Friday, December 10, 2010

Aquajogging, swimming, and getting lean and mean

This has been a challenging week of ups and downs and distracting and difficult life situations. Workouts are good for keeping structure, focus, and sanity when negotiating those emotional speed bumps (some of which feel more like brick walls).


On Wednesday I met with Ann McGranahan, an elite level runner, who supplements her running program with aquajogging/swim workouts. She took me through a one-hour workout, and I think this is what we did....if my memory serves

200 warmup
4 x 50 aquajog/butt kicks/kickouts
8 x 50
     25 sprint, switching off btw free, back, breast
     25 aquajog/buttkicks/high knees
5 x 1 min up/1 min down deep water aquajog finish with 20s hands in air
5 x 30s up/ 30s down deep water aquajog with 20s hands in air
2 x 50 build free + 25 aquajog
100 cooldown

I was pretty well beat after this, with a nice feeling of all over body fatigue. This type of workout would be a great addition to any runner's program and a nice option for those rehabbing.  The cross country team at VT does this sort of thing on a regular basis.

Swim Technique

Today I met with Jim to start tuning up my stroke.  We worked on body position and my kick, and here are some notes from that.
  • Pressing upper body more into water, which felt like it required a bit of chin tuck too
  • lower goggle stays in water, cigar mouth to breath (always)
  • Smaller kick with straighter legs, more pointed toes, generate more from glutes
  • Back arch, butt up
  • More 2-beat kick, less flutter.  Less kick overall
  • swim with elastic ankle band to limit width of kick
  • use pull buoy to get feel of more horizontal body position
  • one arm swimming, with other arm at side, focusing on rotation, high elbow
  • kicking drills - front, back, sides with smaller, straighter kick
  • get zoomers to increase speed at which drills can be done
Here were some good swim tips I came across:

    Lean and Mean

    I'm on day 12 of structured, pre-planned eating.  The goals for me are to maintain a more constant energy level throughout the day and to just feel better.

    I'm eating 7 meals a day with a consistent balance of macronutrients.  I really really like eating this way.  It takes about 10 or 15 minutes of planning the night before, and meal prep in the morning, but then I'm on auto pilot.  It makes it easier to pass up all the goodies that are everywhere this time of year.

    Jake of course works with the overall meal planning. I've gotten some other ideas from Juliet Gotthardt (see , a young female bodybuilder at the gym who is working with BB pro, Kurt Weidner (  She's very creative and has a way of adding kick and flavor to otherwise somewhat dull meals.  Those guys just eat for utility, we like things to taste good too!

    What I love about our approach is that I just focus on the meals and how I feel.  I'm paying no attention to the scale and in fact haven't looked at a scale in nearly a year.  I am getting on the scale - backward - so I don't see the number.  Jake keeps tabs and provides general feedback and encouragement.  It's not about the number for me and it's easy to fall into the trap of obsessing about that stupid stupid number!  Why is that??  So this way I think about what I can control (nutrition, meals) and I don't worry about what I can't control (what the scale says).