Fast Twitch -- Week 7: Back from the meet

I've got a lot to talk about as I head into the final stretch of this training phase. But first, the results from the meet in Pleasanton, Calif. You can find the full results here.

50 back: 25.17
50 breast on medley relay: 26.13
100 IM: 52.93
50 fly: 24.31
100 free on free relay (second leg): 48.32

100 free: 49.04
50 free lead-off on free relay: 22.72
200 IM: 1:57.79
100 breast: 58.01
100 back leadoff on medley relay: 53.08

Now some thoughts.

I am happy with all my times, except the 200 IM, which is hard for me to do when I am in the middle of training and have no one to push me. The fact that I am quite broken down was evident in my breaststroke races. No snap in my stroke and a little bit of trouble on the pullouts. In the middle of the season, my breaststroke is always the first to suffer. But otherwise, I raced well and had a lot of fun -- the most important thing.

It's obvious that training long course has helped my endurance, but it had severely hindered my short-course racing strategies. Since swimming long course exclusively for five weeks, my body has trained itself to not think about turns for at least 30 strokes. I found it very hard to prepare for my turns, which made them either sloppy or soft. In my 50 back and 100 free, I noticed the guys in the lane next to me out-turning me. That rarely happens.

Because the age group and college teams dictate how the pool at the University of Arizona will be set up, it's unlikely that we'll see it changed to short course until the end of the summer. (An unfortunate side effect that I'm not sure was brought to anyone's attention.) I am going to make every effort to find a short-course pool for training until nationals. There is no way to replicate a short-course minded set in a long-course pool. Sure, I can swim 25s, but how do I work on the turns? Swimming from the middle of the pool to the wall isn't productive, either.

On Saturdays I will definitely swim at the public pool. It'll be difficult to get away from work to get in a workout during lap swim hours from noon to 4 p.m.

For those of you who have been training mostly long course for nationals or any other short course meet, please make sure you find a way to do the majority of your workouts short course. And do lots of starts, swimming 25 yards and doing a turn.

I wish I had realized this sooner. The effect wasn't really felt when I swam at the meet in Phoenix three weeks ago. But I had been doing workouts shaped around swimming 50 meters before turning, or conditioning my body to last more than 15 seconds before a turn. My body needs to be retrained, and I am sure it can be done before nationals.

You would think this is a small fix, but it isn't. If you can't do turns as well as you are able in a short-course race, forget winning.

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