Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Swimming Musician

Okay, so this isn't a true musical post - but here's an sidebar about some of my swimming stuff, which, in a way, is very much related to music for me:

Over the past few months I've gotten back into a fairly regular swimming workout routine. I used to compete and was on a partial swimming scholarship at U of Idaho, coached for two years and taught swim lessons until I was about 24 years old! (By then I had my own kids to teach!). Over the years I've made some mild efforts to stay in the water, but never really "got back" - okay, so I'm not going to make the 2008 games, but I'm really enjoying it and hope I can find a way to keep swimming regularly forever. What's been fun for me is to see my times come down, nowhere near those "glory days" but good enough for me. I'm swimming about 3 to 4 times per week and usually go between 2500 and 3500 yards - in other words, I'm never far from my taper! (When I was competing it was normal to swim between 5000 and 10,000 yards per day, with two workouts a day - crazy! But it did keep me tired and out of trouble!)

These are my recent workout times, from the wall, and my best estimate - I'm guessing I'm going around 90% (but honestly, I'm not sure about the 10% I'm supposedly holding back on- so maybe these are 100%) - regardless, these times represent where I'm at today, where I hope to be in about 6 months, as well as the comparison with the 17 year-old me that used to haul ass in a size 28 Speedo - I'll probably never beat that kid but that doesn't matter since I think he'd be pretty happy to know I'm still chugging away:

500 Free: current: 6:06 goal: 5:20 best: 4:57
200 Free: current: 2:18 goal: 1:59 best: 1:52
100 Free: current: 1:00* goal: :55 best: :51
50 Free: current: ~:27 goal: :24 best: :24

400 IM: current: (Hey, I finished one!) goal: to keep finishing! best: 4:25 (?)
200 IM: current: 2:35 goal: 2:15 best: 2:06
100 IM: current: 1:08* goal: 1:05 best: :58

50 Fly: current: :31 goal: :27 best: :25
100 Fly: current: (I can finish one!) goal: :59 best: :56 (?)
200 Fly: current: (You've got to be kidding!) goal: to finish one! best: who knows!?

Well, that's a snapshot for now - I'm mostly just setting some goals for fun and fitness. The main things I'm working on in swimming (and there are many parallels with my trumpet playing and composition work) are technique and enjoyment. When I enjoy something, I usually do pretty well at it. Like music, I'm not interested in having it feel like "work" - the health benefits alone are great regardless of times and goals, but the goals do add a bit of incentive.

I try to get creative with my workouts and mix things up - today's, for example, will be one of my longer ones and go like this:

1000 Free - mostly very easy, work on technique, bi-lateral breathing
6 x 50s kick - choice, with about 15 seconds rest between
200 choice - technique/drill
8 x 200's (odd=Free, even=IM - descend 1-4, 5-8)
8 x 50's on the :45 (pace - all < 35)
100 warm down

Total: 3600 yards