Saturday, November 29, 2008

Running like a fish out of water

Running after swimming has become one of my favorite workouts. I've been coming up with new running routes to do, but I keep coming back to my 3.5 mile route after my swim at the gym. I always see something new along the run which keeps it interesting.

Today after my swim I felt a slight twinge in the arch of my foot so I was happy I was putting on my Sof Sole support socks even though they hadn't been washed in a couple of runs. It turned out to be another great workout. My pace was just around 7:45 or so and I still had a lot in the tank.

I'm looking forward to my next brick workout. That is after I wash these socks.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Swimming with sharks

I've never swam with sharks, and I don't plan on doing it any time soon. Today, however, was a unique situation at the pool and it is how I imagine swimming with sharks would be.

I was in the center lane of a three lane pool. The center lane is a single swimmer lane, and the two outer lanes are reserved for 2 swimmers when needed. Today was one of those days. Each lane was taken and other swimmers were beginning to queue up along the side of the pool just waiting for the next swimmer to show signs of fatigue so they could hop in for the kill before one of the other circling swimmers decided to take the bite.

The activity in the water was similar, each swimmer keeping an eye on my coveted lane. I was safe, inside the shark cage, while the rest of my fellow school of fish were left out in the outer lanes where they could be picked off... and the weakest swimmers were the first to go. I stayed strong, finished my swim, then let my fellow swimmers battle it out for the caged lane where it was safe.

Today's distance:

Monday, November 17, 2008

When 1250yds is really 1100yds

There is nothing like putting in a good hard swim and realizing you actually went 150yds shorter than planned. That is what happened today but I didn't figure it out until I was sitting on the side of the pool counting my laps. It didn't feel too good to have short changed myself, but I took it for what it was and decided I wouldn't obsess about it too much.

I'll just do what any self-respecting swimmer would do... I'll make it up the next time I am in the pool!

Today's Workout:
1100 yds

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Brick Workout - Swim and Run

Repeating the same workout from one day to the next can get a little boring, that is unless the workout is a brick. I love brick workouts. They keep things interesting when you are looking for an additional challenge to add to your otherwise overloaded training plan!

Today I hopped in the pool for another quick 900yds. These 900yd efforts have been a great way to get loose before heading out to pound the pavement. The swim felt good and the first 200yds were easier than they had been the last two times I was in the water.

After the swim I hit the road for a 3.5 mile loop. The weather was in the upper 40s with a windchill somewhere in the 30s so it was a bit colder than yesterday's run. Luckily I had planned ahead and was warm enough to complete the route without frost bite.

I plan on doing more of these swim/run bricks on the weekends. They are less taxing on the body than Bike/Run bricks (although I will work those into my training as well). I am just finding new enjoyment in the pool and hope to keep it up!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Going from the swim to run: "Splash and Dash"

As with most triathlons, the swim is usually followed by the bike and then a run. However, I have been in a few Biathlons and Duathlons where the swim is immediately followed by a fast painful run. If you have never tried giving a good hard run effort after a swim... you should.

These brick workouts are a great way to mix up the training when things get a little stale. Plus, unlike Bike/Run bricks, the Swim/Run brick has less negative impact on your legs. Instead, this little gem gives your lungs the nice taxing workout they are craving!!!

Today's Splash and Dash Brick felt good. I was able to get in the pool without waiting for a lane. I banged out 900yds which is not far, but I am still ramping up the distance in the pool and trying to keep my shoulders intact. After the pool came the run. I was happy to find that the run was actually quite warm. The hills were a little brutal but my legs were ready for them.

Here is how the Splash and Dash looked on paper:

Swim/Run Brick
Pool: 900yds
Run: 3.5 miles

If you are a member of LA Fitness at Perimeter Point in Atlanta, GA you can do the exact workout I did today by hitting the pool and then running the route below.
View Interactive Map on

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Write a training plan... Be a Multisport Coach...

I have taken to the pool about 4 times over the past week. Its a nice change of pace from the road and its rekindled my interest in multisport training and racing. So, as this post continues on, feel free to offer insight or advice... any and all responses are welcome.

I guess the interest to be a multisport athlete has always been there, but since our move to Atlanta, I have been slowly moving further and further away from swim sprints, long bike rides, and brick workouts. That interest has now heightened to the point that writing training programs and taking unique approaches to the sport are all I can think about, which leads me to my next thought. Coaching multisport athletes.

This is a topic I have been toying with for some time but only recently have I given it serious consideration. Over the past few years I have given guidance to many new runners and triathletes, not as a coach, but as someone interested in all facets of the sport and training. I was no expert then, nor am I now, but I've trained with so many diverse athletes and have, by some stroke of luck, had some small successes of my own in training and racing that now, the "coaching" equation is starting to come together.

This past year has been good because I've directly and indirectly helped to motivate new runners from the couch to the 5k and beyond. It is here that I have received the most positive responses from runners to drop my day job and start coaching. Well, I don't know about all that... but it has given me some good ideas that I think I can share with those of us in the working community with little time to train.

So, over the next couple of months I am going to be working closely with coaches across the country in various forums to see if this is really something I could wholeheartedly pursue, while remaining diligent in my current occupation.

Any advice or thoughts on this subject are more than welcome!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Swimming laps and sharing lanes

Today I shared a swim lane with another swimmer at the gym. I don't mind doing this at all because I feel like I can usually keep to my side without bothering anyone else who might be in the same lane. In fact, I have swam with up to 4 or 5 people in the same lane. That gets a little tricky but as long as everyone is at the same pace it doesn't really matter.

However, today the guy I shared a lane with said he didn't want to do it but that he would anyway. I wasn't sure how to take his comment, but I smile back, put on my goggles and waited patiently as he got to the other end before I started.

I had a good swim, but I found myself thinking of the guy next to me, hoping he wasn't going to torpedo directly into my head. I kept to the side of the pool and actually hit the ladder a few times I was so concerned with not impacting my fellow swimmer.

I ended up finishing my workout before he did and I left him there in the pool to no doubt shock another innocent swimmer looking to get in a few laps. As negative as he was, I think I learned something from him. The next time someone asks to share a lane, I will give them their preference of which side they would like to swim and won't let myself worry about the human torpedo.

Today's distance: 700yds

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday before Super Tuesday. A super workout.

I woke up early this morning. It felt great having the extra hour thanks to Daylight Savings. I had been planning on starting my morning workouts today simply because it would be easier to jump out of bed at 5am since I'd been waking up at 6am (or earlier) the previous few weeks.

I was surprised at how hard it was to actually force myself out of bed even though I was wide awake. I starting thinking of all the reasons why I should use the extra hour for more sleep. I almost let those thoughts keep me in bed until I snapped out of it, jumped up, and through on my clothes to head to the gym. It was time to swim some laps.

This was my first venture to the LA Fitness pool since it had been refinished. It looks much better and I ended up sharing a lane with another early riser since each lane was taken. It was a quick morning in the pool though with only 700 yds. I have a plan to build up to 1 mile constant and do that most morning before work. Until then, I'm starting of VERY slow so I don't blow my shoulder.

This afternoon I decided that my morning swim was good, but what I really needed was a run. So, after work (and walking the dog) I went down to the treadmill in our building and put in about 3 miles. I thought about a 5 miler, but 3 seemed like a good addition to my 700yd swim. It was a nice easy pace at about 7:45/mile.

I'm looking forward to more of these workouts. I might hit the spin class tomorrow morning but the pool might be calling my name.

  Sunday run in the rain.