Journey to Olympic Trials: Anything You Can Do

Commentary by Jeff Commings, SwimmingWorld.TV associate producer

PHOENIX, Arizona, April 18. TODAY was one of those days when the stars aligned, and everything just worked out wonderfully. That was especially the case in today's pool workout, and it carried over into my dryland training later in the day.

Workouts like today don't come along very often for me. There's always some negative aspect of the workout that overrides the positives, but today, I couldn't find anything negative in the pool or on land.

Let's start in the pool, where I had a great main sprinting set in short course meters at 6:30 a.m.:

75 free fast from push (42.6)/175 easy on 6:00
25 breast fast from dive (13.2)/175 easy on 5:00
50 breast fast from push (32.3)/100 easy on 4:00
75 free fast from push (42.6)/175 easy on 6:00
25 breast fast from dive (13.2)/175 easy on 5:00
50 breast fast from push (31.9)/100 easy on 4:00
25 breast fast from dive (13.3)

The times were very good. I didn't expect to go 32.3 on the first 50 breast, and knowing I was rushing my stroke too much, I felt I could go under 32 on the second round. I was so glad I did. I haven't swum short course meters in a while, but this is definitely an improvement across the entire spectrum. As a comparison, the last 50 on my Masters world record swim in the 100 breast in 2009 was 32.6, so add a few tenths for the turn, and I'm already going faster! If you want to compare apples to apples (instead of techsuit to jammer), then let's go with my 1:01.86 from 2010, when my last 50 was 32.3.

The keys are my much-improved pullouts and, of course, improved swimming strength.

I kept the energy from today's pool workout going this afternoon in my dryland training with JR Rosania. Yesterday I found a video of Ryan Lochte performing various drills with the battle ropes. He makes it look so easy, but that's because he's Ryan Freakin' Lochte:

I've been doing this exercise for a couple of weeks as I start the power phase of training. After today's workout in the pool, I felt pretty close to invincible, and I was certain I could work those ropes better than Ryan. I leave it up to you to decide:

I suppose I have a long way to go before I can do anything as good as Ryan, but it doesn't mean I won't stop trying! I don't have a specific time goal for my 100 breast at Olympic Trials, but I would like to say that at least the split on my second 50 is faster than Ryan's breaststroke split on his 200 IM. After today, the impossible got a little bit ore possible!

Portions of this commentary were reprinted from Jeff Commings' blog at To see more from today's blog, including video of other dryland exercises, click here.

At 38 years old, Jeff Commings will be the oldest competitor in the 100 breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic Trials on June 25. He is a former All-American at the University of Texas and holds a couple of Masters world records.