Thursday, October 29, 2009

3100 yard swim, 1 hour mountain bike

Swam today for 3100 yards. Wasn't feeling it much. I was still sore from the other day, and quickly became frustrated with my lack of form. Although I've made a ton of progress on my swim since the beginning of last season, it's still a glaring weakness. I have a lot of work to do and am excited to work with a swim coach soon! I need it!

After the swim (which was pretty freakin' exhausting!) I stopped by my favorite mountain bike trial on the way home. I went around for about an hour, having to go pretty slow because of all the mud. If I was a big time mountain bike guy I might have taken some more chances on some of the muddy and wet, rocky decents, but there's really no reason to get hurt-especially on a day where I was just crusiing around for the hell of it!

I also went out and bought a headlamp at Dick's Sporting Goods today. I plan on doing some nighttime trail runs this week/weekend, so we'll see how it goes. I'm gonna test it tonight on a short run with the dog to see how it works. I'll have a full review so stay tuned.


  1. In 2000 I swam 59:00 for Ironman. Then in the Winter of 2001 I committed to 1 month of drill work only. Every length of swimming I did was a drill. I found out that 2k of drills is harder than 4k of swimming. What happened was I got damn fit (because drills are harder) and my form made a huge jump. I swam 54:00 in my first Ironman that year then went on to being able to swim 52:00 with out breaking a sweat.... just sayin. :)

  2. Lucho-
    Thanks man. At this point I'm willing to do anything! If it's a month worth of drill work exclusively, so be it! Serisouly though, I think that's just what I need. I don't have any sort of background in swimming and have taught myself virtually everything I know by reading books from the local library and watching Youtube videos. I didn't spend all that much time on drills though, I just swam big sets and hoped my times would go down. Compared to where I was I've made some improvement, but compared to my bike and run, swimming is dreadfully slow.
    Did you find that your form automatically snapped back in after the month? Also, did you do absolutely NO LAPS that weren't drills? I mean like not even a 25 just to see what would happen? If so that's serious discipline!
    Thanks again so much for your input! I'll keep you posted!

  3. Not even a 25 of free. I learned how to swim on my own too. I bought the Total Immersion book and that's all I did. Like I said- drills are harder than freestyle swimming, so I got very fit off of just drills. I also started as a terrible kicker and by the end of 2001 could 1500 yards straight holding sub 1:40 pace. You have to perfect your stroke first because Ironman swimming is not about power or strength, it's about saving energy. If you fight the water it will win. Once you get your stroke perfected, then and only then do you worry about fitness. I've swum Masters before and got dropped by fat old ladies with perfect swim technique.
    The best interval set ever was given to me by Tim DeBoom and I've seen him swim several kilometers of just this: Scull 25/ catch-up stroke 25... repeat up to 1000y. The CU has to be strict though. This is brutally hard once you start to fatigue. Swimming 1k of this is harder than swimming 1k all out. You want to vary the sculling every 25 between arms in front/ arms straight down/ arms at your hips. Stretch cords are also the single best thing you can do (next to drills) to improve your swim. But you need volume of cord work like building up to 5 X 10:00 of it. Brutal.

  4. That is brutal! I love it though. I'll have to work up to that. I also like the idea of getting fit off of drills alone.
    I'm definately going to look into cords. I really want to do anything I can possible to get better. It's like I'm obesessed with it! :) I've heard a lot about using cords and if it can mean more "training" time to get better, than I'll certianly take it. Do you just go through your regular stroke using the cords? I'm guessing I'd need a bench and something to fasten the cords to as well.
    As always, thanks! I'll put up a post about the cords and this awesomely brutal interval set as soon as I give them a try!

  5. I used stretch cords with handles on the end (started with green, then blue) and looped the half way point around a door knob. Yes- mimic swim stroke with both hands pulling at the same time, bent at the waist. Don't over think it. They are for strength and muscle endurance so no need to get technical for a while. You just want to pull until the swim muscles are wasted. Use caution though if you have twingy rotator cuffs. You can also use the tricep pull down or lat pull down cable at the gym.

  6. Great! Thanks. 5 X 10:00 mins is gonna be tough. Can't wait!