Sunday, December 27, 2009

Almost twenty ten

When you need a week of rest and recovery, the best thing to do (by far) is to...go home.  For the most part I haven't felt any urgency to work out while I've been at home and that is good as I think I really needed an easy week from all the swimming I've been doing.  While I love improving I do not love shoulder injuries.  I do not think I am alone in that sentiment either...

I did log my best week of running since...August-ish probably so that was certainly a positive thing.  I've started recovering faster after each run and feeling a lot smoother, the two of which combine to really mean nothing other than the fact that I can tell myself I'm getting better.  I did, however, come across my first running related annoyance: the blood blister.  A blood blister is about as exciting as a fever on Christmas.  Oh well, it will go away (maybe)...

I'm flying back to Charlotte on Wednesday so I'll probably get back on a more regular schedule with regard to my swimming.  I'm excited about the possibilities the 2010 season has laying in wait...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Now I really feel like I'm in 25-29 AG

So Saturday marked my 25th birthday, bringing with it such exciting things as...well nothing really. But that's ok. I like my birthdays to be pretty low-key. I'm not much of one for going out and getting crazy anymore (it's not as though I used to either...I spent my 21st birthday watching Lord of the Rings solo at home and it was awesome!). The Tour de el Amigo was on the schedule for the birthday but sadly mother nature had other ideas and the ride had to be canceled. It will likely be rescheduled for mid to late January when it is still cold and everyone is still out of shape - as this makes it more 'epic.'

This week I got in one spin class, some running and a LOT of swimming. 17,000 yards worth of swimming if 5 workouts. That equates to (roughly) 10 miles. It felt awesome. It's hard to describe the feeling associated with getting better at something and feeling like you're finally beginning to understand it. Getting in the water is no longer the worst part of my day; in fact it has become one of the best. I look forward to almost every workout in the pool and I am absolutely demolishing times that I never even sniffed before. Scott and I have been swimming almost every workout together and it's really nice to have someone there to motivate you and push you through the workout. He's a lot faster than me but I still think we manage to push each other despite our disparity in speeds. I'm really looking forward to seeing how much my times drop during next years' triathlons. Obviously, that could just fail to happen but I have a good feeling that this work will really pay off in the future.

I think the problem for a lot of triathletes, especially the ones that I train with and know, is that they have somehow convinced themselves that they just don't like swimming. It seems that for almost every triathlete there's a person that gets zero enjoyment out of it. Swimming, in reality, is probably the best all around workout of the three sports that we engage in as triathetes. It gives you a great aerobic workout, strengthens your upper body, promotes flexibility, and is a zero-impact sport. Of course, there are times when it feels like you're going to black out but it's all part of the game!

Back to the point I was trying to make; if more people that hated swimming invested just a little bit more of a percentage of their weekly hours in the pool I think they'd see more gains there than in any of the other segments. People that view swimming as their weakness consequently - and for no real explanation - tend to ignore and just plan to 'survive it.' They subsequently become better cyclists and runners but what if they took an hour away from running (6-8 miles/week) and just tacked that on to their swimming totals (~3000 yards?). They'd definitely get more benefit from that swim workout than they would from that run workout. That opinion holds even truer when it comes to cycling. When you're training for endurance events (long course), what is a 20 mile (~1hr) ride going to get you? Not much... Add 3000 yards to your weekly totals and you'll probably see more gains than you'd expect.

Well, that was just me spouting a lot of word vomit. People that don't like swimming are never going to get better because they've managed to convince themselves that they A) hate it, and B) are always going to suck at it. So they will...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm trying to become a fish

I'm trying as hard as I can but it will never happen. Since I didn't swim growing up I'm missing out (of course, other people wouldn't call it 'missing out') on years and years of swimming. Oh well, it just means I get to swim a lot now! This week I set a career high in weekly totals (15,500) and I've FINALLY started to feel normal while running; I managed to get in a little over 30 miles. Only one bike ride and that was a spin class. I'm pretty unmotivated to bike right now but I'm excited about two things:

1) John Behme's Tour de el Amigo next Saturday (December 19th, which also happens to be my 25th birthday), which is a ~105 mile ride that has several competitions (basically the ride is a group ride and at mile 75 we all stop and eat at el Amigo, downing a competition-mandated amount of tacos and chips). There are 6 sprint points and 6 KOM points. There is a porto competition (calling out porto's). There is an eating competition. There might be a margerita competition. Essentially, it's going to be epic. Especially considering hardly any of us are in shape to do a ride like this. I plan on winning the sprint competition. Yes, it is going to happen.

2) Potential William and Mary training camp from January 4th-11th. Like last year I think this is a great time to jump start your bike fitness for the year. While I'd prefer it to be in February or March due to MY schedule I'm (unfortunately) not in college anymore and they can't pass up the month off from school...

Looking forward to next week and turning 25!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Please restart

Recovery is awesome. The past month has been ALL about trying to get healthy and refreshed after B2B. At this point I would have to say I've been successful.

The first three weeks were "no running allowed." I wanted to stay off my legs and see if I could put myself back together so I could run again. Mission accomplished. Besides the first 22 years of my life where I didn't train for running the 3 weeks was the longest break I've ever had. I instead focused on swimming, a LOT. For the past 4 weeks I've managed to hold just over 10,000 yards/week. That's DEFINITELY a career high for me. I definitely have seen some improvement but as a recent video session shows I've got a lot of room for technical improvements to my stroke.

This week was finally about running again. I started off a little gingerly just because I was a little scared but with the combination of some new shoes that I love and some patience the week has ended quite well with a nice 10 mile run to celebrate...nothing. Running again maybe.

My plans for the next month are really just about swimming and running a lot. I'd like to bump up the swimming to around 12,000/week and the run will be a steady increase that goes something like this: 20, 30, 40, 35, 45, 50, 55, 45, 60, 65, 70, and then just see how high I can go in the amount of time that I have.