Monday was supposed to be Workout #3 but for various reasons of my own adult choosing, it didn’t come to pass.

So to make sure I’d be in good stead to get to the Wednesday AM workout, I went to bed at 9:30 last night and woke up on my own shortly after 5 AM to eat a small breakfast, get dressed, comb my hair, get my swim stuff together and head out the door for the pool.

“Swimming Keeps Kids Clean”

Around here, there are advertising signs about swimming – mostly for parents, but about their children.  It says “Swimming Keeps Kids Clean”, and aside from the funny pun that’s in that statement about the amount of water your children would be immersed in for hours on end if they joined a swim team, I figured out why swimmers are “clean”:

When you go to bed at 9:30 PM as an adult (meaning growing kids would probaby go to bed earlier), it really cuts into your late-night socializing, bar-hopping, drug-taking scene! ;)

Not that I’ve been to a bar more than once or twice a year since I left my first year of University, mind you…

Today’s Workout

Wednesday workouts are instructed by a ex-Olympic swimmer who grew up in our area and whose parents swim with a different local adult swim team located across the city.  I don’t really know her, but I know OF her, and she seems like a friendly, positive, intelligent person as a coach, which is what counts to me :)

I did 2000 meters in today’s (2187 yards or 1.24 miles according to Google) workout, but got out before the official swim time ended, unlike last time where I swam 1800 and swam right until the end.

I moved up from Lane 4 to Lane 3 today, and that’s the main speed difference.  I ended up getting a side stitch at about 1700m, so my last 300 was done pretty easy and right at the back of the pack of 5 of us.  Before I got the stitch, I was swimming in #3 or #2 position, depending on the stroke we were doing.

Backstroke was the stroke of the day.  I’m glad it wasn’t Breast stroke, because just a wee bit of that during warmup told me that some wee little muscles in my groin area were still tired from last go-around, and my frog kicks were pretty weak and relaxed as a result.

Here’s the workout I did:


  • 300 Swim
  • 200 Kick
  • 200 Pull

Main Set

  • 8 x 50 Backstroke Drill:
    First four, at top of stroke, extend shoulder and lift armpit out of the water (to train proper shoulder rotation during the stroke)
    Last four, focus on hands entering the water at 1 o’clock and 11 o’clock for each stroke, to help ensure swimmers aren’t crossing the middle line of their body with their strokes, and thus changing their body from remaining straight in the water (good), to wriggling like a snake (bad).
  • 6 x 75 regular swim with the previous drills in mind:
    25 Back, 25 Free, 25 Back
  • 2 x 100 freestyle swim


  • 250 easy

Things I Noticed

Lane Three is much better for pacing.

But, I don’t think many of the people in Lane Three have a competitive swimming history from when they were kids, because the etiquette of starting out a set with 5 seconds between each swimmer had to be mentioned to us and still wasn’t really followed.

Plus, I was the only one who had any type of streamlined underwater glide after pushing off of the wall.

Also, when I’d get close to someone doing either freestyle or backstroke, their kicks were from the knee and therefore looked wild and flailing, possibly being used to try to keep their bodies in position.  My kicks, while weak for for any form of propulsion, are mainly from the ankle, and I try to keep my knees together and barely moving.

I’d kind of like to see a video of myself swimming – from all angles (outside water, under water, in front, in back).  I know at the National events there are sometimes underwater camera companies that you can hire to record your events, but that seems excessive to me.

Any ideas?


Swim Workout – Day 2

This morning I went to my second workout with my new Masters (adult recreational) swim club.

Last time I got sick just after the warmup and had to leave early, but this time I made it all the way through the workout, and swam 1800m in total.


Today’s Pre-Workout Breakfast

I opted for a 100g cup of Yogurt this morning, shortly after waking up.  A little bit of energy to start the day, but not as much as the 2 pieces of toast with honey I had last time that didn’t agree with me.

I ate a regular breakfast when I came home from my workout.

Today’s Lane Configuration

There were four of us in Lane Four this morning – one of the ladies who was in Lane Four last week decided to join Lane Three (faster lane) and I just about joined her too, but there were six people in that lane already, so I opted for the less crowded lane.

It turned out that Lane Four had two groups in it – myself and a guy by the name of Matt were the faster of the two, and quite a bit faster so that we ended up lapping the other two in various sets.

Matt and I shared lead depending on what we were working on – his freestyle is stronger than mine but the rest of his strokes are weaker, and when we had a choice of what stroke to work on for some sculling and drill sets I chose breast-stroke and he chose freestyle, so we swapped back and forth during the set itself as well.

Today’s Workout

The workout itself was this, and is all in meters:

  • 400 easy (warmup)
  • 4×200 drill – choose one stroke and do the following:
    50 sculling, 50 swim x 2
    200 swim
    50 drill, 50 kick x 2
    200 swim
  • 10 x 50 in this way:
    25 fly, 25 free x 5
    25 back, 25 free x 2
    25 breast, 25 free x 2
    25 choice, 25 free
  • 100 easy (warmdown)

The 10 x 50 set was originally written as 20 x 50 with 5 of each stroke, but we only have an hour and were running out of time so the Coach cut down on the back/breast/free/choice ones after we were already done the 5 sets of butterfly.

The Community

I have set a mini-goal of learning and retaining one person’s name per workout, because everyone is new and strange to me.  I’m looking forward to learning everyone’s names but know that it takes time for me to remember and recognize everyone.

Last week when I left early, another woman left around the same time from another one of the lanes, and we got to chat a little bit before we left, so I learned her name.  I made sure to talk to her this week when I recognized her (and as it goes, I didn’t recognize her with her clothes on, only in her bathing suit with her hair all wet and face all red from working out) and we talked briefly about how we both felt ill that day but are feeling much better today.

I met another woman this morning – the one who moved from Lane Four to Lane Three… that gave me a conversation starter at the end of the workout and we exchanged names at that point.

It’ll probably take me a few months to learn everyone’s names at this rate, but by the time the first competition comes around in November I should be able to cheer nearly everyone on our team on by name :)

Next workout?  Monday, 6 AM!


Welcome to my Swimming blog.

I’m a 35 year old Canadian female, who just joined a Masters swim team in my area, and had the first workout this morning.

Masters swimming, for those unfamiliar, is simply “adult” swimming.  Very often it’s labelled “Recreational” but there is a definite Competitive component in it (right up to International Masters competitions with thousands of competitors) if you enjoy that type of thing.  And I do :)

I joined Masters swimming, however, not for the Competitive part.  I joined it because I recognize that good Cardiovascular heath is of a benefit to me in life, and other sports I have recently been involved with were not strong at helping build good Cardio – they were good for flexibility and strength, but not Cardio.

So, I decided to look up the closest Masters swim club in my area, and made some calls a month ago, and today I attended my first workout.

The First Workout

The pool we’re at is a temporary location while our pool is under maintenance.  In a few weeks we’ll move over to the pool where the club normally works out for the rest of the season, which spans from September to July.

It’s a 25m pool with 5 lanes, and there were about 25 people who showed up, plus two coaches.

With Lane 1 being the fastest swimmers, and the last 2 lanes getting a lesser warmup than the first three lanes, I decided to start my time with this club in Lane 4.

I’ve done this Masters swim thing recently enough to remember what goes on, and be able to fall into line with the whole order of the workout easily enough… but I can see how it might be confusing to a complete newbie, so if you’re new, ask me some questions if you wish!

The water was warm, which was a relief to me, although probably not that great for the “in-shape” swimmers who wanted to have a good workout.  I’m not in good enough shape to handle cold water yet, and the last Masters experience I had was in a pool that was brought down to very cold temperatures for major swim events semi-regularly.  6 am and icy cold water don’t create motivation in me!

Round and Round

Ever wonder why there’s lines on the bottom of the pool?

It’s traffic lines for lane swimmers.

Always stay on the right of the line, and you’ll be fine.  You won’t knock heads or bodies with the person coming the other way, and we can stack many swimmers in the same swimming space quite efficiently with this system.

It’s a core part of keeping order in a swim team setting, and was the skill I thought about a lot this morning.

Summary Of Swim

The water being warm made it easy to get started.  I let everyone go first and I focused on trying to pace myself behind the person in front of me, no matter how slow they were.

Unfortunately, the first couple of people were too slow and I really struggled to stay back.  Eventually in time during the warm-up, they let me pass, and I settled in behind the two fastest people in the lane (we had 5).

It felt good!  My lungs weren’t taxed, my arms and legs were doing okay, although my arms were getting a small inkling that this would be a lot of work for them over time…

But then…


I tried to wait it out, but it didn’t work.  I left the deck for a short time at one point in order to be sick, but when I came back and swam another 50m it was clear the nausea wasn’t gone, so I rested for another 5 minutes, and started to get cold in the water.  Another lazy 50m and another 5 min rest, and I finally gave up for the day and ended my workout.

I think I swam 500m in total.

Fixing The Problem

I think my problem was simply this:

I’m not used to working out at 6 AM.

I’m not used to hydrating and feeding myself for a 6 AM workout.

Give me a 6:30 PM workout and I have my eating and drinking schedule all worked out, but working out less than an hour after I wake up is a different scenario entirely.

So, besides deciding to be sure to drink more water before bed, I looked some things up online, and landed on this Breakfast and Recovery Strategies article for swimmers that gave me some ideas for feeding myself with this type of workout schedule.

And oh joy!  It suggests Graham Crackers!  Those are the best :)

Next Workout

Friday, 6 AM.