Monday, March 7, 2011

Me + Pool = Suck

Sunday morning the alarm in my hotel room went off at 5AM. I got up and headed down to the hotel pool. I paced off the pool at roughly 30 yards. My time for a lap indicates its longer than 50 yards but not by much. So 27-30 yards is probably about right. I got in the water and started to get to work. I have to say this was a pretty frustrating swim. My last swim in a pool was at the Y in Newport and it went pretty well and I was able to get an 1800 yard workout in. This one was pathetic. I’m not sure why. Here are my guesses.

-the pool was super warm… way too hot for lap swimming. More like a giant hot tub.

-the way the floor of the pool is shaped with a curve you have no idea where the wall is. There are no visual cues… the walls and bottom are the same color and with the curve theres no edge to see. So you just sort of tentatively approach it and all of sudden your hand hits it. Disconcerting…

-My arms were pretty sore from being in aero for 2.5 hours the day before. I need to work on relaxing my shoulders more on my tri bike.

-I was pretty tired from a pretty crazy 72 hours of driving and riding and changing hotels three times and everything else going on.

-I‘m not a great swimmer, and I didn’t have a strong mental day so I got frustrated quickly.

None of those are really acceptable excuses though… but this is the frustration I face every time I swim in a pool. I know I’ll overcome it… but its really kicks my ass some days. Part of me wants to be coddled by a coach until I get it right and part of me thinks I just need to suck it up and swim swim swim till I have it right. The girl says my form is decent enough to do that and persevere… so that’s what I do. Its just so insanely frustrating. I just need to once again continue to fight my way through it.

In the end I only managed around 600 yards. Pathetic… but it just wasn’t going well at all and I didn’t see the point in continueing as I was getting worse as the swim went on. So I got ready for work instead.

Work went really well… in fact we were done much earlier than expected. We finished at 330pm so I rushed up to my room and grabbed my tri bike and packed it in the car and headed off to a local bike path in Orlando. I’d heard that there are many paths here and that they can be quite good in terms of width and whatnot. The problem is theres no real info of which ones have more stops and intersections in them than others. So I randomly picked one off the website that was closest. I chose poorly!

This particular path was 20 miles long and had a stop sign or intersection every 12 feet! Ok… I’m exaggerating but there was one at least every mile, and sometimes 3 per mile. Hard to get a good groove going. But really my goal was just to enjoy riding outside and log some miles. To put it bluntly my groin area was still a bit sore from yesterday so that was a little tender. I’m still getting used to that saddle and that body position when riding. So I wasn’t looking to ride for very long and I only had an hour of daylight anyway. So I rode ten miles out, turned around and rode ten back. That took me a little over an hour as with all the stop signs and high winds I wasn’t going very fast for any length of time. I did however hit one descent that had me tickling 40mph for the first time on my tri bike. That was fun and a little odd. I’m not used to feeling that far out over the front wheel at that speed!

That night I had a long chat with the girl as we do every night we can while I’m on the road. She suggested I consider taking today off instead of swimming again so I did. Monday is going to be my off day anyway going forwards so it made sense to take it. Tomorrow my plan is to get up stupid early and hit the pool again. I think I’ll have to be in the water by 5am if I want to get a swim in. Its going to make for a long day as we don’t end tonight at work till 10pm or so. (I’m writing this while working). So hopefully that goes well. Its looking like Wednesday morning I’ll have off though so I’ll be able to ride then which is great.


So today on my off day I spent a few minutes thinking about what my weekly regimen is going to be like going forwards.  Once I finish this obnoxious string of gigs (early April) I can finally start to log some regular training.  (although I also have to move that week too!).  So I figured I should probably put together the framework my training week will take.  Here's my rough outline.  Volume will change but the framework will stay the same...

Monday - Off Day, Try and Stretch, Foam Roll, Super Light Yoga.
Tuesday - Swim in AM,  Bike/Run brick on TT course in PM
Wednesday - Swim in AM, Strength Train w/ TRX
Thursday - Bike 1hr (Intervals),  Yoga / Stretch Session
Friday - Swim in AM, Strength Train w/ TRX
Saturday - Long Bike/Run Brick
Sunday - Long Endurance Swim / Long Run

It may be ambitions swimming 4 days a week but I really need to get my pool form into shape.  I don't even care about the speed improvement at this point.  I just need to be able to swim very comfortably without a westuit on as the open water isn't going to warm up in time for me to log some regular distance in a wetsuit before the patriot half and I need to fix my form anyway as it will only benefit me in a wetsuit.  Theres also a very real possibility that the Providence 70.3 won't be wetsuit legal so I'd better be able to swim 1.2 miles without a wetsuit on by then!

So thats the plan going forwards....   obviously while I'm on the road those goals change as its just not possible to get much in the way of doubles done, or triples.  So my basic weekly goals are...

Swim minimum three times a week
Strength train twice a week
Bike three times a week
Run three times a week (only as part of bricks)

For now I'm not doing any running till April to give my legs as much recovery time as possible from a long season of marathons, tris, and more marathons.  I'm so not worried about the run though...  the intial part of this season is all about the swim and building bike volume and power.

So there you have it...   here's hoping I can finally get some good swims going...

And here's a couple of quick pics from my ride yesterday...  sorry for the poor quality!

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