Friday, May 29, 2015

Viking's new routine is starting to flow...

Lately I have been finding a groove with my minimal modifications to the full USRPT method.  I don't really feel like I am breaking away from it at all, but I have tried a few hacks to make up for my lack of ability to consistently train.  For example, last week, my Friday workout time was hijacked by extra work duties, and this week I was only able to get in the water on Tuesday morning for 1000 yards and Friday for 1400 yards.  Seriously... 2400 yards of training over 8 days.  That is just something I had to accept from day one of this comeback adventure. I make the most of what I have and don't stress about the rest.

Here is where I try to make up for some of it, beyond my USRPT sets for 100 and 200 breast:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Once More Back Into The Fray

Relationships are the most important thing in life. That simple sentence explains exactly why I'm here, writing this blog. The nature of each relationship is quite different, and the ones that brought me here couldn't be more different. Today I'm starting up writing again with a simple goal: to document my own journey back to competitive swimming. Depending on how you count, there are at least four relationships that led me to this point, which I'll explain briefly.

The first is my wife, who has always been the one to gently (or not so gently) push me in the direction I need to go. In the past few years, my swimming has fallen by the wayside, put on the backburner of being a first time dad while trying to cope with being the head coach of a swim club in a (sort of) foreign country. As the two of us emerge from the dramatic shift of being parents, she's started to push me back to two things that make me happy: writing and swimming.

The second is my blogging mate, Shawn Klosterman, who has really inspired me to give it another go. Watching him crush it at Pro-Ams at 40 years old reminds me that my tender 31 years is far too young to give up on doing something awesome in this sport. Shawn and I have still never met in real life, yet his encouragement, guidance and motivation definitely brought me back.

The third is actually a group, the swimmers I coach. Recently I have shifted to training a USRPT (Ultra Short Race Pace Training) training program. Some swimmers are thriving! Others are struggling a bit with the change, but slowly finding their way. In my own comeback, I intend to train pure USRPT, and I want to show them how I handle the various challenges and problems I encounter along the way, hopefully it will help them to figure out things for themselves as well.

The last one is my daughter, who I'd like to set a good example for, and not give up my most important goals because "it's hard".

Without further ado, here's my workout blog:

Monday, May 18th- The First Attempt

The workout:
3x100 warmup
6x15m breakout
30x25, 100 freestyle pace (16 sec, determined from a few weeks prior recording a 1:03 relay split 100m free, SCM).

How it went: I completed 14x25. Initial thing I had to get over was my embarassment at the pace. I was never an amazing swimmer, still my old "personal best" would have me starting with a pace of 14 seconds, so 16 felt terribly slow. I am glad I started with 16s though, because after 8 I felt a wash of lactic acid and had to stop. I was able to complete four more in a row before getting the same feeling, and after that only two more.

Wednesday, May 20th- Breaststroke

The workout:
3x100 warmup
8x25m breaststroke turns
30x25, 100 breaststroke pace (19 sec, made up because I haven't swum 100 SCM breaststroke ever and haven't done 100y for over three years)

How it went: This was rough. I was only able to do 8x25. Overwhelmed with lactic acid after 4x25, then only able to squeeze off two in a row after following the additional rest protocol. I spent a lot of time thinking, and came up with two theories that I intend to test out. One is that 19 was too fast, and I will try 20 next time. The other is that I have never really done anything close to breastroke race pace capacity work in my whole swimmer career, so maybe this will be a slow way up. I am determined to work from wherever I am and work my way up. Also, my turns felt very uncomfortable and I need to start stretching again as my flexibility is bad!

Thursday, May 21st- Freestyle

The workout:
3x100 warmup
10x15m breakout
30x25, 100 pace freestyle (16 sec)

How it went: Progress! I was able to do 22x25. Again I was limited not by the pace but by lactic acid, but it came on much later this time. I swam 12x25, needed a break, then 6x25, a break, then 4x25. I felt encouraged by my progress, and could feel that I was in something resembling a rhythm. I am going to wait until I have a couple practices where I swim 30x25 on pace, and then hopefully set my pace up.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Rough Lesson on Electrolytes

Recently, G John Mullen had me on the Swimming Science Podcast.  I thought it went well, but during the recording I was forced to admit that my performance at Sectionals in early March was a big let-down.  I felt "off" all weekend and I couldn't really explain it.  I hadn't felt bad like that since switching to the LCHF diet, and with the way my training had been since December I was expecting to rock both breaststroke events.

After the meet I went to the doctor to chat about what might be wrong.  I was weak, a little achy, but nothing too strange... both of my kids had been sick so I thought I might just be fighting something... but then I started piecing together some clues that made me start down a new rabbit hole on the google.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

USA Swimming Has Officially Entered the LCHF Fray

Yay!  A rebuttal fromUSA Swimming!  At least now I know that they are actually reading my stuff, eh?   

I am pretty sure they have been trying to pretend I don't exist since they turned down my application for the National Team Director position

Jill Castle is an MS, RDN, and has a website that promotes her two books on childhood nutrition, so I have to say she does have some skin in the game here.  I am not really making money on this stuff, but that is beside the point.  If she is so highly qualified, why is she making so many strong claims with no sources cited to back her up?

Read her article here at the USA Swimming website.

Her claims I can refute?:

“Both a low-fat diet supports and sustains cardiovascular health, and a high-carbohydrate diet is effective at fueling aerobic-based sports such as swimming.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Films to Spread the Word About LCHF.

By now I assume your compulsion to believe everything you read on the internet has consumed you and you are ready to take the Viking's advice to drop the carbs...  but if you are like me, you have that one MAJOR obstacle:  well-meaning family and friends who want to prevent you from clogging your arteries with this crazy diet.  They try to shove bread down your gullet and sneak it into your snacks to prevent you from getting that dreaded "bread-deficiency disease" that they all assume must exist since, well...  I guess since Jesus was such a nice guy and gave people all that bread back in the day.

Monday, March 2, 2015

THE VIKING MANIFESTO Part 7: How Do I Get Started on the LCHF Diet?

THE VIKING MANIFESTO: Piecing Together a New Approach to Nutrition and Training for Swimmers from Scientific and Anecdotal Evidence.
Part 7:  How Do I Get Started on the LCHF Diet?

Mark’s Daily Apple just helped you lose the extra weight with one drawing.

If you are still following along with the Manifesto at this point, then you must at least be intrigued enough to want to know what the low-carb, high-fat diet would look like in real life.  You may not quite be ready to drop the traditional nutrition info recommended by USA Swimming in articles like this, and presentations like this, but you at least want to know how different this might really be.  I doubt anyone wants to take it as far as I have, which means going almost completely carnivorous, but if you read below you can see that it doesn’t have to be that extreme.    This cat lived to be age 39 on bacon, eggs, broccoli and coffee. It can’t be that hard, right?  

39 year old cat.jpg
Bacon, eggs, broccoli and coffee.  This is key in my plot to break Jaring Timmerman’s records in the 100-104 age group.

The question is, do you have the nuggets to give this a try long enough to adapt and see if the low-carb, high-fat diet is really for you?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ketones, Inflammation, and Some Thoughts on Cholestrol

The article linked above is kind of important.  One of the points I make repeatedly in my manifesto is that in regard to the ketogenic diet, we are still in uncharted territory as there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered and there is a lot of important science that still has not been done.  (Even worse, there is a lot of science that has been done that just hasn't hit the mainstream as well though, too.  Check this book out to see a collection of it.)

In a part of the manifesto I spoke briefly on reduced inflammation with the ketogenic diet, I think with regard specifically to more and healthier mitochondria, but I remember I also linked out to the /r/keto subreddit, stating that reduced inflammation is one of the most common side effects brought up by new dieters.  Browse /r/keto for a while and you will see it come up in so many different ways it is astounding.

The ketogenic diet is being studied as a new possibility for the treatment of many diseases, mostly inflammation based, all the way from acne to arthritis, bipolar disorder to Alzheimers, and diabetes to atherosclerosis.  The link above says that Yale University has discovered a direct link between Beta-Hydroxybuterate, one of the prevalent ketone bodies, and inhibition of one of the components of what they call the "inflammasome."  Please take time to read the article at the link above.

This would explain a lot.