Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I'm sorry for the lengthy absence. I've been caught up in training and haven't done a good job staying updated with my blog. I will write a lengthier post next week. I wanted to share some links of races I swam at SMOC (Swim Meeet of Champions) and the Santa Clara International Invitational.
Click here for the 100m freestyle final. I'm the swimmer with the blue towel on the block and white cap.
Click here for an interview after my 100m free.
Click here for the 200m freestyle final. Again, I'm the swimmer with the blue towel on the block and white cap.
Click here for an interview after my 200m free.
Here's a link to the results page. My times of 50.51 and 1:50.35 were a little slower than I had wanted. I need to take into consideration though that it was rather cold out and that I found myself in a pretty hard phase of training.
Only a few days later I travelled up to the San Francisco and spent a few days training in Berkeley with my former teammates at the University of California, Berkeley. It was great being around my old teammates and being back in the bay area. It brought back some great memories from my college days there.
After only a couple days in Berkeley, I travelled down to Santa Clara for the "Santa Clara Invitational".
Here a link to my 100m race. I slipped off the block in this race and was completely out of contention from the very beginning. Unfortunately this race didn't go as planned. I swam a 50.68 in prelims and hoped to be quicker in the final.
Here a link to my 200m race. I wanted to dip under 1:49 in this race. I missed my target by .3s going 1:50.24. I was trying a longer stroke and myself stuck in that same gear throughout the race. Definitely learned a lot heading into Euro's.
Here a link to my 400m race. This was probably my best race of the weekend. The race definitely felt a lot quicker than 3:53.74. That's 2x this season that I have swum under 3:54 now.
All in all I'm content with where I am at. I have my last meet here in the US this weekend. It's the LA Grand Prix. Click here for a preview of the meet.
There will be live streaming under this link. Also, check out the official results page here.
I'll be swimming the 100, 200, 400 Free at this meet. Wish me luck.
Keep well and take care!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I'm swimming in a meet this weekend.
Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo California.
I'll be racing the 50, 100, 200, 400 Free. Results and live streaming can be found here.
Here you will find a psychsheet and up to date results.
I'm feeling pretty tired after Wednesdays practice so it should be interesting how I swim "beat down". I'm up for the challenge though.
Take care and go strong!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I wanted to share a set that we did in practice today...
It was an X, Y, Z set... Let me explain
3X (easy speed) + 2Y (FAST effort) + 2Z (ALL OUT...FAST)
X= 200, 150, 100, 50 @2:15
Y= 100, 50 @1:15
Z= 25, 15 @45
Whole thing 3 times through
Basically you always choose the distance that you want to swim. The interval always stays the same though. For example, I did the following:
For X: 100, 50, 50
For Y: 100, 50
For Z: 15, 15
The X, Y, Z set is typical of my coach Dave Salo. He likes for us to choose what we want to do and give 100% effort. What made this set out of the ordinary though was the fact that we wore HIGHTECH SUITS throughout the whole set. I thought I would never ever wear a Fullbody Speedo LZR-Racer again. I was wrong.
I swam the X's 200 pace... The Y's and Z's FAST. Most notable were my Y's. I averaged a 49.6 in the 100's and 24.8 for the 50's. I was very content with those times. The 50's after the 100 FAST were extremely difficult. There was only a little bit of rest before going into an all out effort 50.
I was very excited about this set and wanted to share it with you. I hope this gives you some insight on what kind of training we do and at what kind of level. The best part of doing sets like these is doing them with the best in the world.
Keep well and take care!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Thanks for checking in with my blog.
As I mentioned in a previous post I had my first meet of the summer season the last weekend of May. I swam the 100, 200 and 400 Free. I didn't have much expectation going into the meet since we've been working really hard in the water. I knew from the beginning that I was going to have much "easy speed" in my swimming.
There was a special format to the competition. Only the top 4 swimmers made it to the Championship final and swam for money. This meant that there was no room for messing around in prelims. It made for a great atmosphere and competitive environment.
Here are my races and splits:
I usually take out my 100 Free in 23.5 ... This swim was a good example that I simply lack speed at this point in the season. I know that my 100 will get better and better the more I rest. All in all I'm content with this swim.
Click here for the video. I'm 4th from the right in the white cap (in lane 4).
I wish I had gone faster in my 200. I was aiming for about 1:48.8 (time I went in March at Swiss Nationals). On a positive note, I'm happy with how consistent my splits were. I usually have the tendency to fall off of pace the last 50. I'm working on my 2nd 50 in practices right now. There shouldn't be a 2s difference between my 1st and 2nd 50.
Unfortunately there is no video for this event.
I have a history with the 400 Free. I don't really like to swim it, hahaha... I consistently plan to take out this race quick and then try to hold on towards the end when the other swimmers start to reel me in. That's exactly what happened in this race. I was completely spent at the 300 mark and just tried to do everything in my power to try and stay ahead of everyone. My 30.0 split at the end is a good illustration of how much it hurt at the end...
Click here for a video of the swim. I'm 2nd to the right in the white cap.
In general I'm content with my swims. I think I'm in a good place for this point in the season. My college team (CAL Berkeley) made the trip down to the meet too, so it made for quite a bit of fun. It was great catching up with my old team mates and remembering the college days. Good times all around.
Back to training now :)
Keep well and take care!
PS. Here's a picture of the competition pool and the great weather :)
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Some good news has come up since my last entry. My girlfriend, Jessica Hardy, got news Friday that CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) has ruled in her favor. Find the story here.
It's been a long time coming and quite the journey. It's hard to put into words the emotion that comes with this news. I remember when Jess told me over the phone that she somehow had tested positive back in 2008. I could hear the fear in her voice and found myself speechless. I couldn't get a word out of my mouth because I was in such shock. The news came the day before I was to fly to Singapore for a Swiss Olympic Team preparation camp. I decided to drive to Palo Alto (Stanford) where Jess had her preparation camp. On the way there, I had so many thoughts and questions that I totally spaced out behind the wheel and bumped into the car in front of me. Fortunately, no one was hurt and it was just a fender bender. I continued to Stanford and arrived to an emotional wreck of a girlfriend. I was the first of her family to see her when she got the bad news and I was just a few meters away when she got the good news Friday.
We were in the middle of a main set when she got the news last Friday. I saw her getting out and pushed off the wall for my next swim. After about 5min she got back into the pool. She gave me the thumbs up but I saw her face was red and that she was crying. I didn't know if she was trying to show that she was being strong or if it was good news. I swam towards her and we hugged in the middle of the pool. She whispered "WE DID IT" and broke down. I couldn't have been happier. She cried and let out all of her emotions; the emotions that she's been keeping inside for the last 2 years. She was finally able to let loose.
It's been a tough 2 years. But I'm over the moon that the verdict turned out the way it did. Jess has been so supportive of my swimming during her suspension. She would motivate me to work harder when I was beat down. She continuously told me to swim for both of us. That always lit the fire under my backside. The most valuable and important thing she ever said to me was: "Swim, not because you have to, but because you CAN. Savor every opportunity you have to race, because it can be taken away from you really quickly."
I want to leave all my readers today with a thought: Love what you do and never take it for granted!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Thanks for returning to my blog. Not much has been happening here in Los Angeles. As is the case everywhere in the world, the weather has been acting kind of crazy in California. I've been training outdoors over 5 years now and I love it. I love being able to look around and be able to swim under blue skies. Unfortunately lately, the blue skies have been grey skies and there is an occasional rain shower in the mix. When the weather is cold and gloomy, I usually start feeling some discomforts in my left hip.
What many people don't know or forget is that I had a skiing accident in Verbier (Switzerland) in March 1999. I fractured the neck of the femur and had 3 screws put into the femur to stabilize the fracture. I was told by the doctors that I wouldn't be able to do any competitive sports again. Naturally as 14yr old my world was shattered. About 2 or 3 months after surgery I was to be found in a pool again. I put a pull buoy between my legs and pushed off the walls with only my good foot. I didn't want to accept what the doctors told me in the hospital about not being able to swim again. About 9 months after my accident, I started to feel more pain in my hip. We consulted a doctor and x-rays showed that the ball joint of the femur had partially collapsed. My 3 screws were taken out and 1 plate, 5 screws and a wire were put in. After a lengthy rehabilitation process and pain enduring exercises I was finally able to get back in the pool. I started off only pulling and later was able to start kicking and pushing off the walls with both feet.
I believe that if it weren't for the accident I wouldn't be where I am today. 5 years after my accident, I took part at the Olympic Games in Athens. I was able to beat the odds. The injury gave me mental strength to push through pain barriers in races. Every time my body started to hurt in a race, I would remind myself how painful the accident was. That thought-process got me through a few races :)
Last week when doing a lengthy pull set, I heard something snap in my right shoulder. I knew it wasn't good and got out immediately to ice it. I spent the day icing and massaging my shoulder. I went to practice the next day in hope that it got better overnight. I was wrong. It got worse. I spent the remainder of practice doing nothing but kicking. I made an appointment at a highly recommended chiropractor and was able to see him same day. He readjusted my shoulder and put me on some rehabilitating motion machines. In the passed I used to try and tough it out and hoped that it went away. The doc said that my pectoral muscles were too strong for my shoulder stabilizing muscles on my back and that that was causing the sharp pain feeling. With a taped up shoulder I spent about 5 days doing nothing but kick in the water. I don't think I ever did so much kick in my life. The weekend helped my shoulder recover more. Monday was the first time I was able to finally do a full stroke without much pain. It's been getting better every day. I can't use paddles yet, but that will come with time. In the meantime I've been icing my shoulder and using a STEM (aka TENS) machine.
Otherwise, training has been going extremely well. I find myself in better shape than I ever have been at this point in the season. I'm going to get a taste of how I've been training at a swim meet in Irvine (The Speedo Grand Challenge) from 28-30 May. I'll be swimming the 50, 100, 200, 400 Free and possibly the 100 Fly. I like to swim other strokes than just freestyle at swim meets because it changes things up a little bit. Swimming Freestyle is fun, but it doing something different is always nice. I hardly ever train Butterfly in practice, so it'll be interesting to compare my times with the times from Swiss Nationals in March. I'll keep everyone posted with how it goes.
Until my next post; keep well and take care!!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Welcome, Willkommen, Bienvenue , Benvenuto!
Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope to give my supporters some insight on my life and share some of the experiences I make on my way to London 2012. I’m new at this whole blog thing, so please feel free to pass along any comments, questions or concerns.
As many people are probably aware, I am now training and living in Los Angeles. After spending 4.5 years in Berkeley (California) and graduating from the UC Berkeley, I decided that I was in need of a change. I relocated to southern California and am currently training at USC with Trojan Swim Club. We have a fantastic group of people here led by Coach David Salo. I’m training with some of swimmings greatest with the likes of: Ous Mellouli (Tunisia), Jessica Hardy (USA), Rebecca Soni (USA), Kosuke Kitajima (Japan), Thiago Pereira (Brazil), Markus Rogan (Austria), Peter Marshall (USA) and many more. I have world record holders, Olympic medalists and world champions swimming with me daily. We do some really fun stuff in the water that I will share with you as my season goes on. It’s been an awesome experiencing training with the best in the world and being pushed in every practice.
I find myself in the middle of my season right now. I’ve been working hard on my aerobic component so that I can finish my 200m races better. I’m probably one of the best 150m freestylers in the world. My weakness over the past few years has been finishing my races strong; so I’ve been working hard to improve that. Ous, Thiago and Markus have helped me with this, as we race every set that is given to us. There are only 3 medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze. When we race, one of us always goes out empty. This makes for a really competitive environment. It’s great because it pushes us even when we’re tired.
Anyway, I just wanted to drop a few lines to say hello. Check this space once in a while. I plan on updating once every 2 weeks or so.
Hope all is well! Take care!