Friday, May 14, 2010

Catching Up From Chicago

Its Friday here in Chicago and despite being very busy between sleep, workouts, and travel things are going well.  Thursday morning I was up at 530 and in the hotel pool by 6am.  And here is where I'm starting to have a bit of a quandry.  So let me run some backstory first.  The short version of this story is that I'm not a very good swimmer yet and have decided that rather that do even one length of "survival" stroke and start imprinting bad habits that I will work with a coach to learn proper technique.  Now this is all well and good except that the only sprint tri that fits my work schedule is August 14th.  Which is getting closer every day.  And it has a 1/2 mile swim.  So I had better have my act together by then.

Now my coach thinks I can do it.  It won't be fast, and it won't be perfect, but it will be decent and moderately efficient so I won't be wrecked for the bike and the run.  The problem lies in the fact that A) My work travel schedule is awful limiting the amount of time I can spend with my coach.  B) I don't have an unlimited budget to meet with my coach and can probably swing it 4-6 times a month and C) I'm planning on going out to San Juan Island to visit some friends of mine out there for a week or two and get some training in out there as well.  So between work and my vacation that limits the amount of time between now and then that I can work with my coach.  So I need to continue to improve without her.  So I bought the Total Immersion DVD/Book Box set with a great book about training to swim for traithlons and a great video demonstrating all the drills and technique.  I really like this.  And it means I can continue to train and improve on my own (although I will be missing the outside eye while doing so).

So my quandry happened in the pool at 6am when it opened.  Do I work on the drill my swim coach gave me?  or do I try some of the TI ones?  I decide to do both and I start playing with the TI balance drills.  I really liked the drills.  And I liked that as I got better at them they started to make sense, and I started to feel faster and in control and quiet in the water.  Very quickly an hour had gone by and I hadn't done any of the drill I was supposed to be working on.  But I still felt good about my workout.  And afterwards I started thinking, am I better off trying to do this on my own?  do I develop a hybrid approach doing both at the same time?  the TI drills and my coaches drills?  (which seem to be similar, but not quite the same approach).  So right now I'm not sure what to do.  Other than the fact I want to continue to pursue the TI approach as I'm taking quite well to it and its the best course of action for my travel schedule.

Speaking of travel I'm happy to say that my friend I'm visiting in SJI is a swim instructor who is also a fan of the TI method.  So my swim training will continue out there as well.  On top of that I ordered a bike case today so I can bring my bike with me out there so ALL of my training can continue out there which is awesome.  So as much as that trip will be a vacation from work it will not be a vacation from training and all of my mornings out there will be spent doing workouts out there which is great.  She is also a traithlete which is great!

So the question now is what to do with my coach?  keep it going?  talk to her about a hybrid approach and get her opinion?  I like my coach a lot, and I bet she's really really good at what she does.  But I'm having a hard time working with someone who is not in the water with me and can only go so far as to show technique from the side of the pool.  So the books with lots of pictures and the DVD demos make a lot more sense to me.  So I dunno...   I'm considering just trying to go out on my own and hope for the best.  Then of course the problem becomes how do I tell my coach that?  So for now my plan is to go through the next two workouts we have planned together and see what happens.

In other random news...   I started this morning off with a one hour long HIGH intensity workout on the spin bike.  I set it to 75% of the available difficulty level and did an hour long ride on random hill workout.  It was a really challenging ride and I was sweating buckets on the bike but it felt great.  And as a plus I got right off the bike and did two miles on the treadmill for a mini indoor brick workout.  But that was all I had time for today.  Anyway...  when I came into work one of my clients approached me and said the nicest thing!  She said that she saw me on the bike when she walked into the gym and I was still there when she left almost an hour later and I was still going at the same high intensity.  She said she was so impressed with how I was able to work that hard for so long.  It was a really genuine compliment and it made my day!  I love when stuff like that happens. 

Tomorrow its a 5 (with the option to add another mile to make it 6 if I'm feeling good) mile run and then off to the airport to head to Orlando for a week there on another show.  Right...   time for me to get back to work.

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