With the Whitewater Xterra looming on the now nearing horizon, I’ve started to shift my training slightly. My goal is to decrease volume slightly and increase intensity. My hope is that since the race is not quite as long, this will give me an extra boost in power and speed. I’m also trying to increase the frequency of workouts by moving to multiple sports on the same days.
We have had some serious thunderstorm activity in the afternoons lately, and the pool shuts down for a minimum of 30 minutes after each lightening warning. I was hoping to get in three high-intensity swims, but lost one due to a storm. On Tuesday and Wednesday though, I got in 30 minutes of hard effort each day. I’ve been trying to save my legs a bit and using the swim float, and I’ve been trying to increase strength and speed, so I’ve been using paddles as well. The combination seems to be working. For each day, I started with around a 10-minute warm-up and then went right into interval drills. On Tuesday, I didn’t really count laps, but I swam hard for 15 minutes alternating with and without the float and with and without the paddles just to check my status. On Wednesday, I was more disciplined. I warmed up for 10 minutes and then did a series of drills – 200 yards with the float, 200 with the float and paddles, and finished with 250 with just the float. Short cool down and done. Afterward, my body felt relatively similar to my longer 1-hour aerobic swims.
One Wednesday, I met the boys at Dairy for a lap. We just cruised at conversational pace, and I did one hard effort through Kaye Paul for about a mile. I rode a second lap solo with a Grueler to Carriage loop built in. I pretty much hammered the whole time. No electronics, so I don’t know the data, but I did have quite the nasty crash. The rain has washed the sand into the low spots, so the trail is fast, but if you hit one of the pits, it can get ugly real fast. I came flying down one of the faster sections of the Left Trail, went to turn up the next section, caught my tire in a pile of sand, and went down on an old tree stump. It was pointed and felt like someone hit my forearm with a ball-peen hammer. The bruise goes most of the way from my elbow to my wrist. On Thursday, I fit in a hard effort on my Revive bike (see my post Weird Brick). On Friday, I took off from home and road out through Dairy at a really intense pace. I rode about 80 minutes and kept telling myself, “Jim. Just hold it until the next section.” But I kept holding and ended up completing about 70 minutes at just about full speed.
On Thursday, I went to the neighborhood ball field to run some lap drills. I ran intervals for about 30 minutes, and then on Saturday, I went out to Dairy for a longer trail run. I ran at tempo or higher for about 50 minutes. I warmed up for 10 minutes, so the hard effort was about 40 minutes. I kept my heart rate in the 150s and higher. By the end, I was done. It was so hot, and with that intensity, I was cooked, literally. It took me close to an hour to cool down. I still haven’t gotten back to my speed earlier in the season, but it’s coming. My hip flexors are not completely back, but they are bugging me less and less.
I found my way to the gym for a solid 45-minute workout. At this point, I’m using the gym only for maintenance and rehab. I did a warm-up on the bike, a whole bunch of body weight stuff (concentrating quite a bit on rehabbing the hip flexors), some band work, some free weights, single-leg squats, lunges, and single leg curls on the quad and hamstring machines. I’ve found my left leg is a bit weaker from old knee injuries, so I’m no longer going to let the right leg compensate, which should help with the hip flexor issue as well (it is worse on my left side).
1) I’ll try and remember to post about my new bike, but I just upgraded big time to a 29″ Specialized Camber Pro (2011 model frame) and am now using clipless pedals for the first time (Yes. I’m not joking.).
2) For a five-day sequence, just under 7 hours isn’t too bad. Also, my numbers rarely take into consideration the bike ride I do with my dog each morning or my yoga routine. These add about a half hour of gentle exercise daily. The mental benefit of having this routine everyday is essential. I feel obligated, which gets me up and going quite early. Though I often find myself on the side of the road searching in someone’s lawn for a pile of poo, it is a small price to pay for such a reward.