Washington Post reporter Paul Tenorio will train with a swim club over the next few months and chronicle his journey as he attempts to transform from regular guy/sports reporter to competitive swimmer — everything from his waistline to his best times.
In case any of you guys aren’t sure let me make this clear now: Sleep is glorious.
I slept until 8:30 this morning and it was wonderful. Four and a half hours more than the past two nights goes a long way.
My coach, Jeff King, decided that for the first few weeks I would go three days in the pool with two-to-three days of dry-land training and one day off so as to not tire out too much. At some point in August I’ll go to four days in the pool.
Today was a dry-land training day. I won’t torture you with the details, but here’s a quick rundown of a workout I put together based on suggestions from Jeff King and Pat Sullivan: 20 minutes of jumping rope (much harder than I even imagined), resistance lifting for shoulders with stretch cords, 15 minutes on bike, abdominal workout on medicine ball, 15 minutes stretching.
Since I don’t have a pool workout to detail, I thought I’d give you guys a little bit of info on how I chose Curl-Burke, and also some quick replies to comments. Also, check out the video to the right, where I talk about reachforthewall.com and this blog on Washington Post Live with Ivan Carter.
Also, check out the blog of a colleague of mine out in Loudoun County, Dave Scarangella. Dave has been inspired by this blog to get active as well, and has challenged me to a physical fitness test of sorts around November. Read about it here.
(Dave, you’re on!)
And make sure to check me out on twitter! I just started an account so follow me here.
July 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm Sounds like good coaching. Are you swimming other strokes in practice besides front crawl?
Donal, right now it’s just freestyle with a little backstroke every once in a while to loosen up my arms. Maybe as I get further in I’ll try out some butterfly. I’ve never been able to do breaststroke well, so that will probably be left off the docket.
July 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm Paul,- How did this assignment/experiment come about? Did you swim with Jeff as a teenager?”
Marc, I did not swim with Jeff King as a teenager, though a close friend of mine, Corey Inglee, did, as well as the star from my high school, Mount Vernon, (and future Olympic silver medalist) Markus Rogan.
Corey passed Jeff’s number on to me and he was one of the coaches I approached when I first thought of this project. As for where the idea came from? I’m not quite sure, it just kind of happened one day when I was chatting with a buddy of mine. I asked editors, they liked it and we got it rolling.
(Read further down to see how Curl-Burke became the club I trained with.)
Also, congrats on getting back into the pool! Let us know how your progress is coming.
July 22, 2009 at 10:37 am Paul – Can you provide a description of a proper flip turn, and also what you’d been doing wrong? My own also suffers…Good series!
Ben, I’m probably not the best person to give you advice on a flip turn considering I’m still working on my own. For now, I’ll give you what I know, but tomorrow I’ll add in exact quotes from Jeff King or Pat Sullivan, and maybe in the future I can shoot some video of a flip turn and break it down for you.
Jayme also added excellent tips right under your comment on the last post.
The first thing Jeff told me is, as you approach the wall, your last stroke should pull down to your side. When both arms are down to your side, flip your hands over so that your palms are facing up. Quickly pull them up toward your head. This helps you to flip. Your hands then continue up behind your head and out into your streamline as you push off the wall. As I watched Pat underwater, I saw he was on his side as he came out of the flip. Also, one thing Pat pointed out to me was to make sure my feet were even with the black cross on the wall, with my feet spread. Don’t flip too close to the wall so that your knees are bent up against your chest, you want your legs to be at a 90-degree angle like you’re jumping for a basketball to get ultimate effectiveness.
Again, I’ll try to get one of the “experts” to break this down for you, but at least those are a few of the tips I got on Tuesday when working on my flip turn.
VAl Ellicott says:
July 21, 2009 at 10:32 am Paul — congratulations on this effort. hopefully, you’re inspiring lots of people to do something similar. just curious about how tall you are. 196 pounds isn’t too embarrassing for someone who’s 6-feet-two. good luck — Val
Val, I wish I were 6-foot-2. Unfortunately, I check in at about 5-9 ½, 5-10 on a good day. Thus the 193 pounds being unacceptable, though I am comforted by the 17.7 percent body fat which is just slightly above the “normal” range of 13-17.
HOW I CHOSE CURL-BURKE
Many of you must be wondering how I ended up with Curl-Burke, so I thought I’d give a quick synopsis.
Upon getting this project approved, I made calls to several of the swim clubs in the area that were close to where I lived in Arlington – FISH, Mason Makos, Fort Belvoir and Curl-Burke – to gauge their interest in the project.
Curl-Burke immediately expressed interest, and I had two names in mind as possible coaches.
FISH spoke with me and thought the timing may not be right because their season ended in early August. Mason Makos also agreed that the timing may not be perfect because of their preparations for some championship meets. Fort Belvoir was very helpful and volunteered to join in on this project, allowing me to swim in their Masters program.
In the end, with the type of age-group training I could get with Jeff, the location and early-morning start times of the swim practices and the overall timing with the club, Curl-Burke became the choice.
I am paying fees to Curl-Burke and am registered with the club for insurance purposes.
Eventually as this project gets a few months older, I’d like to do something with each club in the area, however, to show the way different clubs work and function – even if it’s just spending one practice with the different clubs.
See you back here tomorrow with reports from Practice No. 3.