Pool Open Water Workouts at Fairmont

Every other Thursday morning at the Fairmont Aquatics Center, we have an open water workout.  It's the funnest workout of the week and a good way for those not familiar with open water swimming to get a taste.

On open water day our coach takes out three lane lines so that we have a 25 yard long by 4 lane wide "open water" pool.  Instead of swimming back and forth, we swim laps around perimeter.

Here is what our workout looked like this morning:

6 laps - swimming counterclockwise around the perimeter
3 laps - "heads up" freestyle, swimming clockwise around the perimeter
6 open water starts - line up in the deep end of the pool and tread water until we are told to start.  We practice getting out fast and hitting peak speed by the time we get to the wall.  With each start, we compress into a tighter group to simulate crowded starts.
3 x 5 minute drafting swims - This is one of the funnest things we do on open water day.  We practice drafting ("in line" and v formation) by alternating leaders and swimming for 5 minutes at a time.  If you are the lead swimmers, your goal is to try to lose the other swimmers.  You can do pretty much anything you want to lose them.  If you are drafting, your goal is to not be dropped by the lead swimmer.  Slower swimmers are allowed to wear fins and faster swimmers are sometimes given a t-shirt to wear to even things out.
5 minute cool down swim

Other things that we practice on open water days are sighting, turns, and pacing.  I asked Coach Max to start including some "worst case scenario" training, which should keep things interesting.

If you're in the Salt Lake area on Thursday mornings, come join us for these fun workouts.  We also have "regular" workouts Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings at 6am.


2014 QUAC Ski-n-Swim Meet

Wow, I've really been slacking off on the blog lately...

Last Saturday was the QUAC Ski-n-Swim meet at Fairmont.  It's a really fun meet, and one of my favorites of the year.

We had a pretty good showing of SLOW swimmers: Gordon, Goody, Sue, Todd, Chad, Stacey, Kevin and myself.  Since we don't see each other a whole lot during the colder months, this meet was a great way to get caught up and have a good time.  I love that pretty much our whole team was at the opposite end of the pool, cheering each other on during our individual swims.  Several SLOW swimmers got new "post high school" PR's, which was AWESOME!

For swimmers who don't consider themselves to be "pool swimmers" and don't participate in meets, I would ask you to reconsider.  There are all ages, body types and abilities who participate in Masters meets.  If you are worried about embarrassing yourself, you have nothing at all to worry about.  All of the swimmers I have ever run into at Masters meets are friendly and supportive.  Sure there is competition but, for most of us, it's competition against ourselves and our past times.  I think Masters meets are also a really great way to check your progress every few months to see how you are improving.  Also, you don't have to be a current USMS member to participate in most meets (although it is highly encouraged), you can pay for a one-day membership on top of your meet registration fee.

I'll step off my soapbox now...

Here are the events I swam:

50 Breast - I have never done this event before and wanted to try something different.  I had no idea what time I would get, or even what a good 50 breast time is.  I ended up at 37:35 which gives me a good place to start.

500 Free - At each meet I pick one event that I really want to focus on and sign up for other events around it.  For this meet I focused on the 500.  I have gone under 6 minutes in practice, but didn't have an official time from a meet so my goal was to just go under 6 minutes.  My arms felt stiff going into the event and I think I started my warmup too early.  I had my coach Max from Fairmont and my oldest son counting for me.  I knew I needed to keep under 46 second 50's to be under 6 minutes.  About 150 yards in, Max started shaking the counting cards.  Crap.  I tried to pick it up, but he kept shaking the numbers until the last 100 or so yards.  It wasn't my best swim (I had some sloppy walls and some other problems), but I did end up under 6 minutes at 5:56.72.  This is a new post high school best for me and I was pretty happy with it!  Here is a graph of my 50 splits:

200 Free Relay - I swam third on a relay with Chad, Goody, and Gordon.  The results have order mixed up, but I went a 25.95.  My best since joining Masters is 25.37.  I think I could have beat that if I hadn't just done the 500.

100 Breast - I swam this event my first year in high school and haven't swam it since.  I finished at 1:20.85.  I told Max I didn't even know what a good time for this event is and he told me 1:20 is a good place to start.  I think I'd like to swim this event more.

200 Medley Relay - I swam the breaststroke leg of this relay with Goody, Chad and Gordon.  I got 36.74, which was faster than my individual 50 breast time.  There is an advantage to starting from a relay rather than from a gun, which accounts for the faster time.

100 Free - By this time in the meet, my arms were completely shot and I knew I wasn't going to get anywhere near my best time.  I ended up at 59.85.  Considering the other events I had swam before, I was just happy to be under a minute.  Maybe in an upcoming meet I'll focus on the 100 and see what I can do.

Martini Relay - Goody and Gordon had to leave early and Chad and I decided to just swim this relay as a two-person team.  This is a fun relay where they give you a martini glass with a rubber duck inside and you have to swim while keeping the duck in the glass.  Chad and I worked out a great strategy for keeping it in, which we found out later was against the rules...oops.  We had fun anyway and still managed to beat the other SLOW team.

It was a really fun meet.  Apart for getting the 500 time I wanted, I also won a pretty sweet messenger bag.  After the meet, I went to lunch with Todd, Sue and Stacey, which was icing on the cake.  The next local meet, for anyone interested, is in April at the new Olympus High School pool.  Check www.olympusaquatics.com for details.