November 2011

strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/kevindoa/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 24.

In Atlanta ready to swim!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 9:27pm (November 30th, 2011)
In Atlanta ready to swim!

We arrived in Atlanta after a very long van ride!  Our first stop was the pool to loosen up before prelims tomorrow morning.  Even though I was here just last year for Masters Nationals, the pool looks amazing.  It feels so special to be on the same pool deck that the 1996 Olympic Games were held.  I did a quick 1000 meters and one start off the blocks as a pre-meet swim.  I didn't want to push it too hard with my knee issue.  Tomorrow I have the 50 Free time trial.  I don't anticipate a very good meet considering I'm injured.  I'm really just here for the experience.  It should be a very fast meet!


Sorry Doak, see "Clause G"

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 11:51pm (November 28th, 2011)

Today was a disapointing day on a few levels.  I struggled with my leg injury quite a bit today knowing that this issue may prevent me from performing well at Nationals this Friday.  The second bit of bad news came in the form of an email from the Associate Athletic Director at U of M who is in charge of Compliance.  The short version is: I'm too old to train at the same time as U of M swimmers.  This may not sound that bad but it means I will not be able to participate in some of the group practices or trips.  In the months leading up to this judgement we were working on an "Olympic Waiver" which if approved would have allowed me to train at the same time and location as all the U of M swimmers, easing all the scheduling of practices, trips and vans.  Every other post grad swimmer I train with was granted the waiver because they have only had the chance to compete in one other Olympic Games.  Due to the fact that I COULD HAVE trained for the 2004 and 2008 games after graduating from EMU, this is the limitation of the waiver.  See Clause G below: U.S. Olympic Committee/National Governing Body -- Practice. 

A student with eligibility remaining who is not enrolled or who is enrolled in less than a minimum full-time program of studies, or a former student-athlete may participate on a regular basis in organized practice sessions, provided the following conditions are met: (Adopted: 1/9/96, Revised:  1/14/97 effective 8/1/97, 1/16/10 effective 5/1/10)

(a) The practice sessions take place at the institution the individual previously attended as an undergraduate or currently attends or previously attended as a graduate student, except that a former student-athlete who has graduated and has no eligibility remaining may participate in practice sessions at an institution other than the one he or she previously attended;  (Revised:  4/29/10 effective 8/1/10)

(b) In the case of a former student-athlete, the practice sessions involve an individual sport or women's rowing; (Revised:  4/28/05 effective 8/1/05, 1/17/09 effective 8/1/09)

(c) In the case of a current student-athlete with eligibility remaining, the practice sessions involve an individual or team sport; (Revised: 4/28/05 effective 8/1/05)

(d) The U.S. Olympic Committee or national governing body in the sport has recommended the individual's participation;

(e) The individual does not participate in any coaching activities unless the institution designates the individual in the appropriate coaching limits;

(f) In the case of a student-athlete with NCAA eligibility remaining in the sport, such participation occurs only during the academic year immediately preceding the Olympic Games; and

(g) In the case of a former student-athlete, such participation shall be limited to the number of years that allows the individual to practice with the institution's team in preparation for two consecutive Olympic Games following exhaustion of eligibility or completion of degree, whichever is earlier. A student-athlete who has not graduated must be enrolled (full or part time) and making progress toward a degree. (Adopted:  4/25/02 effective 8/1/02, Revised:  4/29/10 effective 8/1/10)


I was forwarded the following email:

"We have run into an issue with the Doak waiver.  The rule that permits this specifies that a waiver can only be granted for former student-athletes who are training for the two Olympics immediately following the exhaustion of their eligibility or their graduation from college, whichever is earlier  (see part g below).  In Doak’s case, he exhausted his eligibility in 2003, which means that the next two Olympics were 2004 and 2008.  This is his third Olympics since exhausting his eligibility, so he no longer qualifies for this waiver."

What this means in the immediate future is that I may not be able to go to the Florida Keys this winter for a holiday training trip. The positive flip side to this all is that if I have to train alone, it will give me more time to focus on specific aspects of my race that I want to improve like my underwater kicking.   I'll have more details soon.  


A painful day, making progress though

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 7:40pm (November 28th, 2011)

After injuring my knee (region) on Friday, it's been a painful few days culminating with an entirely immobile Sunday.  Today I feel 100x better but still not ready to swim hard.  I think this injury might have come at the perfect time.  I got all my hard work in over the last few months just in time to rest up a little before Nationals.  Although I'm not very confident I'll have a good meet considering I'll still be recovering.  This was a great learning process since I've pinpointed the exact stretch that caused the issue in the first place.  I actually swam today and felt pretty good.  I still have a ways to go before I'll feel good kicking with all my strength but thus far this has been a speedy recovery.

Today I saw a phyiscal trainer and was diagnosed with simply a strained tendon on the inner side of my right knee.  There is no reason to think that simply taking a few days won't heal everything up.  Feeling MUCH improved.


I can barely walk

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 6:51pm (November 27th, 2011)

I made a few mistakes Friday.  I did some extensive stretching of my hamstrings and quite a few exercises in which my legs were entirely straight and in some cases hyperextended.  The same evening I fell asleep at my desk with my right leg hyperextended in front of me for about 2 hours.  I made it through saturday with some moderate pain during the day.  Sunday (today) was the worst so far.  I can barely walk.  I've strained something on the back of my leg behind my knee to the point that it's almost impossible to straighten my leg.  Any movement of my right leg is very painful.  The timing of this injry is extra disapointing with my 100 backstroke at U.S. Nationals five days away.  Since I'm driving some of the swimmers, I will make the trip regardless but I may scratch the event entirely and just watch the meet.  I'm in quite a bit of pain right now.  It's difficult to imagine I will be 100% ready to race the best backstrokers in the country on Friday.  I'm embarrassed that stretching of all things caused this.  I'm frustrated with myself.  I've been training very well only to do this to myself leading up to the biggest meet before the U.S. Olympic Trials.  Not good.

I had a chance to swim today but decided to give it a day to heal and do as little as possible.  I feel like the next few days will be more of the same... lots of pain


A solid fast set this morning

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 10:47pm (November 26th, 2011)

I had some solid swims this morning as part of a quick main set.  We are once again a bit broken down from weights and power/speed work this week.  The set was a fast 62.5 yards (to get a full 3 turns) with another fast 50 followed by 2 positive bands (pulled 25 yards with surgical tubing).

I thought my times were respectable:

24.0 at the feet, no time for the additional 12.5 yards, then a 25.3 at the touch
23.8 at the feet
23.8 at the feet 

The 23.8 really isn't that bad when you consider we're broken down and that was to the feet completing a flipturn (not a normal hand touch finish).  A touch finish would have been around 23.4 which is very solid in practice for me.  I probably could have been faster but I'm swimming 15 meters off every wall to improve my underwater performance.  As of right now, those long underwaters actually slow me down but with enough work, they will start to help in both practice and races.


I wish I had impressive injury stories

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 10:41pm (November 26th, 2011)

I woke up this morning, stood up out of bed and almost faceplanted on my floor.  The pain in my right knee was so severe I wasn't ready for it at all.  I recovered without further injury and spent my drive to practice, my entire workout and the 12 hours that followed trying to figure out what the heck I did to injure myself.

After all that consideration, I realized that I overstretched my leg during our dryland workout Friday morning.  I chose to do some extensive stretching and I took it too far when I was stretching my hamstrings.  I didn't feel it at all Friday and swam through some moderate pain Saturday.  I never thought for a second that something like this could create such severe paint the following day.

As I was writing this, I was wishing I had some more impressive injury stories like:

I strained my knee while saving an infant from a burning building!

Then again, I imagine everybody else who doesn't identify as a superhero has just as boring of injury stories as I do.  Until I recover, I'm the guy limping around looking like an wierdo.


Adding more abs and kicking

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 7:55pm (November 25th, 2011)

I'm certain I'll be a better swimmer by being part of Club Wolverine.  However the group I'm in doesn't do nearly enough abs or kicking for me to meet my goal at Trials.  This past summer we definitely did more abs and kicking.  We would hit both of those workouts twice a week minimum.  This fall we have shifted to other types of lifting and swimming.  I know I require far more work on abs and kicking than the other swimmers in the sprint group.  Today I started adding abs and kicking to the practice on my own.  Since others don't require the workouts I do, I've taken control of this aspect of my training.

I want to be amazing underwater, it's the ONE place I know I'm losing time in my races.  I've know about this issue for a while and honestly I was hoping the group would focus more on kicking but it doesn't seem to be the case.  No biggie, I will take control of this portion of my training and do what I feel is neccessary to improve.


Not much of a Boxer

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 1:59am (November 25th, 2011)

I really enjoy the days our dryland includes boxing.  Like the rest of the guys I try to push myself to hit as hard and as fast as possible.  I've exceeded my limit twice now.  It's quite obvious when I strike my boxing partners glove too hard or at an odd angle.  It causes shooting pain in my wrist which makes me stop dead in my tracks.  I didn't think it was too bad this last time, I even continued after a few seconds rest.  Yet days later my right wrist is quite sore and I have limited flexibility.  It's not affecting swimming just yet but it's certainly injured.

So for the week it's looking like a bad wrist and torn up back muscles.  Everything else is in great shape!

Nationals is about 9 days away, looking forward to the meet itself but I have very realistic goals for my 100 backstroke.  More on that later.


Back where I started

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 2:07pm (November 24th, 2011)

After all that "I get to train on the holidays cause I'm on a team" talk, Canham was shut down on short notice to do maintenance for the day.  Therefore I'm not training today.  I'll probably do some yoga or general stretching later though.  My back muscles are just demolished.  I think it's a combination of a full 6 days of lifting heavy speakers, heavy mechanical equipment, a weight workout, step ups with 30lb hand weights and swimming which may have contributed to the severe pain I feel in my back muscles over the last few days.

A day off isn't the worst idea but with Nationals so close I was really hoping to keep my training schedule uninterrupted.


Training through the holiday

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 12:19am (November 24th, 2011)

One of the benefits of training on a team is the ability to swim on holidays.  The majority of public pools are closed on holidays such as Thanksgiving yet the team gets keys to the pool to run a practice pretty much any day of the year.  Tomorrow I'll swim at Canham with what's left of the team since most are home for the holiday.  Basically it will be me and the crazy foreigners.

After getting really run down over the last few days, Wednesday and Thursday are both recovery days.  Friday we'll be back to hard training.  I'm still really enjoying being part of a team.


10 x 50y @ 5:00

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 10:21pm (November 22nd, 2011)

The set didn't seem that hard before we started.  4 and a half minutes seems like quite a bit of time but after doing a few of them, it seemed quite rushed!  My times were:

50 Back:

50 Free:

I can't say I'm really that impressed with my times but the set revealed some deficiencies in my race, it was a good learning experience and SCY was refreshing.  It was a solid set. 

Training Quote
"I want you to get uncomfortable on that 2nd underwater kick. I mean like... possible drowning victim uncomfortable. Stay under as long as you can" - Coach Mark Hill

Interesting Meet Feedback

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 2:43am (November 19th, 2011)
Interesting Meet Feedback

I had a few people mention to me that other than the underwaters and finish, I was moving through the water at the same speed as the guy who swam the 54 second 100m Backstroke.  Now lets back up a moment.  Those are some huge parts of the race I just isolated there.  My start is solid but once I'm underwater, I'm do not have the speed like these other guys do.  Considering that in a 100 meter long course backstroke, I have the start and the turn which I am losing ground to other swimmers.  Add my poor ability to finish a race and we arrive at the 3.4 second difference between world class, and Kevin Doak's 100 Backstroke.

Sadly, I've known about these deficiencies for a while and I'm not making a lot of progress with them since joining Club Wolverine.  I had a great conversation with Assistant Coach Josh White on Thursday about how I can improve my ability to finish the races.  His recommendation was that during my race pace sets (typically 100meters/yards) that I should not pace myself at all, go all out and HOLD ON.  By depleting all my energy, I will push that threshold and my body will learn to deal with the pain and will hopefully increase my endurance.  This is a contrast to how I currently swim race pace.  I've always looked at it as if I need the best time.  Now I will ignore the time and push my body past it's limit.  I will crash and burn in the set but I will teach my body to deal with it.

It's a new concept anyway, I'll give it a shot.


Club Wolverine Elite Team

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 12:05pm (November 18th, 2011)
Club Wolverine Elite Team

Overall it was a great meet at the Pro Dual 1 this past two days.  I had some good swims along with my fastest 50, 100 and 200 backstroke while in-season.  The cash prizes were a definite benefit as well, I walked away with $50.00 for taking 3rd in the 100 backstroke.  Thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors of the event!  This is a picture of our training team at Club Wolverine Elite



Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 12:18am (November 18th, 2011)

I couldn't be more embarrassed and frustrated with myself.  I had a great race and MISSED the timing pad.  The thing was 8 feet wide and somehow I managed to hit the bulkhead with my hand instead of the pad.  It was a real disapointment.  The timing system gave me a 26.72 which was an average of the hand plunger time of 26.3x and the pad time (which was my elbow coming down) of 27.3x.  The manual times had me at 26.39 and 26.50, basically 3 out of 4 of the times taken would have been lifetime best times for me.  Once I got home I hand timed the video and there is no way I was a high 26.  I'm embarrassed with my finish, it was good enough for 6th place, not impressive at all.

To make the night a little more frustrating, I was put into the 200 Backstroke, my least favorite event ever.  I used it as my warmdown.  I took it out in a leisurely 1:02 and brought it home in a sad 1:12 for a total of 2:14.00, a lifetime best time.

Overall the meet was a blast, it was just a frustrating night.


Today I will break the 50 Back LCM Masters World Record

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 2:58pm (November 17th, 2011)

It's a bold statement. Yesterday, while tired from a 100 back and 50 free I swam a 26.72. The world record is a 26.54 set in 2010. I don't know if it will be honored or not but I'm going to try anyway.  This is a realistic goal. Let's see if I can do it!


Pro Dual 1 was a huge success! Day One Complete!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 12:35am (November 17th, 2011)
Pro Dual 1 was a huge success!  Day One Complete!

I'm proud to say I was part of the first Professional Swim Meet!  I had a FANTASTIC 100 Backstroke to take 3rd place with my fastest in-season time ever of 58.02!  I was out in a 27.46.  This time was even faster than my Minnesota Grand Prix time this past weekend by a half a second!

The video is online:

I also swam the 50 free, however only about 10 minutes after my 100 Back.  I was very tired and breathed 4 times (very bad).  I swam a 24.15, still not a bad time for me, among my fastest actually!  I took 12th place in the 50 Free  I lead off the "B" relay for our team and outsplit the "A" relay backstroker with a 26.72, my 3rd fastest 50 backstroke ever!  I swam VERY well for being as broken down as I am.  We lifted on Monday so good swims on Wednesday is a huge ego boost for my training!  Thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors that made this happen!


Tomorrow is day 2 of the meet, I will be swimming the 50 back!


Pro Dual 1 on Wednesday/Thursday this week!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 3:22pm (November 14th, 2011)
Pro Dual 1 on Wednesday/Thursday this week!

I've been part of the planning of the first ever "Pro Meet" which is entirely comprised of Post Grads, past Olympians and future Olympians.  Thus far we have about 40 swimmers competing in the meet held at Canham Natatorium.  I will be swimming the 50m and 100m back!  It should be a fun event!  Come support us on Wednesday and Thusday at 8:00pm!


More information here:


Researching "Muscular Endurance"

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 2:32pm (November 14th, 2011)

During my entire swimming career I've had an issue with muscular endurance. What I'm referring to is my ability to finish a 100 yard/meter race. Anybody who has seen me swim competitively would agree that I have respectable speed and acceptable stroke form however I fall apart during the end of a race. Races typically go like this:

Out quite fast, on track for a NCAA or Olympic Trial qualifying time, then I hit 75 yards/meters and I slow down significantly. Its not bad at first but I get slower and slower to the point I can barely move or feel my arms or legs. I end up finishing with a barely respectable time. If I'm tapered and rested, I finish with a decent time but certainly not as fast as I feel I should have been.

It was only recently that I really determined what might be going on inside my body which could cause me to have this issue. I fear that my coaches don't realize how significant this issue is to the success of my swimming career even though I've brought it up several times.  Therefore I'm sort of taking matters into my own hands and I will continue to add training to what we're already doing to ensure I am getting everything I can out of my pool and weight room time.

I'm lucky to have the power of the internet on my side!  There are quite a few fantastic articles with only a single search.  If I find any really worthwhile I'll share them :)


Back in Ann Arbor ready for more training

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 11:53am (November 14th, 2011)

My weekend at the 2011 Minnesota Grand Prix was a great learning experience.  I have a greater understanding of where I stand and what and HOW I need to work on my races.  I will be writing a recap of the meet later.  Thanks for reading :)


Lifetime best in the 100 Free LCM! 53.65

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 2:17am (November 14th, 2011)

I tagged another lifetime best in the 100 Free today lowering my Montreal time of 53.87 to a 53.65!  My coaches tell me that I circle swam the entire race while swimmers on both sides drafted off me.  Apparently I could have been faster if I had just realized where I was in the lane and corrected it.  I was out in a 25.23 which is a bit slow for me.  In Montreal I was out in a 24.60.  It was a good race and good enough for 56th out of 197 swimmers in the event.  I'm happy with yet another lifetime best!


20th place in the 100 Back finals

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 12:19am (November 13th, 2011)

I swam a 58.64 with a very ugly and slow finish.  I could have very easily been faster with a better finish.  I gave the race everything I had but unfortunatley it didn't amount to the 57 second swim I was hoping for.  I was ranked 20th place going into the finals and I held my ranking through the finals.  I was out in a 27.7 again, I need to be out much faster.

In more uplifting news, I'm having a blast with the team and the other post-grad swimmers!  I've really enjoyed the mutual support we all provide each other and it's refreshing to cheer for and be cheered during races.  I've received a lot of nice comments about my races, especially my 100 Fly.  It's been a great few days in Minneapolis!


Mediocre 100 Back LCM at 58.55

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 2:54pm (November 12th, 2011)

It looks like I will make the "C Final" with a 19th rank but we shall see what happens in the B flight of swimmers. I didn't take it out fast enough. Somebody said it was a 27.7x. I need to be a 27 flat or faster. I may get another chance later today.


Finished 20th in the 100 Fly yesterday!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 10:09am (November 12th, 2011)

My entire day yesterday was technically flawless. I was ranked 98th in the 100 fly, had an amazing swim in prelims of 56.39 to be ranked 21st going into finals. Later I improved upon my lifetime best set earlier in the day with an even better swim of 56.31 to move up one place and take 20th! That's almost my beat grand prix finish even counting the 100 back! The 100 back LCM kicks off in about 2 hours Live results are FINALLY working...


100 Back LCM Prelims in the morning

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 12:09am (November 12th, 2011)
100 Back LCM Prelims in the morning

I'm looking forward to MY RACE!  After a great first day, I'm geared up for my 100 Backstroke!  The heat sheet has been released!  I'm in a heat with some very fast swimmers.


A new lifetime best in the 100 Fly LCM

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 10:29pm (November 11th, 2011)

Another time drop to a 56.31! I'm actually surprised I had an even better swim in me!


An exciting start to the evening!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 8:13pm (November 11th, 2011)
An exciting start to the evening!

The evening began with a moment to honor veterans followed with a unique performance of a trumpet player playing the national anthem from the ten meter platform. The platform had cascading dry ice fog falling from it as the crowd errupted with applause, the trumpet player put his instrument down and did a flip from the ten meter in his tuxedo! It was a fantastic performance!


I just looked up the 100 Fly Olympic Trial Cut

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 5:06pm (November 11th, 2011)

I forgot what it was, the trial cut is a 55.29.  I'm still quite a ways off (56.39 vs 55.29) from tagging a second 2012 Trials cut but it is now I consider it well within my reach with a shaved/tapered swim!

I get to try again in a few hours!


I was very wrong. Lifetime best in 100 Fly LCM by 3.48 seconds!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 4:55pm (November 11th, 2011)
I was very wrong.  Lifetime best in 100 Fly LCM by 3.48 seconds!

I had a FANTASTIC swim this morning!  I dropped my lifetime best from a 59.87 to a 56.39!  It was a HUGE time drop.  In my mind, I knew I would be pleased with anything 58.xx but I knew that since I dropped around 4 seconds in my 100 back since training with CW that a similar time drop wouldn't be out of the question in the 100 fly.  I took it out in a 25.3, my plan had been to take it out in 25 mid... I never saw a clock but I knew I was right on track by the way it felt.  I had a poor turn and poor underwater kicks but I managed to bring it home in 31 seconds... not an impressive back half at all but about what I expected.

I had been seeded 98th out of 124 swimmers heading into prelims.  Tonight I return for a "C Final" swim ranked 21st out of 24 swimmers that made it back!  I'm VERY proud of myself and I'm excited to swim tonight.  I'm unsure if I'll be able to drop any more time but I'll give it my all.  As far as I'm concerned, the trip to Minneapolis is already worth it.  I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from fellow swimmers and my coaches.  Everybody thought it was a great swim!

I'm feeling good and ready for my first finals swim EVER in the 100 Fly LCM!


100 Butterfly LCM at the Minnesota Grand Prix Today!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 12:12pm (November 11th, 2011)

This is a new experience for me... I'm rested and ready to swim!  I choose to live such a crazy schedule I'm rarely prepared for a meet.  I'm still sore from training last week.  My back, chest and legs are all hurting even after a full day and a half off.  I'm glad I get to begin the meet with an "off-event" like the 100 Fly.  It seems to help me swim well after I have one event to warm up with.  My lifetime best time is a 59.87 in 2010 during a masters meet at EMU.  I'm looking forward to a new lifetime best today.  Due to the amount of fantastic swimmers at this meet, there is almost no chance I will make it back into the finals and I'm ok with that, I will give 100% this morning and that's enough butterfly for me!

Live Webcast!


Heading to the Minnesota Grand Prix!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 3:08am (November 9th, 2011)

Looking forward to competing this weekend in Minnesota!  I'm swimming the 100 Fly, 100 Back and 100 Free.  One event per day, very manageable.  I'm only ranked well in one event, the 100 back... big surprise there.

100 Fly LCM: 120th Rank
100 Back LCM: 20th Rank
100 Free LCM: 98th Rank 

I'm hoping to tag a lifetime best in 100 Fly and 100 Free.  I'll be happy with any time in the 100 back, it will just be good to race LCM again!


"Towing a laneline" is now dubbed "Dragon Tail"

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 10:20pm (November 8th, 2011)

I didn't come up with it, I wish I had though.  Olympian Wu Peng was dragging a laneline doing butterfly this morning.  Looked pretty funny


Towing a lane line

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 10:20pm (November 7th, 2011)

After a 2 hour weight workout we hit the pool this morning for a 45 minute power set.  The 6 sprint freestylers were directed to race each other in teams of 3.  Not relays but literally three people per lane, one behind the next.  The first person would tow the other two from surgical tubing connected to a belt at his waist.  You may have to see it to understand but it went something like this:

1st Guy: Swims all out for 35 meters wearing a belt and 20' of surgical tubing looped at the end for the second guy to hold onto

2nd Guy: Exerts no energy, just streamlines while holding onto the surgical tubing. He is also wearing a belt with tubing in the same manner as 1st guy

3rd Guy: Exerts no energy, just streamlines while holding onto the surgical tubing. He is also wearing a belt with tubing in the same manner as 2nd guy

Since there were 7 sprinters, I was chosen to do something different, which I was ok with.  The coach gave me the same belt as the other swimmers however he attached 24 feet of lanelines to the end.  I knew it would be tough to swim all out for 35 meters towing all that plastic through the water.  It was indeed a difficult task.  I was starting to slow down like I do at the end of 100 meters once I hit 30 or so meters but I powered through it.

Since it had never been tried before, the coach asked how hard it was.  I responded that it was tough, much like pulling a 1/3rd full bucket.  He asked if we should add more lanelines, I responded "yes".  He took out another 12' reel and hooked it up.  I had about 36' of laneline behind me at this point.  I had to tow it 35 meters as fast as possible.  I didn't get timed but I'm sure it took a good 50 seconds.  I just barely crossed that 35 meter mark and finally shut it down after 3 of these sets.  I felt like I just raced 100 meters a few times.  It was brutal.  I needed a long cool down to work all that lactate out of my muscles.  Rough morning!


Spectating my first BIGTEN meet

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 1:35am (November 6th, 2011)
Spectating my first BIGTEN meet

I happened to have practice around the same time as the U of M vs Texas vs IU meet today.  It was probably the most exciting dual (tri)... we'll just say "non-conference" meet I've ever seen.  Certainly some of the fastest swimming I've seen even counting conference meets.  Since I only really care about backstroke, I watched a 50 back in 22.5 seconds and a 100 back in 47.7... just smokin fast for this time in the season!  Texas and U of M were both spectacular.  IU was a little bit lacking during this meet, they sort of got trampled by both teams but definitely had quite a few solid swims.  I've spent so many years cheering for EMU it felt sort of wrong to cheer for U of M guys today but they certainly earned my support.  They had a fantastic meet and won by 1 point against Texas!  It was an incredible finish, I'm proud of all the guys I trained with this summer!


An afternoon at EMU!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 10:56am (November 5th, 2011)

Due to multiple meets at U of M, I asked my former head coach Peter Linn at EMU if I could join them this afternoon.  Just driving to my former pool put a smile on my face.  I love that facility.  I've swum some of my best times there and it's widely considered the fastest pool in Michigan.  I have so much history there, it was great to come "Home" in a sense.  The moment I walked on deck, swimmers smiled at me.  It felt good.  I feel the mutual respect from every swimmer I know there.  Over the years I've stayed involved in the EMU program, helping out in any way I can and I feel like the swimmers there know that.  Each time I come to EMU, I get handshakes, smiles and uplifting conversations from everybody; the mens and womens team as well as the coaches.  It's just a great feeling.  If anybody from EMU reads this... you guys are awesome.

Today I got to talk to the new Graduate Assistant Chase.  During the practice I found Chase's coaching style to be incredibly good.  He stays involved, helps swimmers with strokes and reminds swimmers what they should be working on during a hard set.  Besides all that, he actually knows what he's talking about... always a benefit!  After practice I approached him and gave him a glowing review of his coaching style as well as reinforced specific parts of his coaching that I found especially good. 

The practice was classic Peter Linn.  Easy to read and follow, mostly aerobic and challenging.  I chose to do backstroke on most of the freestyle sets.  I chose to swim with the sprinters although most of the team was doing the same practice, the MD/D guys were doing FRIM (Free-IM) instead of just free.  As soon as I joined a lane with two sprinters, I immediately heard them call out "Last" followed by the other calling out "second to last", meaning, they didn't want to swim in ahead of me... it was funny.  Most of the swimmers seemed to know I was training with CW even though I never really told anybody.  Word gets around apparently.

I found myself leading my lane of sprint freestylers by swimming backstroke.  I think part of this lane domination was because I was back at EMU and wanted to prove that I had been busy training at CW.  The other part was just because I have made some significant progress in the last few months training.  Either way, the rest of the practice went the same way, I lead the lane while doing pulling and freestyle as well.

The last set of the day was 12 x 50y on the :50 with the 6th and 12th one MAX.  I was actually excited to swim this one.  It was right up my alley.  I get a little rest, then one fast swim with more rest before another one.  On the first fast swim, the guys got up on the blocks while I prepared for my backstroke start.  I knew I would swim fast.  There was no question it would be a 23 second 50 back.  I had a perfect start and underwater kicking to breakout and power my way to the wall followed by a fast turn.  When I looked over while doing underwater kicks, I was next to the fastest sprint freestyler on the team and a bodylength ahead of another freestyler.  I surfaced shortly after and spun my arms to the wall, conscious of how my hands and arms were entering the water as well as how I was connected in my stroke (a new Doak feature).  I touched about the same time as the best freestyler, in a 23.40.  Not too shabby.  I was satisfied with that time and warmed it down with another few 50's of the set.  I hoped to go faster on the 2nd one but found myself still tired after the next five 50's.  I needed another few minutes to improve upon that 23.4.  The last swim of the day went a lot the same but I definitely got beat by the freestyler.  I touched in a 24.0, still a respectable time.  When the set was over a few of the guys in the 2nd heat asked me what I went, I responded "23.4".  They smiled and shook their head in disbelief.  One swimmer blurted out my time in amazement "23.4!  Are you serious?!".  I smiled and warmed it down.

I thought the whole thing was kind of funny.  It's not that I was really that blazing fast, but for practice, it was pretty respectable times for the end of practice.  In the locker room I heard much of the same with more smiles and laughs.  One sprinter exclaimed "Doak you were making me look like a clown over there beating my freestyle times while swimming backstroke, but then again you're coming off a 5 year alumni taper".  It wasn't true but still funny.  I promptly reminded them that I was training hard at CW each day just like they were here.

Overall it was a great afternoon with my former team EMU.  I got to swim in my favorite pool and see some old friends at Eastern.  Thanks for letting me crash your practice!


800y Mix Strokes, Dive every 100

16 x 50y kick 4 on :50 and 4 on :45

10 mins relay exchanges

300y Drill IM

3 x 400y  Paddle/Pull on 5:00

4 x 200y Sprint turns on 3:00
3 x 200y 3 breaths per 25y on 2:50
2 x 200y 4th and 8th 25 no breath on 2:40
200 easy

12 x 50's on :50 with 6th and 12th one MAX 

300y swim 25 scull 25 swim with snorkle

Session Weight Information
Pre-Practice Weight: 168.7 lbs
Post-Practice Weight: 166.9 lbs

1:02 Underwater 25y

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 8:27pm (November 3rd, 2011)

After a quick lesson from Coach Mark Hill on how to maximize my lung capacity.  I nearly doubled my underwater breath holding ability.  I consider myself relatively pathetic on the breath holding front.  Other swimmers (and probably many non-swimmers) have no problem holding their breath for 1:00 or more.  I found myself maxed out at :35 seconds a few weeks ago.  Today we were told to swim a 25y underwater as slow as possible.  I first hit :40 seconds, then :57, then 1:02 and 1:00.  I was impressed with my increases but I'm certain I rank among the lowest regarding lung capacity.