Monday, April 11, 2016

Training Log: 4/4 to 4/10 (Week 2)

After three weeks of lighter work--done both out of a desire to cut back and avoid illness and also of necessity due to events in my personal and professional lives--I tried to get back in the saddle this week.  I've been averaging between 60 and 70 points over the past few weeks, which is fine on a temporary basis, but it's not going to get me running or swimming any faster.  I've also been in the gym consistently, and that's good, but when added to the lack of aerobic work, it has me heavier than I'd prefer to be.  Thus, one of my goals this week was to get back to building my aerobic base while maintaining momentum in the gym.
Swim, Bike, Run
Complicating all of this, I was in Albany all week on business.  I got zero miles of commute riding done and wound up missing my Friday run as well.  Still, I got something done, so as Week 1's go, I guess I'll take it.
  • Monday: Off
  • Tuesday: Swim / Weights (Chest / Shoulders)
  • Wednesday: Short run
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: Swim / Weights
  • Sunday: Long, slow distance run

I swam early Tuesday before heading up to Albany and again on Saturday before lifting weights.  Up until this week, I've only managed to get in the water once/week, and honestly, I feel like crap every time I swim.  Objectively, I suppose I'm not swimming terribly, but I don't feel like I have any pop in the water.  I just feel old and sluggish.  I hate feeling like that, which is part of why I've been swimming less in the first place.

I did the same warm-up both times:

5 x 100 @ 1:30 warm-up
200 kick

Tuesday Main Sets
10 x 50 @ :45, breathing every 3rd
2 x 300 @ 4:15, aerobic pace
3 x 200 @ 2:50, aerobic pace
100 warm down

Saturday Main Sets
6 x 50 @ :45, breathing every 3rd
5 x 200 @ 2:55, aerobic pace
5 x 100 pull @ 1:25
100 warm down

I've felt best lately when pulling.  I'm not sure what that means, but there it is.  I should maybe note, too, that I've had my kids with me on Saturdays for the past few weeks, that we are--finally--working on their swimming strokes, trying to make them at least adequate swimmers.  Neither has shown any interest at all in joining a swim team, but both like triathlon, and I want them to develop their strokes while they're young enough to do it relatively easily.

It's going okay.  Emma's stroke is long, but she needs upper-body strength.  Hannah's been with me in the gym and has plenty of muscle, but she's choppy in the water.  We're working on it.

I should also maybe note that I did some yoga before hitting the water Saturday morning, and that really helped.  I didn't go any faster, but my back hurt less, which made the experience exponentially more enjoyable.

Swimming Total: 2 x swim (2500, 2600); 51 pts


Cycling Total: 0 x commute rides (0 miles) 0 pts

I ran twice.  Being in Albany changed up my schedule a bit, but when I did finally get out on Wednesday, I had a little more time, which was nice.  I wound up putting in about 45 minutes of yoga before each of my runs, which is both a luxury and a good way of ensuring that I run with at least a modicum of biomechanical efficiency.  I'm never a good runner, but I aspire to be adequate, which for me requires quite a lot of warm up.

Wednesday's run was great.  I put in about 3.5 miles over hilly terrain in Albany, and I felt good doing it.  I ran well early and powered up the hills when they came.  I wish I could bottle that feeling, but alas, that's not how it goes every time I get out there.

Sunday's run was more of a challenge.  I've been reasonably consistent with my short runs, and I've been in the gym a lot, but I cut back a bit on my longer runs, and my long swims have been virtually non-existent.  So I wanted to get out and do a real aerobic run.  I wanted to put in some legitimate long, slow distance as a way of re-establishing an endurance fitness base.

I wound up putting in about an hour.  I headed north from my house along flat roads to Stratford Green, where I took a left and headed up Huntington Road.  Huntington Road ascends at about 4% gradient for miles.  I hit the turn just short of the two-mile mark and ran uphill for the next mile and a half, and after a while this became a serious challenge.  I was dead on my feet when I hit the turn around, but I started to get myself together after another mile or so.  All told, I averaged about 9:10/mile, save for that third (uphill) mile, which was a 9:23.  I ran well for twenty minutes, struggled for twenty minutes, and then hit my second wind in the last twenty minutes.  Given the terrain, this is about what I should have expected.  In the moment, I can't say I enjoyed that middle section, though.

Running Total: 2 x runs (3.4, 6.5); 39.6 pts

Aerobic Total: 90.8 pts

That's not killing it, but if I'd managed to ride my commute a couple of times, it would be right about what I was averaging before I took three Rest Weeks in a row.

If my swim and run work has all been super-aerobic, it's because my weight room work has gone the other way.  I'm working hard in the gym--in short anaerobic bursts at full power.

Tuesday Warm-Up
3 x sunrise salute
general stretching / yoga
10 x push-ups
10 x bodyweight squats

Tuesday Working Sets
4 x military press / goblet squats
3 x DB bench press / tuck-ups
3 x upright rows / forward lunges
3 x triceps press
2 x 15 pushups

I didn't think I was working overly hard on Tuesday, but I came away sore, especially through the chest.  The hotel only had dumbbells up to 50 lbs, which is less than I've been benching at home, but I was still stiff and a little achy afterwards.  It might have been the bonus set of pushups, honestly.  Regardless, that probably just means that I wasn't wasting my time.  Still, I went in there meaning to get a light workout and came away exhausted.

Saturday Warm-Up
general stretching after swimming

Saturday Working Sets
4 x incline supported rows / DB dead lifts
3 x standing hinged lateral raises / single-leg squats
3 x DB-supported pushups / ab roller / tuck-ups
3 x seated reverse flies / gorilla walks with twist**
3 x standing barbell curls

This workout was tough.  Full effort for an hour.  I did most of it in sets of 10 / 6 / 12, working both muscular endurance and power, but I did the pushups in solid sets of 15, and I discovered that I can only do 6 reps with the ab roller, which is why I wound up super-setting those with tuck-ups.  Man, that roller-work is not easy.  The gorilla walks with twist also really sucked.  I wound up using a small 12-lb plate through 3 sets of 8, and it was way harder than I thought it was going to be when I saw the exercise in last month's Muscle & Fitness.

My upper back is sore today, and so are my abs, but this was a badass workout.

Looking Forward
I'm lifting okay, but I'm up to (and occasionally over) 200 lbs.  That's heavy (fat).  So I need to get back in the water consistently, and I need to run.  I also probably need to drink less beer if I want to lose the weight around my gut, but that's like saying that I need to stop living in order to get my life in order.

What is the point of the exercise if you can't eat and drink what you want?  


  1. Dude, you been killing it. I had to ease off the swimming because it was aggravating my back. I know, what?? Way to change it up the routine.

    I think if you exercise hard, you ought to enjoy some food and drink. Lord knows I do. :P