Sunday Bloody Sunday

PHOENIX, Arizona, October 9. 260 days to Olympic 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: 11:30 a.m.
Short Course Yards

400 warmup

3x(4×100 on 1:40)
1. free breathe every 5
2. back
3. breast kick drill (one pull, two kicks)
4. IM stroke drill

Two rounds:
4×50 breast on 1:00 holding :35
8×25 back on :30
4×50 free on 1:00, three breaths per 50

8×25 on :45, 15m sprint

Power Tower (90 percent full)
3x (3×50 on 1:30, done as 25 fast/25 easy)
1-3 breast
4-6 free
7-9 back

350 recovery

Five minutes stretching

Total: 3,800 yards (80 minutes)

Sometimes it is not easy to design a workout for yourself. I knew I wanted to do about 20 minutes work on the Power Tower and the 15m breakouts, but I didn't know how to get there. Sometimes it feels like garbage yardage, but today I used the warmup sets to focus on the weak parts of my strokes. On breaststroke, it is grabbing the water better with my feet. For freestyle, it is not losing the grip on the water halfway through the pull. For backstroke, it is swimming straight! I didn't succeed in swimming perfect backstroke. On one of the repeats, I cut my finger on the lane rope. The cut closed up fairly quick, thanks to the magic of chlorine, but it did sting for a few minutes. That is the danger of swimming backstroke outdoors. Sometimes your inner compass doesn't work.

If you do not have a Power Tower (or Power Rack or similar device) at your pool, you can amend the sets I do to be sets of all-out 50s on the same interval. Based on the number of strokes I took, I was basically swimming 50 yards without the turn. My times on each stroke were about five seconds faster than my actual 50s, which was OK by me. I hadn't filled the bucket on the Power Tower to almost full in a very long time, and I don't recall doing such a difficult set with that much water in the bucket. I am glad I was able to complete the set without failing on technique.

Today was one of my few solo workouts when I didn't feel any urge to cut short a set or end workout early. It did take me about 40 minutes for my body to feel good in the water, and it was just about that moment that I was ready to do the second round of the 50s breaststroke. Sometimes, it's like a light turns on. Other times, I just need to get my blood pumping for a while.

This was a great start to week two of eight in my sprint phase. This week will end with me competing/working at the Rowdy Gaines Classic in Orlando. I'm very much looking forward to the meet, though I wish it hadn't been on the same weekend as the Ron Johnson Invitational, which is going to be held on the campus of Arizona State University, where the late Ron Johnson coached for may years with great success. I'm not sure who will come to the Ron Johnson meet, but I suppose I'll be doing a virtual competition with them.

Reprinted from Jeff's personal blog at

Comments Off on Sunday Bloody Sunday

Author: Archive Team


Current Swimming World Issue

Trouble Viewing on Smart Phones, Tablets or iPads? Click Here