Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday evening musings

My most triathlon-like workout to date. Several minor glitches, but this is probably very triathlon-like also, so it's not bad practice...

Glitch #1: got started a little late insofar as 6pm start time for masters swim is not flexible (but I cannot really complain, I was actually doing a spot of work on my book that was worth polishing off--I just shouldn't leave the workout till the last possible moment!)

Glitch #2: no coach again for the swim workout! And no lifeguard this time, either, so we dithered for more than fifteen minutes before deciding that we are paying quite a bit of money each semester for this swim privilege and that though it is obviously completely against policy to swim without a lifeguard present (much talk of whether our group would get banned from the pool if we did so!), there was one present and one former lifeguard among the swimmers and also one faculty member (namely, me) who would talk us out of trouble if necessary and that we should just get in the pool anyway. Swimming time significantly curtailed, though--almost 6:20 by the time we got in...

Glitch #3 (with further thoughts on triathlon garb below): those triathlon shorts seemed slightly too large on dry land, but once in the pool they came to seem voluminous indeed--not a big problem except during the breaststroke, when they contributed significantly to drag...

I was set on doing all three things in a row, and wearing convenient variants of the same outfit!

So I did one of the thirty-minute spinervals workouts on the bike at home (the first of the three on 23:0 Time Saver, high-cadence work and one-legged drills), then headed out for a run (with fleece on top, plus belt pouch with swim cap and goggles)--time being short, I suddenly realized (as I waited for the light to cross over to Riverside Park) that though it is infinitely more horrible I should just go and use the indoor track at the gym in the interest of being on time for swimming.

Did two miles on the track (device needs recalibrating, but I wasn't counting laps so I can't say if it's running short or long, did an extra lap to be on the safe side), then went and swam--though in fact only with a twenty-minute delay, so in each case there was a bit of a gap between, unfortunately.

32 minutes cycling (avg HR 130, max 151)
19 minutes running (2.075 miles, 9:13 avg pace; avg HR 146, max 154)
42 minutes swimming (avg HR 112, max HR 129)

Interesting to contemplate how differently the HR thing plays out in each sport... of course really I was by far the most breathless during the swim bit!

With no workout and no coach and already having been exercising for close to an hour, I found myself during the swim session with little ingenuity or enthusiasm for an exciting swim workout.

Warmup: 100 swim, 100 IM kick, 100 IM

Main set: 10 x 100, alternating free and IM, with forty seconds rest

Hmmm, the sequence as a whole was actually almost too manageable, I wanted something more intense! But I suppose it is good that I can comfortably do an hour and a half of triathlon-type exercise without really feeling at all overwhelmed (breaks in between, though).

The garb issue is too tedious for me to write about in any detail, and I am much too lazy to link to anything. Suffice it to say that I am about to start experimenting with various stuff for convenience in training but also that I might actually use to race in, except I have a bad habit (because I loathe and despise clothes shopping) of buying things online--and triathlon and swimsuit sizing is very confusing! I've got a bunch of different matching components of this one Tyr suit, and ordered proper triathlon shorts after realizing I would never really be wearing small bikini-type bottoms with a bike pad for either training or racing (though they would certainly be usable on a trainer ride--but really! I did not think it through when I bought those ones last spring...).

Triathlon clothing sizes run small--I'd be a small for Nike or Brooks running pants, but usually a medium on Craft or cycling/triathlon-type shorts--Tyr swim stuff also seems to me to run slightly small. So I ordered a medium--only to get 'em in the mail and find out that though the website did not make it at all clear, it's unisex sizing! Arghh--really rather too big, not sensible for swimming--OK for bike and run, though, if a bit baggy around the hip area...

Meanwhile, if Sherlock Holmes had been reincarnated as an avid reader of triathlon blogs he would be saying right now, "So you've decided to race the Bronx half rather than doing it as a training run?" Reincarnated Watson would be looking dumbfounded, and reincarnated Sherlock would tick off the points on his fingers:

I departed from my training schedule

It's two days before the half-marathon, so I needed to run at least a couple miles

But earlier in the week I stated that I must not skimp on cycling as it is by far the most important area for me to improve fitness in

Schedule said four miles run and one hour swim today, 1.5 hr swim and 60 minutes bike tomorrow, then the half on Sunday morning and the evening off. But I have been longing for speed all week, and yesterday's run confirmed it. It is not, I think, inherently unreasonable to think it's worth trying to run as fast as I can on Sunday--what I would like is a NYRR PR somewhere between my 1:57:XX Central Park best and my 1:54:XX Philadelphia best. We will see--but it seemed clear that I needed to run a couple miles today and I needed not to skip a bike workout altogether, and that this triple workout was the solution.

No real taper, but that's OK, I'm not imagining I'm suddenly going to have a miraculously fast race, I haven't been training properly for that. Tomorrow I'll just swim, then race on Sunday morning and perhaps do a recovery ride on the trainer in the evening--good for the muscles. And M. is back in town, so I have a nice appointment with him Monday morning, only we will have to skip lower-body stuff if I have really raced the day before...

(Oh, there was an amazing fellow on the indoor track doing walking lunges! Now that is an evilly good idea--it is a tenth of a mile--hmmm, wonder how far I could get...)


Danielle in Iowa said...

It always seems so funny to me that I am gasping for air while swimming, yet my heart rate stays so low!

Jenny Davidson said...

It's unnatural!

Lynn said...

Oooooh...I remember disgustingly humid August days, doing walking lunges (hands on head) around the track for swim team workouts. We had to do 1/4 mile at the beginning of the workout and then another 1/4 mile after running a mile or something evil like that (we were swimmers - running a mile was not easy!!!). The memory makes me want to curl up in a little ball and moan, but it was probably very good for us!

The surfacing of a long-repressed memory happened last week, too, when you mentioned the workout pasted to a kickboard. On Halloween, our coaches always had us do "tombstone kicking" - hold the kickboard vertically half-way down in the water and kick 10 50s. OUCH!

Wendy said...

Lynn, I taught some triathletes the tombstone drill this week, and someone called me Evil! ;-)

Jenny -- good luck tomorrow!!!