April 2012

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Fastest 50m Kick to date

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 8:45pm (April 27th, 2012)

My morning started out a bit rough.  I worked through most of the night and by the time the alarm rang for morning practice I had only slept two hours.  I was really dragging.  I arrived at the pool and got ready to lift with the team.  I began with some leg press and leg extension exercises after a brief warmup.  As I headed over to begin my arm workout, I felt myself fall asleep while walking.  I knew I had pushed it too far.  I gathered my stuff and embarrassingly let the coach know I was too tired to safely lift heavy objects over my head.  I explained that I would get some rest and be back for evening practice.  Today I found my limit.

After a 4 hour nap (at what point is it just considered "sleeping"?), I was ready for a workout.  I swhoed up early to practice to finish up my weights workout.  To fully complete it I ended up missing some of the warmup, not a big deal.  I jumped in at the beginning of the kick set, a set I really didn't want to miss!  I felt pretty good during the kick set as usual. I especially enjoy the kicks sets because I see a lot of value in them as well as the fact that I excel in them compared to other swimmers.  Today had it all, 50's, 100's and 150's fast.  I really enjoyed it.  We ended the workout with a single fast 50 with a few minutes of rest before it.  Everyone kicked with a board, I heard a "33" and a "34" before a few "35" and so on, it was a good finish for the team after a long set.  A few of the butterfly/backstrokers were peer pressured into a 50m kick underwater long course.  Something I have never done before.  I agreed to it to challenge myself and keep a little pride.  I lined up against two of the fastest swimmes in the BIG10 along with teammate Wu Peng.  I knew how I would finish against these great swimmers and I was totally ok with it.  We climbed up on the blocks for a gun start from the coaches.  After a good start I had a chance to look sideways to see Wu Peng start cruising away from me as if I wasn't even trying.  The other swimmers were inching away as well.  I held back a little because I wasn't entirely sure I could make it 50 meters long course without a breath.  It was something I've done plenty of times with fins on but I don't think I've ever done it with no equipment.  I remember seeing the 25 meter mark thinking... "wow, I'm only half way and I'm out of air!".  I struggled that last 10 meters, it was really burning by then.  I made it the entire way and touched in a lifetime best time of 27.8!  It was about 2 seconds faster than ever before whether on top of the water or under.  A 27.8 is a pretty respectable time for a 50 meter swim regardless!  My teammates were all much faster, one was a 25.8, then a 25.6 and Wu Peng was a BLAZING 22.8.  A time I wouldn't have thought was possible, and that was after a full 6,000+ meter short interval practice.  Very impressive.

Training is going very well.  I keep dropping time!


It's been a while!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 12:08am (April 26th, 2012)
It's been a while! It's been a while!

I'm happy to report that my training lately has been phenominal!  After a solid 6 months of exclusively SCY training, the switch to LCM training has been fantastic.  After a spirited speech by head coach Mike Bottom a few weeks ago, there was a significant increase in workload.  It was just what I needed to feel better about my training!

Last week the London 2012 clock broke the 100 day mark.  It struck me that a year ago at the 2011 Eric Namesnik Grand Prix I was staring at 470 days.  Time flies.  The day I took these pictures we were practicing when the clock turned from to  While we were swimming a structured warmup, everybody in the pool stopped.  I was confused until I saw everybody looking at the countdown clock with 20 seconds left in the 94th day.  As we waited for the clock to zero out I looked around at everybody staring at the clock and reflected upon this amazing thing I was part of.  When the clock broke the zeros, everybody cheered.  It was a really cool moment.  I thought to myself, this might be a once in a lifetime experience.  Here I am, in the best shape of my life, training with some of the fastest swimmers on the planet, cheering at an Olympic countdown clock.  Wow.  This really is an amazing time in my life.

I'm regretful that I haven't had time to post more in the last few weeks simply for the reason that I've had some of the best training stories of my life.  I've had some of the best and worst practices of my life.  I've had moments of personal glory leading kick sets against Olympians, only days later to find myself not only at the back of the lane, but probably the slowest swimmer in the pool.  All these experiences were amazing learning experiences for me.  I've felt pain in the last few weeks I haven't felt since last summer.  The long course meters training is an entirely different game and I love the challenge.

I've had some great LCM sets lately:

Race pace 3 x 100m @ 15:00
Backstroke - 59.1 (fastest practice time ever)
Backstroke -  1:01.4 (still darn good for practice)
Backstroke -  1:01.7 (I held onto it, not a bad 3rd race in 40 minutes)

Backend 100 Speed - 3x [broken 100m and then push 50m for time]
Fly - 27.7
Fly - 27.9
Fly - 27.7 (fastest push time ever and it was 20 seconds after finishing a broken 100m)

"Get out swim" which was a 50m kick for time... time to beat 31.7.  (I was assigned the fastest time to beat of the group) 
50m kick with a board from a push - 30.6 (lifetime best kick with a board from a push) 

There are so many more stories I can't remember but I've really been enjoying my training lately.  The team is great, everybody is swimming well and there have been some really impressive times from our race pace sets.  I'm excited to see what our team can do with some great LCM training!

Hi Luhny.


Best week of training in memory!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 12:12pm (April 7th, 2012)

There is so much to share about the last week of training.  Our workload has significantly increased during all our workouts and I couldn't be happier about it!  I've been pushed to my physical limit so many times this past week and it's been a great learning process.  I've had some fantastic sets, and some really bad ones as well but I've found value in every one of them.  Back in college I knew I was working hard when my left shoulder would start giving me some pain.  I haven't felt pain like that since last summer.  I was beginning to think my shoulder didn't have that issue anymore yet and all of a sudden, we increase our workload and the pain is back.  I never worry about it, it's just a reliable barometer of my practice workload.  I'm really proud of the training we've done this week, I hope we continue training at this level!

More details and a few workout stories to come...


Missing out on Masters Short Course Nationals

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 8:35am (April 4th, 2012)
Missing out on Masters Short Course Nationals Missing out on Masters Short Course Nationals

I had hoped my schedule and meet lineup would have let me attend the 2012 Masters Short Course (Spring) Nationals in Greensboro, NC but it's not looking good.  The primary reason being that I'd like to stay focused on my long course season.  I had really looked forward to seeing the brand new facility at the Greensboro Aquatic Center (GAC) but I think I've made the right choice.  By skipping the meet it will give me additional time to prepare for Olympic Trials and the Charlotte Grand Prix.  Best of luck to everybody attending Spring Nationals!


King of the kickboard for a day

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 2:28pm (April 3rd, 2012)

Being on a team with so much raw talent combined with hard working swimmers, there aren't many days I can say that I excelled in the group.  Many days, especially when I'm swimming Middle Distance, I get beat by bodylengths, it's unreal.  Today was a green swim set with a focus on kicking:


3 x

15m UW from a dive blast + 35m dolphin kick on back moderate
50m Kick Blast for time
25m easy - stop - 25m Blast to a great finish
50m swim from a dive for time, keep rates up with small moderate kick


6 x 100m pull @ 1:30

I held with the best of the group during the 15 underwater from a dive but when we got to the 50m kick for time, it was MY set.  I still think I can do much better at these kick sets but today was certainly respectable.  Each of the 3 rounds I was either tied with the fastest, or I was the fastest.  The top time of the day being my 32.3.  I've kicked faster but that was probably the fastest without rest in the middle of a set.  I still refuse to do armstrokes during kick sets, a habit everybody else in the group chooses to embrace.  An unwritten rule on CW/UofM is that "anything goes inside the flags" which translates to the fact that you can do entire armstrokes during a dedicated kick set.  It's something I've chosen not to embrace.  I feel that a kick set should be just that, kicking.  It should be known that I indeed always take one arm pull into the wall.  I've always done this along with every other swimmer I know.  I like limiting it to a single stroke though especially from what I've seen on this team.  A mostly innocent rule of "inside the flags" seems to creep into "right at the flags" and then to, "one pull before the flags along with within the flags".  This seems to have grown into people downright swimming for 8-9 meters in and out of the wall.  To me, that's crazy.  That's not a kick set.  For this reason, when we do short course swimming, I just get trampled by everybody since they are kicking for 40% the pool length and I'm kicking for 98% of the pool length.  When the pool is long course, it's a different story and I love every second of it.  With so many fewer "inside the flags" portions of the pool, it turns into a real kick set.  Suddenly my stubborn attitude toward the unwritten rule starts paying off.  There are moments of these kick sets where it's just weird how fast I'm pulling away from other swimmers, by the 25m mark, I'm a body length ahead of somebody who started a split second ahead of me and I maintain or gain on that lead in the last 25 meters.  Kick sets like these just put a big smile on my face.  I love swimming with talented swimmers, and although I typically get beat, there are days when I don't.  This was one of those days.

I'm a good kicker and I'm on my way to being a great kicker.

Training Quote
"You can go first in that lane so you can race Bobby" - Hulmey

Ripped Speedo Fastskin3 suit... what to do

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 12:12am (April 2nd, 2012)
Ripped Speedo Fastskin3 suit... what to do Ripped Speedo Fastskin3 suit... what to do

If you hadn't been following the Indianapolis Grand Prix this past weekend, you might not have heard about Nathan Adrian's 100 Freestyle.  His Speedo Fastskin3 suit ripped during his start off the blocks.  He went on to beat Michael Phelps in the race ironically.  This might be one of the few times Nathan and I have something in common.  We both own entirely useless expensive suits.  The difference being, I paid $361.00 for mine, his was probably a sponsorship.  I plan on contacting Speedo regarding this suit.  I'm dissatisfied with the suit to the point that I don't think I even want a replacement, a refund would be appreciated but more than anything I just want to give it back to them.  They can keep my money... lesson learned.  Speedo really dropped the ball with this suit.  I still haven't met a swimmer who likes the suit.