Monday, January 7, 2013

Triathlon Diary (12/31 to 1/6): Week 1

I finally got back in the water on Saturday this week.  June last year was the last time I did any real swimming, and so being back in the water this time was a decidedly strange experience.  The off-season was longer and more disjointed than I'd hoped it would be, but I've stayed reasonably active, and I don't feel like I'm in terrible shape in terms of cardiovascular fitness.  But while I did some weight lifting during the off-season, I didn't do a lot, and anyway, lifting weights is an entirely different experience than is swimming, even when you're working the same muscle groups.  Anyway, the result was that I felt good in the water yesterday in terms of breathing and heart rate--even at the end of the workout, my heart rate was never over 145--but my arms were dead weight, and my lower back was quite sore last night when I laid down to go to bed.  This is a problem that's entirely correctable, of course, but it's also an indication of exactly how high a hill I have to climb at this point.  Muscular strength and endurance are the order of the day.

Swimming Total: 1 swim, 2000 yards.  (20 points)
 - 5 x 100 @ 1:40 (easy aerobic pace)
 - 400 kick (IM order)
 - 100 yards fingertip drag drill, working on keeping high elbows
 - 2 x 200 yards pull @ 3:00
 - 100 yards easy
 - 4 x 100 @ 1:30 (tempo)
 - 100 warm down

I want to get back on my bike, but this being winter in Connecticut, it's not been as easy as I might've hoped.  It's been rainy and occasionally snowy, but even more than that, it's just been windy and cold.  Under those conditions, I prefer to run.  And then, too, between the day off for New Year's Day this week and the fact that I had to drive up to Albany for the day once this week, I only rode my commute twice.

Biking Total: 2 x commute rides, 22.8 miles. (22.8 points)

I ran twice this week, totaling roughly five miles each time.  The first run was on New Year's Day, and as I recall, I felt good for the first half hour--roughly until I hit the turn around--but then as soon as I turned, I was running into the wind and struggled for the next ten minutes or so.  The last mile was alright, however, so I suppose it's all good.  In any event, I averaged 8:30/mile, and that ain't bad.

My second run of the week was Sunday.  I did intervals.  That one was nice, but I was tired afterwards.

Running Total: 2 x mid-distance runs, 10.2 miles. (40.8 points)
 - 5.2 miles aerobic pace.
 - 5.0 miles intervals
 --- 10 minutes warm-up
 --- 5 x (4:00 @ 10K pace; 2:00 easy)

Total Points for the Week: 83.6

Final Thoughts
This has been one of those weeks when I've been thinking about guys like Ray Lewis and Jerry Rice--guys who competed at a very high level for a very long period of time.  Those guys were models of consistency all year 'round.  Not for the first time, I'm wondering if I wouldn't be better off forsaking the off-season and just working at triathlon all year.  But, of course, the flip side of that is that triathlon is such a demanding sport, and when you make it work, it becomes, well, work.  Plus, I like the off-season because it gives me more time for my wife and kids.

Still, right now it feels like physical fitness is a mountain that needs to be climbed.  Looking up at the summit, it sure does seem like it's a long way up.

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