about 30 minutes.

Today was significant because it was only the third time I have ever completed 30x25 at 100 breast pace without any fails.  Until last week, I had never made it past fourteen before my first fail and had never made it to thirty intervals before failing out with three.  Often my first fail would be right after the freebies were done, which on a set of 25's at 100 pace would be #7.  I am not sure why I have suddenly made this improvement.  As I said in yesterday's post, I took a couple of weeks off after the pro-am and expected to have to spend some time getting back into the groove.  I feel as though there was absolutely no de-training effect at all, which is strange since it is accepted science that it takes approximately four weeks to make up for one week of lost training.

Another thing that made today significant:  I pushed a 1:03 mid on that 100 breast for the first time.  When I started adding this randomly to my routine it was for curiosity's sake, and I started with a 1:07.  I have gradually worked my way down, and usually my best times on it were done if I got to swim during an afternoon.  I rocked this morning.

For any readers out there who want to follow along with my training in more detail, it is easy to do.  I have logged every workout (running and swimming) for over a year in Runkeeper, and all of my meals in MyFitnessPal.  The two apps sync together to make calorie counting easier.  It is very handy.

If you become my friend on those apps you can see more about my habits than I am usually willing to share.  I started using those apps to regulate the diet as I made the transition to LCHF, and now I do it to make sure I eat enough and to keep me within the rules of my comeback.  I want to be able to show that I really did improve my swimming with my LCHF meal plan and comparatively minimal training.

This afternoon I will have one of those rare opportunities to get in the water again.  Two workouts in a day is rare, but when I have a chance I take advantage of it.  Usually it is to re-do a USRPT set that I wasn't happy with in the morning since I tend to get really pissed about it when I under-perform because I don't like wasting my time, but today I am not sure what I am going to do just yet-- and if something comes up that keeps me out of the water, it is no big deal.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The "Viking Method" Experiment

Viking has been wanting to write quite a bit lately but have struggled to find the time.  I have been working pretty hard on a write up for SwimSwam about nutrition and training to be posted soon, since I opened my big fat mouth and tried to act like I am smarter than the nutritionist who posted some nutrition tips there. I decided that a great way to tie into that would be to supplement it with a series of smaller posts here. The first thing that will help with that is to describe my swimming comeback so that readers have some kind of reference to understand some of the the points I am making in case they want more info.  I hope that starting a little bit of a training log will add some depth to it without getting annoying. Once in a while I might just post a link or a video that anyone following along might want to see.  Sometimes it might just be a random thought, since finding time to write with the hours I work is nearly impossible. I would not post any of it if I did not think it was interesting and relevant.  I think that anyone who is curious about making themselves a better swimmer and has a mind open to new ideas might like following along with my little experimental adventure.

First, I have to say that in the same way that "we don't choose swimming, swimming chooses us,"  I must explain that I did not change my diet to make a swimming comeback.  I got back in the water to see how I could do after I changed my diet, lost a bunch of weight, and cut my best 5k down by about four minutes with the same running routine I had been doing every spring for years.  This has become an experiment to see if there is a better way for swimmers to do this fast racing thing.  I am trying to make the case that what I have started here is optimal for swimmers, and I may be the first person to actually try it this way that I know of.

I am determined to swim faster in my forties than I did in my early twenties.  I am certain that I can, even while facing pretty severe limitations in comparison to those in my life twenty years ago in my prime.  I currently work anywhere from 10-17 hours per day, with many weeks of that being a complete seven day work week with teaching classes all day plus meets for club and high school teams.  Yes, it's insane and if I didn't find a way to squeeze in some exercise I wouldn't be able to manage my anger issues, my body would fall apart before retirement, and I would go crazy from being three feet away from a pool for so many hours without ever being able to get in it myself.

My rules in this experiment are simple.  I do almost the exact opposite of everything I was ever told to do in my first swimming career.  I will:

  • give up absolutely no family time to pursue my own swimming.  I swim if I am at a practice or meet where I am already obligated to be there as a coach.  Most of my practices are a short warm up and one set with the kids I coach.  It is a good week when I can fit in three of those, since any time I coach younger or less experienced athletes I need to be on deck rather than in the water.   My team has been tremendously supportive of this so far.
  • adapt to the minimal training philosophy.  I tried to make a comeback in my mid-twenties and it sucked.  I felt miserable all the time.  I never swam really fast even though I was less busy back then and put in more yardage. I was constantly discouraged when I could not fit in the workouts I felt I needed to excel. Now I am training smarter.  You will read more about that later.  Let's just say I am not wasting any time.  All of my swimming has a purpose, and that purpose is racing.  
  • stick with the low-carb, high-fat diet.  This was how I got sucked into this experiment in the first place.  When I stumbled upon this diet my health improved considerably.  My running and swimming did as well, even though it goes against every bit of advice I have ever received on nutrition for health and for athletics.  I want to take this as far as I can to see if adapting to this will be better than the standard nutritional recommendations for athletes.
  • stay low stress and keep it fun.  I am not allowed to throw a pity party when I am not able to train consistently.  That is just a part of being a 40 year old guy working two full time jobs and trying to swim in the cracks in-between.  Hey, if I swim fast enough to land a sponsorship that can free up my schedule by making up the income for some of my extra-duty stipends I am all over it, but the odds of that are pretty slim.  I am just gonna go with the flow and carry the same philosophy at 40 that I did at age 10... it's fun to go fast and I intend to have more fun than anyone else in my heat.
So far, I started last December hitting a 58.92 100 breast and 2:12.33 200 breast at the 2013 KMSC Pro-Am, after never having broken a minute, even in an illegal suit, since my last college meet in 1996.  Those swims were after being on the new diet since April of 2013 and running, with just a little swimming to prepare.  I was shaved and in a blueseventy Nero XII.  After that, I swam about less than 3000 yards a week in the long course pool last summer, and sprinkled in some running and short course swimming when I could fit it in.  I dropped from 1:12.2 to 1:09.0 in the 100 and 2:39.0 to 2:31 in the 200 LCM from May to Sectionals in July.  This fall, I did a 59.9 and a 2:10.7 in unshaved meets with a TYR AP12.  At the Pro-Am in December 2014 I shaved and swam 58.1 and 2:07.2.  I am pretty proud of those swims but I know I will keep getting faster.  Just last weekend I did my fastest unshaved 200 with a 2:09.7.

Wish me luck. I took those couple of weeks off of training after the KMSC Pro-Am in December thinking it would take a while to get back to where I was, but surprisingly, when I jumped back in the water I had not taken a step backward at all.  It's funny... I found that in my running too.  I don't seem to get "out of shape" the same way I used to.  I truly believe the diet has something to do with that.  In the last two weeks I have turned in best scores on sets for both the 100 and 200 breast, and both were significant improvements.  I really think I will be ready to rock at Sectionals in March.

Please stay tuned and let me know what you think.  I am hoping that all of this craziness generates some great discussion here and at Swim Swam.