triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “swimming

WordPress Still Exists and So Do I.

Was my last post really August 13? Man does time fly.

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So where have I been you ask? Why I am glad you did.

I think I have spent more time in the pool over the past 3 months than anywhere else. The months of September and October were full with fins on our feet, working on body position, catch, and overall stroke efficiency. Our coach was right (I hate to admit it) that with fins you can concentrate on your stroke and work on the parts that are weak.

Goal: speed.

It has worked. Over the past 3 weeks I have seen a drastic increase in my body position and efficiency resulting in my fastest 400m; 5:34 (1:23/100m). To boot, it was at the end of this workout.

Warm Up
400m swim / 200m kick / 400m swim

Main Set
6x400m – swim/pull/paddles/paddles/pull/swim

Cool Down
200m easy

For the record, I still need to work on my finish – “Water past your knees”.

Bike races are a crap load of fun. I raced, yeah raced, in my first Gran Fondo in late September which was put on by Mountain Equipment Coop in Turner Valley. I have never ridden in the Highwood Pass before, and I am glad that I had the chance. I played with the boys up front until the turn, opting to wait for my buddy who got dropped at km 50. It was our deal; wait for each other at the turn.

So much fun I may just race bikes next year. Who needs all that swimming and running? Rule #42.

I am going to get back in the regular posting routine and I do really enjoy reading other posts (Ragtime Cyclist, Single-tracked Mind, and Fit Recovery to name a few), so WordPress will be a regular stop for me.

So stay tuned. I have some really good ideas.


Funks and Missing Coaches

Is It Really Wednesday Already?

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Swim – 3:00:00 – 8100m
Bike – 2:16:24 – 68.6km
Run – 1:13:46 – 16.0km
Strength – 0:45:00

Total – 7:15:10

Man this week has really flown by. So much so that I am currently writing this post while I am on the trainer at home. It is really hard to pedal and type one handed on an iPad at the same time. Good thing I don’t have to balance.

I mentioned a while back that I seemed to lose some of my mojo on the run; 8k never was a chore until December. I tried a couple of different approaches to derail my training in hopes of pushing past this road block. Well after 2 ‘Fartlek Fridays’ with a fellow tri-club swimmer I am feeling better. Not 100% mind you, but things are looking up.

Ramping up my run volume over the next couple of weeks is going to test my resolve. In order to get ready for the Calgary Police Half Marathon at the end of April I need to add an additional day and then start increasing my weekly time little by little. My current plan looks something like this with a run added on Wednesday.

week

My ultimate goal is to have 45min ER (Endurance Run) on Monday, 60min ER on Wednesday, and a 45min ER with FI (Fartlek Intervals) on Friday. That puts me in the 2.5 hour range per week which should be perfect leading up to the race.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Whole 30 – Day 26
Recap – Week 50

So this week we are without our swim coach, apparently when Napa Valley calls your name, you must oblige. For the three workouts this week, a different swimmer was given the task of writing the workout and coaching everyone during the set. When he was picking them out at the end of our session on Wednesday, I acted like a high school kid who doesn’t know the answer; I looked at the ground and didn’t make any discernible noises. Thankfully I didn’t get picked.

It is interesting to see the different mind sets in a given group. Some of the swimmers feel that we need to swim longer, slower sets and some feel we need more drills. We will see both the remainder of the week as Wednesday and Friday are coached by both personalities. I for one feel that both are right in their own ways.

If you want to be able to swim 1500m in a race, then you need experience swimming that distance.
If you want to swim a 1:20/100m pace, then you need to train at or below that time.

How you decide and balance them is entirely up to you.

Question: How do you balance speed with distance?


Time Trial Pool Style

It is like a mini race.

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This was my first time trial with the club and it didn’t disappoint. Our coach surprised us with the news, probably thinking that half of us wouldn’t show up if he told us in advance.

There was 3 waves for each distance (3 lanes, 2 swimmers per lane) giving us a decent rest between the 100m and the 400m time trials. Here is how the workout was scheduled:

1000m warm up
400m swim, 200m kick, 400m drill
100m time trial
Rest (~5 minutes)
400m time trial
Cheer on the rest of the club

For the 100m, I was in the first wave with a fellow lane 3 swimmer. He has always been one of the guys I have tried to keep with over the past 3 months; key word, tried. Less than 0.1 of a second separated us. My time, tied for the fastest, was 1:13:60. Goal one; check.

We hung in the training pool while the others finished their 100m, laughing and chatting about everything swimming and triathlon. This is where I decided that I was going to register for Ironman 70.3 Calgary. Thanks peer pressure.

It was now time for our 400m. We all hopped into the same lane as before and readied ourselves for just under 6 minutes of pain. I pushed off and tried to pace myself. I commented earlier to the coach that what I lack in pacing ability I make up for in the ability to suffer. Well, after a 1:21:65 split on the first 100m, I was in it to suffer for the remainder of the distance.

I looked over to the other 2 lanes on my right as I came into the wall at 200m; we were all separated by 1 second, 2 at the most. This is where everything started to click for me. I started dropping my lane partner at 250m, and by 300m I was ahead of everyone. I glanced at the coach coming into the wall at 300m, and was encouraging me by telling me to kick harder. I was just happy to see that I had 100m to go.

I finished 6 seconds ahead of everyone, 5:41:15 (1:25/100m).

The only problem now is that we are expected to hit our 400m time trial pace for the remainder of the session. I guess there is no more slacking off.

Question: Have you done a time trial? How do you use the data in upcoming workouts?


Swim Etiquette

I am not British, but some etiquette rules just have to be followed.

When it comes to swimming, I often have come across the average joe out for a Sunday afternoon slow swim, at Thursday lunch. In my opinion, the local pools don’t do enough to educate swimmers on the proper ettiquete which will allow everyone to have an enjoyable experience. I am not talking about hard rules that have to be followed or you are kicked out, like peeing in the pool, but just the little things that will help out your fellow swimmers.

I have wanted to write this blog post for a while now, but struggled with how to write it in a positive way, not just complain. So I decided to share some of the rules I have learnt over the years in the pool.

Fast, Medium, or Slow Lane
Pick the right lane for your ability, not for how many people are in it. There is a reason why the fast lane is always less crowded than the medium or slow lane; because to consistently swim sub 1:40/100m, you have to be good. By picking the right lane, you make the workout more enjoyable not only for yourself, but for the others in your lane. No one likes to be a speed bump.

There is not a specific time divider, but I have found that if you swim around 1:40/100m, the fast lane is for you. If you swim 2:00/100m, it isn’t.

Turn Baby, Turn
Coming from a swimming background, I flip turn. That doesn’t mean that you have to do it too; it is the one thing that intimidates most swimmers. Actually, I think that the wall period intimidates most swimmers. What do I do when someone is coming? Should I push off now?

There will always be times when you will be resting at the wall. Unless you are the only one, or part of a masters class, the rest of the lane will continue on without you. You should always be resting at the right side of the lane (see next point).

If you are turing for another length (or 10) and there is no one in front of you, in the last 5m, move to the left of the black line, turn, and push straight off. This will help avoid the occasional collision and a potential face full of fingers. When you feel someone tap your foot or are coming to the wall for a rest, stay to the right side and rest there.

Pass Properly
I am about to get country for a second, so stay with me. Consider each swim lane like a two-lane, non divided highway. You wouldn’t pass when another vehicle is approaching in the opposite lane straddling the center line. So why is it okay in a swim lane? It isn’t. First question, are you actually swimming faster or just drafting? Drafting will reduce your workload by 8-10%. If you are swimming faster, polietly tap his/her foot (signal light), look to see if the opposite side is clear, then pass on the left. If the lane is not clear, tap his/her foot, wait until the wall, then when they pause to let you go ahead, go ahead.

Oh, by the way, if you feel someone tap your foot, stop at the wall and let them pass. I am pretty sure you figured this out, but if not, there you go.

Spacing
With a full lane, it can be tempting to push off right behind the swimmer in front of you. Please, resist that temptation. The rule of thumb is with 4 or less swimmers in the lane, leave 10 seconds between each swimmer. In a lane with 5 or more swimmers, leave a 5 second gap and try to stay on the toes of the swimmer in front of you.

Oh, and if you are grabbing a flutter board for a kick drill, good for you by the way, I hate kick drills, wait until all of the swimmers have left the wall. You are slow and you will become a speed bump.

Try some of these on your next workout if you don’t already. I am sure everyone will appreciate it.

Question: Any rules I missed?


Whole 30 – Day 9

Maybe a little random to recap on day 9, but I figured it was about time to write something.

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Like I mentioned in Recap – Week 35 I decided to start my first Whole 30 challenge a couple of days early.  Feeling like crap after eating supper is a pretty good motivator. Yes, ‘crap’ is a technical term.

Wouldn’t you know it, things have been going pretty good so far. I haven’t had too many major cravings yet, but I have thought a couple of times “who cares, you can start it again later” or “just don’t tell anyone and you will be fine”. Alas, the Rice Crispy square will stay on the shelf until, well, forever.

With no pre-planning of my own, I ended up fasting thru lunch on Monday. We visited my mother-in-law who is a strict vegetarian, so I knew that there wouldn’t be much in the house for me to chomp on while we were there. She made me a cup of tea, Milk Oolong to be specific, and I hung around talking dogs and house renovations. We got home at around 3 in the afternoon, and I wasn’t really hungry, so I waited until supper.

For most people, I think lunches can be difficult, especially if you eat at the office. I have the same issue, so each Sunday afternoon I grill two proteins and portion them out for the week; 10 dishes in total. I keep four in the fridge for Monday and Tuesday and freeze the rest for the remainder of the week. I also and boil a dozen eggs and cook some sweet potato for workout recovery. It can be some work and planning on Sunday, but man does it ever make things simple the rest of the week.

This week on the menu:

Breakfast – Pork Roast (slow cooked on the grill), steamed Broccoli, and a handful of Olives.
Lunch – Sexy Time Steak (from Four Hour Chef), Salad, and a whole Avacado.
Workout Recovery – Boiled Eggs (2) and a Banana.

I snacked pretty decent as well. I usually just grab something in the house, typically a piece of fruit, nuts, or some left overs.

A huge positive with the Whole 30 thing; I don’t feel panic stricken when my meal is a little late, or in the case on Monday, completely missing. Little each day I am finding more control over my appetite and really not missing much in the way of sweets. I have been probably over indulging on the dried apricots over the last couple of days, but after swim club as any swimmer can attest to, the hunger won’t go away. I’m working on it.

One negative, and I am not sure if this is related, but I woke up last night with a nasty stomach ache. Not a stomach ache from hunger, but a sharp pain from my belly button up toward my chest. I got out of bed, took a little walk around the house to see if I was cramping; nothing. So I ended up falling back asleep about 20 minutes later and when I woke up, the pain was gone. I am glad it was, but I will keep close attention to how I feel over the next couple of days. Hopefully just a freak occurrence.

Question: How do you tackle lunches during the week?


Recap – Week 48

Time flies……

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Swim – 3:00:00 – 9300m
Bike – 1:52:56 – 60.81km
Run – 1:48:09 – 22.99km
Strength – 0:45:00

Total – 7:26:05

Wow, I can’t believe that there is only 4 of these left before the end of the year. November went by in a flash.

I had some pretty decent workouts this week, and trust me, I can feel it this morning. Wednesday’s swim workout was focused on endurance with a little bit of tempo work mixed in. It looked something like this:

Warm Up
400m Swim/200m Kick/400m Drill
Main Set
1x800m Pull with Paddles – 20 strokes or less per length – <12:15
2x400m Swim – Descending – <6:00
4x200m Alternate Swim/Pull – <2:55
Cool Down
Hang on to the side of the pool and die

Seriously, the last 2 sets almost killed me. It is a great feeling to push hard at the end of a workout; I feel that this is where your best fitness it gained. It also helps with the mental toughness, being able to sprint at the end of a 3000m workout takes a little convincing.

I have to say that I like the 200m more than any other distance. You can push as hard or as easy as you like, with not too much pain if you give it your all. I am working to get my 200m split to 2:45 by the end of the Winter session. It is going to be a big push, but better to reach for goal than settle for second best.

Winter showed up in Calgary today. About time, said no one, ever. At least we can make snow sharks in the front lawn.

Snow-Sharks-Cartoon

Top Posts
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Recap – Week 47

My wife asked me if I could stay home in the morning for a couple of weeks to help them get into a decent routine of getting out of the house on time, so I had to skip out on tri-club swim this week. I let my coach know and he graciously sent the workouts for me to follow along with. It was a huge help to keep me motivated in the pool without the team.

I had no problem switching up my routine for the week. It was tough to rearrange everyday and still keep a decent balance and not running ir lifting on back to back days, but I made it work. The girls were able to get a decent routine and as of this morning, she has said I am not needed at home anymore, so I can get back in the pool with the club.

Is it sad that I am excited about getting in the pool at 0600 again?

Question: What is your favorite distance? Why?


Whole 30 – Day 9

Maybe a little random to recap on day 9, but I figured it was about time to write something.

download

Like I mentioned in Recap – Week 35 I decided to start my first Whole 30 challenge a couple of days early.  Feeling like crap after eating supper is a pretty good motivator. Yes, ‘crap’ is a technical term.

Wouldn’t you know it, things have been going pretty good so far. I haven’t had too many major cravings yet, but I have thought a couple of times “who cares, you can start it again later” or “just don’t tell anyone and you will be fine”. Alas, the Rice Crispy square will stay on the shelf until, well, forever.

With no pre-planning of my own, I ended up fasting thru lunch on Monday. We visited my mother-in-law who is a strict vegetarian, so I knew that there wouldn’t be much in the house for me to chomp on while we were there. She made me a cup of tea, Milk Oolong to be specific, and I hung around talking dogs and house renovations. We got home at around 3 in the afternoon, and I wasn’t really hungry, so I waited until supper.

For most people, I think lunches can be difficult, especially if you eat at the office. I have the same issue, so each Sunday afternoon I grill two proteins and portion them out for the week; 10 dishes in total. I keep four in the fridge for Monday and Tuesday and freeze the rest for the remainder of the week. I also and boil a dozen eggs and cook some sweet potato for workout recovery. It can be some work and planning on Sunday, but man does it ever make things simple the rest of the week.

This week on the menu:

Breakfast – Pork Roast (slow cooked on the grill), steamed Broccoli, and a handful of Olives.
Lunch – Sexy Time Steak (from Four Hour Chef), Salad, and a whole Avacado.
Workout Recovery – Boiled Eggs (2) and a Banana.

I snacked pretty decent as well. I usually just grab something in the house, typically a piece of fruit, nuts, or some left overs.

A huge positive with the Whole 30 thing; I don’t feel panic stricken when my meal is a little late, or in the case on Monday, completely missing. Little each day I am finding more control over my appetite and really not missing much in the way of sweets. I have been probably over indulging on the dried apricots over the last couple of days, but after swim club as any swimmer can attest to, the hunger won’t go away. I’m working on it.

One negative, and I am not sure if this is related, but I woke up last night with a nasty stomach ache. Not a stomach ache from hunger, but a sharp pain from my belly button up toward my chest. I got out of bed, took a little walk around the house to see if I was cramping; nothing. So I ended up falling back asleep about 20 minutes later and when I woke up, the pain was gone. I am glad it was, but I will keep close attention to how I feel over the next couple of days. Hopefully just a freak occurrence.

Question: How do you tackle lunches during the week?