Masters Lane 1

I don’t usually write about specific workouts here on my blog. Maybe that’s because I have a training journal that I document everything I do on Jogg.se. Since the fall of 2018 our Masters group has been greatly improved by the presence of a former Syrian distance swim coach Nidal. During his first fall session with us he was there to help our newer swimmers with their technique. Watching everyone in the pull and offering tips on how they could improve their technique. That kind of one on one feedback was greatly appreciated. Then I am not sure how it happened, but with all my traveling in 2019 he took the initiative to offer our distance swimmers a distance workout on wedensdays as an option to the sprint workouts I was writing. With only three lanes, that group swam in lane 1. Up until 2019 we rarely swam anything over 400m at practice, and when we swam what I thought were hard series it was usually base pace for the shorter series and base pace +5 for the longer series.

For example
20x 100
1-5 st1:35
6-10 st 1:30
11-15 st 1:25
16-20 st 1:20 (see how many you can make)

Nidal had a very very different view on what a hard series should be, and maybe after watching us swim for 4 months he saw a pontential in us, that I had not seen. He has no problem asking us to swim 15×100 st 1.25. His practices usually run between 5300-6000m in 90 minutes.

Since I was not able to swim consistantly in 2019 it took me until Jan 2020 for me to even attempt to join that lane. I was happy in my little sprint world with 60 minuets on wednesday’s.

I do not have a clue on how tough 2019 training was, but I do remember him asking Hampus to start at 18:00 instead of 20:00 so that he would have time to swim 6x 1500 with 5 minutes rest. What I do know is that we are 3-5 swimmers each Wednesday that swim sets that for 2 years ago we would have consider a test series, or we would have adjusted the start times during practice. But not in 2020! We might not be the fastest Masters team, but on Wednesday we work just as hard as the teenagers do in the practice before, if not harder.

Last night is a perfect example of being pushed and us swimmers responding:
600 choice
30x 50 swim a3 st :45 (my practices have been start :50-1:00 and based on who is there we pick a time that works that day)
50 easy
2x 400 swim a2 st 6:00 (unusually slow start intervall for Wednesdays, usually we do these on 5:40-5:45)
1500 pull for time
200 easy

When you have a coach standing over you calling out your times, you don’t want to dissappoint. Right now I am nursing shoulder injuries from my 42km swim, so it makes swimming at a fast tempo with little rest difficult. I lost a lot of speed in the fall, but these Wednesday Lane 1 practices are trully the best workout of the week.

Last night I swam the 50’s with fins to save my shoulders, but was able to manage a 20:05 in the 1500m with my new paddles from TYR.

CATALYST STROKE TRAINING PADDLES

Splits from the 1500m I got lapped twice by Hampus and you can see when. My times jumped up to 1:24 and 1:26 when I let him pass on the turn.



Ryan – Pär – Hampus

A Vansbrosimningen (3km) a Day Challenge

I understand that a lot of swimmers got upset this summer. I was more than upset. On April 29th I along with 13,000 other swimmers got an email that this years Vansbrosimningen was cancelled. It was to be expected that we would not be able to race since Sweden had just implemented a rule forbidding more than 500 people to gather. So to be honest I was not so upset about the race being cancelled, but I was upset about the way they informed us and the way they proceeded with the cancellation.

We were given three choices. You could swim at home and submit your time, for their “Home Edition”, You could chose to donate your starting fee to the local sports club, or you could ask for 50% av your starting fee to be returned. For those that signed up to swim one of the many races in Vansbro that might have seemed like a good deal. But for me and my daughter that signed up for a combined 14 starts, we were talking about 900 USD. I would have prefered to be given the chance to move my start to 2021 as so many other races did this summer. Not in the mood to be giving I requested half of my starting fee back.

Then I started to think about the “Home Edition”, and what a good idea it really was for those that felt swimming 1000m, 1500m, 3000m or 10,000m was a challenge. Local teams around Sweden would offer help to find a suitable course, and in some cases hold a “Home Edition” event so people would not have to swim alone. It was nothing for me personally, but the idea of helping others when it comes to swimming and especially OW swimming was something I could not pass up.

So I help my swim team organize a “Home Edition” event, and helped spread the word about our swim course in the lake where you could swim 1000m, 1500m or even 3000m. On the day of our event it was bad weather so we only had about 15 swimmers. I have no idea how many swam in the lake on our course over the summer, but I did meet a few during my regular training sessions.

So how could I use the “Home Edition” to motivate me and my swimming. It came to me just a week or two before the start of the Vansbrosimningen Home Edition. They offered people to swim their races at home from Saturday the 3rd of July until the 31st of August. So what better challegne then for me to swim one Vansbrosimningen a day every day from the start to the finish of the “Home Edition”.

I already had plans to swim alot this summer to help me reach my 1,000,000 meter goal. But at the same time I had said that I would not let swimming effect my family’s time off over the summer. However, it would not be as big of an issue as I thought since our activities were limited because of the Covid-19 situation. Sweden never closed down, but we followed the guidelines to help lower the curve. All of our adventures this summer were either near water, or we didn’t have to leave home until after 0900. So I swam as early as 0600 and as late as 2100 to get my swims in.

On August 2nd I managed a 21km swim with friends and that spawned the idea to test the 42km distance, another race that was cancelled. The idea of swimming 42km alone was not fun. So how to attracted some company in the water? I decided to break it up into 14 Vansbrosimngen. Starting a new 3000m every hour for 14 hours. On August 16th I did just that. 14 Vansbrosimningen in one day.

On August 31st I jumped into the lake forthe last 3000m or more swim of this challenge. Little did I know at the time, but it would be the last day I would remain healthy. Tuesday afternoon I started coughing, and that caused me to miss 8 days of working out. Me previous day off from training was the 8th of May since I was travelling by train from 0600 until 2100.

So thanks to my #envansbrosimningenomdag challenge I managed to swim roughly 467km during June-August 2020.

2020 OW Virtual Grand Slam

Back in April as the world was shutting down I was contacted by Mark Johnston about an online event that he was putting together. It didn’t take more than a day or two and then the event was online, and I was registered and started to recruit others in Sweden and the US to join in.

The idea of being able to compete in a time when all IRL races were being postponed or canceled felt like a really good idea. Nothing beats the heat of the moment, but knowing someone somewhere else was trying to swim faster than me was going to have to be enough this summer.


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Vidöstern Open Water 21+km

After 2014’s race I didn’t think I would be back in Värnamo to race again. But early this year in June I was offered to buy a starting spot from a friend who no longer felt he was prepared for a long race. At that time I was training well. But since then, a long family vacation, work trips to Brazil & northern Sweden as well as camping trips put a stop to that. With only 13 km swimming during the month of July I head over to Värnamo for my fourth start of the 21+km race. To make it a real challenge I chose to participate in the non-wetsuit class.
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Summer races…

Since my Dr gave me clearance to compete and the only thing holding me back is my physical condition, I have decided to participate in three potentially four races this summer.

First up will be Vansbro 3km OW. Last year I finished outside the top 100 with a time over 40 minutes. This year I am in better shape and know that I do not have to slow down or stop because of my increased heart rate. I haven’t decided between swimming in my sleeveless TYR or my full body. The temperatures will be up around 30C in the air, and over 18C in the water.  This will be my 9th swim and I hope it will be my 6th time under 40 minutes and again top 100.  I will have to bring both suits with me and decide in the morning which feels best.
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Swedish Short Course Nationals 2018

It’s been another year of swimming.  But this year has truly been a comeback year for me. I have a great team with people I look forward to meeting at the pool, pushing them, having them push back.

I did not get any PBs at this meet, but I am happy with my progress.  I will get faster again, but for now… only click below if you want the really long version (wink: Ed don’t click) Continue reading