November 2010

Nov
28

Do you mind if I join you?

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 7:21pm (November 28th, 2010)

Those three magic words...

Wait. Maybe that's seven. Either way, that simple statement has proven time and again to establish a great mini relationship with the people I swim with in community pools. I use this little sentence to courteously ask if I can join somebody's lane if they're swimming there first. It might seem like common sense, but trust me, it isn't. Some swimmers just hop in with no dialog at all and assume they understand how you're swimming or the speed at which you're training at. I can assure you this is a recipe for a frustrating 60 minutes of your life.

When you develop that basic contact with another swimmer, I feel you're far more likely to inquire upon when they're pushing off or if it's ok for you to swim ahead of them. In a best case scenario there are only two swimmers sharing a lane and you can communicate to them that you'd like to split the lane rather than circle swim. Anybody who has trained understands that differences in speed within a lane can become quite frustrating when you're even slightly faster or slower than the other swimmer... we've all been there. Trying to pass a swimmer or get passed causes a disruption in both swimmers stroke cycles.

This post is perhaps just a simple plea to communicate with a swimmer which you're about to join in a lane. It makes everyone's training less stressful and more enjoyable.

You deserve a cookie by the way.

Practice Information
Dist: 3,000 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Training Quote
"You're quick" - Some aspiring triathlete
Training Story
I swam at a community pool today. I really had no idea how crowded it would be. I figured everybody would be with their families enjoying the end of the holiday or traveling home. I was quite mistaken. It was busier than I've ever seen the pool. I asked if I could join a lane and they welcomed me with a warning of "I'm slow and she's slower", the man referencing his daughter. I laughed and said that was ok and hopped in behind them. I gave them some room and dove in. They stopped on the other end and watched me for at least 100 yards. Over the course of the hour swim, I noticed the father, daughter and a few of his friends pointing and studying my swimming. It was flattering and sort of funny. I finished up my 3k workout with a 200 yard cool down. During my last 25 yards I noticed a swimmer in my lane (I was solo for a bit at the end) with a red cap on seemingly pacing me. I kept it long and slow to finish my final 25 yards and got out. I headed over to the hot tub to find the triathletes I had swam with earlier relaxing in the hot tub. Seconds later the daughter came over saying "Dad, I kept up with him!". She was very out of breath but all similes. The father said "and you came all the way over here to tell me that?", to which she shook her head "yes" vigoriously. He said "looks like you're out of breath and he probably didn't even break a sweat". All four of them looked over at me for a moment, I gave a gracious smile and got out of the hot tub. I was embarrassed yet flattered and (of course) had no intention of letting any of them know that she raced me during the slowest point of my entire workout. The whole thing was funny and made me smile while leaving the pool.
Nov
25

Weights and Crunches

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 11:53pm (November 25th, 2010)

The holidays always mean less training due to pool closings. The bright side is that I'm making good progress outside of the pool! My weights and crunches have improved quite a bit lately:

Weights 3 weeks ago:
Dumbell curls - 30lbs x 8 reps x 3 cycles
Crunches - 30 flawless (I stop when my form is lost)

Now:
Dumbell curls - 40lbs x 8 reps x 3 cycles
Crunches - 100 flawless (I stop when my form is lost)

Moving forward! Feeling great.

Nov
23

Have to work on those abs

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 11:06pm (November 23rd, 2010)

I made a little progress on abs over the past few weeks. I've been in some pretty sad shape over the past year or so. A few weeks ago I found myself barely getting through 30 crunches before my legs started to drop. Today I finished 60 per ab set! I'm feeling empowered to prove to myself that I can still achieve my former times. I'm going to make it happen.

Nov
23

Reflections on Aging and Training

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 12:11am (November 23rd, 2010)

Although I'm working in hard both in and out of the pool, I have days when I feel like I'm not moving forward with training. Today was one of those days. In no way is this simply a negative outlook. I'm a realist, and the reality is that I'm not achieving the times in practice that I'm used to seeing the past few years. I feel that I've stepped it up quite a bit the last month or so. I don't expect results overnight, however I'm far from impressed with my recent performances.

Practice Information
Dist: 3,200 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Nov
18

A Day Off!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 1:26pm (November 18th, 2010)

I've decided I deserve a break, I've hit it pretty hard this week between weights, dryland and pool time. I can make time to swim today but I decided to let my muscles rest up for more training Friday and all weekend!

I heard an aerobic instructor tell me she had a 98 year old woman in her class last week, I think that's incredible that people care enough about their health to stay active at that age! Add that one to my idol list...

Nov
17

Feeling Great!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 11:42pm (November 17th, 2010)
Feeling Great!

I've really enjoyed my training over the past 2 weeks. I've MADE time to swim each day. At no point did I actually HAVE time to swim but I've kept it a top priority. The actual time in the pool hasn't been impressive at all. I'd say I'm probably averaging 45 minutes a day but I really make it count. I beat myself up for every second of those 45 minutes. I've been doing dryland training from home each day and I'm seeing progress already! I'm a little run down from long hours of work and weights but I'm hangin in there.

Practice Information
Dist: 2,700 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Nov
16

Organizing Benchmark Sets

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 2:06am (November 16th, 2010)

I'm finally organizing my benchmark sets online. I swim certain sets at least once a week aimed at gauging my current fitness level. It would really help me to have these databased so I can plot them on a graph and keep track of my progress. That's the next item on the list.

Nov
16

Beep Beep

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 1:13am (November 16th, 2010)

Brace yourself.

I honked at somebody in the pool for the first time in my life.

I had a few water aerobic people crossing my lane and as we all smiled at each other, I felt it was probably appropriate to let out a little "beep beep". They seemed to respond well and courteously picked up the pace :)

Practice Information
Dist: 2,700 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Nov
13

I need everybody to remain calm

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 4:44am (November 13th, 2010)

Just playin around with a few different layouts on the site. Obviously nothing groundbreaking. It's more of a web standards compliance move more than anything. Hang in there, I'll finish it up sometime in the next 96 months.

Nov
13

Lets keep this pace

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 3:06am (November 13th, 2010)

After calling myself out on taking no action regarding ab and underwater kicking workouts over the past few years... I've taken the first steps in improving these aspects. I've done so by focusing on both kicking in practice as well as situps, sidebends and crunches after practice for the last two days. I'm going to use this blog as motivation to continue this training pace. If I don't accomplish meaningful ab/leg workouts, I'll have to answer to my own public blog. That should motivate me.

Nov
12

Hit those abs

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 6:57am (November 12th, 2010)

If anything is truly missing in my training, it's ab work. It hit me hard watching Adam Mania, the fantastic backstroker and former Olympian that took down my national record in the 50 backstroke SCY not too long ago. He's incredibly strong swimming underwater. His 50 backstroke is a fast 15 meters dolphin kick off of both walls with some quick strokes in between. He's fast on top of the water, yet not blazing fast.

A quick comparison to my 50 back:

Nov
12

A life skill

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 2:06am (November 12th, 2010)

I swam at another community pool last night. I was in the pool with a few other swimmers during my 1 hour practice. The two masters swimmers I was sharing the lap swimming lanes with are both in their 60's and really fit. These two guys are an inspiration to me. They swam at the same high school in the 1960's, grew up together, started lives and families but still make the time to get together and train a few times a week. I think it's an amazing story.

Practice Information
Dist: 2,800 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Nov
10

A little help

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 10:48am (November 10th, 2010)

Although I'm not a big running fan due to the possibility of knee damage, I took a brief jaunt to and from practice tonight. I bundled up in my ninja running outfit and scooted over to the local community pool for a brief 2,500 yard workout.

Session Weight Information
Pre-Practice Weight: 166.8 lbs
Post-Practice Weight: 165.9 lbs
Practice Information
Dist: 2,500 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Nov
7

Entirely normal day

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 10:21pm (November 7th, 2010)

I gotta say, some days I have plenty to write about... Interesting people I run into, uplifting situations, good or bad training times. I don't have a single one to report on. I swam a very run-of-the-mill 3,200 yard practice at a community pool. Did some weights today as well.

Practice Information
Dist: 3,200 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Nov
6

A Reason to Smile

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 3:35pm (November 6th, 2010)

I was running late to practice today but I was lucky enough to bump into a former coach who allowed me to train while the lessons were going on in the pool. People are so accommodating.

I swam a 3,100 yard workout in a warm community pool, it was actually a pretty pathetic workout, I just couldn't rev it up. I had a few good quick sets but that was the extent of my achievement today.

Nov
6

Purple people eater.

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 3:07pm (November 6th, 2010)

Today I was haunted by a purple bandaid in lane 6. The entity in question began following me about 2,000 yards into my practice and it stalked me for about 15 minutes straight.

Practice Information
Dist: 3,100 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Nov
5

Rare good freestyle picture

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 1:12am (November 5th, 2010)
Rare good freestyle picture

I'm by no means a pro, however I'll say I know a thing or two about swim photography. I figure I've taken about 30,000 pictures at swim meets. I can appreciate how difficult it is to capture a good freestyle picture in an event less than 200 yards/meters. The swimmers are just moving too fast, splashing too much water or breathing too few times to catch a good shot. At the state meet this year I handed my camera off to a fellow swimmer Ryan just prior to swimming the 100 Free. He got a few GREAT pics!

Nov
5

Dryland at home

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 1:01am (November 5th, 2010)

Today was just one of those days where not a single pool time worked in my schedule. I imagine every athlete must battle with similar situations, it really boils down to planning. I need to carve out time earlier in my day to train and leave night workouts as a last resort. Today I planned on a mid day workout and ended up defaulting to a night workout and couldn't find an open pool nearby. To succeed at a 6-day workout schedule I need to aim for morning workouts. Then, should I fail to make it, I have both mid day and nightly workouts to fall back on.

Nov
3

Doing some upgrades

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 7:05pm (November 3rd, 2010)

You'll notice some changes around the site till I'm finished. Excuse the dust!

Nov
3

Those nice people

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 2:50pm (November 3rd, 2010)

I've been slammed recently but I've been making daily progress in the pool 6 days a week! I've had some really uplifting interactions with fellow swimmers. I had a nice lifeguard tell me "you have a beautiful stroke, it was really fun watching you train". I can't remember a glowing review like that from simply practicing for an hour. I thanked her and asked for her name to I could say hello next time I was at the pool. In hindsight I wasn't even sure she was the lifeguard at first. She was probably in her 40's or 50's...

Practice Information
Dist: 3,200 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)