Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Moved but not settled, the family is all here in Boise. What a crazy few past months this has been. After finishing up the 2nd Spring Endurance Corner Training Camp at the end of April, I’ve been back and forth between Boise and Winston-Salem. In that time, I’ve battled a little plantar fasciitis, raced Florida 70.3, DNS Triple T, graduated one daughter from middle school (had my first father-daughter dance…whoaaaaa), started a new job…you know the routine.
During this period, I’ve had time to reflect on how fortunate I’ve been. Moving is stressful on everyone, but the opportunity that is ours is a very good one. I’ve managed to string together a few weeks of training finally, and the long bike rides are certainly good for introspection. The thoughts aren’t yet cohesive, so I will wait awhile before sharing those. The pics above are from my most recent long ride; one that ended with a 16 mile climb up to Bogus Basin, the local ski resort just above town. I hear Michael Tobin (local ex Xterra World Champion and current adventure racer) holds the record for the climb at ~54 minutes. Needless to say, he will have no competition from me anytime soon.
The hardest part of triathlon training for me to get rolling is the swim. I really noticed significant gains from last years training, but the move across the country has me stymied and I’ve experienced quite a backslide trying to get back into the routine in my new environment. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to share the path that I took from my first Ironman swim of 1:36 down to my most recent IMC swim of 63 minutes. I would characterize my improvements in stages:
2003 First Ironman-started swimming “laps” a few years before for sprint tris, attended T.I. camp
2004 Started swimming with Masters group & did a few open water swim races, swam IM WI in 1:10
2005 First Epic Camp- committed to learning how to flip turn before camp. Incorporated longer continuous swims after camp.
2006 Year of Bilateral Breathing IM Brazil swim 64 minutes
2007 Trained with “team good guys” in Boulder with Jane Scott, incorporated all 4 strokes routinely into most swim sessions
Introspection of the process:
1. T.I. taught me the lingo of and the components of swimming-competent to not drown.
2. Slowly built aerobic swimming base
3. Lots of technique work, expansion of aerobic base
4. Bilateral breathing provided symmetry to stroke, kept me swimming more and breathing less. Continued expansion of aerobic base
5. Off strokes built strength and further enhanced technique. Spend a fair bit of time swimming more slowly, but going faster when challenged to do so.
So what is next? More of the same. I really think continued swim strength and maintenance of aerobic base will provide further gains. As I’ve sorted out my new swimming schedule here in Boise, I developed a swim set that incorporates most of my goals. It goes like this:
100 IM x 1
100 IM x 2
100 IM x 3
100 IM x 4
100 IM x 5
The thought behind the set is:
The free are done as bilateral breathing in a descending pattern.
The first 200 kick is done with a board to stretch out my shoulders. Following the first 200, I do 50 free kick with board, 50 fly for core, 50 kick catch-up, 50 concentrating on timing, so that right leg kick precedes right pull, and vice versa. done without a board and using a variety of patterns.
The backstroke provides balanced strength to counter all of the free style.
IM work is for swim specific strengthening.
Glad to be back in the groove. The pics above are from the Sawtooth Relay. This was a fun little event that included two all out 10k’s at altitude as my contribution to a team relay run from Stanley to Sun Valley (60 miles).
If anyone makes it out to the area, please drop me a line.