Wednesday, November 18, 2009

into the spin zone

No, I have not entered profesional politics :)

I am encorporating spin classes into my winter/off season training.

Definitely learning some interesting things, such as
1. you should not feel your legs burning at 50% effort
2. you should not feel your legs burning at 60 % effort
3. you should not feel your legs burning at 70 % effort
4. you should not feel your legs burning at 80 % effort
5. you should just start to feel your leg muscles burning at 85% effort

Guess who thought his legs should have that burning sensation starting at say.... 60%,,,,,??? If you guessed Michael Schwab, you would be 100% right. Now that I have that figured out, I will probably still try to kill myself in every class (provided it is not on a recovery day) just because that is the kind of guy I am (grin)

After the spin class, I showered off the 3 gallons of sweat that came out of my body and jumped in the pool for an hour. I used the first 20 minutes just kicking and working out my balance, rolling to sweet spot to breath (sort of like freestyle only longer breath and no rythem to a stroke.

Then I used the rest of the time to work on my stroke at tempos ranging from 1/second to 1/1.3 seconds. A world of difference, believe me.

Some things I did well today on my swim include
  1. balance better every time
  2. better glide in tempo
  3. improved grip on water
  4. kicking from hips more
  5. elbows higher on entry

    For improvement

1.higher elbows on entry

2.more patient front hand on breath stroke

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prudence is the better part of valor

Some times knowing when to quit is as important as sticking it out.

I woke up this morning feeling my heart beat from my left ear all the way down to my hip. I started out trying to tell my self to get up and get into the pool anyway and it turns out that I did the right thing by laying in bed and working to get my BG down from a good morning high of 458
Seems I have swimmers ear again and an infection on top of that. Melissa gave me a couple of Naxproxin and called the Dr for me to get me in Before work. .... Yes I still went to work, a brother needs to get paid :)

The Dr put me on Z packs and some ear steroids, along with a drying agent to clean up my left ear, which she said had a bulging eardrum from the infection. The good news is that as long as I wear my tight ear plugs, I can get back in the pool tomorrow.

I didn't run today as it was pooring down rain and I really felt awful all day.

On a positive note, I raced the metal man for 10 miles last night on the CT and only finished about 100 feet behind him. Woo Hoo

Good things about last nights ride
1. I improved my spin

2. I learned the importance of my spin for producing watts

3. I found out how much compression tights can improve your workout and recovery, plus the importance of graduated, zone compression. This apparently speeds muscle recovery, improves blood circulation, reduces lactate acid and allows me to perform at a higher level with decreased risk of injury!

4. saw the positive results from stopping momentarily (coasting in the real world) and allowing my muscles to reset for more continuous power output

5. got some good work on my aero position riding with a proper/more efficient spin

Areas for improvement
1. my spin especially at higher work loads. I need to involve the muscles in my inner back quads more for a stronger more sustainable spin. This will be a tremendous asset not only for raw power for extended sprints and climbing but for overall endurance, particularly on rolling courses.

2. my flexibility, so that I can stay aero more comfortably and spin more efficiently in that position, taking advatage of reduced resistance and still putting watts to the ground

Monday, November 16, 2009

Somethings new

OK so first of all, I am setting some goals, one of which is to post here, every day.

It can be time consuming, (mainly because I talk a lot and don't know when to stop :)) but I think it is an important part of my discipline to do this and have at least some sort of accountability to do this.
Some goals I have set for the week (started Friday actually) out of bed by 5:30 (yes that is AM) - which means I have to be asleep by 9:30Pm or sooner. So far so good, up at 4:30 on Friday (also part of the goal as I have a meeting at 6:45 on Friday mornings and I want to swim before hand every time.
Some other goals for the week, swim M-F for 1 hour before work. Run every single day with a long run on Saturday, Long Bike ride on Saturday, Computrainer workout M and W, and don't miss my vitamins on any day, twice per day, post every day here and include a daily log in a format provided by my mental game coach John Ellsworth
So far pretty good!
I went swimming this morning and first some positive things!
1. elbow height on entry improving

2. first time using my new tempo trainer and that was really swell, right on beat every stroke, with my rate set a 1 sec and 1.15 secs!

3. good balance even at the higher stroke rate, and LS breathing continues to improve

4. kicking is improving with a better feel for kicking from the hip, every time that I get into the water

5. reaching for the end of the pool consistently, while maintaining early entry on the catch
Good swim overall, I just need to ad to my goal of getting up at 5:30.....get out of the house by 6am M-T and by 5am on Friday, so that I have time to swim for a whole hour.
For improvement
1. Balance on right side (when breathing left on sweet spot drill)
2. Patient hand out front at all times, for improved length on my vessel, with more consistent front quadrant swimming
next workout focus (tomorrow)
1. Drill 200 yards (4 laps) on left side sweet spot with my goal to keep my head back (low in water) to maintain balance and not drink/breath in water. Will likely be able to accomplish this more efficiently by starting on the right side and paying attention to my position and how it makes this work.
OK so at lunch, I ran 3.1 miles and my Garmin Forerunner, (which I could have sworn was fully charged last night) decided to give me the dreaded battery low message, as soon as it fired up and locked in on the satelites. This gave me an opportunity to try to adapt and recover, from an unanticipated problem. I did good, but there is definitley room for improvement in this area.

I did my extimated (probably a little more than 3.1 miles) in 27 min 45 secs. What I actually calculated was 27 min 15 sec, but given that I did not decide to adapt until 2:30 into the run, my accuracy on this is up for debate. Plus the 17mph wind factor out of the east could not have done much for my actual time. So regardless pretty good run.

What I did well

1. did not get shook up when my Garmin checked out and did a little bit of premptive work to be able to have a record of what my performance was

2. kept on the beat like a machine for the second half of my run (85 BPM) used my gears to keep my pace up even when going directly into the wind. Was able to stride out long at the end and not rev it up

3. loose arm swing

4. good foot strike - felt right in the middle the whole time

5. Good linear rotation on my hips - maybe that fast time was totally acurate

Things to improve on.

1. faster turnover

2. keeping head up and focused attention ahead instead of down.

Focus next time - bring BPM up to 86 from the start - better preperation with Fore runner :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Week in reflection

So, I had some great swims this week, my form gets better every time that I get into the water.

The TI program that I took this summer really helped me and is helping me a lot.

When I am having difficulty, I am now able to analyze what is happening, figure out the problem and make adjustments to improve my stroke, posture, aerodynamics and breathing.

I made some real headway, my last time in the pool, even though it felt like an aweful workout. I was only able to get 1500 yards in an hour. I did spend most of it doing drills and made a lot of laps breathing only on my left side to try and figure out how to make my left side breathing smoother.

I finally figured out that the big difference between right and left was that I need to really breath over my left shoulder instead of to the side. That is what I do right and it keeps my head down, my body balanced and allows me to keep my right hand on target and avoid over rotating and ultimately sinking.

But what made me feel the best about this workout was that I swam a couple of laps at the end and did 49 second laps (lightning speed for me) it is very encouraging to see that kind of improvement.