Posted on: February 11, 2008 10:43 am

H-IM notes for the week of 02/10

I started working with a swim coach on Tuesday. She coaches a local masters swim class as well as a local tri group, and she cut me a decent deal on pre-paying for several training sessions. We're mainly working on my form more than anything, and it's surprising how certain little things can really affect your swimming. The most notable issue she picked up on is that I'm doing a scissor kick when I'm swimming which kills my forward momentum. She illustrated it by having me push off the wall and just float until I'm stopped, then had me do the same thing but kick my legs out like I do in a scissor kick. The result was that I stopped about 3 feet shorter with my legs out. That's 3 feet in about a 4-5 yard space, which is a significant amount(obviously). So now I'm learning how to do a smaller kick and keeping my feet together. There were other tweaks she put into play, such as bringing my arm around the side(think of it as being swung around low enough my thumb could graze the water) instead of coming over the top. This adjustment takes the load off my shoulders and puts it on the biceps, which will help my endurance as the distance increases. She said if I practice this twice a week, I could take 20 seconds off my 100yd time in less than a month. In a HIM, that's a savings of 7 minutes just in the swim. She says I'll be faster than my girlfriend when she's done with me, which would be a serious improvement(she was offered a couple college swimming scholarships) over where I am now. I'm looking forward to our next workout which will be a week from tomorrow(we're meeting 2x/month).

It looked like Friday was going to be a nice day so I took a personal day from work and went out to ride. The temperature was decent(low 60s), but the wind was beating me down. I don't know if I can adequately describe how big a beating riding into a 20-25mph wind is. Since I was averaging 15mph on the bike(which is a little lower than normal, but I was focusing on keeping my HR down) it would be like standing still in a 40mph headwind. In other words, it sucks. I hunched down into aero position(think the position you see cyclists in on the Tour de France time trial stages) to minimize the impact, but there's really only so much you can do. On the bright side, I was riding a loop so some of the ride had a 20mph tailwind. Unfortunately the wind shifted partway through the ride(cold front came through) so on one of my loops it was all headwind. Wind is a beating.

One note about my totals: they're done from Sun-Sat each week so the workouts I do the day before I post(like the 7.5 mile run I did yesterday) won't show up until next week.

02/03-02/09 Totals:
Bike: 33.10 Mi 2h 14m 04s
Run: 6.05 Mi 1h 07m 35s
Swim: 1200.00 Yd 1h 00m

2008 Totals:
Bike: 4h 51m 41s - 73.93 Mi
Run: 7h 27m 06s - 42.78 Mi
Swim: 11200 Yd
Strength: 40m

Work is picking up - specifically the maintenances I do late at night - so it's challenging trying to fit in workouts when Wednesday(and sometimes Thursday) nights are going to be devoted to upgrading router code, switches, etc. Staying up until 3-4 am throws your whole schedule off the next day. I had this problem last summer as well, but it wasn't as big a deal because I wasn't training for races that were all that long. This year I have to find room, which probably means more working out on the weekends. It's not a big issue yet, but in a few months it will be.
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