Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Re-set Day #1

Yesterday I posted an entry that discussed how I have skipped the non-cardio portion parts of my workouts for the last 36 days. I set some goals for the first few days in order to get back into a routine. Today is Day #1 of that plan. Here is what I did:

At swim practice this morning I swam 2,050 yards. This exceeded my goal by a considerable degree, but what I do in practice is dictated by my coach, so I was simply guessing at what he'd have me do. He worked me hard today! I started with 500 yards of warm-up (I only did freestyle today). Then 6x50s of a finger-drag drill, which is meant to help me put my hands in the right place as they start their catch. Then the coach taught me a new drill in which I swim 50 yards but interrupt it twice to do a 360-degree somersault. This helped me improve my flip-turn, since my flip turns have gotten really sloppy lately. Coach reminded me to pull my hands all the way into my chest at the start of the flip; this speeds up the flip and helps me initiate it better. I was also told not to breathe right before doing a flip because that lifts my head out of the water, which makes my hips sink. Lastly, on the flip-turn, I should not be afraid to hit the wall when on my back; I can turn over after touching the wall. Otherwise I waste time flipping and then kicking. Most of the rest of swim practice was 3x200s on 4:00 and 4x100s on 1:45, which means the faster I go, the longer I can rest in between. This seemed to work well for the 200s, but I got zero rest between the 100s because it took me 1:45 to do each 100 yard swims. 

But enough about swimming. My goal this week is to increase my weight-lifting activity. So this afternoon I came home from work a few minutes early and did some bench presses. I started at 105 pounds as planned, but I was unable to do 15 reps like I expected.  The [excessive] swimming earlier in the day has killed all the strength in my left shoulder area. In particular, my left infraspinatus muscle is sore. I don't think I've done any great harm, but it is clearly in the midst of repair and I have no strength there. Hmmm, consulting Delavier (2006), I don't see the infraspinatus included in the list of muscles used during a bench press. So maybe some other muscles in my left shoulder were affected by my swim today. Either that or (1) I'm engaging the wrong muscles to do the bench press, or (2) I'm simply weak from lack of lifting exercises during the last 36 days. I don't think it's (2) because my left arm was definitely weaker than my right as I attempted to lift the barbell.

I did some rotator cuff exercises, too. I did most of what I planned, except that I was unable to do 20 reps of two types of elastic band exercise that involves exerternal rotation of the left shoulder. I only did 10 reps of those exercises, as my arm felt weak and I didin't want to do harm. Consulting a few websites confirms that it is the infraspinatus and the teres minor that are responsible for external rotation.

Finally, I did 1.5 pull-ups. My goal was 2, but I was unable to get all the way up on the second one. I know a lot of my "inability" to accomplish my goals is all in my head. I am afraid of hurting myself, and that isn't exactly a bad thing, but it also keeps me from moving forward and getting stronger.

I am exciting for tomorrow's workouts and I'll report back on my results later.

1 comment:

  1. Great job!! Looks like that reset button worked for sure!