Monday: Swim—One Hour Postal Competition (4400 yds total); 8-minute abs
Although I wasn’t officially entered into the competition, on Monday, I did a one hour time trial with the masters team at my pool. The race report is here, so I won’t go into too much detail. Basically, it was a warm-up, the hour swim, and then a brief cool-down.
3 x 50 @ 1:00
One cool thing is that 2.4 miles is 4224 yards, which means that including my warmup and cool down, I swam the entire distance of the Ironman swim. That’s a nice milestone to hit! I thought about going on a bike ride because I had the day off, but it was cloudy and wet outside, so I opted to waste time for the rest of the day instead. I also did some core work. This week, I’ve upped my core routine from seven minutes to eight minutes. I plan on holding steady at eight minutes for a while and instead upping my ab days from three to four in a few weeks.
Tuesday: Run—884m, 12 x 400, 884m
Another Utah winter day, another day at the Olympic Oval. I have high hopes that I’ll get outside for my speed work next week. Anyway, I woke up at 4:00am (which is absurd and I hate it) so that I could have time to drink some water and eat some food before leaving for the track at 5:00am. I actually felt fast and loose while I was warming up with no residual soreness from my 20 miler on Saturday. As usual, I took 45 seconds of rest between these 400s, except when otherwise specified. I was aiming to hit 1:33 for these 400s, and I was pretty much right on pace the whole time:
1:32.5, 1:32.8, 1:32.6, 1:32.2
1:29.2, 1:33.8, 1:32.8, 1:32.3
1:33.0, 1:33.3, 1:32.5, 1:31.4
That lone 1:29 was when I got caught up between two guys doing speed work. I subconsciously sped up and finished too fast, even though I was running in the second lane for most of the second curve. This workout pretty much hit the balance perfectly. It was hard. I had to push myself the last 100 of most of the reps (the last 200 as the workout progressed), and I was sucking wind at the end of each 400. But I was still able to keep up the pace and hit my target times. I actually got a “nice job!” from one of the guys doing speed work. Weirdly, that was the highlight of my workout. I can’t think of a time I’ve had a stranger give me encouragement during a workout, so he must have noticed that I was really pushing it and working hard.
Wednesday: Bike—30 minutes; 8-minute abs
After work, I hopped on the trainer for a bit. This was the first time I used Rob’s trainer, and it was pretty bad. I found an interesting RadioLab story about Nazi POWs in the States during WWII and spun for half an hour while listening to it, but somehow the distraction didn’t completely take away the pain of the trainer. I was interested in the story. I just wanted to be listening to it on the couch or in the car instead of on the bike. Regardless, it ended up being a good recovery spin. I also did some core work. In addition to adding some time to my routine, I’ve also been trying to reduce the number of “easy” exercises I do and focus more on the ones that hurt (good hurt, obviously). This time, I specifically noticed how much easier the exercises are than they were when I finally added core back into my routine a month or so ago.
Thursday: Run—5 miles (37:10)
Five mile tempo runs are so much easier to face than eight mile ones. It helped that it was a nice day for a run—sunny and (relatively) warm. I started out at a good pace while avoiding the trap of going out too fast. The route I ran wasn’t hilly by any means, but it had a few ups and downs. I tried to keep my pace strong while going uphill and use the natural momentum of the downhill sections to recover while maintaining a similar pace. I think my effort for this tempo run was pretty spot on. After I warmed up in the first half mile or so, the pace felt easy for the next mile or so before transitioning to comfortably hard for the later miles of the run. I got a bit of a side ache in the middle of the run, but I was able to adjust my breathing and deal with it. I’ve mostly conquered my side ache problem, but I’ve noticed it rearing its ugly head a little more often recently. The last mile and a half or so I had to focus to keep my pace up, but it never hit the “this is so hard that I don’t know if I can do it” zone. This run wasn’t quite as fast as my last five mile tempo run, but I still ran it in a 7:26/mile pace, which is quite a bit faster than my plan called for.
Friday: Swim—Masters swim team (2150 yds)
Usually Friday is my day off, but I wanted to take Sunday as my day off so I wouldn’t have to force a workout in between church and football. I think building my schedule around religion and ball sports wins me the Stereotypical American award this week. Anyway, with great reluctance, I woke up early and headed to the pool to swim. Our workout was the following:
8 x 50 closed fist
4 x 25 underwater
75 (kick, drill, swim)
75 (kick, drill, swim)
(complete ladder 3x)
I still can’t make it across the pool underwater, but I can now consistently make it in two breaths. I still panic the moment I start feeling the need to breathe, though. For the whirlpool laps, we all went into a small, circular area in the kid pool and ran in a circle to create a good current. Then, we turned around and ran the opposite way doing the same thing. It was a fun little change in pace. The workout was nice because it was still a solid workout, but it wasn’t a ridiculously hard one. With my long run on Saturday, I was glad it wasn’t a chest-heaving, gut-busting workout. I also did core in the evening. It’s becoming more of a routine and less something that I squeeze in when I finally remember.
Saturday: Run—15 miles (1:57:45)
I followed my typical Saturday morning routine. I woke up around 7:00am. I drank a bottle and a half of water and ate a banana before heading to Rob’s and eating a bowl of Lucky Charms and a small breakfast burrito while surfing the ‘net, listening to NPR, and chatting with Rob. Around 10:00am, I went and put my water bottles out for my run. When I got back from that, I drank about half a glass of chocolate milk and then deviated from my routine by popping a couple of preventative ibuprofen. As usual, I checked my pace at the peak of the first long incline around three miles in. I was a bit slower than I was two weeks ago when I last ran 15 miles. I wasn’t all that surprised considering my 20 miler the week before. When I hit the eight mile point, I was about 30 seconds slower than I had been at that point two weeks ago. However, as I continued through the run, I kept feeling strong. I noticed that my turnover was quick but didn’t feel forced. I knew I was running fairly fast, but I just went with it instead of pulling back. When I hit 13 miles, I was at almost exactly 1:44, which is an 8:00/mile pace. I decided to push it pretty hard the rest of the way. And I certainly did! I ran the last two miles in about 13:45, which is a sub-7:00/mile pace. I finished the run with a 7:51/mile pace overall. Before you get too terribly impressed with my final two miles, remember that I was running downhill. At a pretty significant decline. You can check out the elevation chart below. Still, I was very pleased with this run. The best part is that I didn’t feel that deep, bone-numbing fatigue that I felt after my 20 miler. I actually recovered well and felt good for the rest of the day. I was hit with a deep, deep hunger around 8:30pm, though, and had to do some serious scrounging for food.
I finally took my rest day for the week on Sunday. I turned off my alarm, which was welcome, and spent the whole day sitting around, eating good food, and watching football. Days like this are important! And after the week of workouts I had, I needed a day off and I needed a day where I didn’t just hole up and watch Netflix by myself.