Thursday, January 18, 2007

More Sprinting Practice

After Monday’s move away from all the sprinting lately to sets more normally seen in practice (excepting the unusual diving exercise) Coach returned to sprinting with a vengeance in last night’s practice. There were several different sets you could choose from depending on the distance, pace, and the stroke you wanted to swim. The workout was complex and clearly based on some other senior Hyack team’s practice. Personally I’m guessing the source this time was the ‘Senior 2:30s’, our club’s elite swimmers, influenced partly by the fact Monday night’s diving drill was taken directly from a guest coached 2:30 practice. If so Coach Brad should stop taking practice ideas wholesale from Hyack Head Coach Mark Bottrill and the 2:30 gang because they just don’t transfer well to us.

You need to understand our Masters team encompasses a wide range of ability, from top ten nationally ranked Masters swimmers to individuals attending practice to lose weight. Every other Hyack team is either designed or selected to create a group whose members swim relatively the same level. With several workout variations to choose from our pool ran out of lanes to accommodate both available selections and swimming abilities. Not surprisingly the flow of the workout suffered. Even so I found this a minor problem compared to the quality of swimming the workout required. For example, those selecting the ‘pure’ sprint warm up (as I did) were called upon to do 12x50 meters from a dive; for my lane the first six on 0:50 and the second six on 0:45. Subtract getting out of the pool and getting settled on the blocks and you’re left roughly with intervals of 0:42 and 0:37 for fifty meters. This is a warm up? I’ll be up front and say I was not one of those who made all the interval times. I did, however, gain a couple of valuable lessons from practice. The first was from a recovery 300 stuck in between sprint sets which was a combination back swim/drill. I haven’t been doing many back drills lately and in doing this 300 rediscovered my shoulder roll. I’m definitely adding some more backstroke drills to my repertoire. The second was from the end of practice 100 backstroke sprint, where I messed up the timing of my breathing and eventually had to bail on my third roll-over flip and do an open turn. Yes, there is a breathing pattern required for backstroke; if you try breathing when one of your arms is above your head there’ll be a good chance you’ll just get a mouthful of water. I think while concentrating on technique I lapsed into an old breathing pattern which no longer matches my new faster turnover and voila – water instead of air. Drat, another thing to add to my list.


Isis said...

Could you explain this breathing pattern for backstroke? I suspect that may be one of my (many) problems with that stroke.

Scott said...

I started writing a response and discovered it had morphed into a commentary about breathing in general, so I'm going to put it out as its own separate post in a couple of days.

Isis said...

Cool--I'll look forward to that post.