Archive for the 'Swim' Category

Weekly Wrap Up: May 10-16th 2010

Gorgeous weather this week!  Sunny, warm, little wind…it was a perfect spring week.

Monday: Bright and early 500m swim focusing on technique. 27 minute walk run session @ 2 minute walk/3 minute run up the big hill – resulting in IT band twinges. L Followed with a good stretch & foam roller session.

Tuesday: 12.5km road ride.  Gorgeous lake views most of the way!

Wednesday: Rest day.  🙂  Switched Wed/Thurs training to spend time with friends who were visiting from out of town.

Thursday: 700m swim in the morning.  Did 10x50m sets, plus warm-up & cool-down.  Felt pretty good!  Evening walk/run session (2.5 minutes walk/2.5 minutes run) with no IT band issues.

Friday: Attempted 15km bike ride.  Made it 12km before getting a flat tire.  Averaged 23.5 km/hr though!

Saturday: Hot and humid day here, so I hit up the tiny gym attached to my pool for a run.  30 minutes on the treadmill, alternating 2 min walk/3 min run @ 1-5% incline.  Walked @ 4-4.5mph, ran @ 6-6.6mph.  Slight IT twinges during last running interval – boo!  Followed up with a 750m swim, doing 100m’s of whatever I technique drills I could think of.

Sunday: 15km bike ride – pretty flat.  Legs were feeling pretty dead by the last km or so and I was definitely feeling my seat, if you know what I mean.  Ugh.

What went well this week:

Hello – I got every single scheduled workout in!

What was tricky:

Flat tire.  Boo.  Then I realized my spare was a little old (like 8 yrs old!) and was a little stiff in a couple of spots.  Then I bought the wrong size replacement tube and had to head back down to the store.  Luckily it only took about 5 minutes to change.

What I’ll do differently next week:

I said I was going to try to push my swimming endurance last week, but I really didn’t.  I enjoyed the 10x50m swim drills I did, and I think I’m going to keep going with those for a workout – maybe push some to 75m?  I’m still waffling on keeping my walk/run sessions at 2:30/2:30 or moving to 2/3.  I had IT twinges with the 2/3 on both runs last week, so the prudent thing would be to keep them at 2:30/2:30.  *sigh* I just hate that I have the cardio endurance to do much more running, but my knees are holding me back.

As for the bike part, I’m going to try some speed intervals to see if I can up my average km/hr.  I’ll also pick up another tube to have on hand as a spare. 🙂



Today started with an early morning swim where I focused on form instead of endurance.  I’m still riding my 100m high from yesterday, so it was good to focus on technique.  Tiring, but good.

Shorty called when I got home from work to see if I wanted to head out for a short hike with all of our dogs.  My original plan was to go for an after work run, but it was a gorgeous day and a hike sounded really good.  We hiked up in the hills behind my house for an hour or so (basically 40 minutes straight up, 20 minutes down – it’s steep).  I came home, made my dinner, and resigned myself to fitting a run in tomorrow morning instead.  Funny thing is, about 20 minutes later I found myself throwing on my running clothes and lacing up my runners.  Yep, I ran!

Tonight’s run was a little disappointing.  About 15 minutes into it I started to feel a familiar twinge in my right hip – my IT band was acting up 😦  I stopped for a few seconds to try stretching it out a bit, but no luck.  I took it at an easy pace for the rest of the session and hit up my foam roller when I got home.

A few years ago, this would have been enough to sideline me.  The negative thoughts of “I can’t do this” and “my body won’t let me run” would have taken over.  Tonight, I had a breakthrough and started planning my strategy for keeping injury free while I was still running!  This is huge!

My strategy: back off for my next runs on Wednesday and Saturday to 2:30 walk/2:30 run and avoid the “big hill”.  If it’s pain free, consider moving up to 2 walk/3 run, but listen to my IT band – if it’s twinge-ish, back off.  Also, step up the foam rolling.  I’ve been slacking off a bit the past week.  I’ll hit it up in the morning, when I come home for my lunch hour, and after work, in addition to after any activity.

I will make it through this, and I will be a runner again!

Oh, and I have to share the ah-MAY-zing salad I had for dinner last night.  It was freaking spectacular and I must document it for posterity!  I’ve been trying to eat a “new” vegetable every couple of weeks.  I consider a veggie new if I really have never tried it before, or if I tried it as a kid and hated it.  Beets fall into this category.  I would eat them as a kid only if they were pickled, and then only at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  This post over at Clean Eating Machines inspired me to give beets a shot this week.  And you know what, I really liked them!  No pics (’cause I hate taking them…maybe someday, but right now, not fun for me)

Ah-May-Zing Salad with Grilled Chicken, Roasted Beets & Feta

  • romaine lettuce, torn up
  • kale, cut into ribbons
  • baby spinach
  • cucumber, sliced
  • roasted beets, cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • feta cheese
  • sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 grilled chicken breast, chopped up
  • Dressing: 2 parts olive oil, 2 part balsamic vinegar, 1 part red wine vinegar, salt & pepper to taste

Next veggie on the list – brussell sprouts.  I gag a little just thinking about them, but am determined to find a preparation that actually tastes good.  They are only stocked at the grocery stores here at Christmas and Thanksgiving, but I am determined to track them down!  I wonder if frozen brussell sprouts are worth a try?

Weekly Recap: May 2-9 2010

This week felt really, really good.  I got in my highest number of consecutive pool lengths to date and my running felt fantastic.

Monday: 450m swim in the morning. 27 minute walk run session @ 2.5 minute walk/2.5 minute run up the big hill.  Was supposed to be 30 minutes but I miscalculated the time it would take to cover the distance…

Tuesday: Bike ride on some double track.  The trail we rode is at the bottom of a river valley with a gentle slope.  We did about 7.5km out with a nice gentle decline, then had to ride that same 7.5km back up…the incline felt a lot less than gentle coming back.

Wednesday: Swim in AM.  Miscounted laps and wound up doing only 375m.  Thought it was 500m.  There is a reason I need some caffeine in the morning!  Another walk/run session, this time 33 minutes doing 2.5 minutes walking/2.5 minutes running.

Thursday: Rest day.  I really felt like I needed it this week.

Friday: Swam in the morning –a total of 500m.  Was supposed to go for a bike ride in the evening but pushed it off until Saturday instead.

Saturday: 90 minute trail ride – found a new trail that was pretty fun, lots of tight turns and some small obstacles.  Nice and fast to ride! J Did a 33 minute walk/run session in the evening (2.5 minute walk/2.5 minute run) covering 4.54km.

Sunday: 700m swim, including a full 100m without stopping!  This in the longest stretch I’ve done so far, and am really looking forward to continuing to build endurance.  It really was a push for me to complete, so I think I really need to work on 100m comfortably before moving on to 125m.

What went well this week:

Great weather!  And, I managed to get 4 swim workouts in.

What was tricky:

Bike was having some shifting issues, so had to go in to get some TLC at the bike shop.  This meant I only got 2 rides in this week instead of 3.

What I’ll do differently next week:

I’m going to try to push my swimming endurance this week, and see if I can knock off 100m non-stop at least once during each workout.  I’m also going to try to get 4 bike rides in this week, even though I’m only scheduled for 3.  I need to get some more road practice in.  Trails are fun, but I need to get used to pushing for speed on the pavement.

Workout Recap: April 26th to May 2nd

What a great week!  I’m really finding that following an actual training plan is helping a ton and I am loving checking off each session as I finish it. I only have one more punch on my pool pass, and I think I’m ready to make the plunge to a 3-month pass this week.

Monday: 25 minute walk run session @ 3 minute walk/2 minute run.  I’ve decided that Monday’s will be my “run up the big hill” day – I will conquer that hill eventually!

Tuesday: Got my car back from the shop – yay!  Was scheduled to do a 5km road ride, but ended up doing 60 minutes or so of trail riding instead – much more fun, in my opinion.  I thought my sit-bones had toughened up but was proven wrong.  Ouch.

Wednesday: Either 350 or 400 m swim (I lost count).  I think I was in the pool for about 20 minutes.  Need a better plan of attack for the swim part to keep me focused and will try writing down a workout to bring with me for my next swim.  Did another walk/run session in the evening (3 min walk/2 min run) – felt great!

Thursday: 40 min or so bike ride through some fairly flat double track – lots of really sticky mud that made cleaning up my bike a pretty big chore afterwards.

Friday: Woke up with a sore throat and stuffed up head so I decided to skip the swim and just drink a couple of cups of tea before hitting the road and driving south.  Had lunch with a friend and did some shopping in the city and continued on to my folks place.  Was still feeling crappy in the evening, so decided to make Friday my rest day for the week and hit the hay early.

Saturday: Lounged around and had a leisurely morning visiting with my mom & dad.  Decided to go for a walk/run session around 10:30 and stepped outside into….smoke!  The town was conducting a huge controlled burn on the hill above my parents place and it was incredibly smoky.  The smoke was blowing away from the area I was planning to head to so I decided to give it a go.  Big mistake.  Smoke + head cold = miserable me.  I made it for 20 minutes and was done.  Spent the rest of the day cooped up in the house because of how smoky it was outside.

Sunday: Woke up feeling slightly less crappy.  Drove 4 hours home in the afternoon and had a mental debate the whole way about whether or not I should go for my planned bike ride tonight.  I had made up my mind to go just as it started raining, so I really had to push myself out the door…but I did it!  I did 6.5 km in 22 minutes – I definitely need to pick up the speed a lot – and I was soaked to the skin when I got home. Good news though, my butt has finally adjusted to the saddle.  Yay for happy butts!

What went well this week:

I’m happy that I got in all but one of my scheduled workouts even though I headed out of town.

What was tricky:

Waking up with a cold made Fri/Sat/Sun a little crappy, but other than skipping my swim I managed ok.  Oh, and I really couldn’t have foreseen the smoky conditions at my folks place, so though it was tricky, I did what I could.  In the summer I often get sent to work in areas that are under threat from forest fires, so if I want to keep up my running sessions (which will likely be the only exercise I’ll be able to fit in during those times) I’m going to have to run in some smoky conditions.  Not ideal, but at least I got a taste of how much more difficult it might be.

What I’ll do differently next week:

This is the week that I step up my swimming, going from 2x/week to 3x/week.  It’ll be even more challenging because my 2x/week has actually been more like 1x/week for the past couple of weeks.  I’m also going to try to do at least 2 of my bike sessions on the road vs on trails.

I love trail riding!

I met up with my friend Shorty last night and we headed up to a mountain bike trail system up on the plateau.  When we got to the parking area there were a few other cars, but we didn’t see anyone else the entire time – it was awesome!  Neither of us was super familiar with the area, but we managed to find a loop that took about an hour to do.  It was fast and roll-y, with enough uphill to have us both gasping for air, and enough downhill to make the uphill worth it.  I really do have to get my shift timing better, as there were a couple of hills that I totally should have made it up, but didn’t because I was in the wrong gear heading into it.  We also found an area that was pretty flat but filled with all sorts of technical trail features (aka TTF’s).  Unfortunately it was starting to get dark and we weren’t quite sure how long it was going to take to get back to the car, so we couldn’t hang around and play, but we’re definitely going back soon to try out some of the fun teeter-totters and ramps!

On a triathlon-ish note, I think I’ve actually come up with a pretty good plan that is ambitious without being intimidating, and will have me more than ready for a Try-a-Tri/Super Sprint by August, with the option of going for a Sprint if I’m feeling up to it.  I took a hybrid of the two I mentioned in my last post and am really looking forward to progressing with it.  I’m going to put my weekly planned workouts into the side bar (if I can figure out how to do it) and will revisit each week to see how I did.

On today’s schedule is a 350 yd swim, which I did already this morning, though I think I might have done 400 instead – gotta keep track in my head better!  After work I’ll be heading out to do a 25 minute walk/run session consisting of 3 min walk/2 min run).

I’m off to work – Happy Humpday!

Weekly Workin’ It: April 12-18th

It was a great week ’round these parts and it felt so good to spend time outside!

Monday: Morning swim, evening walk/run session (moved on to 3.5 min walk/1.5 min run).

Tuesday: 5km walk with friends

Wednesday: short bike ride around neighbourhood – trying to toughen up my butt with shorter rides right now.  It’s still very tender!

Thursday: evening walk/run session

Friday: morning swim with a lesson, afternoon “real” bike ride on some local trails (yay!).  Butt is still tender though 😦

Saturday: morning walk/run session followed by a session with my new foam roller.  It hurts so good!

Sunday: slack day

What I liked about this week: I kept my job which reduced my stress level by about 10,000,000%.  The weather was GORGEOUS (hello, 24C in April?  Crazy!).

What was tricky about this week: Not having a set plan for what I was going to do and when.  I knew I roughly wanted to get 2 sessions in of swimming, biking, and walk/running, but no real set schedule.  One one hand I liked the freedom, but I know from past experience that if I don’t have a plan, Friday will roll around and I’ll have done nothing.  I think I’m going to try to go plan-less for a couple more weeks and see how I do, then tweak if necessary.

What I’ll do differently next week: I am having trouble getting the motivation up to do any weight workouts, but I know I need to. I am going to commit to doing ONE weight session next week.

A spring in my step

I love spring.  Even though it was a very mild winter here this year, and spring has been “here” for a good 6 weeks now, I still love it.  Nothing beats getting out for a long walk along the local trails and seeing the trees starting to bud, knowing that soon they’ll be in full leaf. I get a kick out of checking my garden beds day after work to see how much taller the irises are, or if the clematis buds have started to grow into a vine.

But the best thing about this time of year?  It’s not too hot and not too cold to get outside and really enjoy it.  Mornings are briskly cool as I take the pup out for a jaunt around the neighbourhood, and evenings aren’t sweltering hot yet.  My the end of May my evenings will be spent hanging out in shade in the backyard with my feet in a kiddie pool trying to keep cool.  I’m going to have to re-jig my current exercise plans over the next little while to get my running and biking done in the morning and my swimming in the evening to make life bearable.

Score!  As I was writing this my foam roller showed up at the door!  I’ve never actually seen one in person so I am a little surprised at how big in diameter it is.  The one I ordered is 6″ diameter and 18″ long.  I did a little sample roll and I think I need to google some YouTube videos for instruction – I don’t think I’ve got the technique right…unless feeling awkward is part of the technique?

Today’s exercise plans are a morning swimming lesson to help my technique (already done) and a bike ride on some fairly flat, but kind of roll-y single track this afternoon.  The swimming lesson went really well – the instructor gave me some good drills to try on my own that should really help my front crawl.  The two that I think will really help me are the “shark-fin” and the “fingertip drag and reach”.  The shark-fin goes like this: As your arm comes out of the water you drag your thumb along your body.  It helps ensure your elbow is going straight up.  The fingertip drag and reach is exactly that – as your arm comes out of the water you drag your fingertips along the top of the water to make sure you aren’t bringing your arm up too high, and then really focus on reaching forward as you enter the water so that your shoulders are in proper alignment.  I also had her show me how to do a flip-turn.  Those didn’t go so well, but it’s something I’d like to work on so I don’t hang out at the wall between lengths.

As for the biking, I’ve been doing some mini rides around the neighbourhood with padded shorts to try to get my butt toughened up, so hopefully it won’t be too painful. I also switched out my clipless pedals for flats…the clipless are great for road riding but were freaking me out on any remotely technical trails.  I’ll switch back once I get my “trail legs” back, but for now I think the flats will do me just fine.

And now I’m off to enjoy the warmest day of 2010 so far!

Tri Training Plan: Week Starting May 10th

Monday: 350m swim & 30 min walk/run session*

Tuesday: 6.5 km bike

Wednesday: 350 m swim / 30 min walk/run session

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 350 m swim / 6.5 km bike

Saturday: 30 min walk/run session

Sunday: 6.5 km bike

*walk/run sessions will be 2 min walk/3 min run this week

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