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Old 10-26-2012
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Default My first meet of 2012

I haven't been able to hang out here very much this year due to computer problems. But, happily, those problems now seem to be under control.

In 2011, I was able to swim 8 of the 10 pool events that I theoretically do, and managed to set personal best (PB) times in 5 of them (100 free, 200 free, 100 back, 50 butterfly, and 100 I.M.). But I noticed, while preparing for my first meet of 2012 in March, that all of my PB times in 2011 had been set after April 1st, so that any PB times I could set at my first meet this year would add to the number of PB times I had set in a 12 month period. So I consciously planned my first meet accordingly.

Since I hadn't been able to work in any breaststroke events in 2011, breaststroke was at the top of my list for the meet. I "do" both 50 breaststroke and 100 breaststroke, but nearly all of my breaststroke training in recent years had been geared toward 100 breaststroke, so that was the event I chose for the March meet. I also wanted another shot at the 3 events I had done in 2011, but in which I had failed to set PB times. Unfortunately, one of those events - 200 backstroke - was not being offered in the March meet, so I had to content myself with doing the other two events: 50 backstroke and 50 freestyle.

50 backstroke was one of the earliest events in the meet, while 100 breaststroke wasn't scheduled until the second half of the meet, which meant that I should have plenty of recovery time between the two events. But there was only one event between 100 breaststroke and 50 freestyle, so I was concerned that I might not have enough recovery time if the turnout at the meet happened to be low and there weren't very many heats in each event. But I figured that I had nothing to lose.

50 backstroke is the single event that I have done most in competition, which makes it more of a challenge to set a new PB time. But in 2011, I had missed setting a new PB time by just 0.15 seconds, so I felt that I had a good shot at it, provided that I didn't make any serious mistakes. But it was not to be! I misjudged where I was at the end of the heat and tried to lunge for the wall, only to discover that I wasn't close enough to do it. I ended up gliding in, which caused me to miss a PB time by more than a second! What was really annoying about this was that I had a vague memory of having done something similar once at another meet. I made a mental note to start keeping a "mistakes" file and to read through it before each meet!

I had fairly high hopes for my 100 breaststroke heat, since I had been doing some 100 meter times in practice that were within about a second of my PB 100 yard time. Unfortunately, I didn't make a good entry on my start, and felt myself almost grind to a halt. But I tried to put it out of my mind and focus on giving it my best effort for the rest of the heat. When I looked up at the scoreboard after I finished, I actually found myself rechecking the lane numbers to make sure I was reading it correctly. But I was! I had knocked about 13 seconds off my previous PB time, in spite of my bad entry!

Unfortunately, the effort I had made took its toll on the 50 freestyle heat. Turnout at the meet was low, and consequently I didn't enough recovery time after my 100 breaststroke heat. Although I had sometimes been hitting freestyle sprint speeds in practice that would have been fast enough for a PB time, if everything had gone about as perfectly as it could, I was still too tired from the 100 breaststroke to achieve those speeds at the meet.

But one PB time out of three events isn't too bad, particularly when the improvement in that one time is so impressive! And it means that I succeeded in setting 6 PB times between April 1st of 2011 and March 31st of 2012! And I also learned how important it is to always practice backstroke finishes during warmup when swimming in an unfamiliar pool!


Bob

Last edited by CoachBobM : 10-26-2012 at 08:39 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2012
terry terry is offline
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Any time you set a PB is a success. But perhaps the lesson in this experience is that the best place to put focus is on process, not outcome. I.E. the many little things you strive to execute well, rather than the time you record as a result of executing them.
And of course to back up a step from there, to devote your practices to
1) practicing and refining the skills that help you swim better than ever and
2) Hardwiring those into your brain so they become automatic -- even inevitable -- when the starting horn sounds.
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  #3  
Old 11-03-2012
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
And of course to back up a step from there, to devote your practices to
1) practicing and refining the skills that help you swim better than ever and
2) Hardwiring those into your brain so they become automatic -- even inevitable -- when the starting horn sounds.
Well, that's an interesting point! What I've discovered at meets is that some of my skills (particularly with regard to turns and finishes) are in some degree hardwired to the particular pool in which I do my practices. I think that this is a particular problem with backstroke because you inevitably see more than just the backstroke flags. The position of the flags relative to the wall is (at least theoretically) the same from one pool to the next, but I find it hard when practicing to be sure that I'm really timing my turns and finishes based purely on the flags rather than on the other things I'm seeing that won't be the same at my meets.


Bob
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