February 2011

Feb
25

It's all relative

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 11:57pm (February 25th, 2011)

I had the chance to attend a local championship meet tonight.  Since I was involved in the presentation of the meet I got to view some of the dynamics of high school swimming.  I was drawn into some of the swims like I hadn't been in a long time.  Specifically when a backstroker got his State Cut of 57.10.  It was one of the greatest performances of the night and the natatorium just lit up with cheers, smiles and screaming.  I felt chills run down my spine at that very moment, remembering the moment I achieved the same feat over 10 years ago.  I watched this kid's entire race hoping it might happen for him, only for him to touch the wall, look up and get that familiar ear to ear smile of a kid who achieved what he truly wanted.  To be honest, I had a split second of feeling a little emotional, it was an incredible moment for a swimmer, his coaches, his team and his family... It's an amazing sight.

It was a long day but let me experience some really nice moments in local swimming.  Prior to the meet I squeezed in 2300 yards before I was booted by the teams getting in.  It was funny to see the high schoolers study me practicing.  I couldn't help but notice them wathcing me like hawks.  When I finally stopped, the obvious questions came... "What team are you on".  I just had a moment before I pushed off again so I simply replied "none of the teams here today", hoping to ease their (possible) fears that I was a competitor.  As I continued to swim, it struck me that these swimmers see me as something foreign and special due to my speed and size relative to theirs.  However, I have swimmers in my life that have the same effect on me, people I wouldn't mind asking a few question, and who I would be in awe of if I watched them practice.  It just made me realize, once again, that it's all relative.

The funniest comment came later "What's your name...." and after I gave them my name they said  "ok, I'll watch for you at the next Olympics".  To which I replied, "I'm hoping to make it to the Olympic Trials but you won't see me at the Olympics".  My reply was followed by theirs of "Yea right, I'll see you at the Olympics".

Anyway, great job today guys!

Practice Information
Dist: 2,300 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Feb
23

Still have to work on that kicking

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 11:52pm (February 23rd, 2011)

My 100 kick in the meet last weekend demonstrated that I still have a lot of work to do on my kicking.  I couldn't get through the entire 100 yards without entirely falling apart.  Tonight I chose to swim only 2,000 yards since I was feeling run down from shoveling, dryland, abs and weights today.  I worked on some sprint kicking, starts and full speed flip turns.  I may take Thursday off entirely.  Then back in the pool Friday!

Practice Information
Dist: 2,000 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Feb
23

Proud and Positive

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 12:17am (February 23rd, 2011)

I'm feeling great about my recent progress.  My renewed focus on swimming and a calmer (not by much) work schedule has yielded some really positive results in 2 out of 2 recent meets.  Swimming a 23.0 in the 50 Fly and a 21.45 in my 50 Free consistently in two meets two weeks apart makes me believe my performances weren't a fluke.  I was back in the water Monday along with weights.  I did dryland Tuesday yet took a night off of swimming.  I'm feeling proud of my accomplishments and looking forward to Milford Masters Meet in March and also hitting some USA meets this summer.  Back in the water tomorrow!

Practice Information
Dist: 3,050 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Feb
20

GREAT MEET

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 10:16pm (February 20th, 2011)

I had another great meet out in Grand Haven today!  Again, nothing ground breaking but it represents what I'm doing and how I'm training is working for me.  Here is the quick rundown:

 

50 Free: 21.45
50 Fly: 23.03
100 Free: 47.51
100 Kick: 100:90  (yes, 100 Kick)

 

It was nice to see some friends and take a little field trip to the west side of the state!

Feb
16

Ten Thousand Views

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 10:41pm (February 16th, 2011)

I created a video two years ago to study my start.  It turned out pretty good so I threw it up on Youtube.  I check on the amount of views every so often.  I find it funny that it's become one of the most popular backstroke start videos on the web.  Although not an astronomical number, it's been viewed 10,269 times.  Considering it's 10 minutes long, that's a lot of time watching me do backstroke starts!  It strikes me as humorous that a video I never intended to really show off is the #1 hit on google and youtube for "backstroke start".  Funny stuff.  Here it is again if you're curious.  Trust me, it's painfully boring if you're not into this stuff, and moderately boring, even if you are.

Feb
16

25's fast

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 10:35pm (February 16th, 2011)

I've been focused on doing half my practice kick.  I'll swim a total of 3,000 yards and truly swim 1,500 of it kicking only.  Typically the kick portions are 100's but lately I've been moving down to 50's and now 25's to improve my sprint kicking speed.  I feel as though a full month of training has given me a good base regarding ab and leg strength.  At my fastest a few years ago, I was doing 400 yards fast kicking every other day.  16x25's on the :30 with 15 meters underwater.  I feel that I'm approaching my previous speed and ability underwater.  On Monday I swam at EMU and was hitting the 12 second mark doing the 25's.  It's a pretty loose benchmark.  I kick ALL OUT to the 15 meter mark and then just crank out a fast stroke or two after I surface.  I'll coast into the wall and see the :12 pass.  It's not scientific, but represents I'm making some pretty good time underwater if I'm not swimming all out for the entire 25 yards.  Feeling great and making progress!

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

A 1:10.2 and a day off!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 1:33am (February 16th, 2011)

I did a quick 5x100's on Monday for the heck of it.  I had a few quick ones in there and began pushing it at the end:

1:08
1:10
1:11
1:12
1:10

For an average of 1:10.2.  really not too shabby for an impromtu half-animal-kick set.  I probably have a ways to go kicking wise if I ever hope to break the 1:10 average for 10x100's.  It's still a goal I have and one which I will achieve.  I don't normally set time limits on my goals but I fully expect to break the 1:10 within the next few months.  Lets see if I can do it.
I've been feeling a little run down the las few days, and not really for any good reason.  I decided to take Tuesday off entirely.  I'm struck with both relief and light anxiety about taking days off working out.  I think anybody would agree that we all need days off every so often but at my exercise level, others may say... "seriously?  A day off after only that many hours in the pool?".  I don't think I work out very often but it's all relative I suppose.  Either way, my body needed a day off to perform how I expect it to.  I relaxed and got some work done.  Back in the pool on Wednesday

Session Weight Information
Pre-Practice Weight: 170.4 lbs
Post-Practice Weight: 169.6 lbs
Practice Information
Dist: 3,000 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Feb
13

Working on Kicking

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 4:31pm (February 13th, 2011)

It was a rough training weekend, just couldn't seem to find motivation in the pool.  Both Saturday and Sunday was a typical 3,000 yard workout however both days were comprised of a bunch of slow swimming.  The best I could muster in a few fast sets were 100's Free on the 57.xx and 100's Back on the 1:00.xx.  I feel a little run down but without good reason.  I haven't hit the weights hard at all and have had some more reasonable work hours.  I did however complete my first 50 underwater in a long time.  I don't think I've done 50 meters underwater since college.  We used to swim a set of 6x50's on the (go when ready) underwater with mono-fins.  Yesterday I did 50 yards underwater with a flipturn.  There was really no reason for it, I had been working on some underwater kicking and figured I would give it a shot.

I'm going to try and make it to the Grand Haven meet next weekend.  I've never attended the meet, simply because it's almost 3 hours away.  We shall see.  A few friends are attending so I may as well.

Practice Information
Dist: 3,000 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Feb
8

Dropped 1.3 Seconds Today!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 5:27pm (February 8th, 2011)

I looked up my best "Animal Kick" set which was Aug 26th 2010.  My average of 1:13.1 was at the time my Lifetime Best, and I was pretty excited about it.  Today's performance was even better, by 1.3 seconds in fact.  I only saw the "1:13" twice in the entire set.  My average of 1:11.8 was downright impressive (for me).  I've dropped somewhere between 6-10 seconds from College.  Unfortunately no records were kept from my college days but I seem to remember being between a 1:17 and 1:21 average in my later years.  I'm really proud of myself today.  My accomplishment still isn't amazing in the big scheme of things considering the best guys in the world are 1:00 or better.  However my time drop represents a massive improvement for me, and at the end of the day, the only fair comparision is of yourself.
For the record, I just schooled the August 26th 2010 version of myself in the Animal Kick!  Let's hear it for February 8th 2011 version!

Feb
8

Best "Animal Kick" Set EVER today!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 3:47pm (February 8th, 2011)

I didn't even intend to swim an animal kick set today.  For those unfamiliar, the animal kick set is a benchmarking set I used to do in college:10x100's yards on the 1:30 best averageIn college I used to average about 1:17 (I think).  Today I was planning on just doing my typical 5x100's after my warmup.  However today, my first 100 was a 1:13 without really trying.  I would say that's pretty respectable.  I told myself, lets see what the second one is and I'll decide on whether or not to go for the animal kick set.  The next one was a 1:12... it's on. The rest of the set was tough but it all paid off.  I clocked some of the fastest times of my entire life:
 1:13
1:12
1:11
1:10
1:12
1:12
1:11
1:12
1:12
1:13
1:12
For a grand total of a 1:11.8 average.  My best ever by over a second!  I couldn't be happier with my recent progress.  I'm finally on the right track!

Session Weight Information
Pre-Practice Weight: 170.4 lbs
Post-Practice Weight: 169.7 lbs
Practice Information
Dist: 3,000 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Feb
7

Dropped 4 Seconds in the 100 Free in 3 months!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 11:34pm (February 7th, 2011)

I say that even if you consider my Mason Masters meet performance a bad meet and the Brighton Masters meet a good meet, I think a FULL 4 second drop from 56.71 to a 52.75 in a WORSE pool is fairly impressive.I'm really quite proud of my Brighton performances (compared to myself the last 12 months).  I feel my training motivation is revitalized!  I've said it a few times to friends and family lately, I couldn't be happier about my meet results from this weekend.  I've really enjoyed sharing the good results with the handful of people who have happened to ask me about my training today.

Training Quote
"How long have you been swimming with Dolphins?" - A fellow community pool swimmer
Feb
6

RIGHT ON TRACK!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 9:04pm (February 6th, 2011)

This was the best meet in a long time!  I had ZERO best times but I felt great and had some very respectable races today.  I couldn't really have asked for better results, I'm very pleased!
 50 Fly - 25.31 - converted 22.67 yards
(lifetime best was 25.05 SCM)

50 Free - 23.7 - converted 21.23 yards
(lifetime best was 23.31 SCM)

100 Free - 52.75 - converted 47.26 yards
(lifetime best was 51.75 SCM in the best shape of my life 3 years ago)

50 Back - 26.45 - converted 23.69
(lifetime best was 25.15 SCM in the best shape of my life 3 years ago)
 

Training Quote
"That was one fast heat, did you see one guy went a 23?" - Some guy I walked past
Feb
6

Brighton Masters Meet in a few hours

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 4:46am (February 6th, 2011)

Well, the snow can't stop me, but it can sure slow me down... I missed 4 days of swimming this week.  Bad pool hours combined with facility closings created a really unfortuante training situation.  I have the Brighton Masters Meet in the morning.  I don't plan on any amazing performances but it will be good to get up and race a bit.  I want to do the 100 Back however it's back-to-back with the 50 Fly.  I really want to get a time in the 50 Fly so I may have to skip the 100 Back this time.  I'm lifting weights prior to the meet for the heck of it.  I've had some interesting success doing this the night before :)

Feb
2

The Snow Can't Stop Me

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 5:06am (February 2nd, 2011)

I don't usually write about anything but exercise on this blog but MAN, I just had a blast driving around in the snow!  I can't wait to get some more, Michigan just don't get enough snow.  I say if it's gonna snow, it better SNOW.  I enjoyed some empty roads while on my way to a 3am workout session at a local gym.  I just did some core work and the elliptical.  I'm still pretty sore from lifting the other day.  I forgot to mention that I held 1:13's on all 15 of my 100's kick yesterday.  Quite impressive for me!  I'm definitely back on track!

Feb
1

Perfect Workout Day!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 8:28am (February 1st, 2011)

It's tough to only write about athletic topics sometimes.  My life has so many aspects which affect my training on a daily basis.  It's these other facets of my life that I let get in the way of having more days like today.  Today I was at the gym for over an hour doing a full body workout with dryland as well as a brief 12 minute aerobic workout on the elliptical machine.  From there I took 2 hours off, got some food and hit the pool.  I really pushed myself and had a fantastic practice!  3,000 yards with a full 1,500 of butterfly kick to work on my core strength.  My friend Bartlet advised me long ago to do at least 1,000 yards a day butterfly kick.  It was great advice and I take it to heart each time I'm in the pool.The lifeguard was nice and let me stay an additional 9 minutes past closing time so I could finish up.  People are so nice :)

Session Weight Information
Pre-Practice Weight: 172.2 lbs
Post-Practice Weight: 171.7 lbs
Practice Information
Dist: 3,000 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)