April 2011

Apr
30

100 Backstroke Goal Achieved

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 4:14pm (April 30th, 2011)

On my way to the starting blocks I told my friends Adam and Dan that "I'll be happy with anything under 52.00".  Minutes later I won the 30-34 age group with a 51.94.  Certainly not an impressive swim in the big scheme of things.  However, considering the blazing sun in my eyes (during backstroke), my bad sunburn and other outdoor swimming distractions, I'm ok with a 51.94 for today.  I was in and out of the meet in under an hour.  I got way too much sun yesterday so I'll be staying indoors as much as possible.  I saw some old friends and met some new people today.  I love Masters Swimming!

Apr
30

Meet Distractions

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 1:30am (April 30th, 2011)

I feel a little off my game.  Short Course Nationals were at the Atlanta Olympic Pool, an indoor facility.  Timing wise, I felt the same there.  The meet and heats seem rushed and high stress.  Just like last year, the warmup situation is extremely crowded, it's difficult or impossible to get a normal warmup.  More than anything though, I'm really distracted by the sun and everything else that goes along with an outdoor meet.  I've swam indoors my entire life so an outdoor meet is a relatively new experience for me.  The glaring, reflections and the heat are really a bother while trying  to focus on a race.  Tomorrow (today) I swim the 100 Back.  I'll be buying new goggles or stopping by an automotive window tinting shop to purchase some additional eye sun protection.  I didn't do a single stroke of backstroke today due to the unbearable sunlight situation.  This race should be interesting.  The meet has been organized well, I'm impressed thus far.

Apr
29

1 out of 2 Friday Goals Achieved!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 5:20pm (April 29th, 2011)

It was a difficult warmup stuation as expected.  There are easily 1,500 swimmers at this meet.  The pools are so full that it's difficult to move.  Here are my times for the day:

Goal 50 Fly SCY: 22.99
Actual 50 Fly SCY: 22.96 (National Champion!)

Goal 50 Free SCY: 21.20
Actual 50 Free SCY: 21.36 (3rd place - I think)

Overall I'm satisfied with my times.  I was hoping for a faster 50 Free but I had a few errors in my race... more on that later. Day one down!  100 Back tomorrow!

Apr
28

In Arizona and Ready to Swim!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 10:47pm (April 28th, 2011)

After a long flight and a crazy day I'm in Arizona ready for the 2011 Short Course Masters National Championship.  I'm still sore from training and dryland.  I didn't get a chance to get in a pool today unfortunately, just too many things to do.  Friday I will swim the 50 Fly SCY and the 50 Free SCY.  I'm feeling pretty tired due to 3 hours of sleep last night and some hard workouts recently.  Goals for tomorrow are:

50 Fly SCY: 22.99
50 Free SCY: 21.20

Looking forward to a fun (and long) meet!

Apr
27

An Easy Practice

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 10:56pm (April 27th, 2011)

Due to my meet beginning Friday in Arizona, I got clearance to cut my practice short today.  I'm still pretty sore from weights and some challenging workouts this week so a light day was appreciated.  I swam for about an hour focusing on some technique and a few burst sprints.  I got out feeling like I got a brief but meaningful workout.  Short Course Nationals begin in Mesa Arizona on Friday.  Due to all the new changes to my training, I will be setting some very realistic goals for the weekend.  I'm looking forward to meeting up with some other swimmers from college and other masters programs from around the country.  I'm sure we'll all have a great time!

Practice Information
Dist: 2,500 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Apr
26

Videos Being Added

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 8:21am (April 26th, 2011)

After a redesign I have needed to reformat my videos and make them available on the site again.  Thanks to my volunteer (read: slave) videographers over the past few years, I've accumulated quite an impressive library of race videos to add to the website.  I've created a new tab up top for a dedicated video page.  Enjoy!

Apr
25

That's a Long Time!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 8:43pm (April 25th, 2011)

I just did the math and realized I exercised for 4.5 hours today.  That's crazy.

When I sat down with Peter Linn last June and asked for his opinion on how I could drastically change my training, he said "The people you want to swim against are working out 30 hours a week".  At the time I thought it would be impossible to commit that much time to a sport I wasn't getting paid for.  Yet, 9 months later, here I am already at 20.5 hours a week with more to come.  I feel a lot of pride for what I've already accomplished.  It's taken a lot of balancing and sacrifice.  I will eventually see the results I'm working toward.

Apr
25

My First "Double" in a Long Time

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 8:36pm (April 25th, 2011)

Today was my first weight workout with the group.  I chose to ease into these since these are challenging physical days for me with only one practice per day plus dryland.  Today I chose to swim my first "double", a term many teams/sports use to refer to two practices per day.  I haven't done a double since the summer of 2009, and I only did a few of them while training with EMU's summer practice squad.  The morning began with a 1 hour weight workout.  By not knowing where to go, I lifted upstairs for 30 minutes like an idiot, assuming nobody showed up for the weights.  I eventually did some recon, asked around and found the team in the basement weight facility... a room I didn't even know existed.  On a side note, the "M" and "Michigan" branding is extensive.  I can't even imagine how much this university has paid in stickers, painting and printing efforts to put the logo on so many things.  It's everywhere you look.  On one side, it's really impressive and immersive, on the other, it's like... ok, we get it.... I know I'm at U of M.  Overall I like it even though it's a bit overdone.  The weight workout was 70% normal stuff I've done, 10% stuff I could have imagined other teams did, and 20% exercises which have never crossed my mind in any way, shape, or form.  The 20% amazed me.  I felt pretty awkward through the weight workout, just lots to learn, and I felt pretty self conscious doing it all, knowing I was probably doing some of them wrong.  Thus far the team has been helpful, and haven't laughed in my face anyway, perhaps behind my back.  They would have plenty of reasons.

I've only made slight progress in the last week at understanding these written swimming workouts.  Today I found myself in the majority of the group when more than half of the guys were utterly confused as to how the main set was intended to be swum.  I sincerely like the workouts but I'm really having a tough time following them.  This morning we did "buckets" and "chutes".  We went off the blocks the typical 8+ times during the workout.  I'm impressed at how many "race pace" type exercises we do.  So many sets have a "burst" or other high intensity swimming.  There seems to be at least one set a day where we are going off the blocks at full speed and doing a full 15 meter underwater kick.  These types of sets are easy to understand how they apply to real races.  I'm enjoying training like this.  I think I might have a good 50 Free at nationals due to all this freestyle swimming.  There has been quite a bit of underwater kicking.  I have the speed to hang with these guys but nowhere near the lung capacity.  These swimmers are so much better than me underwater it makes me look like a fool.  I know I'll improve, but in the mean time, I'm feeling pretty pathetic when we have repeated 25 meters underwater and I can't even make it past a few of them.  The other day we had 20x25's underwater on the :30.  I made about  4 of them and started coming up early.  I was the only guy not making them. Sad.  I'll get there someday.  We did a 4,500 meter threshold set, I didn't do so well but made all the intervals.  The one thing I can be proud of is that I've swum every single meter/yard I've been assigned.  Although I've been at the back of the pack, I've made every interval, no exceptions.  I'm proud that I can at least survive on this team at this point.  I'm looking forward to exceling once I get used to this type of training.

 

 I had a short but pleasant conversation with Coach Mike Bottom after the practice.  He asked how I was doing.  As with most people who have asked lately, I conveyed that I was doing well but the transition has been tough.  I let him know that I felt like I was making progress each day.  I'm feeling better and more confident with each practice I get under my belt.  I informed him that I would be traveling to the Short Course Nationals meet out in Arizona this weekend.  He seemed happy that I would be competing.  We discussed the meet and I asked if I could take it easy on Wednesday to prepare for the meet.  He happily agreed.

I'm looking forward to the meet but I doubt I'll swim well.  I'm pretty run down and I don't see a real need to taper down for the meet.  I'm not really trying to prove anything, I just want to go race and have fun.  I'll make it an easy practice on Wed, perhaps no practice on Thursday due to travel and with any luck I'll be mostly not-sore by the time the meet begins on Friday.

Practice Information
Dist: 4,500 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Apr
23

Thoughts and Observations

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 10:56pm (April 23rd, 2011)

The Team

  • They are a tight knit group, everybody gets along
  • They support each other at practice
  • Others (and myself) are appropriately praised after a hard set with a "good job (name)"
  • "Post Grads" as we're called, have significantly greater flexibility in dryland workouts (almost too much)
  • The womens team and mens team seem to respect each other, this is not the case at all Universities
  • For the most part, swimmers are courtious and make room for each other while holding on to the wall or while starting or finishing
  • Communal bottles of shampoo are kind of a great idea
  • "M" tattoos are everywere

 The Pool Itself

  • The underwater speaker is pretty effective
  • Songs can be distracting at times
  • Aerosmith - "I don't want to miss a thing".... is not motivating at all during a high intensity set
  • I really enjoy the yellow line at 25 meters and the rope above the pool at 25 meters.  It really helps on the burst 25m sets
  • The countdown to the 2012 Olympic clock is motivating, even if it's not your goal
  • The blocks are nice
  • I wish the non-bulkhead walls had some grip, they have stainless steel gutters extending 10 inches below the water, bad for legal backstroke starts
  • Whoever had the idea to install that hot tub, I'll buy them lunch any day.  What a great way to end a hard day

 The Pool Practices

  • Workouts are a manageable amount of time and total distance
  • Diving in with fins on makes almost no sense to me
  • Practices are abstract and keep it interesting
  • I can't figure out why sets are written with "3x25's" and no solution for making up the additional 25 meters back to the wall.  It leaves the team wondering how they should best cover the remaining distance.  This is not a complicated process, although it wastes time as we weigh where it leaves  us (which side of the pool) for the rest of the set.  I can't logically see why not just make it either "2x25's" or "4x25's" so we don't have to work it out ourselves.  Or at the very least, just write "easy 25 back to the wall"
  • We do a minimum of 8 starts a day, a maximum of 24, average being around 12 per day.

 The Dryland Practices

  • Good equipment, lots of options, all within close proximity of the pool area
  • Boxing is something I never thought I would partake in while training to swim
  • The ab workouts are manageable but challenging
  • Workouts are organized and well thought out

 The Coaches

  • Expertise is evident by their track record, their speech, their motivating comments and their pratice writing
  • Coaches are busy people but available if needed
  • Splits are given at appropriate times
  • I haven't seen any of them sit down yet (I wouldn't think less of them if they did), they are always moving

 Myself

  • I've had a challenging week
  • I'm beginning to feel more welcomed around the team, a little less like an outsider
  • I've had nice conversations with guys on U of M's team as well as the other "post-grads"
  • I'm noticing a mutual respect from other swimmers, perhaps simply because I show up, do what I'm told and don't complain
  • The dryland is manageable but I still have a lot to learn and improve upon.
  • I haven't noticed any change in my body really, I assume in the coming weeks I'll start to see a little more muscle definition
  • I'm keeping up with others in most sets
  • My major weakness seems to be sets with little rest, I'm just not used to the fast turnaround time expected of me.  This is a serious deficiency in my training, other guys can do an all out 50m and get right up on the blocks and blast off another fast 50m.  I'm significantly lagging behind on these sets
  • Kick sets I find myself being just slightly above average compared to the group
  • I've gotta be the oldest person to ever train with CW
  • I don't have any sore joints after one of the hardest training weeks (including the transition from zero training) of my life
  • I think every muscle in my body is sore
  • It's difficult to describe how nice it is not worrying about where I'm going to practice each day.  A consistent schedule and available pool time each day is an amazing feeling.
Practice Information
Dist: 5,000 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Apr
22

Ready for a day off!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 11:01pm (April 22nd, 2011)

Today I really started hurting.  Since I swam the Michigan Masters meet last weekend, I haven't had a single day off since I started with Club Wolverine last Wednesday.  It's been a solid week and a half of either working out or racing.

I thought it would be an easy day for me since we were ending the day with a  2,500 meter kick set.  After a challenging warmup and pre-set I found myself at the back of the pack once again.  Since everything is new to me, it's been quite an awkward week and a half.  I've had significant trouble figuring out the workouts each day.  I feel that they could be presented in a more logical manner on the piece of paper.  In contrast, I now appreciate (even more) the workouts Peter Linn used to write.  They were clearly partitioned with columns indicating which set SPRINT // MIDDLE DISTANCE // DISTANCE were assigned.  The Club Wolverine workouts are typed, and for that reason alone, I would think it would be even easier to make columns.  Instead there is only one workout for all swimmers.  To differentiate the workout groups there are little notes here and there as to what each group should do differently from what is initially written.  I find myself doing the wrong thing since I overlook the side-note indicating a different variation of the set my lane is assigned.  I know it's just a different approach to writing workouts.  There is no right or wrong way.  I sincerely appreciate what the workouts contain and how interesting each one is.  It definitely keeps me on my toes because they are always changing.  I can't tell you how many sets we do per day.  Many are very short and abstract.  It makes a 2+ hour pool workout much mor bearable.

I have a Satruday practice and then I get a WHOLE DAY OFF.  I'm going to bask in the glory of zero physical activity all day Sunday.

Practice Information
Dist: 4,500 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Apr
21

Accepted to CW on a trial basis!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 2:29pm (April 21st, 2011)

I approached coach Mike Bottom prior to the workout and inquired as to whether I was welcome to continue practicing with the team.  His response was luke warm as expected.  He asked me "how has training been going the last few days?".  I replied honestly... "its been going great, the first few days was quite a challenge but I've been working hard and hanging with the group.  Everybody has been really welcoming and it's been a great experience thus far".  He said I'd be welcome for the summer and past that, "we'll see how it goes".  He was understandably conerned that I don't have my national or olympic cuts yet.  A fact I couldn't in any way refute, it was a bit embarassing.  I followed with inquiring upon whether registration for the Charlotte Grand Prix was still open.  He wasn't sure but I'll check it at my earliest convienence.

The conversation ended with a handshake and me thanking him for his time (he's a busy guy).  I'm honored to be able to train with the team and be coached by such a qualified team of experts.  I look forward to a great summer!

Apr
21

Feeling Good

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 1:11pm (April 21st, 2011)

Today is a core workout circuit and a stroke threshold set.  I think I'll perform well on the core exercises.  Based on my other dryland this past week, I feel that I'm on the same level as other swimmers regarding my ab strength.  The threshold is what sort of scares me.  My fear isn't at all regarding the pain I'll feel during the set, it's simply because I want to demonstrate I can hang with the team and threshold is the worst representation of my abilities.

Last time we did threshold it was freestyle.  Today I'll get to do it backstroke.  Hopefully the change from the will allow me to perform a little better compared to others on the team.

I still feel like it's been an amazing week.  I've learned so much about training and the benefits of being part of a team.  It's sort of crazy meeting a swimmer, having a nice conversation, going home and searching some times, only to find out that they're among the 10 fastest butterfiers on the planet.  That just shows you how much I don't follow swimming.  I have no idea who these guys are until I do a web search later.  I certainly hope these guys aren't offended when I don't realize who they are.  Perhaps I should start my conversations out with "Hi, I'm Kevin Doak, if you're famous, I'm sorry, I don't follow swimming".  I felt like that would be a more appropriate approach then my obvious ignorance thus far.  Everybody, dispite their success has been really down to earth and nice thus far.  Another post-grad swimmer just returned from running a swim clinic in Fiji this past week.... not a bad place to work for a week!

Here goes day 8!

Apr
20

Day 7: Recap

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 10:18pm (April 20th, 2011)

Well, I get one more day since the coach wasn't present today to continue or end my training with CW Elite.  I would have liked an answer one way or the other, but I'll enjoy one more day training with the team.  In the mean time I'll learn everything I can about swimming at this level.

I've met some nice people in the last week.  The most recent is a very talented sprinter on the team.  Some of these guys swim faster than I can currently fathom.  As I've said many times, it's all relative.  So in relation to me, these guys make me look short, skinny (as in: no muscle) and slow.  I don't know what these people eat to become such massive humans but I'm going to find out.  One important realization I made today is that I can swim JUST as fast as these guys in short distances.  However, after 15 or 25 meters, I start to fall apart and they keep going at that speed.  I don't know how relevant that fact is.  I'm going to remember to ask the coach at some point whether that has any bearing on my long term potential.  I really feel as though (just as Mike Bottom told me the other day) I simply don't have enough strength to swim faster than I do right now.  I need to hit the weights and dryland in a serious way.

Today we were scheduled for the typical 40 minute dryland set but only did 10 minutes of it for some reason.  It was a tough 10 minutes though with constant ab exercises and no breaks at all.  It was followed by some stretching.

The pool workout was a 6,000 meter active rest set.  I hung with the group, at times going 2nd in my lane of 4 guys.  I swam parts of the "specialty stroke" portion of the workout backstroke and when I did, I matched the speed of the other backstrokers in the pool.  It was a successful practice.  I look forward to (perhaps) finding out my fate tomorrow.

Practice Information
Dist: 6,000 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Apr
19

Day 6: Recap

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 7:58pm (April 19th, 2011)

Today was MY day.  After a disapointing threshold set on Monday, Tuesday was kicking :)

There are few sets I can say I actually excel at.  Kicking may actually be the only type of set.  I am proud to say I held my own today.  The kick set was 4,000 meters and I was among the fastest kickers in the pool the entire set.  It was the first day where I really felt confident in the water among these other competent athletes.  There are DEFINITELY some fast kickers on this team.  A few of them make me look downright slow.  I hate to compare myself so much, but this week is all about how I fit on the team, so I feel it's only natural to gauge my speed and abilities in relation to others who have earned their spot in the program.

We did everything between 50's and 400's kick.  I was swimming second in my lane of three swimmers.  I'm still not confident enough to take the #1 spot while I'm so new to the team.  I actually think it would be a little insulting to others.  If I have the speed to lead a set someday, I'll wait until I feel it's appropriate.

The unfortunate portion of today was that the head coach was out of town at a coach's conference, so really the ONE day I excel, he wasn't around to witness it.  If the "one week trial" is a firm 7 days, tomorrow will be my final day of tryouts.  Overall I feel that I held my own on the team.  At times I struggled but overall I think I've made massive progress in one short week.  With a few more weeks of training I'm confident I could improve my times and fit in the team just fine.  It will be up to the coaching staff if they see that potential in me.  Based on what I've learned about the coaching techniques as well as the team and training dynamics, I would be honored to be part of Club Wolverine Elite Team.  We'll see how it goes tomorrow!

Practice Information
Dist: 5,000 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Apr
18

Day 5: Recap

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 6:39pm (April 18th, 2011)

It was my 5th day training with Club Wolverine Elite.  This was the first day the entire U of M team joined the group.  The evening session began with 40 minutes of dryland training.  Overall I'm on par with everybody with the exception of pushups.  They suspend rings (much like gymnastics rings) two feet above the ground and you prop your legs up on a railing while doing suspended pushups.  The hard part is that the rings move quite a bit so you need to not only lift your body but stabilize your arms from moving.  It's tougher than it sounds.  The rest of the dryland was difficult but not impossible.  I will be feeling it tomorrow!  With the full U of M team in the pool we went from 2 men per lane to four men per lane.  I was pleasantly surprised that a swimmer came up to me and introduced himself.  It was so nice in fact, I thought for a minute I might be getting pranked.  After talking to him for a few minutes, my suspicion was gone and I realized he was just a considerate person.  I talked to him about the team and the training trip to Colorado Springs.  He was a good resource and I appreciated him introducing himself.  Shortly thereafter we got in.

75% of the practice was great, it was difficult but I made all the intervals and held my own versus the other swimmers.  I was in the middle of the pack most of the time but I went 3rd or 4th in the lane since I wasn't familiar with the workout set terminology.  I did a lot of looking around during practice to ensure I was doing the right thing at the right time.  I found myself comparing my speed and form to others around me.  The remainder of the practice was threshold.  Threshold is my one true fear.  It basically represents going all out (in most cases) for long distances (for me).  It tests, and somehow is supposed to improve endurance.  To me, it's just pure hell.  We had 2 x 400's and 4 x 200's.  I made all the intervals by :10 seconds but there was a period of time, about 10 minutes, where I can say for SURE that I was definitely the slowest swimmer in the pool.  I was feeling pretty pathetic for the last 200's.

I pushed through it and felt more pain then I had felt in a while.  My left shoulder began falling apart just like it used to in college.  There is definitely something wrong in there somewhere.  My right shoulder is invincible by comparison.  I never feel pain in my right shoulder.  Any freestyle set over 200 yards/meters makes my left just burn.  It's been that way since middle school, and I'm sure before then as well.  I swam as hard as possible to finish the set.  Since I was an extra swimmer in the lane, I wasn't paired up with anybody in the lanes next to me so it also felt like I was swimming alone for most of the set.  When I finished, I heard two swimmers say "good job Kevin".  It took me by surprise and also immediately made me feel welcomed.  What impressed me is that I only introduced myself to one swimmer, yet two said "good job Kevin" simultaneously.  This means that at some point, one swimmer asked another who I was, the swimmer relayed my name (which he remembered somehow) and then they both congratulated me on a tough set.  That made me feel good, even though I had some slow times.  I'm impressed with how this team supports each other.

The team manager came over to collect heart rate information from us.  We take heart rates for :10 seconds.  Most people reported "25" or "26"... when it came to me, I was embarrassed to report "28".  This means that not only was I one of the slowest swimmers during this set, I was also working the hardest to even achieve what I did.

As nice as it was to swim with the team today, if today was my only tryout day, chances are I would get cut.  I'm still feeling mostly positive about my chances but I have a long way to go to be at the level most of these swimmers are at.

Practice Information
Dist: 6,500 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Apr
17

2011 Masters State Meet Recap

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 10:08pm (April 17th, 2011)

Short on time but I'm pretty happy with my performances this weekend.  It's an interesting perspective because overall, this was the SLOWEST state championship for me ever.  I typically shave, taper and rest for this meet.  This year I swam 6,000 LCM hours before the meet, I was tired, sore, unrested, unshaved and unrested.  Taking those facts into consideration, here are my times:

50 Back: 23.73
100 Fly: 52.32
50 Back: 23.59
100 Back: 52.99
50 Free: 21.26 

I'm especially excited about that 50 Free!  That's only 0.30 seconds off my lifetime best and I'm dead tired!  I'm getting faster!

Apr
17

By invite only

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 1:22am (April 17th, 2011)

I was looking around for info about a training trip and found this snippet about the Elite squad at CW:

Elite Program

"The Elite program is a high performance group that competes at the national and international levels.  This is a select group and is only available by invitation only and incorporates only college and post-college aged swimmers.  Contact CW's High Performance coaches for more information."

That made me feel special for a moment knowing that I displayed something that earned me an invite.

Apr
16

2011 Michigan Masters State Championship Meet

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 5:20pm (April 16th, 2011)

I finished up the CW practice this morning and scooted over to the west side of the state to participate in the 2011 Michigan Masters State Championship.  I knew that I wouldn't be racing well considering my morning workout so I set a reasonable goal of breaking :24.00 in the 50 Backstroke.  After a quick warmup and some nice conversation with other masters swimmers, I hopped in and swam a :23.73.  Certainly one of my slowest 50 backstroke races in the last few years, however considering the timing of my training vs the meet, I'm actually satisfied with that time.  I achieved my goal.  I had also signed up for the 500 Free, almost as a joke, just to prove to myself that I could break 5:30.  The meet had a few relays and 17 heats of the 500 Free before mine.  I made a judgement call and chose to scratch it.  I've swam, and raced enough for the day.  Time for some food and some sleep.

Apr
16

Day 4: Recap

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 2:11pm (April 16th, 2011)

I arrived at day 4 of tryouts at the scheduled 8am start time only to find the pool occupied by the women's team and not a single member of CW on deck.  Obviously confused, I took a few minutes to stretch assuming that the team banquet went late and people were taking their time arriving.  After 10 minutes I decided to get some answers.  I headed over to the women's head coach Jim and introduced myself.  I had spoken to him a few times prior and he immediately recognized my name and connected me as "the technology guy from EMU".  He informed me that the CW practice had been pushed back and they were only notified as of late last night.  I spent the next 45 minutes discussing video and camera technology with one of the greatest swimming minds in Michigan.  He was excited to have me as a resource for his most recent technology dilemma.  I offered some pointers and also let him know I would do some further research.  Ironically we were discussing the video system for the summer swim camps.  A service I used back in 1992 when I went to camp there (I still have the tape!).  I look forward to helping him out with the new system.

Shortly thereafter the asst coach of CW showed up and offered an apology for the time change.  I let him know it wasn't a big deal and that I had a nice conversation with Jim in the meantime.  He took down my contact info so it wouldn't happen again.

Prior to the 9am start of practice, I made a few other connections on the pool deck including an owner of a swim school down in Tennesee by the name of Ron.  I also had a brief but meaningful conversation with Mike Bottom regarding the Eric Namesnik memorial scholarship.

Practice began shortly after 9am and it was yet another high intensity sprint workout.  I'm happy to report I actually did pretty well at this one!  I held it together and didn't add much time as the set went on (a good thing).  I finished up the set and shared some "good job" type comments with the other swimmers.  I'm noticing some nice comrodery thus far, people support each other on this team.  Coach Bottom came over, gave some feedback to others and then said "That was a good set for you", I said "thanks, it's been quite a transition over the last few days but I'm feeling like I'm making progress".  He then replied with a chuckle "now we just have to get some strength on you, you're as flabby as my mother and she's in her 80's".  A few other swimmers laughed along with me and I did my cool down.

I'd say overall I was proud of my set today, I held it together an swam hard.  Without trying to read too much into it, Mike's comment at the end seemed to indicate that there might be a future in training there.  I don't want to get my hopes up just yet but I'm feeling great about things so far!

I left the pool with a smile on my face.  It's been a great experience so far!

Practice Information
Dist: 5,500 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Apr
16

Day 4: Pre-Recap

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 12:25pm (April 16th, 2011)

Short on time but I had a great practice and got some good feedback from the coach! I swam a 5500 meter high intensity workout and hopped in the car to drive across the state and compete in the 2011 Michigan Masters State Championship. Its beeen a whirlwind day! I've easily done 80 starts off the blocks in the last few days. There is no skin left on bottom of two of my toes... ouch. More later.

Apr
15

Day 2: Recap

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 3:28am (April 15th, 2011)

Day 2 of my tryout.  Today I realized I've never actually "tried out" for anything.  I was part of a few dinky sports teams when I was 7 years old, and lets face it, they don't cut even the worst kids off those teams, otherwise, it would have been me.  At age 8 or 9 I joined a swim team and I've been welcomed on each team since then.  This is a very foreign experience for me.  It's exciting and stressful all at the same time.  The serious possiblity of being cut from the team (if you can call it that), keeps me on point and motivated like never before.

Today, I was ready for more dryland, but it never happened.  I showed up in plenty of time to get my world rocked with more boxing and ab workouts but no swimmers ever showed up.  I used the time to stretch and do shoulder rehab.  I was down on deck in time to start the workout.  Today was mostly aerobic and was a welcomed change for everybody in the pool.  I did primarily backstroke today which was nice since my freestyle falls apart pretty quick.  There were less benchmarks in the sets so it was easier to keep up with these guys who are used to the workouts (read: faster than me).  Once again, I did not excel and again, found myself at the back of each group.  At one point, the coach instructed me, and a few other swimmers to put paddles and fins on... probably not a good sign for any of us.  The extra equipment was a great idea though.  I was able to get a workout and keep up with everybody.  The workout seemed to go fast, we were out in 2 hours flat, rather than the 3 hours the day prior.  We swam over 6,000 LCM, I lost count after a while.  No feedback was given by the coaches today.  At one point I saw some intervals being taken but weren't reported, or at least not to me.  Overall, it was a pretty laid back practice compared to day 1.

I've made some nice connections on the team.  I'm pleasantly surprised how nice everybody is.  Each person I've met has been cordial and a few have gone out of their way to ensure I have what I need equipment wise or to explain a set to me.  Honestly I wasn't sure what I would get while dealing with swimmers who KNEW they were fast.  Perhaps I assumed there would be an ego problem at this ability level.  I'm happy to report I haven't seen it yet.

I'm still loving this experience.  I'm very run down after only two days, but I'm still motivated and ready for more.

Practice Information
Dist: 6,200 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Apr
14

Preparing for more...

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 2:52pm (April 14th, 2011)

It's been an exciting 24 hours.  I've learned so much about myself, and top-tier training.  Everything I see around the Canham Natatorium is inspiring.  I can see why this program is successful.  It encapsulates you in success.  I'm sitting in the parking lot prior to Day 2 of tryouts and everywhere you look, there are amazing athletes.  I swear I've seen more maize and blue in the last day to last me a lifetime.

I've reflected upon my 1 day experience with a few people I care about.  The consensus being, if nothing else, this experience has taught me WHAT top tier swimmers train like.  To be honest, I really had no idea until yesterday.  I will take quite a bit of knowledge away from this experience regardless of the outcome.

I'm a little tired and sore but I will push myself as possible.

I'm excited and apprehensive of what day 2 will hold.

Apr
13

Day 1: Recap

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 11:13pm (April 13th, 2011)

Day one of my CW Elite tryout.  It was exactly what I expected it to be.  It was very challenging.  Overall I felt like I held my own.  My only hope is that the coach understands that my current training is nowhere near what I did today.  At some point this week I want to make that clear to him and ensure we're on the same page regarding what my abilities are now, and what they could be with his help (and essentially what they were 3 years ago at Olympic Trials).

Today began with 45 minutes of dryland exercises.  I knew I would have my eyes opened regarding drills but there were some things I never expected to see.  When I joined the team in the workout area, a few people (weren't sure if they were swimmers) were boxing with gloves and padding.  I just assumed that I was either in the wrong place, or these were not swimmers.  I went to the other side of the extensive workout facility and found a few swimmers.  I introduced myself and inquired upon the dryland workout.  They were nice and directed me to the boxers on the other side.  Sure enough, boxing was part of the dryland workout.  It was a fairly laid back situation in that you could complete the workout at your own pace and order.  It was typed on a sheet of paper for reference.  I ended up doing about 1/2 the written workout and 1/2 my own workout while I watched some of the more complex exercises and took mental notes to be ready for next time.  I was feeling a little worn out after 45 minutes of this stuff.  We headed down to the pool afterward.

I stood around for a few minutes as each group seemed to scatter to different places in and around the natatorium.  Obviously there were different groups with different workouts.  After some pointing from the coach, I jumped in a lane and began a 1,000 meter workout.  I was stopped about 600 meters into it when the group I had joined was directed to start the pre-main set.  Up until that point, I had certainly been at par with every other swimmer.  I took it a little easy since this was going to be a longer than normal workout for me.  The first set was 16x50's on the :45.  That right there was beyond anything I had done in a long time.  I joined another swimmer when the coach reorganized the lanes.  He was a full time post-grad swimmer from England, he was helpful and I appreciated him helping me out with the complex workout later in the practice.  I seemed to do alright on the first set of 50's.  I did not excel, but I also wasn't the slowest in the pool.  We moved onto a 400 Dive-both-ends.  Meaning I dove in 8 times during a 400 meter swim.  I was tired after all the dives and full speed breakouts.  During #3, I unknowingly placed my foot on the "M" inscribed in the block (bad logo placement in my opinion).  The logo is entirely flat and offers no grip.  Obviously the rest of the block is very gritty, about a 40 grit sandpaper feel.  This slip caused me to falter into the water, leaving me with a slight gash in my left foot.  I stopped mid pool to check it out.  I was bleeding a bit but I wasn't about to get out of the water unless it was broken.  It hurt but I was determined to swim through it.  I finished up the set without issue.  I also learned to offset my foot to avoid this situation again.

We had a few other mini-sets before the main set of high intensity swimming.  The main set was what I was afraid of.  I knew it would be rough... and it was.  It wasn't unlike sets I had done at EMU but understand, I'm not coming from much of a training background lately.  It was 25's all out, then 50's all out, then 75's all out and culminating with a 100 all out with full equipment (short fins and paddles).  I held my own for the most part.  I was certainly among the slowest in the pool at this point.  Things got worse as the set progressed.  This was to be expected considering my recent training.  I finished the last half of the main set backstroke.  The coach seemed skeptical that I was switching from freestyle to backstroke (and understandably so).  I felt as though he assumed I had broken down so much physically I needed to switch things up.  Although there may be some truth to that, the real reason was that I want to focus on the 50 free and 100 back.  The shorter sets made more sense to do freestyle and the longer ones were a good fit for backstroke.  I pushed it as hard as I could but got beat by everybody except the breaststrokers.  I had a feeling that type of thing would happen.... hey, I'm new at this.

My last 100 was with full equipment.  Unfortunately I didn't have my equipment and had to borrow some for the day.  I was stuck with fins that didn't work very well for me and paddles that weren't setup for my hands.  This equaled some bad speed for the first 45 meters.  I canned the paddles and swam the rest with just the short fins.  I finished in a 1:00.7.  I know I could have done much better with equipment that fit.  I won't make that mistake again.  I will bring my own stuff.

The day ended with a little ambiguous feedback from coach Mike Bottom.  He gave some positive, negative and neutral feedback to quite a few swimmers.  When he got to me, he looked at me, paused and said "we're just starting out, aren't we...".  I replied, "Yes sir", in a respectful tone.  I would chalk that feedback up to:  Certainly not good, but not "don't come back".  I have a long way to earn my spot on this team.  Physically and timeline wise, the cards are stacked against me.  I need to get everything right this week to even have the slightest chance.

This team and this experience is what I need to improve.  I know I can hold my own on this team.  I hope I'm a good fit for the team.  This is something I want to be part of.  After that, I want to lead this team and be a positive influence on each other swimmer.  I know I can do it.  The only question is if I can demonstrate I have the potential the coach is looking for in under 7 days.

Longest post to date?  Check.

Practice Information
Dist: 5,000 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Training Story
I watched a guy named "Peng Wu" beat Michael Phelps in his own race (the 200 Fly) by over a second this past weekend. Today I trained next to Peng. I watched him swim back to back 55.1's in the 100 fly... in practice. That's about 5 seconds faster than I swam it in a RACE this past weekend. This guy is insane fast. At one point I could have sworn he was kicking butterfly twice as fast as I was. That's motivation.
Apr
13

Dryland, not sure what to expect

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 2:10pm (April 13th, 2011)

Prior to a 2 hour practice, I will be joining CW for a dryland session.  There's something extra daunting about dryland today.  Joining a team which is used to all the movements, and drills is sure to make me look like a fool when I'm thrown into all these new exercises.  I'm ready to try.

Apr
12

A Chance...

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 9:26pm (April 12th, 2011)
U of M Entrance

Today I accepted an invitation to try out for the Club Wolverine Elite Team.  It's difficult to write how special this opportunity is to me.  I'm sure most readers might not even know what it means.  To me, it represents a once in a lifetime chance to train with potential Olympians each day.  The team is coached by Michael Bottom, a man who has carved out a place in swimming history by coaching some of the biggest names in sprinting. 

What I've been presented with is simply a chance.  A one week trial to see if I fit in the program.  I'm a realist so I have no problem admitting that my chances are not good regarding actually earning a spot on the team.  The challenge is simple, to present myself to the coaching staff and teammates as exactly what I am: A swimmer with a little natural talent and a incredible drive to improve and learn.  The physical challenge I'm faced with is daunting.  Over the next week, I will multiply my practice workload by a ratio of 5:1.  I will literally be working out 5 times longer than I have been the last few months.  My body will break down.  I need to push myself to my maximum potential every moment of the next 7 days.  If I do all that, I may have a shot at staying on the team.

I have a chance.  I will make the most of it.

Practice Information
Dist: 3,000 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Apr
12

Training changes!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 4:26am (April 12th, 2011)

Today I will be making some decisions regading my training. I'm proud of what I accomplished this weekend but I'm also even more motivated to improve now that I know where I stand in the LCM races. With my ultimate goal being another swim at the Olympic Trials, its blatently obvious I have my work cut out for me. I remain 4.5 seconds away from a 100 Butterfly cut, 0.9 seconds away from a 50 Free cut and 3.8 seconds away from a 100 Back cut. My current workout regiment will not get me there, or perhaps just squeak in the 50 Free. Changes must be made and today I will quantify those changes.

Apr
10

Achieved my goal time and happy to be done!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 7:46pm (April 10th, 2011)

I wanted to be under a 55.00 in my 100 Freestyle and I swam a great 54.81!  More details later, just glad to be home and very satisfied with my times!  I set goals for the weekend and achieved or came very close to all of them along with having a blast competing and catching up with friends.  U of M put on a great meet, great job to everybody involved, the swimmers appreciate it!

Apr
9

Missed my goal times but still had a great morning!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 12:08pm (April 9th, 2011)

I had some lofty goals this morning considering I've been swimming long course for one week now. I began with what felt like a good 50 free but I touched in a disapointing 24.59 which was 53rd place out of 92 swimmers. I'm certain I have a faster swim in me. I did a short cool down and got ready for my 100 back. I had a great start but just didn't rev it up enough on the first 50. I was out in a 29.45 and home in a 31.95 for a final time of 1:01.40. A bit slower than I wanted to be. I got 41st out of 68 swimmers. I still had a great morning with even more friends and swimmers I got to talk to and cheer for. I love swimming!

Apr
9

Live Results Link

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 7:19am (April 9th, 2011)
Apr
8

50 Free and 100 Back in the morning!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 11:28pm (April 8th, 2011)

I'm looking forward to the 50 free. I think I can bust out a 24 low, perhaps a 23 high. My goal will be to break 24.00. Its a lofty goal but we shall see. It will need to be a flawless swim. I will have 30 minutes or less to cool down and prepare for the 100 back. It will be my first long course 100 back in a very long time. Over a year and a half. I fear it a bit, especially coming off my 50 free. Good swimmers wouldn't consider that a tough turnaround but that would be assuming I'm in some sort of athletic shape. My goal is to break 1:01.00. Again, that will be tough for me. I've had trouble cranking it up in backstroke lately so anticipate some difficulties in this race especially. Still looking forward to some great racing! To my competition: thank you for the motivation!

Apr
8

A great first day at the 2011 Eric Namesnik Grand Prix!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 8:10pm (April 8th, 2011)
A great first day at the 2011 Eric Namesnik Grand Prix!

I had a great prelims and enjoyed catching up with quite a few old friends and acquaintances.  Although not my pool, I felt sort of at-home at the Canham natatorium today at U of M.  I think it's simply because I've been around the same area for so long.  I know coaches and swimmers seemingly throughout the meet.  Check out this run-on sentence:

I walked in the building and shook hands with CW coach Bailey Weathers, flashed my athlete credentials entered the deck area to see my friend Kara Lynn Joyce, gave her a quick hug, walked a few more steps and exchanged a hello and a "good luck today" with Emily Breneman while she was talking with Michael Phelps.  I said hello to Michael Bottom, head coach of U of M and CW, saw my friend Patrick Saucedo warming up, only to run into Cullen Jones in the locker room and exchanged a quick "hello".  I changed for warmup and jumped in the pool for a brief 10 minute warmup before they closed the pool.  I counted 16 sets of Olympic Ring tatoos while warming up.  When they closed the competition pool I moved into the diving well and finished my warmup.  Afterward I dried off, and hit the spectator area to see more swimmers and coaches.  I shook hands with EMU's Butterflier and backstroker Alan Duski and eventually saw EMU's Sprinter Justin Griggs as well.  Caught up with Akron's assistant coach and met up with a fellow masters swimmer Chuck as well.  Last and certainly not least, I visited my one and only fan for the day :)  I spent a few minutes talking and watching the competition.  I rooted for a few EMU and other random swimmers from CW, NBAC, FLA and CA.  It was exciting to see so many fast swimmers.  I videotaped Patrick and headed down to warmup again.  I dried off and had about 10 minutes to stand around before my 100 Fly.  In the meantime I watched another EMU alumni Dan Kish go a 1:01.xx in his 100 Fly, I think he wanted to be a little faster but this is his first long course meet out of retirement.  I was in the next heat.  I put on my double caps and was ready to swim.  I felt nervous but prepared to race.  I dove in, had a decent underwater kick.  I came up and scooted to the first wall in a 27.03.  I knew I had swam a good pace so far, but as with any 100 meter race, you have to go out hard and HOLD ON.  I tried to do just that.  I felt ok for about 20 meters off the first wall but started to wear down quickly.  Luckily my stroke stayed together mostly and I only really struggled for the last 10 meters.  I took one more stroke than I wanted to but touched in a weekend goal achieving 59,94!  I brought it home in a 32.91... very slow.  I'll be workin on that.  As crazy as it sounds.  I think I can get an Olympic Trial cut in the 100 Fly in 2012.  I'm OVER 4 seconds off (59.94 vs 55.29) but I really feel as though I have the potential to squeak in under the cut.  I finished my race, looked at the clock and smiled.  I was happy with that time!  I stuck around to watch Patrick, Alan, Justin and then exchanged a few words with Cullen Jones regarding masters Nationals and his upcoming 100 Fly race.  I left with a "good luck" and went to warm down.  After a brief warmdown I realized I was with all the other EMU people in the same lane, Coach Linn had stopped by to see them all.  I told him about my time to which he replied "I think I called that one".  As he said that, I remembered he timed my 100 Fly in practice a few days prior with a 1:03.4 and mentioned that I'd be about a 1:00 or under... the guy is good.  Next I hit the hot tub, saw Ceasar Cielo and the rest of the Brazilian team while I passed Davis Tarwater and Phelps again talking to Bob Bowman.  I spotted Kara Lynn Joyce warming down and went to go say hi.  She got out after a minute of talking and we caught up on life and swimming.  We hit the hot tub along with a bunch of other swimmers to finish our conversation about swimming, life, coaches, and other gossip from the Ann Arbor/Ypsi area.  She went to go watch her race and I took off to go get some pizza!

It was a great day!

Apr
8

I achieved my goal time for my 100 Fly!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 11:15am (April 8th, 2011)

I'm happy to report that I achieved my goal this morning! I really wanted to break 1:00.00 and I did just that! I took it out in a respectable 27.03 and brought it home in a fairly pathetic 32.91. It added up to a 59.94! Its not as fast as I've been however I am out of shape and not shaved or tapered. I'm happy with that time!

Apr
7

100 Fly in the morning!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 10:44pm (April 7th, 2011)

I wish I could say I was ready but... here goes nothing!  I'm gonna give it my all.  It will be painful and sort of slow but I'm excited to compete in long course again!  My first and only event tomorrow is the 100 Meter Butterfly.  I swam a 1:03.4 from a push the other day so I'm just hoping I can break 1:00.00 but I'll take anything I can get.  It was really exciting to practice next to some great swimmers today!  Just a lot of excitement in the air.  It made me remember how fun it is to compete at this level.  Lots of stories from only a single day on the deck so far.  It will be a great weekend!

Practice Information
Dist: 1,600 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Apr
7

Warming up at U of M

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 1:22pm (April 7th, 2011)
Warming up at U of M

I just finished up a short workout at U of M. Got to see a few old friends as well!

Apr
7

2011 Grand Prix Article

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 8:06am (April 7th, 2011)

http://usaswimming.org/ViewNewsArticle.aspx?TabId=0&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=e...

I good short article about who will be attending.  For some reason they forgot to mention my name.... crazy!  There is a ton of excitement building for the meet.  Everybody around here (in the swimming world) is talking about it.  Its an honor for me to even participate in the meet.  

Apr
6

100 LCM Fly for time

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 7:44pm (April 6th, 2011)

Another EMU swimmer needed to swim a 100 Fly fast at the end of his practice.  I was finishing up mine as well and decided to join him.  I had a drag suit on and 2 minutes of rest when I pushed off the wall.  It was a painful race but I managed to swim a 1:03.4 LCM from a gun start (off the wall).  Not too shabby for an impromptu time trial.  I'm hoping to just break a minute on Friday.

Session Weight Information
Pre-Practice Weight: 170.4 lbs
Post-Practice Weight: 170.1 lbs
Practice Information
Dist: 2,000 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Training Quote
"Everybody knows Doak" - Local Age Group Swimmer
Apr
6

15 minutes of pain free breathing!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 6:25pm (April 6th, 2011)

I stopped in to see an old friend at EMU who is also an atheltic trainer.  For the past 3 months I've had a shooting pain near my spine.  I thought it might have been a pulled muscle so I've been stretching it out and hoping for the best.  Up until now, all my injuries have simply healed with time and gone away in a reasonable amount of time.  This issue seems to be lingering longer than I would think it would take to heal.  After a 30 minute session of stretches and deep massage on my middle back, he tried some deep pressure points.  It was looking like nothing would help until he directed me to slump over forward while sitting in a chair so my chest was on my thighs.  He found the exact place just to the side of my spine which was giving me the shooting pain.  Some heavy pressure on this muscle combined with simultanious stretching was just what I needed.  The pain went away in 10 seconds.  I could finally breathe heavy for the first time in months without any of the pain.  I'm very grateful for his help and expertise.  We discussed some methods for stretching that area of my back including the sitting and leaning forward one.  Others included finding a golf ball and laying on top of it (padded floor/carpet only) and using it to apply pressure to this area.  I left a happy client and couldn't thank him enough.  He warned that the pain would probably return and I would need to do these stretches daily for a while.  I'm already sore from the deep massage around my spine.  Hopefully it doesn't take a toll on my swimming performance this weekend.

Shortly after leaving the clinic the pain returned.  I probably got 15 mintues of glorious breathing out of it all.  It was worth it.  Thanks Steve!

Apr
5

2011 Eric Namesnik Psych Sheet Released

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 4:43pm (April 5th, 2011)

I knew it would be fast, but WOW!  I took some guesses as to what I thought would make the finals (top 24) in the post below.  I think I could probably take 0.30 or more off each one of those predictions!  It's looking like a great turnout for the meet with around 100 competitors in each event.  Anybody who has read this blog understands I'm a realist... I don't think I'll make it back in any of my events but I'll give it my all.  I'm looking forward to the meet!  I just got out of the pool, I swam a 25.00 in an impromptu 50 freestyle from a gun start today with a drag suit on.  I'm pretty happy with that!

Apr
3

2011 Eric Namesnik Grand Prix Preview

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 6:00pm (April 3rd, 2011)

I looked over some recent Grand Prix results from Minneapolis, Austin, Missouri and Indianapolis to get a feeling for what type of times I'll be up against.  Like any competitor, I feel it would be quite an accomplishment to swim fast enough in the "Preliminaries" to earn a spot in the evening to swim in the "Finals".  It's been quite a while since I swam in a prelims/finals meet like this.  It was probably 2009 World Champ Trials.  I'll be going up against plenty of great swimmers this coming weekend.  Here are my best guesses regarding what times will make the top 24 in the meet:

100 Fly: 55:70 (This is certainly of my reach, I've been a 59.87)
50 Free: 23.90 (I might actually make this one, I've been a 23.96)
100 Back: 59.30 (I will give it my all but I think this is slightly out of my reach, I think I'll be a 1:00.xx)
100 Free: 51.80 (This is definitely out of my reach, I've been a 54.96)

It's going to be a tough meet.  I think my best shot is the 50 freestyle.  The 100 back is looking like sort of a long shot.  I'll do my best though.  Unfortunately the 100 Back is probably only 30 minutes after the 50 freestyle.  Without a solid training background, it's tough for me to double into another event like that.  Regardless, it will be a blast to compete at this level again!

 

On a side note, I actually think I'm much better in the 100 Fly than I'm swimming.  I actually think I could go a 55.xx someday.  I have some work to do before that happens!

Apr
2

Stationary Swimming

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 3:00pm (April 2nd, 2011)

I bought a belt and some surgical tubing a little while ago.  I rigged it up to allow me to connect it to the lanelines or the wall.  This enables me to swim in place when I can't get a full lane to train in.  Lately I've been timing myself while I swim all out.  I began at only about 10 seconds.  I've worked my way up to 15 and then 20 seconds of ALL OUT swimming (100% effort).  Today I focused on kicking after my full 3,000 yard practice.  I strapped myself to the wall and did some moderate kicking to see how long I could last before losing ground and approaching the wall again.  I wore my short fins to work my legs more.  My first attempt was only about 35 seconds.  The second was 50 seconds and the last one was 58 seconds.  My goal is to combine these two sets to swim all out for 1 minute.  I feel that achieving this goal will give me better endurance for my 100 yard/meter races since I'm swimming as long or longer than I would have to swim WITH turns (turns allow certain muscles to rest while working others).  I've got quite a spread to cover between 20 seconds of 100% effort and 58 seconds at 50% effort.  I had a nice conversation with my former middle school coach while at the pool.  People are so nice.  She was coaching a 10 year old as the girls father watched from the bench.  My equipment bag was next to where the father was sitting so when I walked by I said hi and "I remember my father watching my swim classes", he chuckled and replied "oh yea?".  I followed with, "yup, and I'm glad he did".  The man smiled and I headed into the locker room.

Practice Information
Dist: 3,100 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Training Quote
"You're getting skinnier, I've noticed you've been training more lately" - Former Coach Jen
Apr
2

First :29 in a long time!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 12:31pm (April 2nd, 2011)

Since this was only my second day swimming LCM at EMU this year, I think I'm pretty desperate for some validation of my long course abilities. I warmed up as usual with some general freestyle and backstroke, isolated legs, then arms and began a sprint 50 set. I swam some moderate 50's and began descending my times to see what I was capable of. To my welcomed disbelief I ended up with my first :29 second 50 meter backstroke swim in a very long time. This is still quite a way off from my first 50 split of 27.26 of my best 100 back or my former Masters world record of 26.64 however, to me, it represents the improvement I have been working towards lately. I'm satisfied with my progress and understand what I need to do to improve further.

There is a lot of excitement building for this Grand Prix meet in Ann Arbor!  I've been asked more than a few times if I've swimming in the meet, which is accompanied by more conversation regarding what big swimmers and/or countries which will be attending.  I've had fun describing the next month of my life!  It starts with the Eric Namsnik Grand Prix in Ann Arbor, the Masters State meet in Kentwood, MI, then perhaps a personal trip somewhere, followed by Masters Nationals in Mesa, AZ.

It will be a whirlwind of a month and I'm really looking forward to it!

Session Weight Information
Pre-Practice Weight: 170.0 lbs
Post-Practice Weight: 169.2 lbs
Practice Information
Dist: 2,400 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Apr
1

Giving up swimming for good

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 12:42am (April 1st, 2011)

I hope you didn't believe that for a second.  April Fools :)