As I said, I only swam twice this week, but they were both pretty good swims. I wrote about Monday's swim after I did it and then decided to take Tuesday as a rest day even though it's a day that I usually swim. This threw me off a bit, though, and it wasn't until Saturday that I got back into the pool. However, when I got back in the water on Saturday, I had a goal.
5 x 100 @ 1:30 easy
Main Set: Reverse Ladder
1 x 500 @ 7:05
2 x 400 @ 5:40
3 x 300 @ 4:15
-- 2:00 rest --
4 x 200 @ 3:00
5 x 100 @ 1:30
5 x 100 pull @ 1:30 (tempo)
50 drill (fly)
2 x (4 x 50) @ :45
-- 1 x 50 fly (hard)
-- 3 x 50 freestyle (easy)
50 cool down
That totalled 5400 yards and felt like a Hell of a lot of swimming.
I considered giving myself a minute's rest between the various steps of that 3500 yard main set but ultimately decided not to. This was a mistake, though, and I realized it a little more than halfway through the main set. I felt my stroke starting to fall apart towards the end of the 300s, and while I don't think I was in any real danger of missing the interval, I knew that if I finished the set as-written, I wouldn't leave myself enough in the tank to finish the entire workout. The goal for the day was to swim 5000 yards with a stretch goal of putting in more than three miles in a single session. I therefore rested and changed the interval, and if I didn't exactly finish that main set strong, I did at least manage to finish with enough left to continue swimming.
After 200 kick, I felt better. The 100s pull (tempo) went really well. I held a consistent 1:15/100, which isn't bad. The butterfly afterwards was a bit of an impulse, a reminder for an old guy what swim practice used to involve.
Swimming Total: 2 x swims (3250, 5400); 86.5 pts
We had a four-day work week in which I rode my commute twice. Then we had two days of rain, but I confess that I didn't really mind.
Cycling Total: 2 x commute rides (10.7 mi. each); 21.4 pts
That's basically just maintenance work, but it makes my commute go by a little easier.
I ran twice. The first time wasn't until Friday, and it went so badly that I had to go back to my log to see how long it had been since I'd run. It turns out that I've not run since August 15th, and although that was an easy five-miler, it's the only run I've done since the last week of July. That is one run in five full weeks.
I put in 2.5 miles at a 10:00/mile pace on Friday, and I felt like I was pushing even to do that. Part of the problem was that it was a lunchtime run, so I didn't have much time to warm-up, and who knows? If I'd kept running, maybe I'd have eventually settled into a groove. Even as a maintenance run, though, I felt like this was a poor showing.
I decided to run again on Sunday even though I'd initially planned to swim. Part of this was just to give my shoulders some rest. Coming off that long swim Saturday, it didn't seem particularly wise to immediately go back and swim again. If I'd wanted to swim three times, I should have gone on Thursday night after work, but I was too lazy for that. Sunday I felt like I needed to do something different. Considering the way Friday's run came out, running seemed the obvious choice.
I warmed up and stretched for a long time after church, and though it was hot, I wound up going almost four-and-a-half miles at a shade over 9:00/mile pace. Granted, this is according to MapMyRun on my phone, which tends to be a bit more generous in terms of distance and pacing than my watch usually is, but still... Sunday's run was a substantial improvement.
Running Total: 1 x lunchtime run, 1 x weekend run (2.5 mi., 4.43 mi.); 27.8 pts
Triathlon Total: 135.7 pts
The differences between Saturday's swim and Sunday's run go a long way towards explaining what kind of athlete I am. Some people are naturally runners (my wife Sally), and some people are natural swimmers (me). There are very few, however, who can do both with truly equal proficiency. I think it's mostly an issue of genetics and biomechanics, but what do I know? Regardless, Saturday's swim lasted a touch over ninety minutes and netted me 54 points. A straight translation using the points system yields an equivalent run of 13.5 miles. Yeah, well, that was a very long swim, and I was tired afterwards. I don't know that I could have run a half-marathon with a literally equal amount of effort, but in general, that swim did indeed remind me of a few of my long training sessions last time I ran the Hartford Half. Biomechanically, though, I swim much easier than I run, and no way am ever I finishing a half in 90 minutes--and certainly not in a simple practice session. Maybe I could go 1:45 in the right weather conditions, but that would definitely be race pace.
By comparison, Sunday's run lasted almost exactly 40 minutes, and my goal during the session was to work with the same overall effort I'd used the day before in the pool. So 40 mintes at a heartrate between 140 and 150; I wasn't out there killing myself, but that's about in line with what a lot of my shorter swims turn out to be. Except that Sunday's run netted me all of 17 points, even though it was almost half as long as Saturday's swim. Now, you may say that this proves that the points system doesn't work, but as a matter of reality, I've been putting in more points since I've been swimming more, and as a consequence, I've been losing weight. I'm down to 190 lbs for the first time in eighteen months, and that's with only a handful of long swims in the books. I think it's just easier for me to put in the kinds of exercise I grew up doing, and that's why I'm able to add yardage at a rate that I'd never successfully be able to add mileage. This may mean that swimming is a better overall use of my time, but just swimming strikes me as a lonely way to stay in shape.