Take It To The Limit

Journal by Jeff Commings, Swimming World associate producer

PHOENIX, Arizona, September 21. 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:

Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Time: 5:40 a.m.
Short Course Yards
278 days to Trials

300 warmup

12×50 on 1:00
1-4 kick/swim
5-8 drill/swim
9-12 swim descend to 90 percent (freestyle descended to :28)

12×25 kick on :35 — 2 fast 1 easy
(Put on fins and kicked either flutter or dolphin….didn't get times on this, but probably was :15 on the fast ones)

100 easy

10×25 on :35
Odd: three to four stroke cycles fast
Even: one breath per 25

Four rounds:
25 fast/75 easy on 2:15
50 fast/50 easy on 2:15
100 fast on 2:15
100 easy on 2:15
(25 fast was breast from a dive: 12.6, 12.7, 12.4, 12.1)
(50 fast was freestyle from a push: 25.4, 25.1, 24.9, 24.7)
(100 fast was breast kick with a board: 1:25, 1:24, 1:24, 1:23)

100 easy

Total: 3,300 yards

I felt much better in the water today, as you can see from the times on the main set. No more pizza the night before swimming! Well, at least not a full pie.

When "16×100" appeared on the board, I feared it would be the typical "every other one fast" type of set. I don't recall doing a set like this before, especially at Phoenix Swim Club, but I could be wrong. When I woke up this morning, I wanted to do a good deal of kicking today, only because it will become a major focus during the sprint phase of this season. Today's main set afforded me the opportunity to do so, and because we had a lot of empty lanes in the other half of the pool, I took one of them and got to swim straight, which I always like to do on fast swims. You don't swim circle in a race, so every chance you get to do race-pace training without circle swimming, take that opportunity!

I haven't been faster than 1:30 on my kicks in a very, very long time. It's mostly because I never put a lot of focus on my breaststroke kick. But after participating in the seminar with Tennessee coach Matt Kredich two weeks ago, I've been thinking a lot about my kick and how I can make it more efficient (as efficient as I can make it with my horrible ankle flexibility). To go those times in the fast 100 was awesome, especially since I did some tough leg exercises at the gym last night.

Also, my freestyle is showing a lot of improvement in the past month. Is it because Alan Carter is training with us, forcing me to work more on my freestyle just to keep from getting lapped by him on a 200? Probably. To be less than a second slower than my final 50 in the 100 free shaved and tapered gives me a lot of confidence, especially for the end of my 100 and 200 IMs.

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

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