January 2012

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Thank You "Health Enrichment Center"!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 4:27am (January 29th, 2012)
Health Enrichment Center

Special thanks to the Health Enrichment Center!  Many of their massage therapists visited the Natatorium today to give free massages to the athletes to fulfil their hourly graduation requirements.  I was lucky enough to snag an open spot in the list.  I've gotten two massages in my entire life, one during my freshman year MAC meet and one a few years ago by a family friend in the business.  Therefore I can't really say whether Brooke, my massage therapist today did anything wrong.  I thought it was a great massage, I was falling asleep at the end.

I hope they come back soon!  Thanks again Brooke!

Visit them online at: http://www.healthenrichment.com/


That was BRUTAL

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 11:47pm (January 26th, 2012)

I think I might have taken today's set harder than others in my group.  We've had months of SCY practices.  Today was the first Long Course Meters (LCM) practice in memory.  The 25's we began with were solid, I was holding 12's and hit a 11.8 just once.  I recovered quickly and was ready for more.  The 35m round was tough but I held it together.  Afterward, we jumped up to 75m swims all-out.  All three swim were brutal.  I held it together for the most part with solid rates of 1.20-1.25 but it was everything I had.  The first 50 of the 75 was a 29.5, the second I cranked it up and flipped at a 28.5 but just crumbled on the 3rd with a 29.8... ouch.  The last 100m swim was shortened to 75 meters with fins, even then the best I could muster at the 50m mark was a 25.3... not that impressive with fins.

It took me nearly an hour to leave the pool.  Probably a new personal "best" in that sense.  I was moving so slow I think I saw a glacier pass me in the hallway to the locker room.  After putting away my equipment, I took a slow walk over to the hot tub and found it tough to spend less than 15 minutes in there.  With the nice warm water, I considered just putting some swimmies on my arms and falling asleep in there.  As tired as I was, the hot tub made it even worse.  After a leasurely shower, I found myself sitting in the locker room staring at my shoes, slowly gathering the will power to put my socks on.  There aren't many practices where I'm ruined to the point that I can barely put my shoes on.  Yes, it was one of those days.

It was a great workout but I'll sleep extra well tonight!


400m Swim
2 x 50m with first 1/3rd Platinum
300m Social Kick
4 x 50m with middle 1/3rd Platinum
200m IM with 25m drill and 25m swim
8 x 50m with final 1/3 Platinum with great finish 
100m Yellow 

5 x 200m Dive with first 25m Platinum (the rest orange)
4 x 200m Dive with first 35m Platinum/Green (the rest orange)
3 x 200m Dive with first 75m Platinum/Green/Purple (the rest orange) Plus 8 x 50m orange
100m Dive Platinum/Green/Purple

Training Quote
"Your first 25m was 1080p and your 35m was 64bit but once you hit the wall I thought you were gonna hit CTRL + ALT + DEL!" - Bobby

Thank you to the Keiths!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 12:30am (January 26th, 2012)
Keiths Swimmer Dinner Swimmer Bar Good food

What a great night!

A local swimmer family invited the post-grads over for a team dinner!  I'm overwhelmed with how generous and accomodating they were to our large group.  Over the course of the last few months I've slowly realized how much support our group gets from the age group CW team.  Since the support is rightfully directed to the international (away from home) swimmers on the team, I don't directly see the little things the families do for members of our group.  A great example of this is that the parents of younger swimmers hosted all of the Pro swimmers when they visited from other states and countries, very impressive!

After practice tonight we all carpooled over to the Keiths home to enjoy a home cooked meal.  It was one of the only times our entire group was together in one place.  Since there are three workout groups (Sprint, Middle Distance, Distance), we rarely are in the same place at the same time.  When the offer of a meal entered the equation, you wouldn't be a swimmer if you turned that down!  When we arrived at the Keiths we were greeted with smiles from the whole family.  It was immediately obvious the entire family had chipped in to prepare the house for 13 hungry swimmers.  Drinks and food were awaiting our arrival.  While we waited for a late swimmer or two, we all introduced ourselves, where we were from and when our Olympic Trials were going to occur.  The entire night was just really uplifting.  There was this symbiotic relationship I noticed in all our interactions.  The family was overjoyed to provide some food for potential and current Olympians and we were very happy to have a great meal provided for us.  It's like both groups felt like the other was going above and beyond.  There were lots of "thank you's" than I can count.  The experience was a throwback to my high school days when parents of other swimmers would throw a team dinner.  It was just a great few hours and lots of smiles.  

A big "Thank You" goes out to the Keith family! 


Stats I didn't even know existed

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 12:15am (January 26th, 2012)
Stats I didn't even know existed

Thanks to flawless recordkeeper Skip at Michigan Masters.  He noticed I broke two National Records at the EMU meet a week and a half ago.  A nice little paragraph was written on www.michiganmasters.com.  Apparently this was the second time I broke two National Records in one day.  Kinda cool.  Thanks for the info Skip!


That was EASY

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 7:49pm (January 25th, 2012)

Our practice tonight was "Recovery".  In all honesty, it was so easy it was pathetic.  It was almost to the point that it was TOO easy.  We don't get many of those.  It was about 2000 yards of flopping around.  Thanks Coaches!


I love all those 11's!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 4:06pm (January 25th, 2012)

Tuesday was our routine day for abs and a 100 pace kick/swim set.  After a good 15 minute ab session, we hit the pool.  Following our 1000 yard warmup and a pre-set we moved onto the kick/swim set.  This specific set wasn't too bad, it was certainly difficult but the rounds went quick and it was over before I knew it.  I'm proud to say that although round 1 was all :12's every round after that was :10's or :11's the whole way... a great accomplishment for me.  It shows me that I'm becoming more consistent within the sets.  I ranged from 11.1's to 11.9's with the first one from a dive (backstroke start in my case) was always a :10.x second swim.  Making progress!


3 x 25y @ :30 (#1 Dive, Push the rest)
4 x 25y @ :35 (#1 Dive, Push the rest) 
5 x 25y @ :40 (#1 Dive, Push the rest) 
6 x 25y @ :45 (#1 Dive, Push the rest)

100y Yellow 
6 x 50y@ :45 (3 Orange - 3 Yellow)
100y Yellow 


Lifetime Best 50 Fly SCY!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 7:35pm (January 22nd, 2012)

I traveled 1.5 hours in the car for two reasons:

  1. Tag a lifetime best in the 50y Fly
  2. See and swim in the Harper Creek pool
  3. I can't count

I fulfilled my weekend goals!  I woke up late, made up a little time on the road (mostly because GPS doesn't account for the time savings of driving on sidewalks).  Deck entered the 50 Fly, 50 Free, 50 Back and 100 back.  Overall, the pool, lockers and pool area were clean and the meet was flawlessly organized.  The staff should be proud of a well run meet.  Unfortunately the scoreboard had some technical difficulties but we still got accurate times once the results were printed out.

Once I was at the meet, I warmed up and tried to acclimate to the starting blocks but without much success.  The pool had fantastic blocks but some maintenance crew decided to paint the tops with a thick coat of white paint, therefore removing the "gripshun" (write that fake word down).  The addition of the paint made starts downright dangerous.  I begged the pool staff for a towel to lay over the block, the kindly obliged and I did a few decent starts.

My first event was the 50 Fly.  I was feeling ok but still sore from the last week of training.  I knew I wouldn't be as fast as last weekend but I thought I still had enough energy to swim a 22point low in the 50y fly.  I gave it a safe start off the blocks for fear of slipping and breaking a hip.  It was fast enough to get decent speed though.  I had a good 14 meters off the start underwater, a few strokes to the wall, a solid turn and 12 meters off the wall.  I didn't take a breath except for the turn, a feat I've never accomplished until today.  I touched in a 22.31, a lifetime best in the event!

I swam a total of 4 events today.  Since I only came to the meet for the 50 fly, I really didn't care what I went in the rest of my events.  I was feeling run down so it meant little to me what the clock said.  I won't give a play by play of each event, the swims don't deserve it.  My streamline broke apart on my 50 free, hense the poor time in that event.  The rest of my swims were solid but definitely nothing special.  

50 Fly SCY: 22.31 (Lifetime best by 0.18 seconds!) 
50 Free SCY: 21.35
50 Back SCY: 22.97 
100 Back SCY: 50.49

It was great to talk to everyone at the meet.  I love making new friends and the Michigan Masters meets just feel like coming home.  The people are great and everybody supports each other!  With 4 lifetime best times in 2 weeks, I'm in the best shape of my life.  This is just awesome.

Training Quote
"You're so humble but when I saw you look at the scoreboard last week after your 100 free and smile, I knew it was a great time for you!" - Randy

A new teammate and race pace Saturday

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 10:20pm (January 21st, 2012)

Welcome Scott!

This week we welcomed a new swimmer to the post-grad group at CW.  We'll call him "Scott".  A name he chose name because not a single English speaking person can pronouce his real name.  I vow to learn how to say his name before he leaves for his trials in China.  He's a very talented swimmer and I'm glad to have him on the team, not only because he will push us all to become better, but also because, like me, he is not cleared to swim with the college team.  Therefore, now I have a teammate who is required to swim with me in the diving well.  It makes practices a lot more tolerable.

Yet again, as usual, Saturday was "race pace".  Scott and I were given a hybrid between the MD (middle distance) and the S (Sprint) set.  I did quite poorly on the MD set which was a broken 200.  Far beyond my normal race distance of 50-100y/m.  Both the MD an S set was 3 rounds.  It is written below.  The first MD round was pathetic for me.  I started out with a :43 second 75y back, followed by a :29 second 50y back, followed by a :30 second 50y back, followed by a :14 second 25y back.  It was embarrassing.  Those are really bad times for me.  Luckly we switched to the Sprint set for the last two rounds which I did much better on.  I began with a :24.5 in my 50 Back, followed by three 12 second 25y backstrokes.  Not great, but respectable.  The last round was with fins.  I tore it up.  My 50y back was a 20.2 with a few 10-point-low 25y swims afterward.  I'm contemplating attending the Harper Creek Masters Meet in the morning.  We'll see how I feel in the morning.  I'm VERY sore from the week of training.  I'm relieved I had some great times last weekend, I feel no pressure to perform in the near future and I can focus on training!


3 x 
(sprint main set)

50y Dive Green @ 1:00
3 x 25y Push Green @ :30


3 x
(middle distance main set)

75y Dive Purple @ 1:00
50y Push Purple @ 1:00
25y Push Green @ :30 


"Speed" pace mornings!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 4:23pm (January 20th, 2012)

This morning was focused on "speed" however we began with a 30 minute dryland set which was really quite brutal.  As a whole it wasn't bad but certain portions just desolated me to the point it made the rest of the set quite tough.

 I had a moment of glory when I went faster than any other sprinter in the 25 yard swim with fins.  Keep in mind these times are actually swimming, not underwater kicking (which is faster).  I began with high 8 second swims while others were mid and low 8's.  Through the set I kept finding more speed and ended up winning the last heat and scoring the fastest freestyle swimming time of 7.9 seconds!  The second fastest swimmer was Scott at 8.1 seconds.  There aren't many days I can say I was the fastest of the group.  Today was one of those days!

Other swimmers swam most of it underwater and went even faster than I did.  I think Ian was a low 7 second swim by kicking 15+ meters underwater.  Very fast times from everybody!

I just think it's amazing that I (or anybody) can cross a short course yards pool in 7 seconds!


Recap Video from 2012 EMU Coldest Masters Meet

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 7:52pm (January 19th, 2012)

For months I haven't bothered posting my race videos online.  I've been busy and frankly, there weren't many swims to be especially proud of.  That all changed this past weekend.  I had an amazing meet.  I've found myself going out of my way to talk about swimming in daily life, something I never do and I imagine I probably annoyed an innocent bystander along the way.  I'm just so proud of every one of my swims during the meet.  I made a quick recap video with all 5 swims on it.  Check it out.

See video

Good, there is a better name for that "fin"

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 11:42am (January 19th, 2012)
Good, there is a better name for that "fin"

The new addition to the blocks for all national events since 2010 was the "fin".  I wrote about it a few days ago.  Justin clued me into the real name:

"KDI Paragon Track Start Plus+™ Adjustable Backplate" or TSB (Track Start Backplate)

Now that I see it written out, I do remember somebody mentioning it as a "backplate".  I'm going to do my best to change the deck-term from "fin" to "backplate"


100 Race pace set

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 2:00am (January 19th, 2012)

Today's set was a lot like yesterday's, which is a good thing.  It was REALLY difficult for a few minutes with ALL OUT 75's, 50's, 25's and followed by some easy swimming between rounds.  I was generally impressed with my performances with 10.x second dive 25y backstrokes, 25 second 50's and a 39.9 second 75.  It was a great set.  I'm feeling like I'm making progress!


400y Swim
300y Kick
300y IM 75's kick/drill/swim 
5 x 50y 3-man relays
4 x 200y with cord at 12.5y UW, #1 Free, #2 FL/BK, #3 BK/BR, #4 IM

3 x

2 x 25y @ :45 Green, #1 Dive, #2 Push
75y Dive Purple, 25 Orange @ 1:30
50y Dive Purple @ 1:00
2 x 25 Purple, #1 Dive, #2 Push @ :30 

 200y Yellow @ 3:00
4 x 50y Orange @ :50
3 x 100y 50 no breath, 50 yellow @ 2:00


I'm (sorta) the STAR of a documentary!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 12:09am (January 19th, 2012)


Yea right...

I arrived at practice this evening to see the post grad "elite" team back together in it's entirety.  The remaining 4 swimmers returned from the Florida keys after a over a month in that terrible place (kidding of course).  After a few cracks at how pasty white I was compared to everybody else, the regular banter resumed.  It was good to have the whole team back together.  One new addition to the pool deck was a videographer.  I noticed him buzzing around the deck getting what I thought was general footage of the team.  After the workout I introduced myself while checking out his professional video equipment.  He explained he was doing a documentary of one of the swimmers for broadcast in Ireland before the Olympics.  I had a great conversation about professional photo, video and sound equipment and the plans for the documentary.  It turns out this videographer was documenting 6 sport diciplines, I forgot the whole list of sports but thought it was great they made the effort to include swimming!  I did an ab workout after practice, alone in the dryland area.  While reflecting on the conversation about the documentary, I remember thinking how cool it was that I knew this specific athlete and what he goes through to prepare for the Olympics.  Moments later, I realized that not only did I know what this athlete goes through, I was living the same life.  It's a fact that I've come to grasp only recently.  Sometimes I take for granted the level of training I endure on a daily basis.  This is not to insinuate I'm at the exact same level as these athletes who are GOING to the Olympic Games, the times clearly show I'm not equal.  Yet, I swim the exact same sets, occasionally at the same times as the swimmers who will be swimming in London in 2012.  That's just crazy to think about.  I'm actually training like an Olympian.  I'm going to write another post on that topic specifically, mostly focusing on everything I've seen and learned about swimming in the last 15 years.  From swimming in college, swimming 4 years as part of one college team, training alone, then swimming with another college team along with potential Olympians, I've gained a lot of knowledge of top tier swimming.

Anyway, after practice I met up with the other post grads at a team dinner in a local restaurant.  I really enjoy being part of a small team like this.  The group this evening was only 6 of the guys but after training alone for so long I've come to enjoy the commrodery and laughs we share on a daily basis.  The videographer was there capturing some of the jokes and smiles as we told stories about training.  The athlete whom the documentary is being filmed introduced the team one by one for the camera and I had my 5 seconds of fame.  Lets face it, I doubt it will get on TV but it was still fun.  It was a great night out.  Glad to have the team back!


Great Kick Set

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 8:10pm (January 17th, 2012)

We had a great kick set this evening.  It was challenging but seemed quite manageable due to the amount of easy swimming inbetween each round.  Although I had to swim the set separately from the team, while comparing notes later, I was either the fastest, or among the fastest of the group!  It's not often I can say that with so many other highly talented swimmers in the pool.  The set began with two 25y from a dive on :40 fast, followed by a 50 kick on 1:10, followed by two 25y kick, the first from a dive and both 20 meters underwater.  The set really made you work those underwaters. I was lucky enough to work with a volunteer assistant coach Sam today.  When I'm separate from the team I typically don't have a coach at all.  Sam was nice enough to take my stroke rates and times today along with offer some pointers along the way.  He's a great asset to the team this year and it was great to have him help me out today.  My times were respectable although I always want to go faster.  I listed the range of times below

25y swim from a dive: 10.1 - 10.8
25y swim from a dive: 10.8 - 11.2
50y kick from a push: 27.0 - 28.0
25y kick from a dive: 10.8 - 11.5
25y kick from a push: 11.5 - 11.8


3 x

2 x 25y swim from a dive @ :40
50y kick from a push @ 1:10
2 x 25y kick from a dive @ :40

500y random swimming inbetween set, I don't feel like typing it all out :) 


Working on Starts

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 2:57pm (January 16th, 2012)
Working on Starts

I briefly considered taking a day off after a long morning of racing Sunday.  However, I was excited to get back to work in the pool and carry that momentum into a new week of training!  We started this week with a dryland and weights endurance circuit.  This one was in the format of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, 20 seconds on.  Meaning you do the exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and do the same exercise for another 20 seconds.  It was very challenging for me since we've historically done so little with muscular endurance.  These exercises were generally with moderate weight and constant movement for the entire 20 seconds.  We only did one round of about 20 exercises, I don't think it would have been beneficial to try another round, we were all pretty tired after only one round.

Afterward we jumped in the pool, did a quick 5 minute warm up (lets face it, we were already warm from all those weights), and moved on to starts.  They had the new "fins" setup on the blocks.  These "fins" are a vertical extension to the starting blocks positioned at a 45 degree angle.  All FINA (international governing body of swimming) meets are now using these "fins".  On a side note, I hope there is a more technical term for these attachments since we already have a piece of swimming gear called "fins".  I'll try to find out.  Anyway, we spent 30 minutes on starts.  The recent addition of side handle grips on the blocks as well as the new fin have changed the way swimmers start.  To my knowledge FINA meets do not require side grips like U of M and IUPUI have, it's just an option.  So far I don't feel comfortable with them but statistically they better starting speed when used properly.  I didn't do a single backstroke start this morning, I focused entirely on my freestyle/butterfly start.  I was among the worst starters in the group but I'm learning quickly and making progress.

Training Quote
"I can't wait till I'm 30 so I can break lifetime bests!" - Martyn

And that was untapered...

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 9:11pm (January 15th, 2012)

As excited as I am about my 3 new lifetime best times, I can't help but think what a shave and taper might have done.  Don't get me wrong, I have no regrets regarding my meet preparation.  I wouldn't have shaved for this meet, even now.  Yet, anybody in the swimming world would agree a few more days rest and a shave would have yielded even faster times!  In my mind, I swam 5 lifetime best times today.  They were all great swims and I know every single one of them had at least a few more tenths to drop if I had shaved.  That drop would have meant another two lifetime bests.  Still floating on air about these swims today!  Very exciting for my swimming career!

Training Quote
"Do you ever swim slow?" - Mike

Best Meet OF MY LIFE

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 5:32pm (January 15th, 2012)
Best Meet OF MY LIFE

Today I surprised even myself.  For years I've felt like I hadn't peaked yet, I've had this nagging feeling that there was more speed hidden in my swimming.  Today I felt the first sliver of justification in that theory.  I had the meet of my life.  I swam 5 races today and 3 of them were lifetime bests, the other 2 swims were darn close to lifetime bests.  It was a huge milestone in my swimming career.  NEVER have I been so proud of my entire meet performance than today.  I rested 2 days for this meet to ensure it would be a great benchmark of my current training.  I wore a speedo jammer suit and a silicone Aqua-V cap.  I didn't taper or shave for this meet, yet I bested almost all my shaved and tapered times from my entire swimming career.  I couldn't be happier!

100 Fly SCY: 49.72 (out in a 22.5, Lifetime best time by 0.27 seconds)
50 Free SCY: 20.61 (Lifetime best time by 0.34 seconds, that's a TON of time considering it's only 50 yards) 
100 Free SCY: 45.29 (Lifetime best time by 1.21 seconds, a fantastic swim, out in 21.39)
50 Back SCY: 22.64 (Only .42 seconds off my LTB and I had a horrible finish as you can see in the video, a GREAT swim)
100 Back SCY: 48.93 (Only .42 seconds off my LTB.  Out in 23.47, another GREAT swim)

I started out with the 100 Fly, a race I was going to use to warm up for the other races but I knew, with all the kicking I had been doing with Kelton's group, I was in good shape to bust out a 49 second 100 Fly time.  Since I never swim butterfly I knew it wouldn't be a groundbreaking time but I knew I had a shot at my 49.99 lifetime best from 2009.  I took  it out well and at the 50 I was a 22.5 but I brought it home in a relatively slow 27 seconds.  I know if I trained butterfly I could drastically improve that time.  I touched and was excited to see that 49.72, a lifetime best time!  I'm the fastest butterflier of my life!  The meet was off to a good start!

Next was my 50 Freestyle.  I knew that out of all my 50 free races, I had one of the best shots to swim fast today.  I was a little rested and swimming in the fastest SCY pool in the region, this was a receipe for success.  I didn't have a ton of rest between my 100 Fly and 50 Free so I was a bit worn down but it wasn't too bad.  I had a good dive, stayed underwater a little too long but had a solid turn and although I committed to a "no-breath" swim, I took one breath off the wall but finished strong to see the 20.61 time on the board!  I let out a "YES" loud enough that the camera in the stands picked it up. I was BLOWN AWAY by that time.  I feel that I've finially acheived a respectable time in the 50 Free.  I always knew I was a 20point freestyler but never actually vocalized that since I had zero proof.  I feel somehow self vindicated from all those years of thinking I was something that I hadn't acheived yet.  Silly but true.  I'm very excited to be the fastest 50 freestyler of my life!

After some rest I moved onto the 100 free.  With a fantastic 50 Free, I KNEW my 100 free would be a lifetime best time.  There was no question in my mind it would be a 45 second swim, a bold statement, I know.  I dove in and took it out in a strong 21.39 which is a strong 50 freestyle all by itself!  I knew I was out to a great start.  I fell apart at the end a bit but held it together as much as possible to hit the wall in a 45.29, a lifetime best time by 1.21 seconds, the biggest drop of the day!  It was then that I realized I might actually go 5 for 5 with lifetime best times today!

Next up was my 50 back.  This was another race with short rest, it seemed rushed but it was 14 mintues between swims.  Although I didn't say it, I knew it would be a 22 second swim.  At this point I had all kinds of confidence, I had swum 3 lifetime bests already and was physically feeling great.  I had a good start, good underwaters but a slow turn.  I brought it home well but missed the flags.  They were there in plain sight but this was the first time I've ever just not seen them, it was very odd.  When I realized I must have passed them, I took a short (and funny looking) stroke to touch the wall, I was dangerously close to hitting my head for a 2nd time this week!  I touched at a 22.64, the 2nd fastest time in my life after a college swim of 22.22.  I don't know how much difference a good finish would have been but at least a tenth.  My finish may have cost me a lifetiem best in the 50 back.  I will go 21 seconds though, mark my words.  My time of 22.64 was a national record in the 30-34 age group!

My last swim of the day was my trademark 100 Backstroke.  I had plenty of rest for this race.  After all these great swim, I knew I would be a 49something or faster.  I had a good start, great underwaters yet (as usual) slow turns.  I spent more time underwater than any other race of my life.  I was over 12 meters off each wall, the first two walls were nearly 15 meters.  Although they are small improvements, I'm very proud of my underwaters in this race.  Since the only fair comparison is the "college Kevin Doak", let me just say that I DEMOLISHED the college version of myself on the underwaters.  I took it out in a 23.47, again a great time in itself.  I brought it home with solid underwaters and touched at 48.93, among the fastest times of my life!  I've been a 48.51, 48.60, 48.83 before but I've never seen "48" since college.  My best post graduate time before today was a 49.50 a few years ago while shaved and tapered.  This time was a USMS National Record in the 30-34 age group!

At this point, in my mind, there is no denying that I'm in the best shape of my life.  I'm the fastest I've ever been both Long Course Meters and Short Course Yards.  It's very motivating to know that I'm making progress!  I will be logging all the training notes from the last week, I want to figure out why I felt AMAZING at every point in my meet.  After a 300 warmdown I was ready to go again, just the most amazing feeling.  My training is working!  Special thanks to everybody at the meet for their support, I know I thanked as many of you face to face as I could but it was really nice to hear your congratulations after my races!  Thanks for reading, I'm so excited to share such great news!

Session Weight Information
Pre-Competition Weight: 169.7 lbs
Training Quote
"Man, I'm gonna bang my head into the wall too before my next meet" - Bobby

EMU Masters Meet in the morning!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 1:34am (January 15th, 2012)

Since I didn't get entered in the 2012 Austin Grand Prix I'm excited at least I can swim a meet in my favorite pool.  I'll be heading to EMU in the morning to swim a SCY masters meet.  I'm looking forward to benchmarking some yards times for the first time in a few months.  As of right now I'm entered into the:

100 Fly
100 Free
50 Back
100 Back

I may go for some 50 splits in the 100 fly and 100 free simply due to scheduling of the events.  To maximize my rest inbetween events, sometimes I enter a longer event of the same stroke and notify the officals I will be touching at the 50 for a time and then continue to race. Example:

Enter the 200 Backstroke, tell the offical I'm doing a legal touch at the 50 yard mark.  I swim ALL OUT to the 50 yard mark, touch the wall on my back and finish the race slowly while keeping my form and turns legal so the 50 time counts.  It's actually quite a common practice, especially if the event schedule isn't ideal for your event lineup.

Looking forward to a great meet and to catch up with friends!


Rough Wednesday Set

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 7:32pm (January 12th, 2012)

The worst part of Wednesday's set was that I was expecting "recovery" as the schedule indicated.  Sadly that was only for the college team who has a meet this weekend.  I wasn't expecting a "green/kick" set.  Which basically means "race pace and kicking".  It was rough.  Read the set below but this set tore me up.  It started with 3 x 50's fly on the 1:00 dive green pace.  That means almost all-out swimming, then you start the set.  It wipes you out before you even start.  The set is meant to develop the latatic acid tolerance and mental toughness to push your body far past it's comfort zone.  It does.  My average times are below for the 3 rounds of the set.  As insane as the set was, I thought I held it together pretty well, swimming a 38 second 75 yards after 3 consecutive 50's fly really isn't that bad for practice!

50y Fly: 23.9
50y Fly: 24.8
50y Fly: 25.5
75y Back: 38.8
50y Back: 24.0
25y Back: 11.2

Overall, I thought the set went well.  I can always do better though.


3 x 

3 x 50y Fly Dive Green Pace (near race pace HR~30) @ 1:00
Wait till HR is 22 (around 45 seconds rest)
75y Dive Stroke BLAST
25y Easy (+15 seconds rest)
50y Dive Stroke BLAST
25y Easy (+15 seconds rest)
25y Push Stroke BLAST


It had to happen sooner or later

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 8:27pm (January 9th, 2012)
It had to happen sooner or later

I got my bell rung... In other words, I hit my head, pretty bad on the side of the pool.  After about 23 years of swimming backstroke competitively, I finally hit my head.  I've had so many people (outside the swimming world) over the years ask, "Don't you ever hit your head on the wall?", to which I normally answer, "never, that's more likely to happen to a young swimmer who can't keep track of their position in the pool".  It finally happened to me.  With false confidence like that, I deserve it!

I was swimming a morning practice with the other post grads at Club Wolverine and the water polo team had removed the backstroke flags to practice.  This is normal for them but they typically replace the flags when they're done.  I immediately noticed they were missing when I walked on deck and planned on being extra cautious since I couldn't rely on the flags to indicate when I was 5 yards away from the wall.

Almost the entire practice went well.  I never came close to hitting the wall, I would tip my head back and look for the wall each time and count my strokes accordingly, no problem.  The issue was when the assistant water polo coach returned toward the end of our practice and put the flags back up.  I saw her doing it and was relieved I wouldn't have to look out for the wall.  I never expected was that the flags were in the wrong place.  She had forgotten to push the flags out a bit toward the middle of the pool along a cable they have strung there.  Therefore the flags were hanging 3 yards away from the wall instead of the regulation 5 yards.

Unfortunately we were working on "Speed" that morning.  We had surgical tubing attached to the block and at the other end at our waist to simulate extremely fast swimming.  Therefore, combine fins, and surgical tubing as power adders in this situation.  Compared to every other moment of my swimming career, I was traveling through the water faster than ever before, probably exceeding 5mph (the human water speed record is 2.35 m/s which is approximately 5.25mph).  Since I was swimming backstroke, I was looking for those backstroke flags to indicate where I was.  I remember thinking "This doesn't seem right", at that moment, I tilted my head backward toward my spine to aim my eyes forward in the water to see the wall.  I was swimming so fast that I covered that 3 yards in the amount of time it took me to look forward.  As I tilted my head back, I saw the end of the pool underwater and shut down my stroke but it wasn't enough time to slow down.  My arm hit the edge of the pool near my wrist which probably helped me slow down a bit.  Next my head struck the stainless steel gutter at the top of my forehead near my hairline.  I remember hearing the "BOMMMMMMM" of the stainless steel as I made contact.  I hit it quite hard.

Apparently nobody saw it but a few other swimmers, along with the lifeguard on duty heard it!  I was still fully operational so I hung on the laneline to gain my bearings again.  I was a little dizzy and decided to call it a day.  The trainers were onsite and demanded that I get checked out for a concussion before I left.  I packed up my equipment and headed for the locker room.  It was minutes later when I realized I forgot to drop my equipment bag in the cart on deck.  I certainly wasn't firing on all cylinders.  I sat in the shower for a few minutes to make sure I was ok to be walking around.  After getting dressed I headed up to see the trainer and get checked out.

The trainers (who, by the way, are awesome), did the routine check of my general reflexes and eye tracking along with asking me the 20 questions.  It was comprehensive and I felt better knowing I could perform all the tasks.  I had a slight headache the rest of the day but other than that, I made a speedy recovery.

Those walls jump out at ya!  Watch out!


Get comfy

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 6:03pm (January 5th, 2012)

I took an unplanned break from posting.  I found myself fairly overloaded with work and life to write.  The past two weeks has been very refreshing.  With the U of M team and the Post Grads on a training trip to the Florida Keys, it was up to me to find a team to train with.  Luckily Club Wolverine (High School group) welcomed me with open arms.  It worked out quite well in many ways.  The holiday brought home some very talented college and post college swimmers from across the country.  I unexpectedly found myself training with multiple swimmers with National or Olympic Trial cuts!  The practices, written by CW head coach Kelton Graham were right up my alley.  If I haven't mentioned it before, I'm a big fan of Kelton.  He is a fellow EMU grad and a skilled coach.  I feel he takes the best of EMU's head  coach (and his former coach) Peter Linn and combines it with his unique personality which results in a fun and challenging training environment.

It was a great change of pace to actually train with a team.  Since the college team was out of town, the high school squad trained at Canham in Ann Arbor.  It worked out perfect for me.  I was able to train at the same time and the same pool with others, how revolutionary!

My training competition was an interesting situation.  After months of being in the middle of the pack at CW, I was either the fastest, or among the fastest in the pool.  Please understand I'm not bragging, I simply found myself training with much younger and physically smaller swimmers.  There were moments I really enjoyed the fact that my 80% effort exceeded the times of every swimmer in the pool.  Other times I noticed that I could have really used a similar speed swimmer next to me to push me.  Yet overall, I think I pushed myself just as much as I needed to, I really feel the benefits from the more middle distance geared workouts I got by working with Kelton.

Kelton puts adequate emphasis on kick sets, something I've consistently felt was lacking at CW Elite.  The kick sets are JUST what I need in my opinion.  There was a kick set which went something like this:

4 x 100's @ 1:40
400 MAX
3 x 100y @ 1:40
300 MAX
2 x 100y @ 1:40
200 MAX
1 x 100y @ 1:40
100 MAX

I lead the entire set, hitting the wall in 5:09 on the first 400, followed by a 3:40 finish in the 300 and a 2:16 time in the 200 and a final 100 in 1:05.  Each swim was a lifetime best with a board and the 200, 300 and 400 was a lifetime best with or without a board.  It was a brutal set but I loved every second of it.

My 50's yesterday were meters.  I was holding 28's on the backstroke, and 28's on fly.  My freestyle was a 25.8 and my last fly was a 26.4... just blazing for me. 

I hope to get to a more regular posting schedule again, just crazy busy lately.  I do write here as much for my own training log as much as to just share with the world what a swimmer in my situation experiences.  Thanks for reading

Session Weight Information
Post-Practice Weight: 171.7 lbs