Fitness Journey: My best 100m swim in recent years


Thanks to Toni Infante Gancia for the photo! Taken summer 2012 my stroke form improved. My lead arm stroke on sweet spot is now at a more comfortable effortless angle below my head which helps raise my hips

After getting to swim with my students I noticed that they have been getting fitter and faster! My greatest swim teaching achievement is improving Coach Cris “supremo” Dela Cruz of ANR Ortigas / Hunyango / CB..  in roughly a month from not being able to swim 1km straight, he could swim a decent 23 minutes for 1km swim. Another achievement for me is Without Limits Race Director and former national team athlete Ian Alacar. In our recent swims I could not keep up with his sub-2min 100m. For me, swimming is a lifeskill that everyone should learn. Its fun, good exercise and one way or the other you will go to the beach or a pool at some point in your life. Teaching Ian’s Mom or mommy alacar (who happens to be one of the best cooks ever!) is also one of my achievements, for now she couldnt do freestyle strokes with breathing but her sweet spot and switch drills are pretty decent enough to reach multiples of 25m laps. And that is why Without Limits started calling me Coach Boy… its not really in running but in swimming.

For those beginner to intermediate swimmers who havent been swimming and would like to get into a swim program for a multisport event. This is a sample Base 1 program

Warm up 500m jog around pool / park area

Loosening exercises as inspired by Coach Joseph Pagulayan of KinetIQ fitness and Athletics. In one of our conversations, I was struck by the concept of  “linkages” and “functional exercises”. Some exercises can be sport or activity specific, what is important is you warm up / loosen / stretch and prepare different muscle groups that will be involved in the sporting activity. So I came up with the following for this program:

Neck rotations.

Shoulder rotations (large)


Arm swings (Large and farce) forward and back

Hip rotations

Trunk Twists

Jumping jacks

ankle rotations

calf stretches

knee rotations

leg swings


worlds greatest stretch

leg swings

on a bench .. leg kicks simulating kicking on water, activating abs

on a bench .. nakadapa kicks simulating kicking on water activating abs and lower back


On to the swim workout BASE 1

2 x 100m warm-up (2:33 / 2:35 im posting my personal time for logging and recording purposes for my personal training). Purpose of this exercise is to warm up and loosen in the water, followed by checking ones form. 30 secs rest in between. Exrtemely relax Effort 4/ 10

2 x 100m sweet   spot and form drills (3:03 / 3:10 ). lead arm at sweet spot as well. kick w/fins. Purpose of this excercise is to focus on balance in water. Using the chest as bouy, head tipping and balancing to raise hips on water. Focus on keeping proper head alignment on water and not looking up (dipping lower body) to breathe. Relax effort4- 5/10  1 minute rest in between

1 x 100m leg kicks  drills w / fins. form is sweet spot with leading arm. Focus on kick form and lower body conditioning. Lower ab activation, concerted whipping motion from hips to knees to ankles. Moderate effort 6-7 /10  1 minute rest in between

1 x 100m leg kicks drills w/ o fins  form is sweet spot with leading arm. Moderate effort 6-7 /10  1 minute rest in between

2 x 100m switch drills. Focus on over-all form, balance, head alignment when breathing, stroke frequency.Moderate effort 7-8 /10 1 minute rest in between

2 x 100m arms only strokes.  (2:22 / 2:23 ) Feet w/ pull bouy or fins (slight kick to elevate lower body).  Focus on arm stroke, high catch, power follow thru and upper body conditioning. Moderate effort 7-8 /10 1 minute rest in between

rest till fresh ( 3 to 5 minutes) loosen up, hydrate  then proceed

2 x 100m sprint  swim (1:45 / 1:48) focus on form and power.  rest till fresh ( 3 to 5 minutes) loosen up in between. Intense effort 10/10

6 x 50m regular swim. focus on form, conditioning. rest 1 minute in between

2 x 100 cool down swim.  relax effor 4/10

body weight pool lifts at side of the pool. half body in the water, try to pull yourself up, 20 reps. focus on triceps and shoulders

Really happy over the fact that I was able to pull off a 1:45 which i havent done in recent years.. last I think was when I was in prime shape for 2005 in my first Tri in Subit.

Now my next challenge is if only I could keep it at sub-2mins x 15. Im thinking my current cruising  strokes would give a time of 2:18 at 7-8/10 above average effort which I could sustain for a 1.5km to 2km swim.

Ill be sharing swim technique specifics next time. So far Im just happy I can keep up with my students


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