Welcome to Fast Twitch!

I've been a masters swimmer since summer 1999. Since then, I've been a member of three teams in three different states, and one thing is common among all of them: Everyone's a freakin' distance swimmer!

It can't be helped. Most swimmers come into the sport late in their adult lives, when their muscles are past their peak development and generally have problems gaining strength and power. Becoming a sprinter as an adult is a very difficult thing to do, but not impossible. It takes lots of work, just as much work as a distance swimmer (though not as much time in the pool).

My contribution to this site will be to help the few masters swimmers who can truly call themselves sprinters. They are those who shudder at the thought of anything over 100 yards or meters. They are the ones who struggle to finish the last 15 yards or meters of a race, instead of saying "I was just getting started!" They are the ones who like doing 50s for time on a three-minute interval. They are the ones who think "taper" is the best word in the English language.

I've been a sprinter all my life, despite attempts by my college coach to make me a 200 breaststroker. I got into masters when I found out there were 50s of the strokes and a 100 IM. What could be better than doing a 100 IM?

On Monday, March 12, I will start a training regimen geared specifically for sprinters. Anyone training for an event 200 yards and above should not follow these workouts. And I'll put the disclaimer in that you should consult your physician before starting a new rigorous training regimen. I started doing this series of workouts last summer in preparation for world championships, and I did it again to train for the zone meet last November in Tempe. I credit the workouts for the success at both meets: I won three events and set a new world record in the 50 breast at worlds, and broke the world records in the short-course-meters 50 and 100 breast events last November.

This time, I'm training for spring nationals in Federal Way (May 17-20) and then a long course USA Swimming meet here in Tucson the first weekend of June. That gives me 10 weeks before my first event at nationals. I will taper for only one week. If you do these workouts every day without any adjustments, you might need more rest, especially if your body gets very broken down. Listen to your body -- DO NOT overdo it. No record attempt or heated rivalry is worth a busted shoulder or knee.

I'll post every workout here, along with some comments and random thoughts.

Since the first week of January, I've been building my aerobic base by training with the Ford Aquatics team, and fine-tuning my strokes before I ask them to sprint for 10 weeks. Drills are important, and it's ideal to work on drills on recovery days.

In the week leading up to the start of the program, I'd suggest that you do lots of sprinting when you get the chance. That would mean a set or two of 25s and 50s with at least one minute rest, as well as some 15-meter breakouts to test your fast-twitch. Some sets will be done from the blocks, so if you have time to work on your starts, I strongly suggest it.

See you in six days!

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