A proper set

At lunchtime we had to returnees, Richard (‘Little Richard’) and Sally.

To celebrate, Lisa brought a rather silly set – 4k. I did what I could . .

(All free)

5x100m off 1m 50s

10x100m off 1m 45s

5x100m kick off 2m 30s

10x100m off 1m 40s

5x100m easy

I have missed some out – but what is left is enough for me.

It was good to work hard for a full hour. It makes a difference. There is not much chat.

It is difficult not to feel that I am getting old, but these are still times I would not have been able to get within 4/5 years ago. I have to feel relatively content.

Y catch up?

No, not ‘Why catch up?”, but ‘Y-catch up’

We tried a new drill this morning – Free style catch up, but with the hands no coming together, but going out in a Y shape before you. It remains a catch up in the sense that the lead hand awaits the entry of the other hand before the catch is taken and the stroke executed.

I much prefer it to the standard catch up, where the incoming hand touches the lead hand before that lead hand can begin the stroke. The standard one gets the hands wrong and with it, is in danger of allowing the rest f the body to be pulled out of line.

Three cheers for Jill, I will be trying it again.



First run

. . for a long while.

I did it this morning. Out with the very early morning. You could not call it dawn, because there was no visible sun, just its light.

Nor was it cold or not as cold as it might have been. And it wasn’t wet of windy. For a late November morning it was not too bad. Unfortunately, down in North Wales, there is not much to choose from if you want ‘flat’. Out of the farm, up the hill, up again and along to the first neighbour – a campsite. It is not much more than a mile away, but there and back is quite enough for a first time out.

I must record that my knee/shin was not difficult. No pain, and that despite being quite a bit heavier than I should be and was. I suppose this suggests that I should try again perhaps tomorrow, but if not then certainly Monday morning.

Wrong leg kicking – free-style

I learned to swim free-style as do most, largely by just taking things in as I went along.
Along came the web, and I began to analyse my stroke and get more technical. One of the things I learned was that the timing of the kick is important. This was not something I had (or have) ever been taught. I came across on one of those internet-thingy sites. It said that after learning to swim from the hips, as one arm enters the water, the same leg should give a major beat. I tried it and it worked. There is something almost miraculous about it.

Instead of having two engines, one at the back and one at the front, you become just one engine, and the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.

Fine. In our lane we discuss these things, and I have tried to spread the word. I have been quite unsuccessful. People occasionally manage it, but not with any conviction.

This morning I came across an old link to Shinji Takeuchi‘s youtube videos. He really does swim with an amazing stroke. On checking, what struck me sharply was that he does things the other way around.  As the right arm goes in, the left leg kicks down. I must bow to his wisdom, and will try it.

I will let you know, but if anyone has any comments . .

That breathing thing . .

We all do it, don’t we. Coaches seem born with the belief that swimmers do not need to breathe. Swimmers seem born with the contrary belief – that air is best held on to for as long as possible being released only as late as is compatible with its immediate and full replacement with another quick gulp.

As usual, the swimmer is wrong. As usual also, that does not mean that coach has it just right.
As often, the nice people at SwimSmooth have a thought-through answer. See: http://www.swimsmooth.com/exhalation.html

I like what they write. I shall be trying out their recommended drills when an opportunity next arises. The big issue (for me) is that they do not say whether what is to be achieved is merely learning and internalising a different style of breathing, or whether it is about developing lung capacity – changing the muscle size etc. If it is the latter, it may prove more dificult.

A question – do freedivers use this?

New Back Stroke Rules

FINA has been doing its thing again, and has issued a new set of rules.
The only significant thing (probably) is that in back stroke, the swimmer cannot duck entirely under water to finish – some part of he body must be above water. I have already heard informal discussions of this suggesting that race judges may be looking to penalise anyone dipping on eh finish. Of course what will happen remains to be seen, but that is not what the rule says or requires.
There are two kinds of finish which might be considered. First is the dip on the finish. This can be just a long reach for the wall with the leading hand. The hand goes under and the head goes under. The second is a much exaggerated dip which seeks to take advantage of the fact that you can be faster if completely underwater swimming with a dolphin kick. Backstrokers do not the same breathing issues as suffered by other swimmers during their standard stroke, and it may therefore be a greater temptation to make the most of not being in significant oxygen debt by dipping early and fully.

The first should be fine, the second has been outlawed.

For the new rules see:

Heath – 3 bumps – Norland, Stainland, Elland

Stainland Lions Run (one of).
Thursday 26 September 2013
6.25 miles – All on road(-ish)

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRun

6.3 miles. 3x grade 5 hills
Left from Heath. Right at first lights onto Rochdale Rd/B6113 (Climb 1)

0.44miSlight left onto and down Brian Royd Lane

1.6mi Turn right onto Saddleworth Rd/B6114
Regroup at the Branch
1.76mi Left onto Branch Rd/B6114
At junction, regroup.
2.68mi Turn left onto Stainland Rd and on and up Beestonley Ln (Climb 2)
3.58mi Continue onto High St
At top regroup

Across Bowling Green Rd
Slight left and begin descent onto Stainland Rd/B6112
AT Holywell Green, cross by Station Hotel and (4.51mi) right onto and down Station Rd
4.8mi Continue onto and up Broad Carr Ln (Climb 3)
5.09mi Broad Carr Ln turns slightly left and becomes Hammerstone Leach Ln
5.1mi Regroup at crossroads
Left down Hammerstones Rd
5.57mi As Hammerstones Road turns right, Turn left down Hullenedge Ln

5.72mi Turn right down unlit ginnel
At bottom, sharp left then sharp right onto Green Lane
Cross Saddleworth Road with care (don’t just run out onto it)
Right at bottom onto Stainland Rd/B6112
And home

1 Cat 5 0.04 mi/1.29 mi 1.24 mi 256 ft/519 ft 4.0%
2 Cat 5 2.32 mi/3.71 mi 1.39 mi 390 ft/704 ft 4.3%
3 Cat 5 4.82 mi/5.23 mi 0.41 mi 413 ft/472 ft 2.7%

Monday’s Mistake

23 Sep 2013 – Monday’s Mistake
Heath – Long Wl, Jepson Ln, Southgate, Dewsbury Rd, Pinfold Ln, New Hey Rd, Lindley Moor Rd, Haigh House Hl, Kew Hl, Blackley Rd, Hammertsone Leach Ln, Broad Carr Ln, Station Rd, Stainland Rd
8 miles. All paved. Nearly all lit.
2 cat 5 climbs, 1 Cat 4 climb, and Station Rd
Left from Heath and left at lights up Rochdale Rd/B6113 (.38ml) Across scissors and up onto Long Wall (Climb 1)
At top follow Jepson Lane toward Victoria Rd
0.89mi Left onto Victoria Rd, then right along Southgate. At roundabout, best to go round anti-clockwise onto Elland-Riorges Link, then turn right (1.62mi) down onto Dewsbury Rd/B6114
Regroup at the foot of the hill
On and up Dewsbury Road (Climb 2) to the former Rock Tavern on the left at the top.
On, across the road and first right up Pinfold Lane (2.12mi)
As Pinfold turns left before the motorway, go up and over the footbridge onto New Hey Road, left and on and up and over
Regroup at junction (3.12mi) Turn right onto New Hey Rd and into and straight through Ainley Village
At the end, take the path down and to your left to take you right over the bridge and on Lindley Moor Rd/A643 (Climb 3)
Regroup and Turn right onto Haigh House Hill (4.24mi), across the bridge, following Haigh House Hill onto Kew Hill.
4.78miTurn right onto Lindley Rd
5.17mi Turn left onto and down Blackley Rd
Take proper care on the long blind and pathless right hand bend. In good light take the short cut path
At crossroads, (6.08mi) Regroup
Right onto Broad Carr Ln
6.37mi Continue straight up Station Rd (telling your legs that this doesn’t count as a climb – honest)
At the top (6.66mi), Regroup
Turn right onto Stainland Rd/B6112 and home.

Climb Details
Rating Start/End Points Length Start/End Elevation Avg Grade
Climb 1 Cat 5 0.11 mi/0.74 mi 0.63 mi 276 ft/344 ft 2.0%
Climb 2 Cat 4 1.19 mi/2.90 mi 1.71 mi 328 ft/774 ft 4.9%
Climb 3 Cat 5 3.68 mi/4.14 mi 0.46 mi 771 ft/834 ft 2.6%


Face Plant

On Monday our SL group went out on what I think was a good route.

As we were getting back home, I simply fell on my face. I didn’t see it, of course, but am told it was spectacular. Assuredly the results were. I now have a severely gouged face. As the wet blood solidified into black, the bruising as now begun to swell under my right eye. It is a long way from closed, but is uncomfortable. ey ho.

Swim Set

Our morning group was down to three.

25m Fly + 50m easy
50m fly + 50m easy
75m fly + 50m easy
100m fly + 50m easy
75m fly + 50m easy
50m fly + 50m easy
25m fly
(all + 10s rest)
5x100m IM om 2m broken on 25m with 5s
12x 100m free. All 50m free, second 50m ascending 1 through 4.