March 2013 training update

As I write, I’m still in “winter training mode.” That is, a balance of strength + cardio. To be honest, I haven’t been running or cycling as much as I should. I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym this winter trying to build strength for the season. Hopefully it will pay off in speed once I get back into each sport.

Today I went to the gym and worked on chest+back for about 60 min, then swam for 30 min.

Practically had the gym to myself today
Practically had the gym to myself today

Still going to Masters swim once a week. It’s really paying off. My form is much improved which has helped speed. I feel like I’m actually swimming (almost) like a real swimmer now.

I plan to kick-off the race season by focusing on each sport (swim, bike, run) almost exclusively for a week each starting April 14. More details on that training plan to come, but generally I’ll pack each week with sport specific training + one strength workout per week for maintenance.

I’m also starting to really get sick of the cold weather. I can’t wait for summer to come. I’ll be in Vegas in a couple weeks for work and I’m looking forward to some warm-weather runs outside! This time of year it’s generally 70-80s, which is perfect.

I got a GoPro HERO3 Black Edition recently to start making some videos. Here’s one from my run yesterday at Edgewater Park. It’s a little shaky, so probably won’t be running with it much.

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Jan 28, 2013 update + spring training plans (maybe)

This time of year I tend to concentrate on building muscle for the coming season because during the season, I only hit the weights once a week. Still swimming a lot and continue to go to Masters Swimming once a week. I really should run and bike more, I’ve been slacking on those areas. The treadmill and bike trainer are just harder to get myself to use vs going outside. Two Saturdays ago the power was out so I had to do a bike trainer workout without the typical music video playlist! It was kinda torture. I also didn’t use my Wahoo Fitness app to save my phone battery so I don’t know how far or fast I went.

View from trainer. Music videos, speed, distance, cadence & hart-rate on iMac.
View from trainer. Music videos, speed, distance, cadence & hart-rate on iMac.

I’ve been thinking of dedicating a week to each sport (swim, bike, run) in April, or so, as spewing conditioning. This isn’t something I read in a magazine or anything, just something I thought of. I’m not totally sure how to go about it properly or if its even a good idea. I figure during each week, I can really concentrate on one sport at a time with the exception of one strength workout each week for maintenance. I plan to also do the weeks in order of a race. I need to put together a training plan for the three weeks. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Winter training

Training in Northeast Ohio in the winter can be all over the place. Of course, there’s always the option of indoor training, but outside is always preferred. Last Saturday we had a 60 degree day and I actually got to run outside—IN SHORTS! Not only that, but I wasn’t slipping & sliding on the snow. I actually had traction and a respectable time. I’ve realized that my running times in the cold (and especially) wet winter aren’t nearly as good as they are in the summer. Perhaps its because I’m not as in shape, or maybe I’m just not built for cold weather. I’m still not biking outside (don’t want to mess up my pretty bike!), so the trainer is getting used…at least as much as I can tolerate it.

January 2013 in Shorts
January 2013 Not Shorts
January 2013 Not Shorts

 

Of course, there’s always the gym, which I’ve been utilizing a lot in the past couple weeks. I’ll typically do a strength workout then swim & rest in the hot tub. As I’m getting older, I’m realizing I also get more soreness from training. I guess it’s just somthing to learn to deal with.

Swimming update

I’ve now gone to Masters Swimming practice four times. Although I’m still in one of the slower lanes, I’m improving. I’ve been concentrating on my upper body form and it’s helping. Part of it is taking the feedback I get at practice and applying it to my solo training. Just today I did a random time trial on my own and I cut around 12 seconds off my 100y free time!

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First, and second, Masters Swimming classes

This week I (finally) tried out U.S. Masters Swimming with the O*H*I*O club in Lakewood. I had been wanting to try for a while but never have. The week of New Years I was going to but classes were canceled due to weather.

Wednesday evening I showed up at Lakewood High school, where they practice, a little early. Once I found the pool, I found Bob, the coach. I introduced myself and he asked me a few questions about my swimming experience. Around 30 people showed up for practice that night which I’m told is a lot. He assigned me to a lane (one of the slower ones!) which I shared with three other people—one of which I knew through work. The biggest challenge was figuring out some of the terminology they use. I picked up swimming on my own in college—never been on a team where I would have learned all that. Thankfully everyone was pretty friendly and helped me out. For the most part, I was able to keep up with the others in my lane, although I wasn’t always doing the right thing at the right time. Circle swimming in a lane with four people is challenging if you aren’t all at the same pace. I didn’t get any individualized instruction that night due to the size of the group. After we finished, the coach came up to me and explained that it’s normally not that crowded and to keep coming! So I did.

Thursday I showed up and the group was about half the size, partially due to the fact that Thursday practices are at 8:30 p.m. Jim coaches on Thursdays so I had a similar conversation with him as I did with the Bob the previous night. He asked if I minded him giving me advice on my technique, to which I replied “of course not, that’s why I’m here!” I only had to share a lane with one other person that night so we split it, side by side. This made it easier to concentrate on my form rather than just trying to not run into someone.    After I swam for a bit, Jim started to give me some advice. Apparently I’m doing a bunch wrong (although he put it nicely). My arms don’t extend as far as they should, I don’t swim completely upright (flat) and I turn my body too much when I breath. All things that can be fixed with practice—possibly months just to fix the arm thing. He had me use a pull buoy for pretty much the rest of the practice to keep my legs up and concentrate on my arms. I was able to make some progress, although with years of swimming the wrong way, it felt odd and slow. At some point, I used my legs again for a kick set with 12, 50 yard intervals. Due to me being slow, I only had a few seconds rest in-between (if any). My legs hurt after. Jim said my body was dragging through the water rather than gliding on top, which would explain why I was so much slower. There was also a point where I was swimming back stroke and hit my head on the wall. I know to turn when I see the flags, but for some reason, I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t. The coach saw that and told me to just swim freestyle for the rest of the set.

I do plan to go back. Hopefully this coming week. Although as I’m writing, I’m drinking ginger green tea because my throat is getting a little scratchy. I ran outside today and had also planed to also bike on my trainer, but just wasn’t up to it. I’m either getting sick or had a little too much fun last night.

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