Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Continuing on my typical pre-season quest to develop enough fitness to train and race like a triathlete.  Given my 14 years of going through this process I know that miracles don't happen (at least fitness ones) and while my progress is generally pretty slow, it is progress that is consistent with my past experience.

Today, I decided I needed to do two things given that IMNOLA70.3 is looming on the horizon (4/14) and (in my view) I've never done as little training in a run up to a H-IM as I have for this one.  Firstly, I decided I needed to do a long run or two and so have decided to enter the Caesar Rodney Half-Marathon on this Sunday--this despite not running longer than 7 miles since September 22, 2013 (IM Lake Tahoe).  I know I'll be slow but I figure it will be a good training experience--catered run and lots of energy all about--it's kinda a shock to my system that seems to make sense given how far behind I am given my adventures in Argentina at the outset of this year.

Secondly, today I decided to nix my scheduled interval session in the pool and instead do a H-IM swim TT. I jumped in, no warm-up, and went after it.  Result? 34:35!  Pretty surprising given how little I've swam in the last 6 months and the fact that I've really only put 4 weeks of "semi-serious" swim training in.  OH, I forgot to mention that my H-IM swim PR is 32:59.  Now, I know swimming in a pool does not necessarily translate well into open water swimming but I have found through the years that these pool TT efforts are pretty good indicators of H-IM swim potential so I do take this data pretty seriously.  So what's the quandary?  Well....

- I really underinvested in swimming last year compared to the previous 5 years and my OA %-tile fell from 90+ %-tile to 80th %-tile or so.  This was more than acceptable as I saved many hours which was helpful for Motivation and for chanelling into other more lacking areas of my fitness.
- Still, this year I thought I would up my investment in swimming a bit and raise it back up a bit.
- I'm very early into the training season and have done very little real speed work and it shows in my 100 repeat times (1:27-1:31/100) vs. when I'm on it (1:16-1:20/100).
- Given that, I'm surprised that I did a sub 35 today--wouldn't have been surprised to do 37-38 minutes
- Conclusion: while I'm not sprint race sharp, I'm probably aready pretty close to being ready for my IM-specific swim training block which starts in July.
- Logically, given my focus on Kona this year, I should (already!) really put swimming on the back burner and focus my precious Motivation dollars on running and biking, which are clearly way behind.
- A nice problem to have for sure but it illustrates how if you really focus on technique and get it pretty dialed, your swim will be there for you even if you're not super fit.

I wish the run and bike were like that!  Anyways, I'm going to keep on my higher swim investment for now and then depending how my 3 pre-season races go, re-evaluate...

Onward and Upward!

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