1) What is/was your favorite workout to prep for this year?

In addition to swimming in any open body of water whenever possible, I kept mentally occupied with a couple favorites and their variations:
10 X 10 minute swims with water/food break after 5th repeat. Each 10 min interval was a different speed (ez, mod, hard, etc) Watching the pace clock and my splits made it more fun and challenging. NO rest between .

Ladder sets kept my brain awake too; 1000 where Id swim 75 mod, 25 hard then 100 hard. 800= 75 mod,25 build then 100 hard, all the way down to 100=75 mod, 25 hard then 100 hard.

Keeping the “speed play” incorporated into sets helped keep it interesting and not allow me to fall into “slug-along” workouts

2) What is your favorite training food?

In training for Marathon swimming, I went back to the old old school and old standby of Ironman training of the past of PowerBars and gels during workouts. I used Nuun and sometimes Accelerade, depending on the length of the workout, along with water during practices. I tried to eat clean and manage the simple carbs in my diet in general. RICKS PRECISION NUTRITION programs helped me with this also!

3) What were your key training events for 2018?

In 2017 I started marathon swimming so I really didn’t have training races scheduled because my first one was in May. I traveled to Orlando for a week and did multiple Lucky’s Lake open water swims. In that week doubled 2X with open water in a.m. and pool swimming at the Clermont International Training Center p.m. Rick sent me 3 gym workouts for the week also. The hardest training days I had in that week were the 2 double swim days where I went 10,000 and 8500 total. That “training camp” week I swam a total of 19.89 miles and lifted 3X.

For the Bermuda Swim I backed off for recovery then picked up the mileage with more open water swimming in central Ohio. I added a 3rd gym workout and it really helped me maintain flexibility, especially upper body, and injury prevention. I look at my gym work as active stretching and “gentle strength training.” What Rick puts us through helps build the “connections” as well as strengthen and maintain them.

2017 Races: El Cruce 10K in Cancun, 10K Swim Round the Sound, Bermuda

2018 Races: April- Cabo Open Water Challenge (2K, “training race” for Big Shoulders Sept 2018)
August- Swim to the Moon 5K (“training race” for Big Shoulders
A-Race, Big Shoulders Open Water Swim Classic—- CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER

4) What was your hardest training day?

SEE ABOVE for the recent all-time hard day, but in 2018 with only prepping for “mere” 5K here’s a sample:This was swam all straight, no rest between:
1000=500 wu, then 75 mod,25 build
1000 negative split,
3X500 desc
500 ez
then 10X100 desc 1-5, 6-10 @1:45 interval
8X50 speed play
5400 yrds plus WD

OPEN WATER TOUGHIE
1 length ez then:
SUICIDES- swim hard to closest buoy, ez back to starting point
Swim hard to 2nd buoy, ez back to starting point
Swim hard to 3rd buoy, ez back to starting point
Swim hard/strong race pace to 4th buoy- depending on how far it is, ez back to starting point.
A.k.a, swim hard or race pace out then ez back until about half way, then instead of swimming ez back to the starting point, pick a mid way buoy and repeat!
1 length ez. REPEAT until you reach 5K or other distance

5) What is your best-kept training secret?

RICK! He’s the full package; nutrition, gym work, training advice and someone who you can bounce ideas off of. He can talk you out of a funk and if that doesn’t work his 4-legged assistant, Roscoe, provides the right amount of therapy when needed!