Monday, January 10, 2011

Week #1.

Training week #1 is done, a bit of a disappointing start if I do say so myself. I logged a total of 5hr 8m of training, with all but 40 min of it in the pool. Absolutely lousy! Don't get me wrong-I need to improve my swim the most out of the three disciplines. But, a 40 min spin and no runs in week #1? WTF?

Well, this has to be about the worst early season start I've had since making a comeback in 2006. First, I got sick and felt like death for over a week. Next, I pushed a bit too hard, too soon on the 40 min trainer spin this past Friday night (doing a 3X variable gearing drill set, pushing a hard gear for 60 sec at about 70 rpms). I warmed up with an easy pace, easy gear for 15 min, and cooled down for over 7 min. Well, the hard gear this early on was a big mistake. On Saturday AM, my left inner calf muscle was screaming. Great, just what I need now. I took Sunday off, when I was going to do a 4 mile run, because the calf was still super sore. Crap.

So I've been gimping around with the sore calf, so much now that my left hip and lower back are sore as hell too. So much, in fact, that I might be making the call to go back to the chiropractor again-I haven't been to one in almost 3 years now. But, something has got to give, and I think I need an adjustment now from walking stupid for days. I hope thats all it is. Double crap.

A positive from week #1? I did 4 swims in 7 days, at 3 different pools, for a total of 5,350+ yards! I've never got this much swim time in one week, ever. Friday was a vac day, so I went for a swim at JMBA and did 2,100 yds FS, plus WU and CD, with a little kick for good measure.

Saturday AM, my day off and I still had to get up at the crack of dawn. I grabbed a cup of coffee, an english muffin and some Nutella, and hit the road for a 40+ minute drive west to Burlington and the Aurora Wellness Center (where my race buds Bob and Kim are members). It is a top notch facility, a killer big pool, an indoor running track and a super spin room. This was another first-a Tri Swim clinic with top notch Coach Alissa who took a very cool approach for instructing. She video taped us after we warmed up, we watched how we looked and she gave us immediate pointers and recommendations on what we needed to do to improve.

Next, yep, you guessed it, drill time! She demonstrated the following: catch-ups, 6/6 counts, 3 strokes and glides, touch backs, right art/left arm, closed fist, and finger drag/zippers. Then, yep, you're right again, we got to do 2x25s or 2x50s of each drill. After drills were done, we got to re-warm up with more FS, then Coach Alissa videos us again, showing what we had done on her tips and reinforcing how the drills are so important in becoming a solid swimmer. Next, we did a serpentine swim course for time. This was a 3x50 with no stops, and you had to pass if there was a slower swimmer along the way. Very tiring, but a fun drill! Overall, a great class and a super value at only $25 for 2 hours!

Today was Masters swim day #2, and I was up before the alarm sounded, at 4:15am. I took a hot shower, trying to loosen up the back/hip/calf ailments (it didn't help much!). I got to the health club, light snow falling from the steel gray monotone morning sky. One of those days devoid of color (kind of like a scene from The Road, if you've read it and have a good imagination, or have seen the movie).

We split into three groups today, and had one more lane which was great. I went with the "slow" group, because, well, I am slow (albeit, I am not the slowest one in the class, if you can believe it)! I am actually the fastest "slow" swimmer, and I might have to go up to the "middle of the road medium" swimmers in the next few weeks, we'll see how I am doing.

Today, warm ups were harder (for me) than the main set. Warm ups consisted of 200 FS, 100 with 3-FS 1-alternate stroke, then 200 kick (still killer hard for me). Next, stroke technique, with one being head out of the water to concentrate on arm entry and full extension of the arms. The coach is big on pushing us to do strokes other than freestyle; he says it will make us better overall swimmers, and I believe him. My fellow slow lane swimmer and race bud Kim said Coach Allisa went to college with the Masters coach-she told us at the Tri swim clinic that he is a "long distance swimmer", and she is a "pure sprinter". She said he has done IM Wisconsin and did the swim in around 50 minutes-one of the faster times put in at IMoo, even by Pro standards. Apparently, he is a long distance sprinter!

On to main sets, where we did 3x150s, with 30 second rests between the 3 sets. If you finished faster as the sets progressed, you got a longer rest. One of the 2nd sets, I did in 2:29, so I got an extra 30 second breather. We did more kick, this time any other stroke besides FS. So it was back and crawl, as I will never probably be able to butterfly and work up to doing am IM in the pool. I did manage to work on my bilateral breathing, and this seems to be coming a bit easier now for me. A 200 FS cool down, and out at 7am, off to work.

This Masters class was 100 times better for me, personally than last week. Being sick, pushing too hard and feeling a bit unsure of myself in the 1st class made me nervous about going back today. Well, I can put the concerns aside, knowing I felt great and did a fairly good swim. The other plus for week #1? My back didn't hurt a bit while swimming-this is a bit of consolation I guess.

So if I'm still gimpy by Thursday, I will be calling my doc and looking to get in so keep your fingers crossed for me!


  1. Hang in there bro. You'll get faster in the pool with time, and the calfs will get used to it. Ironman training is all about adaptation, right?

  2. Thanks John. Not letting in get me down, and the pool is coming along well! Masters swim was the best thing I could've signed on for. I'm ready for more workouts, but my body won't cooperate!