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Lesson Learned.

26 April 2017

As my triathlon training ramps up, I’m doing “bricks” (or two different sport workouts in a single day, back-to-back) two to three times a week. Mondays are run/swim bricks, and Tuesdays are strength/bike. Others occur with haphazard periodicity. This week though, the weather Tuesday was garbage, so Monday, in anticipation, I decided to switch up the swim and the bike, so as to take advantage of the indoorsness of the gym and pool.

So Monday I did a 12.5 mile ride in 49 minutes and then a 4.1 mile run in 42. A great little brick with satisfying speed. I felt strong and fast. I’m getting close to goal paces on everything. My hope is to do the Philadelphia triathlon in reasonably close to three hours, depending on the weather. 3:10 to 3:15 would be fabulous.

The half-Ironman is only a little bit longer than double the Olympic distance, and so if I turn in a 3:15, I’ll be very happy. That would indicate that an 8 hour half-Ironman is within reach. I’m in pretty good cardiovascular shape right now, my heart rate is behaving and I’m hitting really good paces on my speed intervals.

But I did learn a big lesson yesterday. Since I’d done my bike/run brick on Monday, I had gym/swim on Tuesday. So I lifted heavy metal things for an hour, including two honest-to-god hands-forward pull-ups, a bunch of chin-ups, and several sets of TRX rows. Basically, I completely thrashed my lats. Then I got in the pool.

I was supposed to do 1500 meters. That’s 0.93 miles, and the length of the swim of an Olympic triathlon. My half-Ironman is 1900 meters, or 1.18 miles. I did not have 1500 meters. I swim freestyle (what I grew up hearing called “the Australian crawl”). It places big demands on the lats to pull the arms through the water. Mine were sore and tired.

I felt like I was lying low in the water. Breathing felt like a challenge getting my head up high enough out of the water to make it safe. Everything was about three times the effort, and I was swimming significantly slower than I had a week ago. I cut the workout short to 1000 meters.

Regardless, I’m doing reasonably well and I feel ready to do the Olympic distance tomorrow if the race were tomorrow. I’d be slower than I expect to be by the time the actual race day comes around. But I can do the distances now. The big race? Well, it was always going to be a stretch. I’ll see what I’ve got when the time comes.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 26 April 2017 18:02

    swimming after lifting sounds way too hard to me! My bricks are limited to the sports required for the race. But then I am not a big lover of weights.

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