I Feel Good!

PHOENIX, Arizona, September 22. 277 days to Trials!

Journal by Jeff Commings, Swimming World associate producer

Jeff Commings, who will be the second-oldest man to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials next summer, is journaling his daily training regimen on his personal blog. We are reprinting those articles here:

Today's workout:

Time: 5:45 a.m.

Short Course Yards

277 days to Trials

1300 warmup

For today's main set, the whiteboard listed "4×800," but the swimmers got to choose how they wanted to do it! Yes, the swimmers got to choose! How often does that happen? We could do all four 800s, or we could break up each 800 into a set of 50, 100s, 200s, 400s … or even 25s! I don't think anyone opted to do a straight 3,200.

Here's how I did it:

#1: 800 free (9:20) I am going to admit that I took a bathroom break at the start of this, and rejoined the group at the 250. I dove in at the 3:00 mark, which would have been holding about 1:12 per 100. I built the 800, and averaged 1:10, which is my aerobic pace. Felt good through the whole thing, and I didn't lose count (major victory!).

#2: 16×50 back on :45 (averaged :33 per 50) I was going to do them on :40, but I figured it might get real tough to do for 16 of them.

#3: 8×100 free on 1:20 (averaged 1:05) Bonus points for doing it alone! Another lane did them on 1:15. I probably would have done that, but might not have held such a fast average pace.

#4: 2×400 IM with :30 rest, 50 drill/50 swim … and yes, I swam a 50 fly.

To make up for missing the first 200 of that 800, I did a 200 fairly easy after the 400s.

Today was one the best workouts I've had in a while. From beginning to end, my body and mind were one. Rarely do I feel this good in workout. Either I have to convince my brain to wake up and concentrate on the workout, or I have to convince my muscles to work harder than they want to on that day. Today, I was one with the water. I know it won't last!

At the gym:

Five minutes shoulder warmup exercises

Sitting bench press (15 @ 115, 12 @ 135, 10 @ 155)

Standing cable pull (bent at 90 degrees, simulating breatstroke pullout/butterfly pull) (15 @ 20 lbs. per arm, 12 @ 25, 10 @ 30)

Sitting leg press (15 @ 150, 12 @ 180, 10 @ 210)

Tricep press (15 @ 70, 12 @ 80, 10 @ 90)

This next exercise is a little difficult to describe. I'll call it "Basketball Jumps." Starting at a squat position holding a 12-pound ball, lift the ball above your head and jump, as if you were shooting a basketball at a basket directly above you. I did three rounds of this. On the first round, I did not jump. The ending position was on my toes.

Fifteen minutes abdominals and stretching

Tomorrow is kicking day. Was I wrong to focus on leg exercises tonight? We'll find out …

On a somewhat unrelated note: While I was swimming this morning, George Bradbury was celebrating his swim across the Strait of Gibraltar, which took him three hours and 57 minutes. His coach was my partner, Geoff Glaser, who had coached another swimmer across the Strait in 2009. George went through a lot to make that swim happen. During some of my workouts in Tucson on Sundays this summer, I would see George do three-hour swims in the pool, stopping only to ingest a little gel pack or checking his pager (he's an orthopedic surgeon). As much as I loathed swimming alone, I couldn't imagine what George was thinking during those three-hour swims. I knew I would be done in a little more than an hour. George had to get through three hours! So, join me in congratulating George and Geoff on this amazing achievement!

Reprinted from Jeff's personal blog at commings.blogspot.com.

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