Let me start by saying that, when you roll out of bed on four hours of sleep and mosey over to a swim practice half-awake, then change into a bathing suit and head out to the deck, there are a few things you don’t expect to see.
Among those things is Patrick Sullivan groaning and grimacing as he attempts to yank up a (now illegal) full-body, Speedo LZR suit in one of the locker wells.
I had to take a picture, even with Pat saying, “Uh Paul, read the sign…no cameras or video cameras in the locker room,” referring to the warning as you enter the premises.
Yes, it’s probably inappropriate. But it got a laugh out of our coach, Jeff King, and thus I am posting it.
The reason Pat wore the LZR is kinda simple and kinda funny. He wanted to see how fast he could go — shaved and tapered — with a LZR and fins on. He went 20.7 at Dolan this weekend and in two races with the suit and fins on this morning he went 18.3 and 18.9.
Yeah, I’m pretty much that fast. Okay, maybe not. As Jill King said while we did our set: “I wish I knew what it was like to be that fast.”
This week’s practice workload has definitely been different than last week’s. While in the past few weeks we have focused on more quantity than anything else, this week the direction has shifted.
I got out to the deck a little late (read above about half-awake) and Jeff told me he had quizzed the rest of the group on the following question:
What is most important: quantity or intensity?
“I told them I WANTED an answer,” he said. “Jill [his daughter] was the only one who opened her mouth. So what do you think?”
“Intensity, duh,” I said.
“That’s what I said,” Jill exclaimed.
Jeff nodded at the rest of the group.
“They’re doing 10 400s right now,” he said. “You guys get to do something different.”
As I said earlier, the focus of the workouts has been mostly on sprinting and learning how to stay strong when you’re tired and, most importantly, how to stay technically sound when you’re tired. So far that’s meant a lot of sprinting…25s, 50s, 75s, 100s. I can handle that.
Today was more of that concept, and it was good to be next to Jill. Let me tell you something, when you throw fins and paddles on her she is FAST. Like, I was really trying to catch her and just couldn’t do it most of the time…though I think I started to get close toward the end.
It felt good to go through the workout, which included a ton of all-out kick as well, and it really felt good to hear Jeff and Pat both compliment how I looked swimming and comment on how far I’ve come.
Of course, Jeff and I both know that as far as I’ve come when I have fins on, I still have work to do when I take them off. That’s the next step, and I know my responsibility is to really focus on my core and abs during dryland workouts.
I had to do some rehab on my lower back last year as part of a lingering problem from my hips being rotated a bit too far forward and a lack of flexibility/core strength that happened as a result. I was told, basically, that a lot of stress goes on to my lower back that otherwise would go on my core and now there is an unbalanced situation there.
Bottom line is, all the core exercises they were having me to do to strengthen that up and increase flexibility needs to come back into my life big time.
I feel like I’m getting stronger, I can see it in the mirror and feel it in the pool, and I just need to increase that core strength and my overall flexibility. That’s the next step, and hopefully it’ll lead to more improvements in the pool.
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.