Monday: Swim—2200yds; 8-minute abs
Another Monday, another 5:00am wakeup call. I tried to work on my new and improved flip turn during the sets today, and I actually managed to do just that. I was worried I’d revert back to my previous, completely wrong flip turn form as I got tired and stopped focusing, but I think I held on pretty well. The nice thing about doing something the right way is that it’s often actually somewhat natural and therefore easier to get the hang of. It was a good workout, but we didn’t get a lot of yards because of there was a good deal of kicking involved:
4 x 50 10 beat barrel kick
4 x 50 closed fist
10 x 100 @ 1:50
2 x 75 kick
We were supposed to try to swim the 100s in a specific goal time. I set my goal time for 1:35, but I exceeded that expectation and hit them all somewhere between 1:28-1:32. We did a similar workout a few months ago. I revisited my description of that one, and it was a lot harder for me than this one. This workout was tough, but not gut-wrenching, wind-sucking tough. I didn’t document what my average time was the last time I did a workout similar to this one, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t swimming my 100s nearly as fast last time. Anyway, I think my next big area of focus for my stroke will be my kick as I think it is the weakest part of my stroke right now. I’ve also noticed that I struggle with breath control. I think this is more of a matter of discomfort than training or ability. When my lungs start to burn, I want air. I know my breath control has improved since I started attending Masters, but I know it has a long way to go.
Tuesday: Strength—30 minutes; Bike—60 minutes
I got up and went through my strength routine at the office gym. While doing my single-leg squats and single-leg deadlifts, I noticed that I was much better at balancing on my right leg than on my left leg. I got a bit nostalgic because the reason for this is (I believe) that my left leg was my lead leg when I did hurdles, which means I would take off from my right leg which meant it was always a little stronger and always a little better at stabilizing. The fact that that holds true when it’s been years since I’ve done any sort of training even remotely related to hurdling was a reminder that some level of base fitness sticks around for a very long time. After work, I got on my new bike for my first real ride! It was a warm and sunny day, so all I needed were gloves and arm warmers. After a few weeks of the stationary bike, I felt amazing to be out there moving at all. Oh, and my new bike felt amazing. I feel a little hyperbolic for saying this, but I think I felt faster already! The shifting was great, the handling was great, and the fit was great. I got out for a full hour and was only just starting to get chilly during the last ten minutes or so when the sun was low and I was mostly riding in shadows.
Wednesday: Strength—30 minutes; Run—30 minutes (3.88 miles); Bike—30 minutes
I had a lot going on today. Again, I got to work early and did my strength routine. I can feel myself getting better at doing the exercises and thus getting a better workout from them. Progress. I was also going to run before work, but it was dark and rainy, so I decided to hold off and go on a run during lunch instead. This turned out to be a great decision. It was sunny and 50°—absolutely perfect! My knee felt better during this run, though I did still feel it a bit during the latter half of the run. I actually wore my old shoes for this run. I’ll wear my new shoes for my run this weekend and (hopefully) see if my shoes are contributing to the problem. I was frustrated while I was out running because I could not stop thinking about how slow I was compared to a month ago. I figured I was running about an 8:15/mile pace and I was pretty tired, even after just thirty minutes. However, once I got back and mapped my run out, I realized I had run quite a bit faster than I thought and was actually trucking along at a reasonable 7:44/mile pace. Finally, once I got home from work, I headed out on my bike for my third workout of the day (I mean, kinda sorta). I just went out for a quick half hour spin. It was cloudier than the day before, so it was a bit chilly. Still, it was fun. My bike goes fast downhill.
Oh boy, I needed this rest day. I have done a good job getting back into the groove of working out, but my sleep patterns haven’t matched that. It didn’t help that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were all early mornings. I was tired, and the sleep and rest were not taken for granted. I finally got 8+ hours of sleep and woke up feeling much better, but the day off was still welcome. Ironman training is going to be hard…
Friday: Swim—1100yds, flip turns; Strength—15 minutes; 8-minute abs
Masters was both fun and edifying on Friday. We had the option to do a workout or work on flip turns, and I chose flip turns because I’ve recently realized that I’m horrible at them and have committed to learning to do them properly.
6 x 50 kick, swim
4 x 25 underwater
Working on flip turn technique was surprisingly productive. I forgot how useful it is to have a coach there when you are trying to learn new skills! I’m hardly an expert, of course, but after about an hour of working on various flip turn drills, I know enough about what I should be doing to practice more on my own. I’m feeling positive about the flip turn progress I’ve made in the two weeks since I decided to actually buckle down and learn how the heck to do them. I’d like to get in a few more flip turn practice sessions on my own, and I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m feeling confident about how quickly I’m improving. In the evening, I did my short strength routine and some core work.
Saturday: Bike—2 hours (29 miles); 8-minute abs
I finally got to go for a real bike ride. It was a beautiful day—60° and sunny (at least at the beginning… it clouded up a little during the ride). Rob and I went out together on one of our flatter routes. The one downside to cycling in Utah is that there aren’t flat routes that don’t also include a lot of stop lights and city cycling. So we headed south through Salt Lake at a nice, easy pace. I felt surprisingly strong on the bike, especially considering I hadn’t felt all that great during the morning. I had quite a few dizzy spells, one of which was serious enough that I almost passed out. (This isn’t atypical for me. I’ve been to the doctor for it, and they ran a bunch of expensive, long, and annoying tests only to kind of shrug and tell me they didn’t know what was going on.) Despite not being 100%, though, the ride went really well. I was riding at a fairly low effort and still making pretty good time. I ate a Honey Stinger waffle about halfway through the ride and was pleased at how tasty it was and how well it sat in my stomach. After about 20 miles, Rob peeled off and headed back to his place. I still had a bit longer to go, so I started up one of the easier canyons. I got partway up before turning around. I timed things pretty much perfectly because I hit two hours just as I was turning into Rob’s driveway. I had a slight headache through most of the ride which I had attributed to my weird morning, but when I took my helmet off, I saw two large red mark where it was pressing into my head and (I suspect) causing a headache. I was surprised because I actually felt like my helmet was a bit too loose while riding. I may have to pick up another one that fits better. This ride was a nice confidence-booster. This is the longest ride I’ve done in months, and the only thing that hurt during the ride was my butt from getting used to being in the saddle again. I did some core work in the evening.
Sunday: Run—60 minutes (7.17 miles); Strength—15 minutes
I spend most of the week anxious for this run. Mostly, I was nervous about how my knee would hold up. I’ve been taking care of it very well since the marathon and hadn’t really tested it, so I was hoping I was on the road to recovery. However, when I woke up, my knee felt a little off, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. For this run, I used my new shoes so I could gauge how the new shoes felt as compared to the old ones. This run was… okay. I did have some pain, but (for better or worse) I was able to complete the run. My knee pain actually got better after the first half hour or so as I warmed up, so I kept running instead of calling it a day. I stopped every fifteen minutes to stretch which was actually quite effective in staving off the pain. I’ll see how my knee feels throughout the rest of the day and then decide if I want to run or take it easy next week. I was unpleasantly surprised at how tired my legs felt. I spent the first half of the run lamenting my lost fitness and wondering how I got in such terrible shape after just a few easy weeks. Then I remembered that I had gone on a two-hour bike ride the day before, which was twice as long as any other ride I’ve gone on in months. I felt better about heavy legs after that. My pace ended up being 8:22/mile. I also did my abridged glute and hip strength routine. I can tell I’m getting stronger, even after just a few weeks. Now it’s just a matter of hoping that I can gain the necessary strength quickly and avoid irritating my IT band too much before then.