I'm getting tired, though. I usually train on a four week cycle, which is three working weeks followed by a rest week. This is Week 5, however, meaning that I haven't had a rest week since early July. I still feel okay, but in the back of my mind, I know that I need to back off soon and let my body recover. Recovery is an important part of training. But while that's easy to say, it's hard to do when you feel like you're making progress. This week in particular I finally managed to get down below 195 lbs for the first time in almost a year, and I felt good both in the water and on the bike. Yes, I'm tired, but it's going to take a change to my circumstances to force a change to my training. As a matter of reality, swimming three times per week and riding my regular commute is a solid training plan all by itself. I could cut yardage, but I don't particularly want to. Still, that's really the only way to do it without changing my schedule.
As I've done for the past several weeks, I swam three times this week.
I met my friend Ben on Tuesday in the middle of a long set: 10 x 400 @ 6:00. I wound up doing eight of those, for a total of 3200 yards. That's a slightly slower interval than I've been working on my own, but it was a good set, and I got stronger as we got into it. I haven't been doing a lot of pulling lately, so I pulled the last four, and then I lost count of the laps and wound up going 850 in 12:00 once right at the end. Oops.
I was by myself Wednesday.
-- 5 x 100 easy warm-up @ 1:30
-- 16 x 100 @ 1:25 (aerobic pace; every 4th 100 tempo)
-- 200 warm-down
The idea there was to do a little uptempo work after having spent the last three weeks or so trying to go long, but it didn't really work out. The set was more like a fartlek run than actual speed work. The interval (1:25/100) was too fast to give me much rest between the aerobic repetitions, meaning that I couldn't get any pop on the ones where I wanted to go fast. I wound up holding right around 1:22/100 on the easy ones and couldn't get below 1:15/100 on the fast ones.
I should maybe point out now that folks tell me all the time that they try to do the sets off of these write-ups, and that it rarely works out for them. This does not surprise me. I do extended short rest interval training because I can, because I know that my body can tolerate the distance and hold the pace for an extended period of time. However, it takes quite a lot of experience to get that comfortable. I know ahead of time where my heart rate needs to be when I'm swimming, and I hold it there, checking periodically to make sure that I'm not overworking.
When I do a long set like 25 x 100 @ 1:25, the point of the set isn't to do twenty-five 100s. It's to swim 2500 yards holding a very specific pace. Think of it in track terms. You can run 24 x 440, and that's a certain kind of set. Or you can run a 10K on the track, taking your interval at every quarter-mile to make sure that you're holding precisely the pace you set for yourself. My 25 x 100 @ 1:25 is the later.
As you're trying to adapt these workouts to your own routine, consider how far you want/need to swim and what makes sense for you. Adapt accordingly. If swimming 2500 yards straight seems really daunting, then maybe don't try 25 x 100 @ some super-short interval. Cut back to a point that does makes sense, hold the pace that's appropriate based on your heart rate, and build slowly.
This is the best advice I can give you without seeing you swim for myself.
Anyway, Sally and I took the kayak out Sunday for some rough water swimming in Long Island Sound, and it was rough. I swam, and she followed in the kayak. We put just past the mouth of the Housatonic River as tide was about half full and rising. This meant we had to fight the current for the first half of the swim, one mile at what turned out to be about a 35:00/mile pace. We turned around and made it back in 22:00. We were just under 2 miles according to my watch. Call it 3400 yards.
|Obligatory selfie as we got out of the water on Sunday.|
Sally went black & white with it 'cause she's artistic like that.
Swimming Total: 2 x pool swim, 1 x rough water swim (3200, 2300, 3400); 89 pts
I rode my regular commute four times last week and then met my friend Chris for a ride on Saturday. We wound up riding thirty-four miles, which isn't too far, but Chris rides a lot, and at times I struggled to keep up. I felt better as the ride progressed, but it was challenging. We wound up averaging 18 mph over rolling terrain. It was occasionally windy, but I drafted. That's strategy!
Cycling Total: 4 x commute ride; 1 x workout (42.8 miles, 34 miles); 76.8 pts
I probably could have run on Friday, but by that time, I was exhausted from the week. I never made it out. All things considered, that's not exactly a disaster, but if I was trying to balance my training, I'd be failing badly.
Running Total: No running; 0 pts
Triathlon Training Total: 165.8 pts
That's not a bad week. I badly need to back off some next week, but that's convenient considering that we're going to be on vacation. We'll still probably swim, but that's comparatively easy in the lake. We'll probably bike and run, too, but again, with Sally and the girls, that's not a full-press workout. It's just fun.
Have a good week!