Midweek Exercise Update

To help hold myself accountable I am back to sharing my exercise in the quest to get back into the shape I was once in this time last year.

Monday – I started back to running. I need to find the joy I once had with running. I think I burned myself out from running by worrying about pace and time and splits all the time. I need to get back to just remembering the simple joy of running. One foot in front of the other.

I am jumping into a marathon plan, but not worry about pace, time, or actually even running a marathon. I needed a basic structure to follow to give me some guidance.

I ran 4 miles which was a great starting distance to get back into the swing of things. It helps to have Chad running with me so we can keep things easy and allow us to just chat about stuff. This really helps pass the time and keeps you out of your own head.

Tuesday – After an open water swim Sunday I knew I had some more work to do in the pool. Swimming is probably my strongest sport right now as I  have not missed a swim workout in a while.
Today I decided to mix it up and did a workout I saw in Triathlon magazine to do something completely different from what I have been doing. This was a tough workout. I have not crossed the 3000 yard swim barrier in a very, very long time.

800 warm up – 200 free, 200 kick x2
12 x 25 on :30 working on descent of stroke count – My stroke count was high hovering at 15-16. I was able to get that down to 13-14 by the end. This is way too high.
500 – 25 fast/75 normal – This was a gasser
4 x 150 on 3:00 – I did one set free, one kick, one free, one kick to work on swimming with tired legs
500 pull with 3/5/7 breathing – I did 50 at 3 breath, 50 at 5, 50 at 7, etc. 7 was a tough. I hate that panic feeling of not having oxygen. It was good for me to work on this.
8 x 50 – 3 fast at every :50 and 4th one easy at 1:10 – It is amazing how fast the time goes between sets. I would finish roughly around 40 seconds so the 10 seconds flies by.
100 cool down kick

Wednesday – Today was another 4 mile run. Felt much better despite more humidity and heat. Feels good to get out and run. I don’t always want to do the run in the morning, but feel really good afterwards.

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18 Weeks Until Rev3 – Swim workout #2

Whew doggies! I slept terrible last night and was beyond tired and sore this morning. I hate to really fight the urge to skip, but finally at 4:40 I got up to get this done!

I am glad I did because I feel much better. I need to work on my mindset to fight through not wanting to get up and be lazy. I know the first few weeks will be the hardest, but once I get my groove back I will be fine.

I hit up the pool again today since my bike is in the shop. This week will be run and swim focused. I was sore from the run yesterday so decided to skip the planned run and swim instead to be safe and not risk injury. I will run tomorrow instead of a bike workout and be right on track.

Here is what I did today. Most happy with the 6 x 100 where I swam each one faster. I was enjoying see my times go down each lap.

My biggest focus right now are my feet and keeping them up on the surface of the water. My feet sink big time. Every lap that is all I am focusing on. I hope to get this fixed over the next few weeks and then move to another aspect of my swim that needs work – rolling!

WU: 500
MS1: 100, 200, 300, 200, 100, with 20″ rest between each. Count strokes on all ODD number laps, as a tool to help you focus on form. Set Total: 900;
MS2: 6 x 100 (20″), negative split Set Total: 600;
MS3: 8 x 25 (20″) Hard, but keeping the same stroke counts you’ve held consistently above. Set Total: 200.
CD: 100-200 easy. Total: 2400
Coach Notes: Technique Focus: head position — neutral head position, not looking up or down; breath straight to the side, to 9 or 3, with no head lift. Think “one goggle out,” minimizing head roll.

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Ironman Journey Resumes after 3 month of Nothing, Rev3 Cedar Point Here I Come

Alright, I have hit the highs and lows of motivation, training, and nutrition the last six months. I hit an all time high of fitness from Nov – Jan. I hit an all time low from Feb – May doing nothing and being a mess.

Back in October of 2012 I started this journey to complete my first 140.6 triathlon.

I am back. I have 19 weeks to get ready for Rev3 Cedar Point.

Last night I attended swim clinic to find what I need to work on after a long time of no swimming.

Today I hit up the pool for a technique swim

My training has completely changed due to me not following my plan set by my coach. I am now on a 20 week Ironman plan. These next four weeks are just about getting back in the groove.

I will have another 4 week block and then a 12 week intense, locked in training block to get ready.

Today I did the following

Warm Up – 100 free, 100 pull, 100 kick hard, 100 paddles

Drill Propulsion Progression
MS: 2 x 50 (15″) Swim Golf; 2 x 50 (15″) for each of the six Propulsion Progression Drills; 2 x 50 (15″) Swim Golf. Focus Swimming: 2 x 50 (15″), focus on front quadrant: lead hand is extending until recovering hand is about at your ear. 2 x 50 (15″), focus on catch: think “finger tips down. 2 x 50 (15”), focus on catch: think “over the barrel.” 2 x 50 (15″), focus on best form you can maintain. 2 x 50 (15″) Swim Golf.

I wrapped up with 100 kick, 100 paddles, and 200 free set.

Total: ~1800

I will be sore tomorrow. I was sore this morning.

Here is Ironman Journey Episode 6

You can catch the first five episodes here -http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/p/1406-triathlon-video-journey.html

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Get Faster Week 2 Wednesday Swim Workout Ladder

Back to the pool today. I had the following workout. My T-Pace is 1:45

WU: 400 – free, pull, kick, free

MS1:
100 (10″) @ T-pace – nailed it at 1:44
200 (20″) @ T-pace – Fell behind somehow swimming a 1:47 pace
300 (30″) @ T-pace – back on track at 1:45
400 (60″) @ T-pace – finished strong at 1:45
300 (20″) @ T-pace minus 2″” – missed this by dropping only one second and not two
200 (20″) @ T-pace minus 3″” – swam 1:39 so was way down cutting 6 seconds off
100 Sprint Set – Swam 1:38 so much better
Total: 1600
I added 100 of kicking just to cool down a bit.
Total: 2100

Feeling much better in the water. Things are slowly coming back bit by bit. Feeling much better today compared to the super soreness I felt yesterday.

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Training Day 8: Get Faster Block – Week 2 Swim

Here is my workout I knocked out this morning. Felt much better in the pool this morning. I have not had time to look at my swim times, but worked hard on pushing pace while maintaining form. I did not fatigue as bad throughout this session.

WU: 400 – 100 Free, 100 pull, 100 kick, 100 free

MS1: 8 x 100 (30″), as 50 Sprint, 50 Easy 8 x 50 (15″”) as 25 Sprint, 25 Easy 100 Sprint 
Set Total: 1300 
*During this set the pool became busy and we had to circle swim. During my easy sets I had to swim super easy to not run into the lap swimmers I was in a lane with. A bit frustrating because it was clear I was the only one in the entire pool doing speed sets and he still chose my lane. It worked out well and we had to adjust, but that is life.

MS2: 2 x 200 (20″), any pace you like, counting strokes and focusing on form. Set Total: 400
I did one set with pull buoy to work on technique. However, I only swam 150 yards as I was messed up with the circle swimming. My next set was 250 doing just free working on really holding my position.

CD: 100 easy Total: ~2200 

Tonight I plan on doing a run workout to get my mile intervals in. I will be doubling up these next few days to get my workouts in before being out of town.

My weigh in this morning was not too terrible. Despite eating a mass amount of food and candy this weekend I was still able to knock out .5 of a pound. I am hoping for better results this week by staying the course much better than last week. I did not eat the best, but am merging towards cleaner eating in stages 🙂

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Training Day 5: Get Faster Block, Friday Swim Workout

I thought my arms would fall off.

Any why did nobody remind me how terrible 200 yard intervals are?

Aside from that I love swim workouts. It is a shock about the work involved to get back into shape. This whole week has been a real eye opener.

Today I had the following workout

WU: 400 MS1: 200, as 50 sprint, 150 easy, 20″ rest 200, as 100 sprint, 100 easy, 20″ rest 200 sprint, straight into an easy 50 Repeat two more times Set Total: 1800 MS2: 400, any pace you like, counting strokes and focusing on form CD: 100 easy Total: 2700

My warmup I did the following: 100 free, 100 pull, 100 kick(that long 2 minute rest on my watch!), and 100 free.

MS1: These were brutal. Not going to lie.
50 sprint, 150 easy – This was not bad, but a reminder on how swimming fast takes it out of you. I could handle this one.

100 sprint, 100 easy – This one I could always feel on the 75 yard mark and had to hold one for the last 25 sprint.

200 sprint – Not sure I could call my swim for this a sprint, but I swam as fast as I could for this distance. I was reminded of the terrible feeling of dead legs, lactic acid, heavy breathing,  and all while underwater. I hate it!

After each of these sets I only had a 20 second rest which flies by amazingly fast when you want to rest. If only time went this fast when running.

I did have to take breaks between each of the three rounds of this workout. I could not go back into the top again without a breather. I am out of shape and had to adjust. I tried to limit is a bit, but it is what it is. I had to do three rounds of what I mentioned above.

MS2: I did adjust this a bit. I overswam one of these sessions and added two 50’s in between each of the three rounds. By this point my legs were dragging and my arms felt like they would fall off. I did 100 kick, 150 pull, and 100 free to wrap up.

All in all I swam 2700 yards and my total time with rests was 54:39. Not too bad for next to zero swimming in the past 5 months. Woo Ha!

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Training Day 1: Get Faster Block, Swim T-Test and Preparing for the Season

I am back. I thought I was a back a few weeks ago, but just did not have the mojo to be real about things. I have been off the beaten path for about 6 weeks now getting in a few runs here and there, but basically I have lost everything I worked so hard at during my 14 week outseason.

Today I return. Today I have things mapped out. I have a vision. I have goals. I will share my season soon once I finalize the plans, but I think I will be ready.

Today despite being my spring break I was up at 4 am getting ready for the first day back. I have to establish all my base lines to figure out my training zones for the future workouts. Today was the swim test. I have only swam maybe 3 times this year so my hopes were not great. Before jumping in the pool I did weigh in and take a few snapshots of my body. I always find it useful to do this so as the season progresses and I have those times when I don’t feel like things are paying off I can see my progress and remind myself that it works.

It felt good to be in the pool. Using my new Garmin watch is awesome because I no longer have to count laps. My watch does it all. The only thing it does not do is record when I kick with a board. The workout states 1600, but it was really 1800.

I warmed up doing: 100 free, 100 pull, 100 kick, 100 free, 100 pull. I then did the test which is a 1000 yard swim. This will establish my T-Pace which is my time per 100. This will drive my swim workouts in terms of what pace I should swim for the structured aspects of training and trying to become faster. Technique is everything in swimming. However, my technique work days are behind me and now it is more about fitness. Race season is right around the corner.

I am pretty happy with these results. I did this test in February and swam 17:05. 
My time this test was 17:30 so I lost about 25 seconds which is not terrible considering how disgusting I have eaten and how poorly I have treated my body.

I won’t lie, looking back at where I was this time of year last year is frustrating. I have blog posts where I was crushing goals and setting new PR’s in the pool and the bike and run. I was swimming 3000 yards a workout in March last year. I cannot let the past bother me.

In some respects I think I might be better off in the situation I am in. Last year I felt like I had peaked too early in the season and by the time my races came around I was burning out and on my way down the mountain. Perhaps by starting later in the season I will be peak when needed. Who knows. I am excited to push my limits and mind. I am excited to continue to learn and grow in my fitness and training. I learned a lot last year and suffered from some serious mistakes. I am sure I will have these moments again, but in then I hope to be fitter, faster, stronger, and creating some new PR’s.

Now the real test begins. Being home and not eating garbage food all day!

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6 Week Run Focus Block: Day 1 Swim Test

I decided to get the swim test out of the way first thing this morning. I was not in the mood for the treadmill or the high winds outside. I needed to get a swim test done as I already have my run and bike data from the November Out Season. And I was anxious to test out my new watch. I broke down and despite not having the money for it I purchased the Garmin 910XT.

Today I had to do the following:

T-Pace Swim Test This test will establish your “T-pace,” which we will use as a reference for future interval work. This is also your initial swim test, to gauge your improvement across this plan.

WU: Start slow and gradually build pace/effort. 100 swim, 100 kick, 100 swim, 100 kick, 100 swim.

MS: After the warm-up, swim 1000 yards/meters at a constant pace and good effort—as if racing.

Record your average pace per 100. This pace is your “T-pace,” will be used as a reference for future interval work. 

I tested out my watch and it was amazing! It is worth every penny to have a watch monitor my swim stroke count and how far I swim. I no longer have to think about laps, but just technique. That is a game changer right there. I felt pretty good in the pool. I have to back and look at my swim times from last season to see how I compare, but I don’t think I was too far off from last season despite only swimming 3-4 times since August.

When I got home I synced up my watch and my brain turned to ooze when I saw all this data recorded. I did not have time to process it all, but being the nerd I am I cannot wait to sift through it all. All the more for me to look at and analyze. I love it!

I swam the 1000 yard test in 17:05 for a T-100 test time of 1:42/100. Not the fastest by any means, but at least it is a start towards a new plan and goal to being faster this year.

Here is more info! Gotta love it!

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Out Season: Week 14 – Mixing Things Up During Test Week

Alright, another crazy, tired, nonstop week of action. I have not updated my training every day like I normally do as I simply don’t have the time. So here is a brief catch up of all things training which as you will see is SO not what the plans call for on the last week of November Out Season.

I will say that I have hit a wall with motivation which is why I have chosen to mix things up. Why did I not just wait one more week you ask when OS is done? I feared that waiting one more week would lead to complete disconnect. That cannot happen. So I made the change this week.

Monday – Swimming!

Since I did not race Sunday due to ice and snow I wanted to swim. I jumped in the pool and knocked about 1500 yards. I can tell it was my 2nd swim in 5 months. I need to get back to the basics and build the endurance up slowly.
Warm Up – 200 free, 200 kick, 200 pull
Main Set – 10 x 50 every 60 seconds
Cool Down – 100 kick, 100 swim with paddles, 100 pull, 100 free
Total 1500 yards

Tuesday – no training due to very poor sleep.

Wednesday CrossFit – I decided to give this a try. I needed something different and a new challenge. This was a great group of people and look forward to finding a way to make this happen more in my training.

Part 1)
Dynamic Effort Bench Press
On 45sec interval 3 Reps for 9 sets
50% of 1RM (3 sets at close grip) (3 at med grip) 3 at wide grip)
learn something with this speed!

Part 2)
5 Rounds
On the 2 minute Interval
5 Deadlifts (335/225) (255/175) (185/125)
15 Medball Cleans (30/20) (20/14)
scores are the time it takes to complete each round. score your fastest and slowest.
rest 5 min
50 ball slams for time
Part 3)
Banded Good Mornings
3X25 FAST

Thursday – I could barely get out of bed from Crossfit. Holy smokes I have not been this sore in a LONG time. I can barely walk. Instead of testing my bike today, I decided to hit up the Tuesday workout I missed just to loosen my legs and back up. I am glad I did not test as my legs and mind were not ready.

Tuesday workout done today

MS: 3 x 8′ (4′) @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard. Remainder of any time you have available (if any, not required) @ 80-85%/Zone3/Mod-Hard.

There you have it. 3 workouts. 2 not part of the plan, but 2 that I really enjoyed. I plan to do my run test tomorrow. It will have to be on the TM as it will be sub zero here in Iowa. My goal is to break 20 minutes despite not running in two weeks! We shall see what happens. My bike test will happen Sunday to wrap NOS! Here is to Getting It Done! and doing what you need to do to stay the course.

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Out Season: Week 10: Weekend Training – Illness, pain, and getting it done

Friday morning I did my first swim in over 4.5 months. I have not swam since August. I hit the pool as I have a race coming up in three weeks and needed to get used to swimming again. I did standard warm up up of

200 free
200 kick
200 pull

I then swam 800 yards thinking this was the distance for the race. I wanted to see my time and test where I was from a year ago as this race was my debut tri race last year. I swam the 800 yards in 12:56. This is a pretty good time. I got home to realize that the race was actually 900 yards. I figured that puts me at around 14 minutes or so. This would be faster than last year.

I finished with 100 yard cool down and called it. I was tired and could tell I had not swam in quite some time. I was sore the next day as well. It felt great swimming and I forget how much I love swimming. I will swim a few more times to get ready even though I know the OS states no swimming.

This weekend proved to be a challenging one. I have been battling some fatigue and not feeling the greatest the last few weeks with every few days feeling really sick to my stomach and head. Saturday I felt horrible and just did not get anything done. I missed out on the brick workout and just rested my body as it felt terrible.

The training called for the following on Saturday:

MS: 2 x 15′ (4′) @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard, 1 x 8′ @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard. Remainder of any time you have available (if any, not required) @ 80-85%/Zone3/Mod-Hard.

MS: Steady run as MP/Z2/Steady out, HMP/Z3/Mod-Hard back. If bricking, do 20′ only.

Sunday I felt a bit better and decided to do the Saturday workout. I finished the bike, but did not run. I just felt terrible and knew that the bike workout itself was probably too much too soon. I did knock out the following though

Rides – TrainerRoad http://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/rides/148258

The best part about this whole workout is that my 6 year old daughter walked 2 miles on the treadmill. She begged to walk on it so I said yes while riding. She used my iPhone and jammed to One Direction and just walked and walked and walked. I loved it! I thought she would only last for about 10 minutes but she walked a long time.

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